Judges chapter 21

They preserve the tribe of Benjamin.

 


 

THEY PRESERVE THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN

 

VERSE 1. Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, “None of us will give his daughter to Benjamin as a wife.”

give his daughter to Benjamin as a wife. This statement envisions a female as property for a man to dole out as he sees fit. But it is contrary to human rights.

Professing believers often adapt terrible worldview such as this, even though it is incompatible with a biblical perspective on women.

 

VERSE 2. The people came to Bethel and sat there until evening before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept severely.

wept severely. They are lamenting that the tribe of Benjamin is nearly extinct. There are only 600 men left.

 

VERSE 3. They said, “The LORD, the God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that there should be one tribe lacking in Israel today?”

why has this happened in Israel. The answer is quite clear:

  • People of the tribe of Benjamin did a heinous thing against a woman.
  • The other eleven tribes tried to exterminate the tribe of Benjamin from the face of the earth.

 

VERSE 4. On the next day, the people rose early and built an altar there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

 

VERSE 5. The children of Israel said, “Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who didn’t come up in the assembly to the LORD?” For they had made a great oath concerning him who didn’t come up to the LORD to Mizpah, saying, “He shall surely be put to death.”

they had made a great oath. This issue is separate from the extermination issue (see above).

They had made a solemn oath to put to death anyone who had failed to assemble at Mizpah.

 

VERSE 6. The children of Israel grieved for Benjamin their brother, and said, “There is one tribe cut off from Israel today.

 

VERSE 7. How shall we provide wives for those who remain, since we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?”

 

VERSE 8. They said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel who didn’t come up to the LORD to Mizpah?” Behold, no one came from Jabesh Gilead to the camp to the assembly.

no one came from Jabesh Gilead. Nobody from the town of Jabesh Gilead responded to the call to Mizpah.

 

VERSE 9. For when the people were counted, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead there.

 

VERSE 10. The congregation sent twelve thousand of the most valiant men there, and commanded them, saying, “Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones.

 

VERSE 11. This is the thing that you shall do: you shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman who has lain with a man.”

utterly destroy every male. After nearly exterminating the tribe of Benjamin, they are now going to exterminate the town of Jabesh Gilead.

every woman who has lain with a man. They will also exterminate most of the women in the town of Jabesh Gilead.

 

VERSE 12. They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins who had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

four hundred young virgins. Only 400 people will be spared.

 

VERSE 13. The whole congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin who were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them.

 

VERSE 14. Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh Gilead. There still weren’t enough for them.

gave them the women. This is another statement that envisions a female as property for a man to dole out as he sees fit. But it is contrary to human rights.

Professing believers often adapt terrible worldview such as this, even though it is incompatible with a biblical perspective on women.

 

VERSE 15. The people grieved for Benjamin, because the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

The people grieved for Benjamin. People are upset because there are 600 men without a wife, but only 400 women.

 

VERSE 16. Then the elders of the congregation said, “How shall we provide wives for those who remain, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?”

 

VERSE 17. They said, “There must be an inheritance for those who are escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe not be blotted out from Israel.

 

VERSE 18. However, we may not give them wives of our daughters, for the children of Israel had sworn, saying, ‘Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.’ ”

 

VERSE 19. They said, “Behold, there is a feast of the LORD from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.”

 

VERSE 20. They commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,

 

VERSE 21. and see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards, and each man catch his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

each man catch his wife of the daughters of Shiloh. They will kidnap young women, and force them into marriage without their consent.

This is contrary to human rights. But they do it anyway.

Professing believers often adapt terrible worldview such as this, even though it is incompatible with a biblical perspective on women.

 

VERSE 22. It shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we will say to them, ‘Grant them graciously to us, because we didn’t take for each man his wife in battle, neither did you give them to them; otherwise you would now be guilty.’ ”

 

VERSE 23. The children of Benjamin did so, and took wives for themselves according to their number, of those who danced, whom they carried off. They went and returned to their inheritance, built the cities, and lived in them.

 

VERSE 24. The children of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they each went out from there to his own inheritance.

 

VERSE 25. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.

there was no king in Israel. The Book of Judges concludes with this oft-repeated refrain.

It might reflect a desire for a central authority to muster the army. Or it might stem from a desire to be like other nations.

 


next chapter »

« previous chapter


JUDGES

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.