21:1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, Not any of us will give his daughter to Benjamin as wife.
21:2 And the people came to Beth-el, and sat there until evening before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept intensely.
21:3 And they said, O Yahweh, the God of Israel, why has this come to pass in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel?
21:4 And it came to pass on the next day, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings.
21:5 And the sons of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who didn't come up in the assembly to Yahweh? For they had made a great oath concerning him who did not come up to Yahweh to Mizpah, saying, He will surely be put to death.
21:6 And the sons of Israel repented for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
21:7 What shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing we have sworn by Yahweh that we will not give them our daughters as wives?
21:8 And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel who did not come up to Yahweh at Mizpah? And, look, not a man from Jabesh-gilead came to the assembly at the camp.
21:9 For when the people were numbered, look, there was not a man of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there.
21:10 And the congregation sent there twelve thousand men of the valiant, 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.
21:11 And this is the thing that you+ will do: you+ will completely destroy every male, and every woman who has had any sex with a man.
21:12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, who had not had any sex with a man; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
21:13 And the whole congregation sent and spoke to the sons of Benjamin who were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them.
21:14 And Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead: and yet they did not suffice them.
21:15 And the people repented for Benjamin, because Yahweh had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
21:16 Then the elders of the congregation said, What shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing the women were destroyed out of Benjamin?
21:17 And they said, There must be an inheritance for the escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel.
21:18 Nevertheless we may not give them wives of our daughters, for the sons of Israel had sworn, saying, Cursed be he who gives a wife to Benjamin.
21:19 And they said, Look, there is a feast of Yahweh from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
21:20 And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,
21:21 and see, and watch if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come+ out of the vineyards, and you+ catch every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
21:22 And it will 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 did not take for each man [of them] his wife in battle, neither did you+ give them to them, or else you+ would now be guilty.
21:23 And the sons of Benjamin did so, and took wives, according to their number, of those who danced, whom they carried off: and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities, and dwelt in them.
21:24 And the sons of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.
21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
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