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In these threads, we discuss the text and what we think of it. This discussion is open to everyone.

This Jewish translation from the Tananch is found here:
http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15829

1. Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, "No man from us shall give his daughter to Benjamin for a wife."

2. And the people came to Beth-el, and sat there until the evening before God, and raised their voices and wept profusely. 3. And they said, "Why O Lord, God of Israel, has this come to pass in Israel, that one tribe of Israel should be missing today?"

4. And it was on the next day that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. 5. And the children of Israel said, "Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that did not come up to the Lord in the assembly?" for there was a great oath concerning him that did not come up to the Lord at Mizpah, saying, "He shall surely be put to death."

6. And the children of Israel reconsidered concerning Benjamin their brother, and said, "Today, one tribe has been cut off from Israel. 7. What shall we do for them that remain, for wives, since we have sworn by the Lord not to give them of our daughters for wives?"

8. And they said, "Which one of the tribes of Israel did not go up to the Lord at Mizpah?" and behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to (attend) the assembly. 9. And the people were counted, and behold, no one was there of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead. 10. And the congregation sent there twelve thousand of the valiant men, and commanded them, saying, "Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, including the women and the children. 11. And this is the thing that you shall do; every male, and every woman that had relations with man you shall destroy."

12. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead four hundred virgin girls that had not had relations with any man; and they brought them to the camp, to Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan. 13. And the whole congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock of Rimmon, and they proclaimed to them (words of) peace. 14. And Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead; but this was not sufficient for them.

15. And the people reconsidered concerning Benjamin, because the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. 16. And the elders of the congregation said, "What shall we do for those that remained for wives, since the women of Benjamin have been destroyed?"

17. And they said, "(There must be) an inheritance for the remnant of Benjamin, so that a tribe not be blotted out from Israel. 18. But we may not give them wives from our daughters, for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, 'Cursed (be he) that gives a wife to Benjamin.' "

19. And they said, "Behold, there is a sacrifice before the Lord in Shiloh from time to time, which is to the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Beth-el to Shechem, and to the south of Lebonah."

20. And they instructed the children of Benjamin, saying, "Go and lie in wait in the vineyards. 21. And you will see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and you shall grab for yourselves each man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22. And it shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to quarrel with us, then we will say to them, 'We took pity on them, because we did not take for each man his wife in the war, (neither should you be concerned) for you did not give them presently that you should be guilty.' "

23. And the children of Benjamin did so, and married wives according to their numbers, of those that danced whom they had seized; and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities and dwelt in them. 24. And the children of Israel went from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and they departed from there every man to his inheritance.

25. In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his eyes.
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Re: Reading Through The Bible: Judges 21
"Which one of the tribes of Israel did not go up to the Lord at Mizpah?" and behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead"
So Jabesh-gilead is a tribe of Israel.

19. And they said, "Behold, there is a sacrifice before the Lord in Shiloh from time to time, which is to the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Beth-el to Shechem, and to the south of Lebonah."
A religious ceremony to the LORD.
In what manner are we to approach those involved in Godly religious ceremonies?
Lets read on.

21. And you will see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and you shall grab for yourselves each man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
...
23. And the children of Benjamin did so, and married wives according to their numbers, of those that danced whom they had seized; and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities and dwelt in them.

Kidnap their children and force those unwilling into bondage and sexual and reproductive slavery.

Those who see the Bible only as an instruction manual need to be kept under close supervision.
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Re: Reading Through The Bible: Judges 21
People who don't understand context need to be kept under closer supervision.

I understand that a person can look at Judges and create all kinds of wacky doctrine out of it, but you have to remember that this is a point when there is no King in Israel, and men are doing what they think is right.

What is going on here is that the people are making poor decisions because they don't know God.

Were they supposed to swear not to give their daughters to the tribe of Benjamin?

Were they even supposed to wipe out most of the tribe?
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Re: Reading Through The Bible: Judges 21
Judges does give us a lot of questions and few answers.
 
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Re: Reading Through The Bible: Judges 21
quozl wrote:
Judges does give us a lot of questions and few answers.


I think, because they weren't walking with God, you end up with a bunch of stupid things happening. Obviously not everything that happened was 'wrong' but you can't look into Judges and say, "Doing that is right, because it says so-and-so did it!" Or even, "Because it says the nation did it!"

The theme of Judges is shown in that despite these terrible things that Israel has done, God still cares, God still redeems, God still loves.

The prophet Samuel is about to show up on the scene at a time when a human probably would have abandoned the Israelites. Throughout Judges, again and again things Israel messes up, gets stuck in a bad position, and are redeemed out of it by God when he raises up a judge. There is peace (after most of the judges) for a certain amount of time, then Israel still doesn't repent and goes back to being oppressed. But God always saves them out of it again.
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I guess this a good point to do a recap. What did you all think of the book of Judges as a whole?
 
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quozl wrote:
I guess this a good point to do a recap. What did you all think of the book of Judges as a whole?


I think AMC should buy the rights, it has a good shot at competing against Game Of Thrones.
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TheChin! wrote:
quozl wrote:
I guess this a good point to do a recap. What did you all think of the book of Judges as a whole?


I think AMC should buy the rights, it has a good shot at competing against Game Of Thrones.


Well, they can reimagine Game of Thrones, but they will get serious backlash if the divest from the Judges stories. But yeah, it does feel kind of like GoT where all your favorite characters are horribly flawed and die like flies.
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quozl wrote:
I guess this a good point to do a recap. What did you all think of the book of Judges as a whole?


