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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Judges 21

Verses 1-25


The Migrations of the Danites, and the Feud between Benjamin and the other tribes (Judges 17-21)

This concluding section is really an appendix. Instead of describing a further deliverance, it recounts two tribal stories m which the rough manners and primitive religious ideas of the time are shown with most valuable and vivid detail. Redundancies and discrepancies in the narratives (see on Judges 17:3; Judges 18:17) as well as differences in the language, suggest that more than one account has been used in each of the stories. This is no sign, however, that they are not historical; and they must probably be placed earlier rather than later in the general framework of the period.

Verses 1-25


Wives are given to the Benjamite Survivors

1-6. The lamentation for Benjamin.

1. Had sworn] see on Judges 17:2. All the women and children in Benjamin have been massacred: cp. Judges 21:16.

2. House of God] RV ’Bethel,’ as in Judges 20:26, Judges 20:31.

4. Burnt offerings and peace offerings] see on Judges 20:26.

5. Lit. ’the great curse had been pronounced upon,’ etc.

6. Repented them] see on Judges 2:18.

7-25. The Benjamites provided with wives.

8. Jabesh-gilead] i.e. Jabesh in Gilead; cp. 1 Samuel 11; 1 Samuel 31:11-13. Probably about 10 m. SE. of Beth-shean or Beisan.

12. Shiloh] see on Judges 18:31. Hitherto, Bethel had been the headquarters.

13. Call peaceably] RV ’proclaim peace.’

14. 200 survivors were still left unprovided for.

19. Shechem] see on Judges 9:1. Lebonah] 3 m. NW. of Shiloh. Shiloh thus lies off the main road, and soon loses its early importance.

21. To dance] see on Judges 9:27 also 2 Samuel 6:14. The act, like the whole feast, was regarded as religious.

22. No clear sense can be obtained from the Heb. The general meaning must be, ’allow the men to keep these girls, since we did not find wives for them in Jabesh-gilead; and as your daughters were taken from you by force, you have not broken your oath.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Judges 21". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/judges-21.html. 1909.