Day 95: The Sin of Benjamin

Judges 19:1-30 At Gibeah, in the land of Benjamin, in an episode reminiscent of Sodom, a man was propositioned to engage in homosexual acts. The plan was altered through the substitution of his concubine, who was sexually abused by the townsmen until she died. The incident reveals how the people of Israel were prone to fall into sins of the most grievous depravity. (CCC 418, 1264, 1869, 2515, 2529)

Ch 20:1-48 Enraged upon hearing of the grave sin at Gibeah, all the other tribes sent soldiers upon the Tribe of Benjamin. The bloody battles that ensued nearly destroyed the Benjaminites entirely. It is notable that at the beginning of the Book of Judges, the tribes were united in fighting against the pagan enemies; now, in the later chapters, Israel has turned upon itself, killing its own in civil warfare.

Ch 21:1-25 The end of battle left Israel in mourning over the potential loss of the tribe of Benjamin, which now comprised only the surviving soldiers. The members of the other eleven tribes had already vowed not to allow any of their women to marry Benjaminite. Their solution was to destroy Jabsh-gilead, a town in Manasseh that had not supplied any warriors to the battle, and kill everyone except the virgin women. These 400 virgins were given to the surviving Benjaminites for wives, and they soon began rebuilding their decimated tribe. 

Every man to his tribe and family: The social units of the community are important to an ordered society, and such social groups in society can work toward the common good. (CCC 1882)

Ch 21:25 This line had been used before in Judges, and it closes the book as an explanation for all the evil that had befallen Israel.

In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right IN HIS OWN EYES.

Psalm 148 All of creation praises the Lord, and this psalm is an illustration of the nature of that praise. Celestial bodies, the natural elements, the rich assortment of living things, and humanity itself all glorify God the Creator by their very existence since all show the richness of his wisdom and love. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, July 17, 2002)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

The Levites, Too 

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father, it is right that we give you praise and it is right that we give you glory. In the midst of true horror, in the midst of true evil, we thank you for your word. We thank you for being our King. We thank you for guiding us, not only in the depths of our conscience, not only with your Spirit, but also with your truth and with your life, with your law, with your word, and by your grace that gives us power to accomplish your will and accomplish your word and accomplish your law. Thank you, Father. We give you praise today. Help us to keep moving forward. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”