Judges 21:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 21:8, NIV: Then they asked, 'Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah?' They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly.

Judges 21:8, ESV: And they said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel that did not come up to the LORD to Mizpah?” And behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead, to the assembly.

Judges 21:8, KJV: And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly.

Judges 21:8, NASB: And they said, 'What one is there of the tribes of Israel that did not go up to the LORD at Mizpah?' And behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.

Judges 21:8, NLT: So they asked, 'Who among the tribes of Israel did not join us at Mizpah when we assembled in the presence of the LORD?' And they discovered that no one from Jabesh-gilead had attended the assembly.

Judges 21:8, CSB: They asked, "Which city among the tribes of Israel didn't come to the Lord at Mizpah? " It turned out that no one from Jabesh-gilead had come to the camp and the assembly.

What does Judges 21:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Israel is looking for a creative way to find wives for the surviving six hundred men of the tribe of Benjamin. Imagination is needed to avoid violating the nation's unwise oath, made before the recent civil war (Judges 21:1–7). That vow was not to give their daughters to Benjaminites as wives. Apparently, Israel also made another promise: to kill any clan who didn't participate in the conflict against Benjamin. Any such group would not have made the promise about wives, so they would not be bound to it.

A search of all those present reveals that nobody came from Jabesh-gilead. This is good news for the tribe of Benjamin, since it means there are women in Israel not blocked from marrying them by a vow. It's extremely unwelcome news for the people of Jabesh-gilead. All those who failed to come to the earlier assembly (Judges 20:11–13) were subject to death.

This is the first mention of Jabesh-gilead. The name means "well-drained soil of Gilead." It is the name of a place in the territory of Manasseh on the east side of the Jordan River. Although Manasseh sent others to the assembly, none from this town came. No reason is given for why they failed to participate in the judgment of Benjamin.