The Israelites swear not to marry their daughters to anyone from Benjamin. The repercussion could be the passive annihilation of this tribe, as only 600 of their men are left alive. Their solution is to find out whether any group or household did not take part in the oath. When they discover that the people of Jabesh-Gilead did not pledge the collective vow, 400 young women are brought from this city for the Benjamite men. As there are still 200 young single men remaining, they are told to find wives amongst the daughters of Shiloh, who go dancing in the vineyards once a year. The rape at Gibeah is a dreary yet accurate summary of the era of the Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did as he pleased” (Judges 21:25). The crises experienced by the tribes of Israel are in fact opportunities and heavenly gifts. Only when we’re at our lowest can we thoroughly repair ourselves, wake up, and reclaim control over our lives.
“And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly” (Judges 21:8)
“Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife” (Judges 21:20-21)
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)
There is order in both the natural and spiritual worlds; orderly studies and deeds are necessary for achieving self-improvement.