Judges 12:13: "Outside"

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Mar 1 20:01:48 EST 2001

Dear John,

You write:

>In Judges 12:13 we're told that Ibzan had thirty daughters whom he gave
>(in marriage) "outside" and that he brought in thirty daughters "from
>outside" for his sons.

The words "gave in marriage" represent a Hebrew word that can be rendered
literally as "sent."

>I understand that "outside" here refers (at least) to other clans, and
>that these marriages are most likely political alliances.  But I'm
>wondering if "outside" might indicate that he married his children to
>Gentiles (i.e., "outside" Israel, not just "outside" his particular
>family group or tribe).

C. F. Keil believed that Ibzan sent his daughters outside in the sense of
"out of his house."

In Hebrew there are similaries with Judges 12:9 in the following verses:

1Sam. 9:26 And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of
the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that
I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he
and Samuel, abroad.

The word "abroad" corresponds to "outside" in Judges 12:9. Note that Samuel
sent him from a house.

2Sam. 13:17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said,
Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.

The word "put out" is the same in Hebrew as "send." The word "out" is the
same as "outside" in Judges 12:9. Again the woman was sent from a house.

There does not seem to be any need to believe that the marriages were
political alliances. The judges were not regal figures for the most part,
and Izban only judged Israel for seven years.

				Harold Holmyard

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