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Judges 21:14-18

21:14 The Benjaminites returned at that time, and the Israelites 1  gave to them the women they had spared from Jabesh Gilead. But there were not enough to go around. 2 

21:15 The people regretted what had happened to 3  Benjamin because the Lord had weakened 4  the Israelite tribes. 21:16 The leaders 5  of the assembly said, “How can we find wives for those who are left? 6  After all, the Benjaminite women have been wiped out. 21:17 The 7  remnant of Benjamin must be preserved. An entire Israelite tribe should not be wiped out. 8  21:18 But we can’t allow our daughters to marry them, 9  for the Israelites took an oath, saying, ‘Whoever gives a woman to a Benjaminite will be destroyed!’ 10 

1 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “but they did not find for them enough.”

3 tn Or “felt sorry for.”

4 tn Heb “had made a gaping hole in.” The narrator uses imagery that compares Israel to a wall that has been breached.

5 tn Or “elders.”

6 tn Heb “What should we do for the remaining ones concerning wives?”

7 tn The Hebrew text has “and they said” at the beginning of the verse. For stylistic reasons the translation treats v. 17 as a continuation of the remarks of the leaders in v. 16.

8 tn Heb “An inheritance for the remnant belonging to Benjamin, and a tribe from Israel will not be wiped away.” The first statement lacks a verb. Some prefer to emend the text to read, “How can an inheritance remain for the remnant of Benjamin?”

9 tn Heb “But we are not able to give to them wives from our daughters.”

10 tn Heb “is cursed.”

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