Today’s passage: Judges 21:1-25
- Two oaths were taken and then later manipulated to serve new desires which sprang up after the end of the battles against the tribe of Benjamin.
- Any Israelites who did not come to participate earlier were to be killed for not joining against Benjamin.
- None of the participating families were to give their daughters to any remaining men from Benjamin as wives.
- In order to have a sense of having kept their rash vows:
- They slaughtered everyone in Jabesh-gilead except for the 400 eligible young ladies.
- They encouraged the remaining single men from Benjamin to capture women at a specific place and at a specific time…so that the fathers would not technically have given them their daughters in marriage.
- The final verse is not a commendation of Israel. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.
- Hosea 6:6 – “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
Questions to consider:
- How do you think the surviving women of Jabesh-gilead felt about their new assigned husbands? How loving do you think those marriages would have been? How has Israel’s treatment of these women been different from how the men of Gibeah valued the Levite’s concubine in the first place?
- If everyone heard of the plan to provide women for the remaining 200 Benjamite men, who would have gone dancing at Shiloh? What would have motivated the fathers (and mothers!) to allow their daughters to go dancing during this “Hunting season”?
- In what ways do the offerings and attempts at worship not coincide with Israel’s relationship with God? How could your feelings about your relationship with God mislead you? How would you correctly evaluate your walk with the Lord?