Judges 21
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1  Now the men of Yisrael had taken an oath at Mitzpa: “None of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjaminite.”

א  וְאִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל נִשְׁבַּע בַּמִּצְפָּה לֵאמֹר אִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ לֹא־יִתֵּן בִּתּוֹ לְבִנְיָמִן לְאִשָּׁה׃

2  The people came to Beit El and sat there before Hashem until evening. They wailed and wept bitterly,

ב  וַיָּבֹא הָעָם בֵּית־אֵל וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם עַד־הָעֶרֶב לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים וַיִּשְׂאוּ קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ בְּכִי גָדוֹל׃

3  and they said, “O God of Yisrael, why has this happened in Yisrael, that one tribe must now be missing from Yisrael?”

ג  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָמָה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיְתָה זֹּאת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהִפָּקֵד הַיּוֹם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד׃

4  Early the next day, the people built a mizbayach there, and they brought burnt offerings and offerings of well-being.

ד  וַיְהִי מִמָּחֳרָת וַיַּשְׁכִּימוּ הָעָם וַיִּבְנוּ־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעֲלוּ עֹלוֹת וּשְׁלָמִים׃

5  The Israelites asked, “Is there anyone from all the tribes of Yisrael who failed to come up to the assembly before Hashem?” For a solemn oath had been taken concerning anyone who did not go up to Hashem at Mitzpa: “He shall be put to death.”

ה  וַיֹּאמְרוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא־עָלָה בַקָּהָל מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהֹוָה כִּי הַשְּׁבוּעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הָיְתָה לַאֲשֶׁר לֹא־עָלָה אֶל־יְהֹוָה הַמִּצְפָּה לֵאמֹר מוֹת יוּמָת׃

6  The Israelites now relented toward their kinsmen the Benjaminites, and they said, “This day one tribe has been cut off from Yisrael!

ו  וַיִּנָּחֲמוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־בִּנְיָמִן אָחִיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ נִגְדַּע הַיּוֹם שֵׁבֶט אֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל׃

7  What can we do to provide wives for those who are left, seeing that we have sworn by Hashem not to give any of our daughters to them in marriage?”

ז  מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂה לָהֶם לַנּוֹתָרִים לְנָשִׁים וַאֲנַחְנוּ נִשְׁבַּעְנוּ בַיהֹוָה לְבִלְתִּי תֵּת־לָהֶם מִבְּנוֹתֵינוּ לְנָשִׁים׃

8  They inquired, “Is there anyone from the tribes of Yisrael who did not go up to Hashem at Mitzpa?” Now no one from Jabesh-gilead had come to the camp, to the assembly.

ח  וַיֹּאמְרוּ מִי אֶחָד מִשִּׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר לֹא־עָלָה אֶל־יְהֹוָה הַמִּצְפָּה וְהִנֵּה לֹא בָא־אִישׁ אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה מִיָּבֵישׁ גִּלְעָד אֶל־הַקָּהָל׃

9  For, when the roll of the troops was taken, not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead was present.

ט  וַיִּתְפָּקֵד הָעָם וְהִנֵּה אֵין־שָׁם אִישׁ מִיּוֹשְׁבֵי יָבֵשׁ גִּלְעָד׃

10  So the assemblage dispatched 12,000 of the warriors, instructing them as follows: “Go and put the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead to the sword, women and children included.

י  וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ־שָׁם הָעֵדָה שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר אֶלֶף אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי הֶחָיִל וַיְצַוּוּ אוֹתָם לֵאמֹר לְכוּ וְהִכִּיתֶם אֶת־יוֹשְׁבֵי יָבֵשׁ גִּלְעָד לְפִי־חֶרֶב וְהַנָּשִׁים וְהַטָּף׃

11  This is what you are to do: Proscribe every man, and every woman who has known a man carnally.”

יא  וְזֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשׂוּ כָּל־זָכָר וְכָל־אִשָּׁה יֹדַעַת מִשְׁכַּב־זָכָר תַּחֲרִימוּ׃

12  They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 maidens who had not known a man carnally; and they brought them to the camp at Shilo, which is in the land of Canaan.

יב  וַיִּמְצְאוּ מִיּוֹשְׁבֵי יָבֵישׁ גִּלְעָד אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת נַעֲרָה בְתוּלָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדְעָה אִישׁ לְמִשְׁכַּב זָכָר וַיָּבִיאוּ אוֹתָם אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה שִׁלֹה אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן׃

13  Then the whole community sent word to the Benjaminites who were at the Rock of Rimmon, and offered them terms of peace.

יג  וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ כָּל־הָעֵדָה וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֶל־בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן אֲשֶׁר בְּסֶלַע רִמּוֹן וַיִּקְרְאוּ לָהֶם שָׁלוֹם׃

14  Thereupon the Benjaminites returned, and they gave them the girls who had been spared from the women of Jabesh-gilead. But there were not enough of them.

יד  וַיָּשָׁב בִּנְיָמִן בָּעֵת הַהִיא וַיִּתְּנוּ לָהֶם הַנָּשִׁים אֲשֶׁר חִיּוּ מִנְּשֵׁי יָבֵשׁ גִּלְעָד וְלֹא־מָצְאוּ לָהֶם כֵּן׃

15  Now the people had relented toward Binyamin, for Hashem had made a breach in the tribes of Yisrael.

טו  וְהָעָם נִחָם לְבִנְיָמִן כִּי־עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה פֶּרֶץ בְּשִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

16  So the elders of the community asked, “What can we do about wives for those who are left, since the women of Binyamin have been killed off?”

