Synopsis:Everyone agrees not to give any women to the Benjamins. But then they feel bad about this and arrange for wives to be found. The basic problem is that they don’t want one of the tribes of Israel to cease to exist. To find women, they raid Jabesh-gilead – since they didn’t send anyone to defend Israel’s honor. All the men are killed and all the women who have had sex are killed. This leaves 400 young virgins who are given to the men of Benjamin who were hiding at Rimmon. This is basically a peace offering. Unfortunately, it’s not enough women for the surviving Benjamites, so ... they tell the Benjamites to hide in the vineyards and when the daughters of Shiloh (where the house of god and the ark of the covenant are) come out to dance, go and steal them. That way none of us gave you our daughters, but you aren’t without women either.
In other words:After the massacre of the Benjamites, the remaining Israelites feel bad that one of the tribes has been expelled and has no women. So they steal 400 women and encourage the Benjamites to capture more. That way – technically – the can not violate their oath, but still provide the Benjamites with wives.
Least favorite bit:The massacre at Jabesh-gilead. This only really happens because they weren’t present. They didn’t participate, so they had to die and give their women to the very men for who it had been agreed, no one would give their women. Seriously – this is very twisted logic and the women are treated as cattle by a group that was just up in arms about how one of their women was treated.
2nd least favorite bit:The kidnapping of the daughters of Shiloh – again, it’s not our daughters – so we’re good. Right? Nope!
My commentary on this:On the one hand – it’s nice that they were all upset about what had happened to this one woman. On the other, once they killed 50,000 people, they immediately forgive the people who had tortured and raped the woman they were defending and then kill and murder some more to get 400+ women to give to the men they were just trying to kill. ugh!!!! It’s a feminist nightmare!
Moral Lesson Learned:
- When men go to war – it’s about possession, not honor or justice. (Judges 21)
• Women – they aren’t defending your honor – they are defending their possession! (Judges 21)