“Stealing Wives”

Judges 21:1-25

Today, we come to the end of the book of Judges, its been thrilling so far.

On from where we stopped yesterday, the children of Israel returned to Mizpeh and were very sad about the war with the Benjaminites, considering that a whole tribe was being cut off from Israel. Though some Benjaminites escaped during the defeat to Israel, there was no way they could continue as a tribe since Israel had killed all their women, and each man had also sworn never to give their daughters in marriage to the Benjaminites, whoever did so would be cursed.

After crying unto the Lord, the first thing Israel did was to see whosoever was not gathered at the meeting to punish such. They found that no one came from Jabeshgilead, so valiant men were sent there to destroy the men and women who were no longer virgins. They went and found four hundred virgings, which they captured to be given to the Benjaminites.

This was however not enough, so as a resolution, it was decided that during the feast of the Lord in Shiloh, which happens yearly, the Benjaminites could hide in the vineyards, and capture of the young daughters of Shiloh who come to dance in the annual dance, and go away with them as their wives. In this scenario, the father would not be cursed as his daughter was ‘stolen’ and not really given out in marriage to the Benjaminites.

So, the Benjaminites did this, took out of the daughters of Shiloh who came to dance annually, and returned with them as wives, and by this were able to rebuild their tribe and cities. God is a God of restoration and reconciliation, he loves his people to dwell together in unity.

As such we come to the end of the book of Judges, an era when brave men and women rose up to deliver Israel, an era when people did as they deemed fit. However through it all we have learnt a lot for all these things were written to teach us and guide us, so that we do not fall into the errors those of old fell into.

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3 thoughts on ““Stealing Wives”

  1. These women at Shiloh were abducted and the call to carry out this act was by men, not God. Please do not try to justify this act with the statement

    “God is a God of restoration and reconciliation, he loves his people to dwell together in unity.”

    We as Christians need to stand up for what is right as taught to us by Jesus, not to try to justify what is wrong. As the book of Judges concludes, this was a time when Israel had no king and people did as they wished.

    1. Thanks for you comment Matthew. I agree that the act of the men is not justifiable, and didn’t mean to justify it. I am looking much more at the broader picture of God’s overall intention for his people and his workings in all situations that results in them living in peace and harmony. He is not the author of evil but does have the ability to work out his will in both good and bad situations. We should remember that even in Pharaoh’s stubbornness, God’s will was being fulfilled – he works out his will through men and in diverse ways. Thank you.

      1. Thank you for your reply. It may be wise to rewrite this section to make your interpretation less ambiguous and to clearly define what is and what is not of God. Bless you.

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