¶ And the men of Israel sware in Mazphah saying: there shall none of us give his daughter unto any of Benjamin to wife. And the people came to Bethel and abode there till evening, before God and lifted up their voices and wept sore and said: O LORD God of Israel, why is this chanced in Israel, that there should be this day one tribe lacking in Israel? And on the morrow the people rose up be time and made there an altar and offered burntofferings and peaceofferings. And the children of Israel asked, who are they among all the tribes of Israel that came not with the congregation unto the LORD? for they had made a great oath concerning them that came not up to the LORD to Mazphah saying that they should surely die. And the children of Israel had pity on Benjamin their brethren, and said: there is one tribe cut off from Israel this day: what shall we do unto the remnant of them, for to get them wives, forasmuch as we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives. Then they said, what are they of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mazphah to the LORD. And behold there came none of the inhabiters of Iabes Gilead unto the congregation. And when the people were viewed: behold there were none of the inhabiters of Iabes Gilead there. And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the strongest of them, and commanded them saying: go and smite the inhabiters of Iabes Gilead with the edge of the sword both women and children. And this is that ye shall do: utterly destroy all the males and the women that have lien by men. And they found among the inhabiters of Iabes Gilead four hundredth damsels virgins that had known no man by lying with any male. And they brought them unto the host to Siloh which is in the land of Canaan. And the whole congregation sent and spake with the children of Benjamin that were in the Rock of pomegranates, and called peaceably unto them, and Benjamin came again at that time, and they gave them the women which they had saved alive of the women of Iabes Gilead. But they so sufficed them not. And the people had compassion on Benjamin, because that GOD had made a gap in the tribes of Israel.
¶ And then the elders of the congregation said: what shall we do to the remnant of them, to get them wives seeing all the wives of Benjamin are destroyed? And they said there must be an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel: how be it we may not give them wives of our daughters. For the children of Israel had made an adjuration saying: acursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin. Then they said: behold, there is a feast of the LORD yearly in Siloh which is on the north side of Bethel, and on the east side of the way that goeth from Bethel to Sichem and south from Libanon. And they commanded the children of Benjamin saying: go and lie in wait in the vineyards. And when ye see that the daughters of Siloh come out to dance in a row, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man a wife of the daughters of Siloh, and get you unto the land of Benjamin. And if their fathers or brethren come to us to complain, we will say unto them, have pity on them, because we reserved not to each man his wife in time of war, and thereto because that ye gave them none in due time, ye were to blame. And the children of Benjamin did even so: and took them wives according to the number of them of the dancers which they caught. And then they went and returned unto their inheritance, and built their cities and dwelt in them. And the children of Israel departed thence at that time and went every man to his tribe, and to his kindred, and went out from thence every man to his inheritance. In those days there was no king in Israel: but every man did what seemed him right.