Judges - Chapter 21
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3 and exclaiming, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel that a tribe should be missing from Israel today?
4 The next day the people got up early and built an altar there; they presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices.
5 The Israelites then said, 'Out of all the tribes of Israel, who has not come to Yahweh, to the assembly?' -- for they had sworn a solemn oath that anyone who did not come to Yahweh at Mizpah would certainly die.
7 What shall we do to provide wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by Yahweh not to give them any of our own daughters in marriage?'
8 They then asked, 'Out of the tribes of Israel, who is it that has not come to Yahweh at Mizpah?' It was discovered that no one from Jabesh in Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly;
9 for, a muster having been called of the people, none of the inhabitants of Jabesh in Gilead was present.
11 This is what you are to do. All males and all those women who have ever slept with a man, you will put under the curse of destruction, but the lives of the virgins you will spare.' And this they did.
15 The people felt sorry about Benjamin, Yahweh having made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
16 And the elders of the community said, 'What shall we do to provide wives for the survivors, since the women of Benjamin have been wiped out?'
17 They went on, 'How can we preserve a remnant for Benjamin so that a tribe may not be lost to Israel?
19 'However,' they said, 'there is the feast of Yahweh, held every year at Shiloh.' (The town lies north of Bethel, east of the highway that runs from Bethel up to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.)
22 If their fathers or brothers come and complain to us, we shall say, "Let us have them, since we could not take wives for everyone in the battle; and you could not give them to them, or you would then have been guilty." '
23 The Benjaminites did this and, from the dancers whom they caught, took as many wives as there were men and then, setting off, went back to their heritage, rebuilt the towns and settled down in them.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Gospel, Matthew 18:21-35
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