Wives for the Men of Benjamin
2 After the war with Benjamin, the Israelites went to the place of worship at Bethel and sat there until sunset. They cried loudly and bitterly 3 and prayed, Our Lord, you are the God of Israel. Why did you let this happen? Now one of our tribes is almost gone.
4 Early the next morning, the Israelites built an altar and offered sacrifices to please the Lord and to ask his blessing. 5 Then they asked each other, Did any of the tribes of Israel fail to come to the place of worship? We made a sacred promise that anyone who didnt come to the meeting at Mizpah would be put to death.
6 The Israelites were sad about what had happened to the Benjamin tribe, and they said, One of our tribes was almost wiped out. 7 Only a few men of Benjamin werent killed in the war. We need to get wives for them, so the tribe wont completely disappear. But how can we do that, after promising in the Lords name that we wouldnt let them marry any of our daughters?
8 Again the Israelites asked, Did any of the tribes stay away from the meeting at Mizpah?
After asking around, they discovered that no one had come from Jabesh in Gilead. 10 So they sent twelve thousand warriors with these orders: Attack Jabesh in Gilead and kill everyone, except the women who have never been married.
12 The warriors attacked Jabesh in Gilead, and returned to their camp in Canaan with four hundred young women.
13 The Israelites met and sent messengers to the men of Benjamin at Rimmon Rock, telling them that the Israelites were willing to make peace with them. 14 So the men of Benjamin came back from Rimmon Rock, and the Israelites let them marry the young women from Jabesh. But there werent enough women.
15 The Israelites were very sad, because the Lord had almost wiped out one of their tribes. 16 Then their national leaders said:
20 The leaders told the men of Benjamin who still did not have wives:
24 Afterwards, the rest of the Israelites returned to their homes and families.
Israel Was Not Ruled by a King
The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary