If you have ever seen the movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” you will totally enjoy Judges 21!
Israel has realized that given the Benjamites do not handle the ladies well, they will not be giving any of their daughters to them in marriage.
They had taken an oath at Mizpah that spelled it out clearly.
Because they were taking this oath very seriously, and because they were grieved to leave their Benjamite brothers with few wife options, they had to come up with a plan that wouldn’t break the oath but would bail out their brothers.
Have you ever tried to work around the rules? It does get tricky!
So, they have an assembly. Someone asks, “where is Jabesh Gilead?” Hhhmm..it seems they are a no show. There must be a consequence.
Here is the opportunity they need to help the Benjamites.
They kill all of the Jabesh crowd except the virgin women. They are given as wives to the Benjamites.
This is a great plan unless there is a shortage of women.
But, hey! If plan “B” worked well enough, why not try a plan “C”?
Plan “C” involves the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh.
The Benjamite men were instructed to hide in the vineyards and when the women of Shiloh came out to dance, the men would each grab one and haul them off to be their wife!
Today, they would be charged with stalking, kidnapping and assault but apparently this was all legit under the system they had set up.
Not sure what the women of Shiloh thought of this arrangement?
I am assuming though, that they all lived happily ever after.
At least…..we can hope so!
“The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9