Today’s reading faithfully catalogs the horrible results of
departure from God. Adopting Canaanite ways, Israel sank into the
cesspool of Canaanite violence and immorality. The crime of the
Benjaminites of Gibeah shows that the city had sunk to the level of
Israelite chiefs gathered at Mizpeh to decide what course of
action they should take following the deeds of lust and violence.
They determined to punish the guilty persons by death; but the
Benjaminites refused to surrender the criminals and a horrible war
ensued in which thousands perished. A tragic harvest was reaped! The
guilty tribe was almost wiped out.
The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead were smitten, and the
virgins left were given as wives to the remnant of Benjamin.
Benjamin was restored as a tribe and additional wives were supplied
from the dancers at the annual festival at Shiloh. Judges ends with
the notation of the lawlessness of the era, so fully illustrated by
the book itself.