Judges 21:5-7: Israel's Attention ominously Turned toward Jabesh-Gilead

Verse 5:[1] And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? (Judg. 5:23) For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death.



[They had bound themselves with an oath, etc.] Of this nothing was said previously. Indeed, many things are passed over in the history, that afterwards, not in their own proper place, are indicated to have been done (Martyr).


A great oath, that is, a solemn oath, joined with some terrible execration against the offenders herein. He shall surely be put to death; because by refusing to execute the vengeance due to such malefactors, they were justly presumed guilty of the crime, and therefore liable to the same punishment, as was the case of that city that would not deliver up an idolater dwelling among them to justice.


Verse 6:[2] And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.


[Having been brought to repentance] Not on account of the war, which was undertaken with God as author (Bonfrerius, Lapide, Estius): But, 1. on account of their inordinate zeal (Estius). They were sorry for their cruelty (Marty). 2. On account of the outcome (Estius), and the destruction caused (Bonfrerius); that they had slaughtered the children of Benjamin (Vatablus).


Children of Israel repented them; not for the war, which was just, and necessary, and good; but for their immoderate severity in the execution of it, and for the dreadful consequences of it.



Verse 7:[3] How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מִ֠י אֲשֶׁ֙ר לֹא־עָלָ֧ה בַקָּהָ֛ל מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶל־יְהוָ֑ה כִּי֩ הַשְּׁבוּעָ֙ה הַגְּדוֹלָ֜ה הָיְתָ֗ה לַ֠אֲשֶׁר לֹא־עָלָ֙ה אֶל־יְהוָ֧ה הַמִּצְפָּ֛ה לֵאמֹ֖ר מ֥וֹת יוּמָֽת׃


[2] Hebrew: וַיִּנָּֽחֲמוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־בִּנְיָמִ֖ן אָחִ֑יו וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ נִגְדַּ֥ע הַיּ֛וֹם שֵׁ֥בֶט אֶחָ֖ד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵֽל׃


[3] Hebrew: מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה לָהֶ֛ם לַנּוֹתָרִ֖ים לְנָשִׁ֑ים וַאֲנַ֙חְנוּ֙ נִשְׁבַּ֣עְנוּ בַֽיהוָ֔ה לְבִלְתִּ֛י תֵּת־לָהֶ֥ם מִבְּנוֹתֵ֖ינוּ לְנָשִֽׁים׃

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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