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Judges 21:19-23

21:19 However, there is an annual festival to the Lord in Shiloh, which is north of Bethel 1  (east of the main road that goes up from Bethel to Shechem) and south of Lebonah.” 21:20 So they commanded the Benjaminites, “Go hide in the vineyards, 21:21 and keep your eyes open. 2  When you see 3  the daughters of Shiloh coming out to dance in the celebration, 4  jump out from the vineyards. Each one of you, catch yourself a wife from among the daughters of Shiloh and then go home to the land of Benjamin. 21:22 When their fathers or brothers come and protest to us, 5  we’ll say to them, “Do us a favor and let them be, 6  for we could not get each one a wife through battle. 7  Don’t worry about breaking your oath! 8  You would only be guilty if you had voluntarily given them wives.’” 9 

21:23 The Benjaminites did as instructed. 10  They abducted two hundred of the dancing girls to be their wives. 11  They went home 12  to their own territory, 13  rebuilt their cities, and settled down. 14 

1 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

2 tn Heb “and look.”

3 tn Heb “and look, when.”

4 tn Heb “in the dances.”

5 tc The (original) LXX and Vulgate read “to you.”

6 tn The words “and let them be” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

7 tn Heb “for we did not take each his wife in battle.”

sn Through battle. This probably refers to the battle against Jabesh Gilead, which only produced four hundred of the six hundred wives needed.

8 tn This sentence is not in the Hebrew text. It is supplied in the translation to clarify the logic of the statement.

9 tc Heb “You did not give to them, now you are guilty.” The MT as it stands makes little sense. It is preferable to emend לֹא (lo’, “not”) to לוּא (lu’, “if”). This particle introduces a purely hypothetical condition, “If you had given to them [but you didn’t].” See G. F. Moore, Judges (ICC), 453-54.

10 tn Heb “did so.”

11 tn Heb “And they took wives according to their number from the dancing girls whom they abducted.”

12 tn Heb “went and returned.”

13 tn Heb “inheritance.”

14 tn Heb “and lived in them.”

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