After

coffee-791439_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“After you have committed to exercising each day, you can enjoy the new muscle mass that is Spiritually created by faith in your workouts, choices, goals, and studies with God.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Show

When you show up each day to embrace the quality time with God, your heart will beat to His drum and exercising routines that are designed by the Master of All Things to strengthen, sustain, and encourage your physical and spiritual needs.  He is The Best Trainer to keep you focused and on task!  Ask God to show you your personalized schedule and goals for your life, mind, body, heart, and purpose.  Be Patient!

Do 

Do, practice, and share the new skills God teaches you after you have mastered the new methods.  You will get plenty of practice and test to show your proficiency.  Improvement is a daily, ongoing task, as God knows and watches your every move, thought, and assignment.  However, you can not give something that you do not have or learned.  Possess and bless others with what God has taught you.
  

Feel

Notice how much better you feel and how much more clean and clear your life becomes, when you obey God, no matter what your job functions are.  Your place in God’s plan is great with constant effort.  When you have worked to your potential, God honors your honest and steady commitment to your faith, improvement, love, and ability to change.
Today’s Question
After you study and exercise with God each day, can you see the improvements and changes in your life, like others can?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 5

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by the flute.
O Lord, hear me as I pray;
    pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
    for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
    Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
    you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
    for you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.
    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
    or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
    Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
    Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
10 
O God, declare them guilty.
    Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.
11 
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
    you surround them with your shield of love.
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

Repentance

bible-2167778_1920 (1)
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Dear God and people, please forgive me of all the sin I have done in my life to cause hurt, pain, suffering, and unnecessary anguish onto others, knowingly, willingly, and unknowingly and Please help me to stay on track with the Commandments in the Bible.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Goodness

Pretending to do good works with altered selfish motives of evil and greed can be detected by God.  For show, many will look the part to fool people, but God cannot be fooled.  For sure, your lies and fake repentance will burn you up in the end, spiritually, physically, and literally.  Do not lie to God with fake, false, and phony prayers, of heartless intentions.

My Prayers

Allow God to teach you how to pray and work from your secret closet, so that your blessings will be noticed from the Hand of God and not your hands.  Consistently meet and use your prayer closet of repentance, worship, and meditation for learning, reading, counseling, and wisdom to stay connected to God and not your own self-righteous, manmade image.  People will automatically know that God honors and answers your prayers, based on the trail of blessing you leave behind in your walk with God.

Your Prayers

Your prayers, faith, and work will be taken seriously, based on the honest integrity of your obedience and not your cunning abilities to paint half-truths with white lies, deception, and ambiguity.  Your prayers, language, and actions should be direct, genuine, to the point with few words, so that you minimize the risk of lying and vain babbling.  Repent and spread the Word of Faith in your daily practice in life’s journey.
Today’s Question
Are you still pretending in your repentance, faith, charity, love, and thanksgiving, only to be publicly seen and heard by people and not God?

Enjoy The Reading

Job 41 

The Lord’s Challenge Continues

41 [a]“Can you catch Leviathan[b] with a hook
    or put a noose around its jaw?
Can you tie it with a rope through the nose
    or pierce its jaw with a spike?
Will it beg you for mercy
    or implore you for pity?
Will it agree to work for you,
    to be your slave for life?
Can you make it a pet like a bird,
    or give it to your little girls to play with?
Will merchants try to buy it
    to sell it in their shops?
Will its hide be hurt by spears
    or its head by a harpoon?
If you lay a hand on it,
    you will certainly remember the battle that follows.
    You won’t try that again!
[c]No, it is useless to try to capture it.
    The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down.
10 And since no one dares to disturb it,
    who then can stand up to me?
11 Who has given me anything that I need to pay back?
    Everything under heaven is mine.
12 “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs
    and its enormous strength and graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its hide,
    and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?[d]
14 Who could pry open its jaws?
    For its teeth are terrible!
15 The scales on its back are like[e] rows of shields
    tightly sealed together.
16 They are so close together
    that no air can get between them.
17 Each scale sticks tight to the next.
    They interlock and cannot be penetrated.
18 “When it sneezes, it flashes light!
    Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
19 Lightning leaps from its mouth;
    flames of fire flash out.
20 Smoke streams from its nostrils
    like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.
21 Its breath would kindle coals,
    for flames shoot from its mouth.
22 “The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck
    strikes terror wherever it goes.
23 Its flesh is hard and firm
    and cannot be penetrated.
24 Its heart is hard as rock,
    hard as a millstone.
25 When it rises, the mighty are afraid,
    gripped by terror.
26 No sword can stop it,
    no spear, dart, or javelin.
27 Iron is nothing but straw to that creature,
    and bronze is like rotten wood.
28 Arrows cannot make it flee.
    Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass.
29 Clubs are like a blade of grass,
    and it laughs at the swish of javelins.
30 Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass.
    It plows up the ground as it drags through the mud.
31 “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion.
    It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment.
32 The water glistens in its wake,
    making the sea look white.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal,
    no other creature so fearless.
34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest.
    It is the king of beasts.”

