Judges 21

Talks for Growing Christians

Wives for the Men of Benjamin

Judges 21

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Lesson Number 30

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Just because it's a vow before God, doesn't make it right.
  2. Just because it works, doesn't make it right.

Practical Application

  1. Let's not blame God for our problems.


  1. What happens when there is no central authority, as in the time of the judges?
  2. The six hundred Benjamite men who survived the civil war had no wives. How did Israel "fix" this situation so the tribe wouldn't die out?
  3. What were the two foolish vows made by the men of Israel?
  4. Were these vows well thought out?
  5. What did the Israelites do to get around their vows?
  6. Israel's plan to get wives for the six hundred Benjamite men worked. But was it right?


  1. Everyone does their own thing, and as a result there is spiritual and moral anarchy.
  2. They massacred the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead, sparing four hundred virgins. The other two hundred were obtained when the Israelites decided to let the wifeless Benjaminites catch their wives when the young maidens came out to dance at the annual feast held at Shiloh.
  3. They vowed not to give any of their daughters to a Benjamite, and they vowed that whoever did not come up with them to the assembly of the Lord would be put to death.
  4. No, they were made in the emotion of the moment.
  5. They tried to find legal loopholes, making the vows seem even more ridiculous.
  6. No. Although the tribe of Benjamin was preserved, it was done in ways that could hardly be justified.


  1. The men of Israel made some foolish vows, and had to go through all kinds of legal loopholes to get out of them. Have foolish vows been made within your Christian ministries or churches? How could such situations be avoided?
  2. Plans work, but it may be because God picked up the pieces. Christians must come before the Lord and wait for His direction. Are you prone to move on with your own plan apart from God's guidance? Wait on Him.


  1. When the tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out, Israel wondered, "Why has this come to pass?" They failed to see their own wrong-doing in going outside the will of the Lord. Does this sound familiar? Many of our problems are of our own making, but the good news is that if we wait on God He will help us. He can pick up the pieces.

Key Verses

  • "Then the people came to the house of God, and remained there before God till evening. They lifted up their voices and wept bitterly." Judges 21:2
  • "O Lord God, why has this come to pass?" Judges 21:3
  • "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25

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