Judges 21:13
And the whole congregation sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably to them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) To call peaceably—i.e., proclaim peace.

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. No text from Poole on this verse. And the whole congregation sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin,.... Sent some messengers to them, to call them, and desire them to come to them:

that were in the rock Rimmon; the six hundred men who had hid themselves in a cave in it, of which the people of Israel were informed:

and to call peaceably unto them; to proclaim peace to them, and assure them of it, and to let them know that they had no ill design against them, that they might come safely to them, and would be kindly received and protected by them.

And the whole congregation {e} sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them.

(e) That is, about four months after the punishment, Jud 20:47.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. in the rock of Rimmon] Cf. Jdg 20:45.Verse 13. - Translate the whole verse thus: And the whole congregation sent and shake to the children of Benjamin, etc., and proclaimed peace to them (see Deuteronomy 20:10). They sent ambassadors or heralds to them as it were with a flag of truce. The congregation then resolved upon a plan, through the execution of which a number of virgins were secured for the Benjaminites. They determined that they would carry out the great oath, which had been uttered when the national assembly was called against such as did not appear, upon that one of the tribes of Israel which had not come to the meeting of the congregation at Mizpeh. The deliberations upon this point were opened (Judges 21:5) with the question, "Who is he who did not come up to the meeting of all the tribes of Israel, to Jehovah?" In explanation of this question, it is observed at Judges 21:5, "For the great oath was uttered upon him that came not up to Jehovah to Mizpeh: he shall be put to death." We learn from this supplementary remark, that when important meetings of the congregation were called, all the members were bound by an oath to appear. The meeting at Mizpeh is the one mentioned in Judges 20:1. The "great oath" consisted in the threat of death in the case of any that were disobedient. To this explanation of the question in Judges 20:5, the further explanation is added in Judges 21:6, Judges 21:7, that the Israelites felt compassion for Benjamin, and wished to avert its entire destruction by procuring wives for such as remained. The word ויּנּחמוּ in Judges 21:6 is attached to the explanatory clause in Judges 21:5, and is to be rendered as a pluperfect: "And the children of Israel had shown themselves compassionate towards their brother Benjamin, and said, A tribe is cut off from Israel to-day; what shall we do to them, to those that remain with regard to wives, as we have sworn?" etc. (compare Judges 21:1). The two thoughts, - (1) the oath that those who had not come to Mizpeh should be punished with death (Judges 21:5), and (2) anxiety for the preservation of this tribe which sprang from compassion towards Benjamin, and was shown in their endeavour to provide such as remained with wives, without violating the oath that none of them would give them their own daughters as wives, - formed the two factors which determined the course to be adopted by the congregation. After the statement of these two circumstances, the question of Judges 21:5, "Who is the one (only one) of the tribes of Israel which," etc., is resumed and answered: "Behold, there came no one into the camp from Jabesh in Gilead, into the assembly." שׁבטי is used in Judges 21:8, Judges 21:5, in a more general sense, as denoting not merely the tribes as such, but the several subdivisions of the tribes.
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