Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter to Benjamin to wife.…
A visitor was once standing at a friend's door. He knocked, and knocked; but there was nobody to open. Perhaps no one was at home? Oh, yes; there was a noise within, which plainly showed that more than one or two or three were there. Again he knocked, and waited; then at last a servant came. "She was very sorry, but she had been with the children who were all quarrelling." This, then, explained the noise. Sounds of crying and anger were now heard from a room upstairs, while a little fellow ran forward to welcome the visitor. "Why, what's the matter?" "Oh, sir, father and mother are both out, and it is so miserable!" "How so?" "Why, we are all left to do as we like; there is nobody to manage us!" This was strange, was it not? Doing "as they liked" seemed to bring nothing but disorder and misery until father came home again! Now, I do not know whether those parents were wise and careful or not, or whether they could have done better with their family than to leave it so. But I know that at one time the people of God, dwelling in the promised land, were left by Him very much as those children were left. This was perhaps partly a punishment for their wilfulness and sin. They had thought they could manage for themselves very well, and now God let them try. Then there was wisdom and kindness, too, in thus showing them that they needed the care and power of a wiser, mightier One than they.
(S. G. Green, D. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.