Judges 21:15
And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The Lord had made a breach.—The breach (perets, 1Kings 11:24) had been caused by their own headstrong fury and unreasoning passion, even though it had been in a righteous cause; but in the Hebrew conception the results even of man’s sin and follies is referred to Jehovah as overruled by Him (Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:7). It was therefore needless, and not quite honest of St. Jerome in the Vulg., to omit the Lord.”

Jdg 21:15. The Lord had made a breach, &c. — The Benjamites were the only authors of the sin, but God was the author of the punishment, who employed the Israelites as his executioners to inflict it. They, however, had greatly exceeded their commission, and exercised a severity not enjoined.17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.To Shiloh - Whither, as the usual place of meeting for the national assembly, the Israelites had moved from Bethel (a distance of about 10 miles), during the expedition of the 12,000 to Jabesh-Gilead. 8. there came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly—This city lay within the territory of eastern Manasseh, about fifteen miles east of the Jordan, and was, according to Josephus, the capital of Gilead. The ban which the assembled tribes had pronounced at Mizpeh seemed to impose on them the necessity of punishing its inhabitants for not joining the crusade against Benjamin; and thus, with a view of repairing the consequences of one rash proceeding, they hurriedly rushed to the perpetration of another, though a smaller tragedy. But it appears (Jud 21:11) that, besides acting in fulfilment of their oath, the Israelites had the additional object by this raid of supplying wives to the Benjamite remnant. This shows the intemperate fury of the Israelites in the indiscriminate slaughter of the women and children. The people repented them for Benjamin; were yet more grieved upon this unhappy disappointment, for they supposed here would have been wives sufficient for them. The Lord had made a breach; the Benjamites were the only authors of the sin, but God was the chief author of the punishment, and the Israelites were but his executioners. And the people repented them for Benjamin,.... That they had destroyed all their women, and that they had saved no more of the daughters of Jabeshgilead, not a sufficient number to be wives to the Benjaminites:

because the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel; by almost destroying one of them; for though this was done by the Israelites, yet by the permission and according to the will of God, and through his overruling providence.

And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. From the A narrative; sequel of Jdg 21:1.

had made a breach] Cf. 2 Samuel 6:8; 2 Samuel 5:20 and Exodus 19:22; Exodus 19:24 J. In early civilization it was felt to be a grave disaster if a family died out (hence the custom of the levirate marriage, Genesis 38:8, Deuteronomy 25:5 ff.), still more if a clan or tribe were allowed to become extinct. This primitive feeling no doubt sprung from a dread lest the religious rites which concerned the departed members of the family, or kept intact the tribal bonds, should cease to be rendered.In order, however, to confirm the correctness of this answer, which might possibly have been founded upon a superficial and erroneous observation, the whole of the (assembled) people were mustered, and not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh was found there (in the national assembly at Bethel). The situation of Jabesh in Gilead has not yet been ascertained. This town was closely besieged by the Ammonite Nahash, and was relieved by Saul (1 Samuel 11:1.), on which account the inhabitants afterwards showed themselves grateful to Saul (1 Samuel 31:8.). Josephus calls Jabesh the metropolis of Gilead (Ant. vi. 5, 1). According to the Onom. (s. v. Jabis), it was six Roman miles from Pella, upon the top of a mountain towards Gerasa. Robinson (Bibl. Res. p. 320) supposes it to be the ruins of ed Deir in the Wady Jabes.
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