21 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, “None of us shall give his daughter to Benjamin [a]in marriage.”2 So the people came to Bethel and sat there before God until evening, and lifted up their voices and wept [b]bitterly.3 They said, “Why, O Lord, God of Israel, has this come about in Israel, so that one tribe should be missing today in Israel?”4 It came about the next day that the people arose early and built an altar there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
5 Then the sons of Israel said, “Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who did not come up in the assembly to the Lord?” For [c]they had taken a great oath concerning him who did not come up to the Lord at Mizpah, saying, “He shall surely be put to death.”6 And the sons of Israel were sorry for their brother Benjamin and said, “One tribe is cut off from Israel today.7 What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the Lord not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?”
Provision for Their Survival
8 And they said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel who did not come up to the Lord at Mizpah?” And behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.9 For when the people were [d]numbered, behold, not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead was there.10 And the congregation sent 12,000 of the valiant warriors 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.11 This is the thing that you shall do: you shall utterly destroy every man and every woman who has [e]lain with a man.”12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with [f]him; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
13 Then the whole congregation sent word and spoke to the sons of Benjamin who were at the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them.14 Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had kept alive from the women of Jabesh-gilead; yet they [g]were not enough for them.15 And the people were sorry for Benjamin because the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
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