Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The Book of Judges

The Israelites moved into Canaan. They had wars with the groups of people who lived in Canaan. They won the wars, and most of the other groups of people died or left Canaan. But some of the other people continued to live in Canaan.

In the book of Joshua, the Israelites obeyed God. They did not worship the other people's false gods. But in the book of Judges, the Israelites do not always obey God. Sometimes they worship false gods. Then God punishes them. Other people come and have wars with the Israelites.

The Israelite judges were leaders. Many of them were leaders of the army. They led the Israelites to win in wars.  This book covers 350 years from the year 1390 B.C. to 1050 B.C.
There were 14 judges in these years.  Some of the judges were Deborah, Gideon, and Samson.

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of Judges in the history of the Bible


Judges 19 -21
A Levite man and his concubine travel to Gibeah.
The Levite's concubine is killed.
The other Israelites have a war with the city of Gibeah and tribe of Benjamin.

Judges 19

A Levite man goes to bring his concubine home.

A concubine is not the same as a wife. A concubine is a woman who lives with a man, but they are not married.

This happened in Israel when there was no king. There was a Levite man who lived in the hill country of Mt. Ephraim.  He met a woman in the place called Bethlehemjudah. He took the woman home with him. She was his concubine.
[1] And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

The concubine had relations with other men. Then she ran away and went back to Bethlehemjudah. She stayed at her father's house. She was there for 4 months.
[2] And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.

The Levite man decided to go to find her. He wanted to talk to her nicely and bring her back to his home. One of his helpers went with him.  They also took some donkeys.  They found the woman, and she took them to her father's house.  The woman's father was happy to see the Levite man.
[3] And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

The Levite stayed there for 3 days. They ate and drink there.
[4] And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

On the 4th day, the Levite man was ready to leave.  The woman's father asked him to stay and eat first. After they ate and drank, the woman's father asked him to stay there all night. So the Levite man decided to stay there all night.
[5] And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.
[6] And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.
[7] And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.

On the 5th day, the Levite man got ready to leave. The woman's father asked them to stay longer. So they stayed until the afternoon and ate.
[8] And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart: and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them.

The Levite man was ready to leave.  The concubine woman and his helper would be leaving, too.  The concubine's father told them it was getting close to evening. It would be dark soon. He asked them to stay all night again. He said they could leave early in the morning.
[9] And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.

But the Levite man said no. He wanted to leave now. He, his concubine, his helper, and the 2 donkeys started traveling. They arrived at the city called Jebus (now called Jerusalem).
[10] But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

It was getting late. The Levite's helper wanted to stay all night in Jebus.  Jebus was not an Israelite city. The group of people called the Jebusites lived in Jebus.
[11] And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

The Levite said no. He didn't want to stay in a city that was not an Israelite city. He said they would continue to travel. They will stay either in the city of Gibeah or the city of Ramah.
[12] And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah.
[13] And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.

The Levite and his concubine have trouble in the city of Gibeah.

They continued to travel. They were near the city of Gibeah when it was getting dark. Gibeah was in the land owned by the tribe of Benjamin.
[14] And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

They went into the city.  None of the Gibeah people would let them stay in their houses. So they sat down in the street.

[15] And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.

An old man was working out in the farms all day. He came back into Gibeah at night. The man lived in Gibeah now, but he was originally from the area of Mt. Ephraim. The people in Gibeah were from the tribe of Benjamin.
[16] And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.

The old man saw the Levite man in the street. He asked him where he was going and where he came from.
[17] And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?

The Levite said they had been traveling to Bethlehemjudah. Next they were going to the place of worship (Shiloh). Then they will go back to Mt. Ephraim.  He said that none of the Gibeah people invited them to sleep in their houses.
[18] And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house.

The Levite said they have everything they need--straw and food for the donkeys and food and wine for the Levite, his helper, and his concubine.
[19] Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.

The old man said they could stay at his house. He said they shouldn't stay in the street.
[20] And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.

They went to the old man's house. He gave them food for the donkeys. They washed their feet and ate and drank.
[21] So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.

While they were enjoying their food and drink, some of the city's men came to the door. The men were very bad. They made a circle around the house so that no one could leave. They beat on the door. They wanted the Levite man to come outside. They wanted to have sexual relations with him. 
[22] Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

The old man went outside and talked to them. He said that the Levite man was visiting him. He begged the other men not to behave wickedly (very, very bad). 
[23] And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

The old man said he would send his daughter out to them. He said the Levite's concubine would come out, too. He said that they could do anything they wanted to them. But he said they should not do anything bad to the Levite man.
[24] Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

The men did not pay attention to the old man. The Levite brought his concubine out to the men. All night, they abused her and hurt her. In the morning just before it was daylight, they let her go.
[25] But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

After the men let her go, the concubine went back to the old man's house. She was hurt very bad and fell down. She laid by the door until it was daylight.
[26] Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light.

In the morning, the Levite got up and got ready to leave. He opened the door of the house. The concubine was laying on the ground by the door. Her hands were reaching for the door.  The Levite talked to her and said to get up because it was time to leave. But she did not answer. She was dead. The Levite put her on his donkey and went back to his home in Mt. Ephraim.
[27] And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
[28] And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.


