About Jesus Steve Sweetman
For Benjamites (ch. 21:1 - 25)
note that in verse 1 the men of Israel
swore an oath not to give any of their daughters to the men of the tribe
of Benjamin. As I've said
before, whether in Jewish culture or pagan culture back then, oaths were
taken very seriously. If
someone took an oath, you could bet that they would not back out of the
oath. The men of
verses 2 and 4 the men of
was the problem. There were
600 men of the tribe of Benjamin still alive.
They had no wives and the rest of Israel
had made a vow not to provide wives to Benjamite men.
What should they do?
verse 5 we see that Israel
took another oath. They were
to kill any clan, anyone, who did not come to Mizpah and prepare for the
battle against the tribe of Benjamin.
6 states that Israel
"grieved for their brothers", the Benjamites.
War, especially civil war is never very nice.
In sporting events, people tend to gloat in victory, and even in
battle men tend to gloat in victory, but not so here.
Most of their brothers had just been killed in battle and the
those who know and understand the civil war that took place in the
verse 9 to 12 we see the plan the Israelis came up with to
provide wives for the 600 men of Benjamin, and this is where their
second oath comes in handy. To
recap; the Israeli men made two oaths.
The first was that they would not give any of their daughters to
any surviving men from the tribe of Benjamin.
That created a problem for the 600 Benjamite surviving men that
men of Israel
fought against the clan that did not help fight.
They killed all the men and all the women, except for virgin
girls, who they would give to the men of the tribe of Benjamin.
There was one more problem. There
were 400 virgins and 600 men. They
needed another 200 women for the Benjamite men.
the word "clan". This
word is often used in the Biblical history of Israel
to denote and extended family within a tribe.
verse 13 we see that peace was made between the tribe of Benjamin and
the rest of Israel. The men of the tribe of
Benjamin were given the 400 girls. Now,
the Israelis just had to come up with 200 more women for the men of
in verse 15 that the Israelis believed that "the Lord had made a
gap in Israel". Clearly, the rest of
verse 18 we see the seriousness of making a vow.
verse 19 to the end of the chapter we see how the Israelis dealt with
this problem. They were
acting much like lawyers do today, or, much like the Pharisees in Jesus'
day acted. They noted that
to get around the first oath where no Israeli man should give his
daughter to a Benjamite man, it was said that the girls were not given,
but stolen. There's a big
difference. Thus the oath
was not broken. This seems
like one very humanistic attempt to solve a problem.
25 ends the book of Judges. "In
those days Israel
had no king. Everyone did
what they thought was right in their own eyes".
I've said before, the above statement proves that this book was at least
edited some time during the period when
eventually got their king, but
I tend to believe that it wasn't God's will, although some will disagree
with this. I believe them
having a king was a concession on the part of God.
wanted a king like their pagan neighbours, and we know that they were
not to imitate their pagan nieghbours.
This would have been a form of
"might" think about conceding on this point, thinking that God
book of Judges is all about the ups and downs of Israeli history.
Some times they followed the Lord and sometimes they didn't.