one tribe lacking
21:3 one tribe lacking. The enormity of what was happening suddenly dawned on the victorious tribes. The entire population of one tribe, except for six hundred men (Judges 20:47) had been wiped out, and finally the eleven tribes “repented them for Benjamin their brother” (Judges 21:6). However, they had all taken an oath not to allow any of their daughters to marry a man of Benjamin (Judges 21:18), so it seemed the tribe would soon become extinct. The drastic solution (slaying all the inhabitants of the one city in Gad that had not joined with them in the battle, except for four hundred virgins, and then allowing the other two hundred Benjamites each to capture a maid of Shiloh–Judges 21:12,21) served the purpose of keeping the tribe viable, but there is no implication that the method was the way God would have led them if they had only asked.
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