The Levite man tells all of the Israelite tribes about the death of his concubine.

After he got home, he got a knife. He cut the concubine into 12 pieces.  He sent the pieces to all areas of Israel.
[29] And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

Everyone who saw this said it was very, very bad. They said it was the worst thing that happened since the Israelites left Egypt. They wondered what they should do about it.
[30] And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

Judges 20

The Israelite tribes meet together to discuss how to punish the city of Gibeah.

There was a big meeting of the Israelites. Israelites from many areas came--from the north area of Dan to the south part of Beer-sheba to the east part of Gilead. They met in the place called Mizpeh.
[1] Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.

The leaders of the tribes were there. There were 400,000 soldiers there, too.
[2] And the chief of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword.

The Israelites asked the Levite man about what happened to the concubine.  The tribe of Benjamin heard that the other tribes were having a big meeting.

[3] (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell us, how was this wickedness?

The Levite man told them what happened.  He said that he traveled to the tribe of Benjamin's city of Gibeah.  His concubine traveled with him. They were planning to stay the night there.
[4] And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.

The men in Gibeah came to the house to get him. They made a circle around the house. He said they wanted to kill him. They killed his concubine.
[5] And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead.

He said he cut up his concubine. He sent the pieces to all of the tribes of Israel. He wanted them to know about the bad thing that happened in Israel.  Now, he wants to know what they think.
[6] And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.
[7] Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.

The Israelites said that no one will go home. They will attack Gibeah. They will punish Gibeah for the bad thing they did to the Levite's concubine.
[8] And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn into his house.

They will send 1/10 of the men of each tribe to get food. Then, they will choose lots (like a lottery). They will let God decide which tribe will attack Gibeah.
[9] But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot against it;
[10] And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.

Everyone in Israel agreed. They would punish the city of Gibeah because the city did something bad.
[11] So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.


The Israelites fight a war with the tribe of Benjamin.

The Israelites sent some men into the tribe of Benjamin's land. They were looking for the men who killed the Levite's concubine. They wanted the Benjamin tribe to tell them who did it. Then they would kill them. They said they needed to get the evil out of Israel. But the tribe of Benjamin refused to tell them who did it.
[12] And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you?
[13] Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel:

Benjamin's army met together in Gibeah. They got ready to fight with the other Israelites.
[14] But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.

Benjamin had 26,000 soldiers.  The city of Gibeah also had 700 special men. These men were left-handed. They were skilled with the slingshot (throw or shoot rocks very hard). They could shoot rocks and hit very small targets.
If they tried to hit a target small and thin like a piece of hair, they could hit it.  
[15] And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men.
[16] Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.

The army from the other tribes of Israel had 400,000 men.
[17] And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war.

The Israelites went to God's place of worship. They prayed and asked God which tribe should attack Benjamin.  God told them that the tribe of Judah should go first.
[18] And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.

The next morning, the Israelite army traveled and set up their camp near the city of Gibeah.
[19] And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.

The Israelite army was ready to fight the army of Benjamin. They set up to fight at Gibeah.
[20] And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.

Benjamin's army came out of Gibeah to fight. They killed 22,000 of the Israelite army.
[21] And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.

The Israelite army cried and prayed to God. They asked God if they should go fight the tribe of Benjamin again. The people in the tribe of Benjamin were Israelites, too.  God said yes, they should go and fight again. The Israelite army got ready to go fight.

[22] And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.
[23] (And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)

The Israelite army fought with Benjamin. The army of Benjamin killed 18,000 Israelite soldiers.
[24] And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.
[25] And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.

The Israelites went back to the place to worship God. They cried, and they fasted (did not eat). They did not eat until sundown. They made burnt offerings and peace offerings.
[26] Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

The Ark of the Covenant (box holding the Ten Commandments) was there. Aaron's grandson, Phinehas, was in charge of the Ark at that time. The Israelites prayed to God.  They asked if they should go and fight the army of Benjamin again or if they should stop.  God told them to go fight again. He said they will win the war tomorrow.
[27] And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
[28] And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.

The Israelite army sent some men to hide around the city of Gibeah. Then the other men in the Israelite army  attacked Benjamin, like they did before. This time, they wanted the army of Benjamin to come out of the city. They were on the roads--the road that went to the place to worship God and the road that went to the farms. The Benjamin army killed about 30 men from the Israelite army.  The Benjamin army thought they were killing the Israelite army like they did before. But the Israelite army was trying to get the Benjamin army to follow them. They wanted them to leave the city.
[29] And Israel set liers in wait round about Gibeah.
[30] And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.
[31] And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite of the people, and kill, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
[32] And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways.

The Israelite army stopped running at the place called Baal-tamar.  They started to set up again. 10,000 men of the Israelite army were still back near Gibeah.  They were hiding. Then they came out and attacked the city of Gibeah. They used their swords, and they killed everyone in the city.