Love,

Jonathan

Plate

flat-lay-2583212_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“There is enough on your plate to do your job, work, planning, reading, studying, eating, and  exercising well, so that your relationship with God and others improve as you age, for all to see and tell.” ~  Jon Barnes

Fork

Many are called but few are chosen because we are so busy sticking forks into people’s eyes with the mean things we say and do.  Close your mouth, get to work, exercise your faith, eat less, and use your fork properly.  Stop blaming everyone for your own problems, faults, and lack of focus. Stick a fork in your balloon of pride and do what God says, by not being lazy or foolish.

Spoon

Expect what God says to work for you in your life, otherwise, you are not eating and chewing your spiritual food correctly.  The more you chew on God’s work, the better you will understand and digest the milk, meat, vegetables, and potatoes.  Drink and keep lots of Holy Water, with the Blood of Jesus to keep yourself clean after each meal.

Napkin

Bless your food, give thanks, close your mouth, chew your food, stop complaining, and talking about negative stuff all of the time.  Wipe your face and hands during and after your meal and be thankful for what you have and the improvements of progress.  Take the time to finish what God has on your plate and stop eating from the plate of others.  No need to be greedy, gaining weight, being nosey, and doing incomplete work.
Today’s Question
Will your relationship with God, your spouse, family, friends, and enemies improve because your plate is cleaned each day by obeying God and finishing your own work?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Job 40 

40 Then the Lord said to Job,
“Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
    You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”

Job Responds to the Lord

Then Job replied to the Lord,
“I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers?
    I will cover my mouth with my hand.
I have said too much already.
    I have nothing more to say.”

The Lord Challenges Job Again

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
“Brace yourself like a man,
    because I have some questions for you,
    and you must answer them.
“Will you discredit my justice
    and condemn me just to prove you are right?
Are you as strong as God?
    Can you thunder with a voice like his?
10 All right, put on your glory and splendor,
    your honor and majesty.
11 Give vent to your anger.
    Let it overflow against the proud.
12 Humiliate the proud with a glance;
    walk on the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them in the dust.
    Imprison them in the world of the dead.
14 Then even I would praise you,
    for your own strength would save you.
15 “Take a look at Behemoth,[a]
    which I made, just as I made you.
    It eats grass like an ox.
16 See its powerful loins
    and the muscles of its belly.
17 Its tail is as strong as a cedar.
    The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze.
    Its limbs are bars of iron.
19 It is a prime example of God’s handiwork,
    and only its Creator can threaten it.
20 The mountains offer it their best food,
    where all the wild animals play.
21 It lies under the lotus plants,[b]
    hidden by the reeds in the marsh.
22 The lotus plants give it shade
    among the willows beside the stream.
23 It is not disturbed by the raging river,
    not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it.
24 No one can catch it off guard
    or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.

Love,

Jonathan

Old

vintage-1872682_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Look at all old relationships and improve upon what you have learned from those experiences and stop making the same mistakes and assumptions so that you can move forward in love.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Right 

You are not always right so you must leave room for error, mistakes, and unforeseen situations in advance.  This will allow you time, energy, prayer, space, and grace to maneuver around the manure that will be in your path.  Spiritual Insight is seeing the poop before you step and smell it on your feet.  Wisdom is repenting and washing your feet immediately after stepping into it.

Wrong

When you notice the patterns of how things can go wrong, you will begin to develop plans and concepts that will prevent potential problems in the future for you and your family.  Your enemies will enjoy your success as well.  Simply avoiding bad choices, behaviors, ideas, and people will give you time, opportunity, and space to fix new problems that may arise.

Odds

Stack the deck and put the odds in your favor by listening, reading, and obeying the commandments of God, so that He can work miracles out on your behalf in ways you cannot see or comprehend.  Your humility shall be an old friend, simplicity will kill your pride, honesty in repentance will preserve your destiny in Christ.
Today’s Question
Do you notice how honest people are blessed and favored by God because of their obedience?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Ezra 2

