1以色列人曾在米斯巴起誓不把女兒嫁給便雅憫人。 2他們來到伯特利，坐在上帝面前放聲痛哭，直到黃昏。 3他們說：「以色列的上帝耶和華啊，以色列為何少了一個支派呢？為何發生了這樣的事呢？」 4第二天，眾人清早起來在那裡築了一座祭壇，獻上燔祭和平安祭。 5他們彼此議論說：「我們到米斯巴聚集在耶和華面前的時候，各支派中誰沒有來呢？」原來，他們曾經起誓說：凡不到米斯巴聚集在耶和華面前的人都要被處死。 6以色列人為他們的同胞便雅憫人難過，說：「如今以色列絕了一個支派。 7我們曾經在耶和華面前起誓，決不把女兒嫁給便雅憫人，現在我們應該怎麼辦才能使他們剩下來的人得到妻子呢？」
8他們又查問各支派中誰沒有到米斯巴聚集在耶和華面前，結果發現基列·雅比人缺席， 9因為點兵的時候，沒有一個基列·雅比人在場。 10於是，會眾派出一萬二千精兵，命令他們殺掉基列·雅比人及其婦女和孩子。 11他們對精兵說：「你們所要做的就是消滅所有的男子和已婚婦女。」 12他們在基列·雅比的居民中找到四百名處女，把她們帶回迦南的示羅營地。
13全體會眾又派人到臨門岩去跟便雅憫人講和。 14於是，便雅憫人返回了家鄉，以色列人把從基列·雅比居民中留下來的四百個處女給他們做妻子，但還是不夠。 15眾人為便雅憫支派難過，因為耶和華使以色列少了一個支派。
16會眾的長老說：「便雅憫支派的女子都死了，我們應該怎麼辦才能使餘下的人有妻子呢？ 17便雅憫的餘民必須成家立後，以免以色列失去一個支派。 18可是我們又不能把女兒嫁給他們，因為我們曾經起誓，『把女兒嫁給便雅憫人的必受咒詛。』」 19有人想起在示羅每年都有耶和華的節期。示羅在利波拿以南、伯特利以北至示劍的大路東面。 20於是，他們對便雅憫人說：「你們埋伏在葡萄園裡， 21見到示羅的女子出來跳舞時，就衝出去各自搶一個，帶回便雅憫做妻子。 22倘若她們的父親或弟兄前來抱怨，我們會說，『求你們恩待我們，因為我們從戰場上帶回的女子不夠分給他們做妻子。何況又不是你們把女兒嫁給他們的，所以罪不在你們。』」 23便雅憫人就依計行事，從跳舞的女子中各自搶了一個，帶回自己的家鄉做妻子。他們重建城邑，住在其中。 24於是，以色列人離開那裡，各回自己的支派、宗族和家園。
Wives for the Benjaminites
1The men of Israel had taken an oath at Mizpah: ‘Not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjaminite.’
2The people went to Bethel,21:2 Or to the house of God where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly. 3‘Lord, God of Israel,’ they cried, ‘why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?’
4Early the next day the people built an altar and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
5Then the Israelites asked, ‘Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the Lord?’ For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah was to be put to death.
6Now the Israelites grieved for the tribe of Benjamin, their fellow Israelites. ‘Today one tribe is cut off from Israel,’ they said. 7‘How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the Lord not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?’ 8Then they asked, ‘Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah?’ They discovered that no-one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. 9For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
10So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11‘This is what you are to do,’ they said. ‘Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.’ 12They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13Then the whole assembly sent an offer of peace to the Benjaminites at the rock of Rimmon. 14So the Benjaminites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.
15The people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a gap in the tribes of Israel. 16And the elders of the assembly said, ‘With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? 17The Benjaminite survivors must have heirs,’ they said, ‘so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. 18We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: “Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjaminite.” 19But look, there is the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh, which lies north of Bethel, east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.’
20So they instructed the Benjaminites, saying, ‘Go and hide in the vineyards 21and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin. 22When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, “Do us the favour of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them.” ’
23So that is what the Benjaminites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.
24At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.
25In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.