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[166] However, they afterward were sorry for the calamity they had brought upon the Benjamites, and appointed a fast on that account, although they supposed those men had suffered justly for their offense against the laws; so they recalled by their ambassadors those six hundred which had escaped. These had seated themselves on a certain rock called Rimmon, which was in the wilderness. So the ambassadors lamented not only the disaster that had befallen the Benjamites, but themselves also, by this destruction of their kindred; and persuaded them to take it patiently; and to come and unite with them, and not, so far as in them lay, to give their suffrage to the utter destruction of the tribe of Benjamin; and said to them, "We give you leave to take the whole land of Benjamin to yourselves, and as much prey as you are able to carry away with you." So these men with sorrow confessed, that what had been done was according to the decree of God, and had happened for their own wickedness; and assented to those that invited them, and came down to their own tribe. The Israelites also gave them the four hundred virgins of Jabesh Gilead for wives; but as to the remaining two hundred, they deliberated about it how they might compass wives enough for them, and that they might have children by them; and whereas they had, before the war began, taken an oath, that no one would give his daughter to wife to a Benjamite, some advised them to have no regard to what they had sworn, because the oath had not been taken advisedly and judiciously, but in a passion, and thought that they should do nothing against God, if they were able to save a whole tribe which was in danger of perishing; and that perjury was then a sad and dangerous thing, not when it is done out of necessity, but when it is done with a wicked intention. But when the senate were affrighted at the very name of perjury, a certain person told them that he could show them a way whereby they might procure the Benjamites wives enough, and yet keep their oath. They asked him what his proposal was. He said, "That three times in a year, when we meet in Shiloh, our wives and our daughters accompany us: let then the Benjamites be allowed to steal away, and marry such women as they can catch, while we will neither incite them nor forbid them; and when their parents take it ill, and desire us to inflict punishment upon them, we will tell them, that they were themselves the cause of what had happened, by neglecting to guard their daughters, and that they ought not to be over angry at the Benjamites, since that anger was permitted to rise too high already." So the Israelites were persuaded to follow this advice, and decreed, That the Benjamites should be allowed thus to steal themselves wives. So when the festival was coming on, these two hundred Benjamites lay in ambush before the city, by two and three together, and waited for the coming of the virgins, in the vineyards and other places where they could lie concealed. Accordingly the virgins came along playing, and suspected nothing of what was coming upon them, and walked after an unguarded manner, so those that laid scattered in the road, rose up, and caught hold of them: by this means these Benjamites got them wives, and fell to agriculture, and took good care to recover their former happy state. And thus was this tribe of the Benjamites, after they had been in danger of entirely perishing, saved in the manner forementioned, by the wisdom of the Israelites; and accordingly it presently flourished, and soon increased to be a multitude, and came to enjoy all other degrees of happiness. And such was the conclusion of this war.

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