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And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp, to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. Bible

“which is in the land of Canaan.” Of course Shiloh was in the land of Canaan! So this statement is giving us more than simple fact, it is pointing to the fact that the Israelites are not behaving like God’s people but behaving like pagans and are abandoning morals for the sake of expediency. In Judges 21:5, the oath was that anyone who did not help out the cause of Israel would be put to death. But now they need virgins for the men of Benjamin (and they would not have needed those virgins if they had not, for some unexplained reason, decided to kill every last Benjamite in Benjamin). So for expediency’s sake the Israelites now abandon their oath and kill all the people of Jabesh-gilead except for the young women. Many of the details of exactly what happened are left out of the record. The inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead killed everyone except the “young women” who were virgins. But how did the Israelite warriors discover who exactly had had sex? And what age qualified a “young woman?” Girls were often married by age 12, so were the female babies killed up to perhaps age 8? The text is vague, and the whole venture disgusting. The Devil moved in people on both sides of the war and ruined lives on both sides. This whole record, Judges 19-21, shows the importance of having godly leaders.


Commentary for: Judges 21:12