Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday - Judges 21 - By Hook or by Crook

Essentially the nation of Israel realized that they had almost completely wiped out an entire tribe. Not surprisingly, they regretted this and determined that by whatever means necessary they were going to make sure that they found a way to preserve the tribe of Benjamin. And truly, since there were only 600 surviving men of Benjamin, the matter was very important.

So, how was it to be done? Well, once again, take notice of the fact that Israel was in a time of political unrest and of spiritual meandering (Judges 21:25).  In other words, don't expect their response to be too awfully noble. Now, in their earlier zeal the 11 tribes had covenanted among themselves not to allow their daughters to marry the men of Benjamin.  Obviously, they felt like they had to live up to their vow, so... what could they do for the 600 bachelors (or widowers)?

Ironically the nation had made another vow in their early zeal against the tribe of Benjamin. They had declared that any group in Israel that did not contribute to the justice waged against Benjamin would pay for their negligence with their lives. So, when they discovered that there had been no representatives from Jabeshgilead, they killed those Jews and saved their virgin daughters alive. To be precise, they found 400 virgins from Jabishgilead to give to some of the surviving Benjaminites. The rest of men of Benjamin were told to kidnap wives for themselves during a feast dance in Shiloh. That was their solution. The tribe was "saved" from extinction through a quirky and unorthodox plan of murder and manipulation.

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