Judges Chapter 19  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Judg 19
 
A Levite and His Concubine

1And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a man, a Levite, living in the remote part of the hill country of Ephraim who took to himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.
  2But his concubine was unfaithful to him and went away from him to her father’s house to Bethlehem in Judah, and was there for a period of four months.
  3Then her husband arose and went after her to speak to her heart to bring her back. He had his young servant with him and a pair of donkeys. And she brought him into her father’s house, and when the father of the young woman saw him, he rejoiced at meeting him.
  4His father-in-law, the young woman’s father, prevailed upon him so that he stayed with him three days, and they ate and drank, and spent the nights there.
 

5And it came to pass on the fourth day that they arose early in the morning and prepared to leave, but the young woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen your heart with a piece of bread, and after that you can go.”
  6So they sat down, the two of them together, and they ate and drank. And the young woman’s father said to the man, “Be content, please, and stay the night, and let your heart be merry.”
  7And the man rose up to go but his father-in-law pressed him, and so he stayed there again.
  8And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart, but the young woman’s father said, “Please strengthen your heart and wait until the day lengthens.” So the two of them ate.
  9And when the man rose up to depart, he and his concubine and his servant, his father-in-law, the young woman’s father, said to him, “Behold now, the day is weakening, growing toward the evening! Stay the night, look, the day is declining. Stay here and let your heart be merry, and tomorrow you can go on your way early and go to your tent.”
 

10But the man would not stay that night, but rose up and departed and arrived at a place opposite Jebus (which is Jerusalem) and with him were a pair of loaded donkeys, and his concubine was with him.
  11When they were by Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his lord, “Please now, let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites and spend the night in it.”
 

12But his lord said to him, “We will not turn aside into the foreign city that is not of the children of Israel, but we will go on to Gibeah.”
  13So he said to his servant, “Come and let us draw near to one of these places and spend the night in Gibeah or in Ramah.”
  14So they passed on and went their way, and the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.
  15And they turned aside there to go in and to spend the night in Gibeah, and he went in and sat down in the open square of the city. But no one took them into his house to spend the night.
 

16And behold, in the evening an old man came from his work, from the field, and the man was from the hill country of Ephraim. He was living in Gibeah even though the men of the place were Benjamites.
  17And he lifted up his eyes and saw the man, the traveler, in the town square, and the old man said, “Where are you going? And where did you come from?”
 

18And he said to him, “We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote hill country of Ephraim. I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem in Judah. I am going to the house of Yahweh, but no one has taken me into his house.
  19Yet there is both straw and feed for our donkeys, and there is bread and wine for me and for your female servant and for the young man who is with your servants. There is no lack of anything.”
 

20And the old man said, “Peace be to you; but let whatever you lack be on me, only do not spend the night in the square.”
  21So he brought him into his house and gave the donkeys food. And they washed their feet and ate and drank.
  22As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, surrounded the house. They kept beating on the door, and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came into your house so that we can know him sexually!”
 

23But the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house do not do this disgraceful folly.
  24Behold, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Abuse them and do with them whatever is good in your eyes, but do not do to this man any such disgraceful folly.”
 

25And the men did not want to listen to him, but the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them, outside, and they knew her sexually and abused her all night until the morning, and they sent her away when the day began to dawn.
  26And toward the morning, the woman made her way back and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, and remained there until it was light.
 

27And her lord rose up in the morning, and he opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way. And behold, the woman, his concubine, was fallen down at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold!
  28And he said to her, “Get up! Let’s go!” But there was no answer. Then he put her up on the donkey, and the man arose and went to his place.
 

29And he came into his house, and he took a knife and laid hold of his concubine and divided her, limb by limb, into 12 pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.
  30And it came to pass that all who saw it said, “Never has been and never has been seen, anything like this from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day! Consider it, take counsel, and speak up.”
 


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