The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.
Judges 21:1 Also the sones of Israel sworen in Maspha, and seiden, Noon of vs schal yyue to the sones of Beniamyn a wijf of his douytris. Judges 21:2 And alle camen to the hows of God in Silo, and thei saten in the siyt of hym til to euentid, and thei reisiden the vois, and bigunnen to wepe with greet yellyng, Judges 21:3 and seiden, Lord God of Israel, whi is this yuel don in thi puple, that to dai o lynage be takun awey of vs? Judges 21:4 Sotheli in the tother day thei risiden eerli, and bildyden an auter, and offriden there brent sacrifices and pesible sacrifices, and seiden, Judges 21:5 Who of alle the lynagis of Israel stiede not in to the oost of the Lord? For whanne thei weren in Maspha, thei hadden bounde hem silf with a greuouse ooth, that thei that failiden schulden be slayn. Judges 21:6 And the sones of Israel weren led bi penaunce on her brother Beniamyn, and bigunnen to seie, O lynage of Israel is takun awey; Judges 21:7 wherof schulen thei take wyues? for alle we sworen in comyn, that we schulen not yyue oure douytris to hem.
By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four hundred wives.
Judges 21:8 Therfor thei seiden, Who is of alle the lynagis of Israel, that stiede not to the Lord in Maspha? And lo! the dwelleris of Jabes of Galaad weren foundun, that thei weren not in the oost. Judges 21:9 Also in that tyme, whanne thei weren in Silo, noon of hem was foundun there. Judges 21:10 Therfor thei senten ten thousynde strongeste men, and comaundiden to hem, Go ye, and smyte the dwelleris of Jabes of Galaad bi the scharpnesse of swerd, as wel the wyues as the litle children of hem. Judges 21:11 And this thing schal be, which ye owen to kepe, sle ye alle of male kynde, and the wymmen, that knewen men fleischli; reserue ye the virgyns. Judges 21:12 And foure hundrid virgyns, that knewen not the bed of man, weren foundun of Jabes of Galaad; and thei brouyten hem to the castels in Silo, in to the lond of Chanaan. Judges 21:13 And thei senten messangeris to the sones of Beniamyn, that weren in the stoon of Remmon; and thei comaundiden to hem, that thei schulden resseyue tho wymmen in pees. Judges 21:14 And the sones of Beniamyn camen in that tyme, and the douytris of Jabes of Galaad weren youun to hem to wyues; forsothe thei founden not othere wymmen, whiche thei schulden yyue in lijk maner. Judges 21:15 And al Israel sorewide greetly, and dide penaunce on the sleyng of o lynage of Israel.
They advise them to surprise the virgins that danced at Shiloh.
Judges 21:16 And the grettere men in birthe seiden, What schulen we do to the othere men, that han not take wyues? Alle the wymmen in Beniamyn felden doun, Judges 21:17 and it is to vs to puruey with greet cure and greet studie, that o lynage be not don awey fro Israel. Judges 21:18 We moun not yyue oure douytris to hem, for we ben boundun with an ooth and cursyng, bi which we seiden, Be he cursid that yyueth of hise douytris a wijf to Beniamyn. Judges 21:19 And thei token a counsel, and seiden, Lo! annyuersarie solempnyte of the Lord is in Silo, whych is set at the north of the citee of Bethel, and at the eest coost of the weie that goith from Bethel to Siccyma, and at the south of the citee of Lebona. Judges 21:20 And thei comaundiden to the sones of Beniamyn, and seiden, Go ye, be ye hid in the vyneris; Judges 21:21 and whanne ye seen douytris of Silo go forth bi custom to lede daunsis, go ye out of the vyneris sudeynli, and rauysche ye hem, eche man o wijf, and go ye in to the lond of Beniamyn. Judges 21:22 And whanne the fadris and britheren of hem schulen come, and bigynne to pleyne and plete ayens you, we schulen seie to hem, Haue ye mercy of hem; for thei rauyschiden not hem bi riyt of fiyteris and ouercomeris, but ye yauen not to hem preiynge that thei schulden take; and the synne is of youre part. Judges 21:23 And the sones of Beniamyn diden as it was comaundid to hem, and bi her noumbre thei rauyschiden wyues to hem, ech man o wijf, of hem that ledden daunsis. And thei yeden in to her possessioun, and bildiden citees, and dwelliden in tho. Judges 21:24 And the sones of Israel turneden ayen, bi lynagis and meynees, in to her tabernaclis. Judges 21:25 In tho dayes was no kyng in Israel, but ech man dide this, that semyde ryytful to hym silf.