After the war was over, the Hebrew leaders got together to discuss what to do about Benjamin. It wouldn’t do to let one of the twelve tribes die out. Twelve was a magic number and created by God. But there were only like a couple thousand men of Benjamin left and pretty much no marriageable women. To make it worse, all the tribal leaders that met at Mizpah had vowed never to give their daughters in marriage to Benjamin. And it wouldn’t do to have them marry foreign women from any of the other regional ethnic groups.
Suddenly, someone remembered that no one from the Jabesh-gilead clan had mustered at Mizpah–so they hadn’t made that fatal oath! Problem solved. The tribal leaders sent a troop of soldiers to wipe out the clan and capture the virgins.
Unfortunately, that only scored 400 virgins. These were given to 4oo lucky Benjaminites. The other men were told to go ambush Shiloh and kidnap any young women who came out to the vineyards to dance in the festival. The elders told them it would be fine because they’d remind the Shilohites that it was ok because they (the dudes from Shiloh) wouldn’t be oath-breakers and Benjamin would survive.
And so ends the book of Judges. Ruth, a short, sweetish book up next!