[33] And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baal-tamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah.
[34] And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore: but they knew not that evil was near them.
[35] And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.
[36] So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah.
[37] And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.

The Israelites knew the plan. When the 10,000 Israelite soldiers attacked Gibeah, they would make a big fire.  The Benjamin army thought they were winning the battle, but then they saw the smoke behind them. They saw that Gibeah was on fire.
[38] Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city.
[39] And when the men of Israel retired in the battle, Benjamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for they said, Surely they are smitten down before us, as in the first battle.
[40] But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the flame of the city ascended up to heaven.

The other part of the Israelite army came toward the Benjamin army again. The Benjamin army was afraid and surprised. They saw that the Israelite army was going to kill them. They tried to escape, but the 10,000 Israelite soldiers came from Gibeah.

[41] And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them.
[42] Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.

The Israelite army caught the Benjamin army. They killed 18,000 Benjaminite soldiers.

[43] Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.
[44] And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valour.

The Benjamin army continued to run away.  They went to the desert by the rock called Rimmon.  The Israelites killed 5,000 soldiers. Then they continued to the place called Gidom. They killed 2,000 more soldiers.
[45] And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men; and pursued hard after them unto Gidom, and slew two thousand men of them.

That day, 25,000 Benjamin soldiers died.  They were all brave men.
[46] So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valour.

600 Benjamin soldiers stayed at the rock called Rimmon for 4 months.
[47] But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.

The Israelite army killed all of the rest of the tribe of Benjamin.  They killed every person and animal, and they burned all of the cities.
[48] And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.


Judges 21

The Israelites make plans to get wives for the Benjamin men who still live.

When the Israelites met back in Mizpeh (before they killed most of the tribe of Benjamin), they made a promise. They would not let any of their daughters marry men in the tribe of Benjamin.
[1] Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.

The Israelites met again now at God's house. They stayed there with God until the evening.  They cried very loudly.
[2] And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore;

The Israelites prayed to God. They were upset because one of their tribes was almost gone. They asked God why this happened.
[3] And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?

The next day, the people got up early in the morning. They built an altar. They made burnt offerings and peace offerings.
[4] And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

They asked if there were any Israelites who didn't come to the first meeting.  Before that first meeting they said if anyone did not come, they would kill him.
[5] And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death.

The Israelites felt sorry for the tribe of Benjamin. They were sad because the tribe was almost gone.  They wanted to think of a way to keep the tribe alive for the future. In the past, they had made a promise to God that they would not let their daughters marry men of Benjamin. Now, they tried to think how they could find wives for the Benjamin men who are left (the soldiers who ran away and hid at the rock called Rimmon).
[6] And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
[7] How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?

They remembered that one tribe did not come to the first meeting at the place called Mizpeh.  No one from the Jabesh-gilead group came (part of the tribe of Manasseh).
[8] 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 Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.

They checked now, and no one was there from Jabesh-gilead.
[9] For the people were numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there.

The Israelites sent 12,000 soldiers to Jabesh-gilead. They told them to kill every man and every woman who was not a virgin.
[10] And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children.
[11] And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man.

The Israelite soldiers went to Jabesh-gilead.  They found 400 virgins there. They brought them back to the place called Shiloh.
[12] And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

The Israelites sent someone to talk to the Benjamin soldiers who were hiding near the rock called Rimmon. They wanted to make peace.
[13] And the whole congregation sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them.

They gave the Benjamin soldiers the women from Jabesh-gilead. But there weren't enough women for every man.
[14] And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead: and yet so they sufficed them not.

The Israelites were sad about Benjamin because God had almost destroyed them.
[15] And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

The leaders of the meeting tried to think of a way to solve the problem.  All of the woman in Benjamin had died. Now they wanted to think of a way to find more Israelite women for the Benjamin men who did not die.
[16] Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?
[17] And they said, There must be an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel.

The Israelite men had made a promise to God. They said they would not let any of their daughters marry the men in Benjamin. If they did not keep their promise, bad things would happen to them.
[18] Howbeit we may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.

Then they thought of a plan for the Benjamin men to steal women.  Every year, there was a special celebration in the place called Shiloh. It is north of Bethel and on the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  It is south of Lebonah. 
[19] Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.

They told the Benjamin men to go and hide where the grapes were growing.
[20] Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;

During the festival, some of the virgin women who live in Shiloh will dance where the grapes grow.  The Benjamin men should catch the women and take them back to their homes in the Benjamin tribe's land.
[21] 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 of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

The girls' fathers will complain. But the other Israelites will ask them to let the girls stay with the men. They will tell the fathers that the Israelites could not find enough wives for the Benjamin soldiers. The girls can marry the soldiers.  The fathers will not need to give permission. The men will steal the girls. Then the fathers will not break their promise.
[22] And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.

The Benjamin men did what the Israelites told them to do. They stole the girls from Shiloh. They took the girls home and married them.  Then they fixed their cities.
[23] And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them.

Then the other Israelites went back home to their family lands.
[24] And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.

At that time in Israel, there was no king.  Everyone did what they thought was right.
[25] In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.


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