Exiles Who Returned with Zerubbabel

Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived. Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
This is the number of the men of Israel who returned from exile:
The family of Parosh 2,172
The family of Shephatiah 372
The family of Arah 775
The family of Pahath-moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) 2,812
The family of Elam 1,254
The family of Zattu 945
The family of Zaccai 760
10 The family of Bani 642
11 The family of Bebai 623
12 The family of Azgad 1,222
13 The family of Adonikam 666
14 The family of Bigvai 2,056
15 The family of Adin 454
16 The family of Ater (descendants of Hezekiah) 98
17 The family of Bezai 323
18 The family of Jorah 112
19 The family of Hashum 223
20 The family of Gibbar 95
21 The people of Bethlehem 123
22 The people of Netophah 56
23 The people of Anathoth 128
24 The people of Beth-azmaveth[a] 42
25 The people of Kiriath-jearim,[b] Kephirah, and Beeroth 743
26 The people of Ramah and Geba 621
27 The people of Micmash 122
28 The people of Bethel and Ai 223
29 The citizens of Nebo 52
30 The citizens of Magbish 156
31 The citizens of West Elam[c] 1,254
32 The citizens of Harim 320
33 The citizens of Lod, Hadid, and Ono 725
34 The citizens of Jericho 345
35 The citizens of Senaah 3,630
36 These are the priests who returned from exile:
The family of Jedaiah (through the line of Jeshua) 973
37 The family of Immer 1,052
38 The family of Pashhur 1,247
39 The family of Harim 1,017
40 These are the Levites who returned from exile:
The families of Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) 74
41 The singers of the family of Asaph 128
42 The gatekeepers of the families of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai 139
43 The descendants of the following Temple servants returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
44 Keros, Siaha, Padon,
45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,
46 Hagab, Shalmai,[d] Hanan,
47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,
48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,
49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai,
50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim,
51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
54 Neziah, and Hatipha.
55 The descendants of these servants of King Solomon returned from exile:
Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
56 Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,
57 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-hazzebaim, and Ami.
58 In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.
59 Another group returned at this time from the towns of Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Kerub, Addan, and Immer. However, they could not prove that they or their families were descendants of Israel. 60 This group included the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda—a total of 652 people.
61 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.) 62 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests. 63 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.
64 So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah, 65 in addition to 7,337 servants and 200 singers, both men and women. 66 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules, 67 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
68 When they arrived at the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders made voluntary offerings toward the rebuilding of God’s Temple on its original site, 69 and each leader gave as much as he could. The total of their gifts came to 61,000 gold coins,[e] 6,250 pounds[f] of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.
70 So the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled in villages near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.
Love,
Jonathan

Option

girl-2573111_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“We are not making plans, but exercising our options so that God can tell us what to do.” ~ Jon Barnes

When God

When God is in control of your lifestyle, you learn to follow the options given to you from the plans of God.  These options will narrow down into a specific step to take and a door to enter.  Then you will see the hand of God move and make things happen that you would otherwise be unaware.  Miracles happen each day but the eyes of many are shut closed to them.

Opens

All of the negative things we see and face points to the reason people need God in their lives.  Evildoers keep expanding their hold while good people do little to fight, challenge and work for freedom, liberty, and justice.  We all tend to go along with the crowd, the injustice, and the horrible truth that mankind is extremely evil.  As you study the past with God, the future opens up, and you’ll know what to do.

Your Eyes

The hope of many hinges on the next person doing the right things in helping out the person beside them.  We walk around in our self-inflicted, electronically controlled jail cell, under house arrest, but able to function as if we are free.  Using good tools are important, but when they talk back and lie to us with misinformation, miscalculations, and other fraudulent information, advertisements, and the likes, our minds have become convoluted, predisposed, and trapped.
Today’s Question
Are your eyes closed to God’s Good Options?
Enjoy The Reading
 

1 Chronicles 20

David Captures Rabbah

20 In the spring of the year,[a] when kings normally go out to war, Joab led the Israelite army in successful attacks against the land of the Ammonites. In the process he laid siege to the city of Rabbah, attacking and destroying it. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.
Then David went to Rabbah and removed the crown from the king’s head,[b] and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and he found that it weighed seventy-five pounds.[c] David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes.[d] That is how David dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

Battles against Philistine Giants

After this, war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph,[e] a descendant of the giants,[f] and so the Philistines were subdued.
During another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of Lahmi’s spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!
In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.
These Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed 
Love,
Jonathan

Faith Likes

cross-3080144_1920
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The actions of your faith like the work and lifestyle you live and the fruit of your choices and labor are self-evident, pleasing to God and helpful to others.” ~ Jon Barnes

Hired

You will always have a job when your quality, integrity, and honorable workflows from you. People will notice complement your thoughtfulness, helpfulness, honesty, and competence; whether you believe it or not. It takes work to make sure your talent, character, and lifestyle match what you preach.  Eyes are always upon you and your reputation will follow you as well.

Worker Bees

Real people get the work done because they are honest, caring, and full of love. They don’t need a lot of instructions since they see the need. Their willingness to help is not a quality to be taken advantage of. However, God sees and rewards their quality of labor and character.  Your character is not based on the things you have and how much money you make. By default, your motives from the heart automatically manifest your character and work ethic.

