"Benjamite", 1722 (misinterpreted, but still a useful interdating)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Feb 13 19:09:27 UTC 2013

At 2/13/2013 12:47 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > Benjamite
>Judges 21:23
>"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."

Thanks, Dan.  I let myself be led off by the OED to "Benjamin" and by
the Dissenters to the King James Version.  Additionally for
"Benjamite" in the KJV BibleGateway doesn't bring up Judges
21:23.  It renders that verse as:

"And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according
to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went
and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and
dwelt in them."

Finding this via search takes a long time.  It's easier for someone
who knows the Book.

I had written:
>"I send you the following Lines for the
>Entertainment of our Town Gallants, who play
>Bo-peep at their Mistresses Doors, and like
>Benjamites, catch every Man with his Wife; which
>if you think worth inserting, you may expect
>something more on the same Subject, as I have
>Leisure and Inclination to proceed"

So "catch every Man with his Wife" probably doesn't mean "every Man
(not a Benjamite) was *found* with his Wife" but rather "every Man
(Benjamite) *caught* (took) a Wife for himself".

Still, I think a useful interdating:

>New England Courant 1722 Dec 3, p. 1, col. 1.  [EAN]
>"Benjamite:interdates OED2 1625 -- 1857.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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