Judges 21:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 21:24, NIV: At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.

Judges 21:24, ESV: And the people of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.

Judges 21:24, KJV: And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.

Judges 21:24, NASB: And the sons of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and each one departed from there to his inheritance.

Judges 21:24, NLT: Then the people of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.

Judges 21:24, CSB: At that time, each of the Israelites returned from there to his own tribe and family. Each returned from there to his own inheritance.

What does Judges 21:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Benjaminites have returned home with their wives, obtained in a staged form of kidnapping (Judges 21:19–23). The writer wraps up this episode in Israel's history as the remaining tribes return to their territories and resume life as usual. This short series of events has included overt cowardice (Judges 19:22–25), gang rape (Judges 19:26–28), reliance on the Lord (Judges 20:1, 18, 23, 28), judgment for wickedness (Judges 21:11–13), the slaughter of tens of thousands of people (Judges 20:47–48), and more killing (Judges 21:10–11) and kidnapping (Judges 21:19–22) to satisfy the letter of hastily made oaths (Judges 21:18). In the end, everyone in Israel went back home and life went on. The scars remained, however, for generations to come.

Commentators say it is likely these events happened within a generation or so of the death of Joshua, before the later judges like Gideon and Samson. One example of evidence supporting this view is the mention of Phineas, grandson of Aaron (Judges 20:28) who was alive and serving as priest at the time. These events may have contributed to the willingness of Israel to tolerate the worship of the false gods of Canaan and nations around them. As seen in the other stories recorded in the book of Judges, God did not remain entirely silent. He brought judgment on His people repeatedly, giving them opportunity after opportunity to repent and be faithful to Him (Judges 2:16–19).

Eventually, Israel would enter a new era in their relationship with the Lord. This new phase will be marked by the ministry of the judge-and-prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 7:15–17) and the beginning of a monarchy (1 Samuel 8:19–22).