Works

Continue to do the good works each day and enjoy the wonderful blessings that God will shine on you.  Notice and be thankful for the near misses in car accidents, harmful plots, corruption, greed, and lust of the eyes that can befall us. Stay true to the cause of justice, love, honesty, and faithfulness.  God will reward your loving work. Enjoy the Good Work, mercy, and grace in your life.
Today’s Question
Does your good work follow you, as you walk, work, and live by faith?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 20 

The Revolt of Sheba

20 There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:
“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Come on, you men of Israel,
    back to your homes!”
So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king and escorted him from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to look after the palace and placed them in seclusion. Their needs were provided for, but he no longer slept with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died.
Then the king told Amasa, “Mobilize the army of Judah within three days, and report back at that time.” So Amasa went out to notify Judah, but it took him longer than the time he had been given.
Then David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri is going to hurt us more than Absalom did. Quick, take my troops and chase after him before he gets into a fortified town where we can’t reach him.”
So Abishai and Joab,[a] together with the king’s bodyguard[b] and all the mighty warriors, set out from Jerusalem to go after Sheba. As they arrived at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab was wearing his military tunic with a dagger strapped to his belt. As he stepped forward to greet Amasa, he slipped the dagger from its sheath.[c]
“How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him. 10 Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died. Joab and his brother Abishai left him lying there and continued after Sheba.
11 One of Joab’s young men shouted to Amasa’s troops, “If you are for Joab and David, come and follow Joab.” 12 But Amasa lay in his blood in the middle of the road, and Joab’s man saw that everyone was stopping to stare at him. So he pulled him off the road into a field and threw a cloak over him. 13 With Amasa’s body out of the way, everyone went on with Joab to capture Sheba son of Bicri.
14 Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites,[d]assembled for battle and followed him into the town. 15 When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel-beth-maacah. They built a siege ramp against the town’s fortifications and began battering down the wall. 16 But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.” 17 As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?”
“I am,” he replied.
So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.”
“I’m listening,” he said.
18 Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’ 19 I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel.[e] Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord?”
20 And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town!21 That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.”
“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.”22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 Now Joab was the commander of the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. 24 Adoniram[f] was in charge of forced labor. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 25 Sheva was the court secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. 26 And Ira, a descendant of Jair, was David’s personal priest.
Love,
Jonathan

Word Choices

choice-2692575_1920
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Your Word Choices are full of understanding, which pushes your life into the direction that God wants you to go or they push you over a cliff into the pit of hell, at the end of your life.” ~ Jon Barnes

Results

Your words and thoughts come from your heart as your mind processes who you are and your actions are an end result of your faith/fate. Following God is full of Word Choices of Good Works from the Spirit of God, because of your connection to Him and you understand, believe, and see your destination in heaven. Walking after evil word choices, thoughts, and actions are full of hate, lies, greed, lust, and other prideful ventures that will net you the bottomless fire pit as well.

Sustained

Your life is sustained in one direction or the other. Your word choices are quite clear to the ears of God and your destination will be eternally clear upon death.  Your word choices will reflect a clear choice from your heart to the ears of God, even before you speak a word.  God Knows! I don’t know or even care what your choice is, because, I can’t help you make that choice, no more than God can. Your choice is your choice and you/We sustain our choices until the end.

Accountable 

Become accountable for the fullness of life to work out your issues, understanding, studies, assignments, and plans that God has for your life. I cannot be accountable for you and you cannot be accountable for me. It is up to God, who can accept your word choices and actions of accountability with your repentance and acceptance of faith.
Today’s Question
Will you enjoy the results of your foolish Word Choices to God?

Enjoy The Reading

Judges 21 

Wives for the Benjamites

21 The men of Israel had taken an oath at Mizpah: “Not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite.”
The people went to Bethel,[a] where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly. Lord, God of Israel,” they cried, “why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?”
Early the next day the people built an altar and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.
Then the Israelites asked, “Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the Lord?” For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah was to be put to death.
Now the Israelites grieved for the tribe of Benjamin, their fellow Israelites. “Today one tribe is cut off from Israel,” they said. “How can we provide wives for those who are left, since we have taken an oath by the Lord not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?” 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. For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11 “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.” 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13 Then the whole assembly sent an offer of peace to the Benjamites at the rock of Rimmon. 14 So the Benjamites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.
15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a gap in the tribes of Israel. 16 And the elders of the assembly said, “With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? 17 The Benjamite survivors must have heirs,” they said, “so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. 18 We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: ‘Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.’ 19 But look, there is the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh, which lies north of Bethel, east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.”
20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards 21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin. 22 When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, ‘Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them.’”
23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.
24 At that time the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance.
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
Love,
Jonathan