I've been thinking about this for a while, but this question reminded me.

After the incident of Pilegesh Begiv'ah, the tribe of Binyamin had been almost wiped out and was down to 600 men. Everyone had sworn not to marry off their daughters to them, but now they regretted their oath because they didn't want the tribe to be permanently destroyed. They came up with a way to get wives for them without violating the oath - first they destroyed Yaveish Gil'ad, who had disobeyed the community, and left 400 girls alive. Then they asked the other 200 men to kidnap their wives from Shilo.

From the Shilo story, it appears that the oath only applied to the parents, not the girls. So instead of the complicated plan, why didn't they just let their daughters marry whomever they wanted, without their parents' involvement?

  • What you're suggesting is exactly what they did at Shiloh. Call it a quickly constricted ad hoc shidduch system.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 14:16
  • @DoubleAA Kind of. But they made a bigger deal over it that seems warranted. Why Shiloh as opposed to any other place? And why did they have to kidnap the girls as opposed to just a normal shidduch process (whatever that meant in those days) but with the parents intentionally not looking?
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 14:18
  • 2
    The normal Shidduch process was give the dad a goat. You are thinking anachronisticly
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 14:20
  • @DoubleAA Even for a bogeres? There must have been a process for orphans, and there were plenty of those after the war.
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


The theme of the Book of Judges is that from time to time the Jews would worship idols and do stupid things until God would send a judge to get them on the right track. Eventually the judge would die and the Jews would backslide and God would have one of the nation's subjugate them a bit until he sent a new judge.

The logical flaw of the Jews' behavior was caused by them being stupid in the absence of a competent leader.

  • Very reasonable. (You, not them.)
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 13:17

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