I guess I already answered your question before you asked it.
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Jythier wrote:
People who don't understand context need to be kept under closer supervision.

I understand that a person can look at Judges and create all kinds of wacky doctrine out of it, but you have to remember that this is a point when there is no King in Israel, and men are doing what they think is right.

What is going on here is that the people are making poor decisions because they don't know God.

Were they supposed to swear not to give their daughters to the tribe of Benjamin?

Were they even supposed to wipe out most of the tribe?
AAARRRRRGH
The preceding chapter has GOD telling them what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Explicitly.
"Who should go first?
God: "Those guys from New Jersey"
"SHould we attack again?
God: "Hell yeah"


They have direct two way communication with God and you're saying they are "doing what they think is right"?
".... they don't know God" - well they are talking with him, what more do you want ?

People who ignore both content and context are true believers in whatever fancy strikes them in the arse.
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Who should go first, not 'Should we go?'
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Jay: Who should cross the road first?
Pinook: Granny
mvpa, 1 deceased

Jay: Shall I again send someone try to cross the road?
Pinook: Hell yeah
mvpa, 1 deceased

Jay: Shall I again send someone try to cross the road?
Pinook: Hell yeah, tomorrow you all are going to succeed in crossing the road.
family crosses road

"Who should go first, not 'Should we go?", might cover my first instruction if I was trying to teach you a lesson about the framing of questions.

But my second instruction?
What senses have people made of that?

I'm also looking for explanations about the degree of confidence that people have in a text that has Jabesh-gilead identified as a tribe of Israel.

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Pinook wrote:
Jay: Who should cross the road first?
Pinook: Granny
mvpa, 1 deceased

Jay: Shall I again send someone try to cross the road?
Pinook: Hell yeah
mvpa, 1 deceased

Jay: Shall I again send someone try to cross the road?
Pinook: Hell yeah, tomorrow you all are going to succeed in crossing the road.
family crosses road

"Who should go first, not 'Should we go?", might cover my first instruction if I was trying to teach you a lesson about the framing of questions.

But my second instruction?
What senses have people made of that?

I'm also looking for explanations about the degree of confidence that people have in a text that has Jabesh-gilead identified as a tribe of Israel.



God turned them over to their own desires.
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Jythier wrote:


God turned them over to their own desires.
They've just had 5% of their total army slaughtered, was it that very morning?
And you're confident reading in "their own desire was to get back and slaughter the Benjamins the very next day"?
Where do you get this idea from? It doesn't seem to be in the text.
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I could, of course, be wrong, but in trying to understand this account myself, it occurred to me that the women who went to Shiloh may very well have heard of the instructions the men of Benjamin had been given and that those who went were actually volunteering themselves to become their wives:

"...if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance..."

certainly makes it sound like they had a choice in the matter, no?
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Stuart I'm going to restrain my response to your suggestion as I see you as having meant no harm.

It is indeed possible that events unfolded as you suggest.

There is however the events narrated in this chapter from verse 10.

10. And the congregation sent there twelve thousand of the valiant men, and commanded them, saying, "Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, including the women and the children.

11. And this is the thing that you shall do; every male, and every woman that had relations with man you shall destroy."

12. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead four hundred virgin girls that had not had relations with any man; and they brought them to the camp, to Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan.


Consent was not said to be necessary here. The slaughter of their parents and siblings is not said to have been carried out away from the eyes of these virgin girls. Common practice would suggest at least the mothers being slaughtered while trying to protect their children.

Why would you feel more comfortable positing consent by the Shiloh girls when just 10 verses before we have slaughtered parents and siblings and kidnapped young girls?

edit: I spose I might head off an opportunity for me to turn into a rendering demon by saying that lightly evidenced suggestions about what happened to those girls dancing in the vineyards, that can be interpreted as meaning, "well they probably asked for it", go into dangerous territory.
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Pinook wrote:
Stuart I'm going to restrain my response to your suggestion as I see you as having meant no harm.


I appreciate your restraint, as I realized afterwards my comment may have had an aroma of "justifiable rape" floating around it, but I assure you my thinking was on somewhat more noble lines. That thinking was that the women may have realized that, in view of Israel's inheritance laws, it might have been akin to hitting the jackpot to be chosen as a wife by one of the few remaining male descendants of the recently much-reduced tribe of Benjamin - from that perspective, they might well have been falling over themselves to get to Shiloh in time.
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gamesterinns wrote:
Pinook wrote:
Stuart I'm going to restrain my response to your suggestion as I see you as having meant no harm.


I appreciate your restraint, as I realized afterwards my comment may have had an aroma of "justifiable rape" floating around it, but I assure you my thinking was on somewhat more noble lines. That thinking was that the women may have realized that, in view of Israel's inheritance laws, it might have been akin to hitting the jackpot to be chosen as a wife by one of the few remaining male descendants of the recently much-reduced tribe of Benjamin - from that perspective, they might well have been falling over themselves to get to Shiloh in time.


Also, with them all having sex with each other, they're likely to just leave you alone anyway, except for the obligatory baby-making.[/snark]

Considering that the ability to have children was the measure of self-worth for women in that culture, and God needing to repopulate a whole tribe... you might not be too far off. Then again, you might be extremely far off.
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quozl wrote:
I guess this a good point to do a recap. What did you all think of the book of Judges as a whole?


I'll let the 'postle sum it up:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae...Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions...escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens... - Hebrews 11:1-40

I particularly like the "waxed valiant in fight" line(why don't we talk like that anymore?), but basically the judges were just people like us who allowed their faith in God to motivate them to do the acts God's strength made possible for them to do.
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