What started out as one man of God going astray led to a civil war among the tribes of Israel. The men of Israel fought against the tribe of Benjamin, killing all but six hundred unmarried men.
After the glory of the battle victory wore off, the people then lamented that since they’d sworn not to give their daughters to marry Benjaminites, the tribe would die off. So they sought a solution.
They asked who had not joined them at their assembly to the Lord, and they realized that no one from Jabesh Gilead had joined them. They went on to kill all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead except for the young virgins.
They brought four hundred young women to the remaining Benjaminites, but there weren’t enough to go around. So they devised another solution.
The elders of the congregation told the sons of Benjamin to lie in wait at the vineyards and when the daughters of Shiloh came to worship as part of their festival, they were to each grab a wife of their choosing from the group of women.
The young Benjaminites were more than willing to oblige. They grabbed a woman and returned to their land.
Judges 21 closes by saying, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
The further a society drifts, the less men value life other than their own. Women become pawns in the hands of the men who should be their protectors. Though we may not always be able to control our situation, we can find comfort in knowing that wherever we are, God has not abandoned us. We can always call out to Him and follow His lead.
Read about the Wives of Benjaminites in Scripture: Judges 21