Sir John puts this to The Round Table...
Judges chapters 19 tells of a horrible crime that happened in the tribe of Benjamin and of the battle that followed. The result was that all of Benjamin had been wiped out except for 600 men who had escaped to some rock out in the wilderness, apparently.
The other tribes then began to mourn the loss of one of the tribes and so they decided to find wives for the 600 Benjaminites.The problem was that, in their anger, they had all taken vows to not allow their daughters to marry men from Benjamin.
One way was to wipe out a village that had not helped in the war with Benjamin and keep all the virgin girls. Awful as this was, this supplied 400 wives and left 200 men without wives.
Then they had another plan. There was a kind of girl's retreat in Shiloh where the girls would come out to dance. The 200 men were told by the elders to wait until then and come out and grab a wife for themselves. That way, those men who had vowed not to allow their daughter to marry a Benjaminite would not be guilty of breaking the vow and the elders would talk to the angry fathers and brothers of the girls.
Judges 21:20 They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards. 21 When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! 22 And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, `Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.' " (New Living Translation)
This actually happened...
Judges 21:23 So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.
My questions is this. Did any of these marriages eventually become happy marriages, given the violent beginnings? Or did all of these men and women live out their lives in misery due to the conditions forced upon them?
I have heard "no, no woman could ever become happy under such a circumstance." If that is the case it would be hard for the marriage to be a happy one. What man wants a miserable wife? I am not so sure. I think that if the husbands and wives were godly they would learn to love each other, even with such adverse beginnings.
What do the great minds of the Round Table think? Feel free to consult others.
Sir John, musing over things.