טז  וַיֹּאמְרוּ זִקְנֵי הָעֵדָה מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂה לַנּוֹתָרִים לְנָשִׁים כִּי־נִשְׁמְדָה מִבִּנְיָמִן אִשָּׁה׃

17  For they said, “There must be a saving remnant for Binyamin, that a tribe may not be blotted out of Yisrael;

יז  וַיֹּאמְרוּ יְרֻשַּׁת פְּלֵיטָה לְבִנְיָמִן וְלֹא־יִמָּחֶה שֵׁבֶט מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל׃

18  yet we cannot give them any of our daughters as wives,” since the Israelites had taken an oath: “Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to Binyamin!”

יח  וַאֲנַחְנוּ לֹא נוּכַל לָתֵת־לָהֶם נָשִׁים מִבְּנוֹתֵינוּ כִּי־נִשְׁבְּעוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אָרוּר נֹתֵן אִשָּׁה לְבִנְיָמִן׃

19  They said, “The annual feast of Hashem is now being held at Shilo.” (It lies north of Beit El, east of the highway that runs from Beit El to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.)

יט  וַיֹּאמְרוּ הִנֵּה חַג־יְהֹוָה בְּשִׁלוֹ מִיָּמִים יָמִימָה אֲשֶׁר מִצְּפוֹנָה לְבֵית־אֵל מִזְרְחָה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לִמְסִלָּה הָעֹלָה מִבֵּית־אֵל שְׁכֶמָה וּמִנֶּגֶב לִלְבוֹנָה׃

20  So they instructed the Benjaminites as follows: “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards.

כ  ויצו [וַיְצַוּוּ] אֶת־בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן לֵאמֹר לְכוּ וַאֲרַבְתֶּם בַּכְּרָמִים׃

21  As soon as you see the girls of Shilo coming out to join in the dances, come out from the vineyards; let each of you seize a wife from among the girls of Shilo, and be off for the land of Binyamin.

כא  וּרְאִיתֶם וְהִנֵּה אִם־יֵצְאוּ בְנוֹת־שִׁילוֹ לָחוּל בַּמְּחֹלוֹת וִיצָאתֶם מִן־הַכְּרָמִים וַחֲטַפְתֶּם לָכֶם אִישׁ אִשְׁתּוֹ מִבְּנוֹת שִׁילוֹ וַהֲלַכְתֶּם אֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן׃

22  And if their fathers or brothers come to us to complain, we shall say to them, ‘Be generous to them for our sake! We could not provide any of them with a wife on account of the war, and you would have incurred guilt if you yourselves had given them [wives].’”

כב  וְהָיָה כִּי־יָבֹאוּ אֲבוֹתָם אוֹ אֲחֵיהֶם לרוב [לָרִיב ] אֵלֵינוּ וְאָמַרְנוּ אֲלֵיהֶם חָנּוּנוּ אוֹתָם כִּי לֹא לָקַחְנוּ אִישׁ אִשְׁתּוֹ בַּמִּלְחָמָה כִּי לֹא אַתֶּם נְתַתֶּם לָהֶם כָּעֵת תֶּאְשָׁמוּ׃

23  The Benjaminites did so. They took to wife, from the dancers whom they carried off, as many as they themselves numbered. Then they went back to their own territory, and rebuilt their towns and settled in them.

va-ya-a-su KHAYN b’-NAY vin-ya-MIN va-yis-U na-SHEEM l’-mis-pa-RAM min ha-m’-kho-l’-LOT a-SHER ga-ZA-lu va-yay-l’-KHU va-ya-SHU-vu el na-kha-la-TAM va-yiv-NU et he-a-REEM va-yay-sh’-VU ba-HEM

כג  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵן בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן וַיִּשְׂאוּ נָשִׁים לְמִסְפָּרָם מִן־הַמְּחֹלְלוֹת אֲשֶׁר גָּזָלוּ וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּשׁוּבוּ אֶל־נַחֲלָתָם וַיִּבְנוּ אֶת־הֶעָרִים וַיֵּשְׁבוּ בָּהֶם׃

 21:23   The Binyaminites did so

The men of the tribe of Binyamin are now allowed to marry women from other tribes, overturning the oath those tribes made to prevent their daughters from marrying men from Binyamin (verse 1). This event brought about the reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Talmud (Taanit 30b) records that this happened on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which helped turn that day into one of perpetual joy.  The fact that the Children of Israel are once again united in the Land of Israel is indeed a cause for celebration.Comment

24  Thereupon the Israelites dispersed, each to his own tribe and clan; everyone departed for his own territory.

כד  וַיִּתְהַלְּכוּ מִשָּׁם בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּעֵת הַהִיא אִישׁ לְשִׁבְטוֹ וּלְמִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ וַיֵּצְאוּ מִשָּׁם אִישׁ לְנַחֲלָתוֹ׃

25  In those days there was no king in Yisrael; everyone did as he pleased.

כה  בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם אֵין מֶלֶךְ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו יַעֲשֶׂה׃

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Judges 20

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Judges 21

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