Then they said
Some of the elders that sat in council debating this matter, and considering of ways and means to assist their brethren the Benjaminites, and preserve their tribe from being lost:
behold, there is a feast of the Lord in Shiloh
where the tabernacle then was, and before which the males of Israel were obliged to appear three times of the year; and this was one of them, as is clear by its being called a feast of the Lord; and therefore cannot design any civil festival or fair kept for trade and commerce. Some have thought of the feast of the passover, but it is most likely to be the feast of tabernacles, as Abarbinel takes it to be; which in Jewish writings is emphatically called "the feast"; and the time of year when that was kept was a time of great rejoicing, on account of the fruits of the earth being gathered in, and the reading of the law and especially at the tithe of drawing of water at this feast; insomuch that it is said F5 that he who never saw the rejoicing at drawing of water never saw rejoicing in his life, which was attended with piping, and dancing, and singing. It is pretty strange what Kimchi notes, that this may be either one of the above feasts, or the day of atonement, at which, he says, the daughters of Israel used to go and dance in the vineyards, according to the words of the Rabbins; when though that is reckoned among the feasts, ( Leviticus 23:1-44 ) it was properly a fast, as it is called, ( Acts 27:9 ) and all tokens of festivity and joy were forbidden on it; and where these words of their Rabbins are to be met with, he says not: in a place
which is on the north side of Bethel;
we rightly supply "in a place": for the intention is not to describe the situation of Shiloh, which was well known, but a place not far from it, where at this festival the daughters of Shiloh used to dance:
on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel
this place lay to the east of a public road, that led from Bethel to Shechem:
and on the south of Lebonah;
which Mr. Maundrell F6 takes to be a place now called Kane Leban, which stands on the east side of a delightful vale, having a village of the same name standing opposite to it on the other side of the vale; one of these places, either that Kane or the village, is supposed to be the Lebonah mentioned ( Judges 21:19 ) to which both the name and situation seem to agree.
F5 Misn. Succah, c. 5. sect. 1, 4. Vid. Maimon. Hilchot Lulab, c. 8. sect. 13.
F6 Journey from Aleppo, p. 63.