1. And the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, “Not one of us shall give his daughter to Benjamin for a wife.”
2. And the people came to the house of God and stayed there until evening before God, and lifted up their voice and wept grievously,
3. And said, “O, LORD God of Israel, why has this came to pass in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel?”
4. And it came to pass on the next day the people rose early and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
5. And the children of Israel said, “Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that did not come up with the congregation to the LORD?” For they had made a great oath concerning him who did not come up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, “He shall surely be put to death.”
6. And the children of Israel repented themselves for Benjamin their brother, and said, “There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
7. What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters for wives?”
8. And they said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel that did not come up to Mizpeh to the LORD?” And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly,
9. For the people were numbered, and behold, none of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead were there.
10. And the congregation sent there twelve thousand men of the most valiant, and commanded them, saying, “Go, and you shall strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the sword, with the women and the children.
11. And this is the thing that you shall do. You shall utterly destroy every male and every woman who has lain with man.”
12. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins who had known no man by lying with any male. And they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
13. And the whole congregation sent to speak to the children of Benjamin who were at the rock of Rimmon and to call peaceably to them.
14. And Benjamin came again at that time. And they gave them wives of whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh Gilead. And yet so they were not enough for them.
15. And the people repented themselves for Benjamin because the LORD had made a break in the tribes of Israel.
16. And the elders of the congregation said, “What shall we do for wives for those who are left since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?
17. And they said, “There must be an inheritance for those of Benjamin who have escaped, so that a tribe may not be destroyed out of Israel.
18. However, we may not give them wives of our daughters, for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, ‘Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.’ ”
19. Then they said, “Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.”
20. And they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,
21. And see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then you come out of the vineyards and catch you a wife for every man from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
22. And it shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to us to complain, we will say to them, ‘Be favorable to them for our sakes because we did not reserve each man a wife in the war, for if you did not give to them at this time, you would be guilty.’ ”
23. And the children of Benjamin did so, and took wives according to their number, from those that danced whom they caught. And they went and returned to their inheritance, and repaired the cities and lived in them.
24. And the children of Israel departed from there at that time, each man to his tribe and to his family. And they went out from there every man to his inheritance.
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