Judges 19

The Levite and his concubine
19:1-30, Cf. Gen 19

19:1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

19:2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.

(19:1-2) There was a certain Levite who had a concubine, who "played the whore" by running away to her father's house.

19:3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

(19:3) So the Levite travelled to her father's house to "speak friendly to her" and retrieve her. When he arrived, her father rejoiced and greeted him warmly.

19:4 And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

(19:4) The Levite stayed three days, eating and drinking and having a gay old time.

19:5 And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.

19:6 And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.

(19:5-6) On the fourth day, the Levite decided to leave, but his concubine's father talked him out of it, suggesting that they eat, drink, and be merry again for just one more night.

19:7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.

(19:7) The next day, when they Levite rose to depart, his father in law talked him out of it again. So he stayed there another night.

19:8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them.

(19:8) On the morning of the fifth day, the Levite tried to leave again, but his host insisted he stay a bit longer and eat a bit more.

19:9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.

(19:9-14) Finally, though his host begged him to party with him one more night, the Levite, his two asses, and his concubine departed for the city of Gibeah, "which belonged to Benjamin."

19:10 But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

19:11 And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

19:12 And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah.

19:13 And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.

19:14 And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

The man ... rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus ... his concubine also was with him.

(Yes, Homer, Jebus is in the Bible!)

19:15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.

(19:15-21) When they arrived in Gibeah, the Levite decided to camp out in the street, since there was no room in the inn. But an old man saw them and insisted that they stay with him. So they went ot the old man's house, where they washed their feet, ate, and drank.

19:16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.

19:17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?

19:18 And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house.

19:19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.

19:20 And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.

19:21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.

19:22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

19:23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

(19:22) As they were making their hearts merry, the men of Gibeah (certain sons of Belial)knocked on the door, asking the old man to bring out the man that was visiting so that they could "know him."

(Can't you just picture it? All the men of a city come to a house and demand to have sex with the new guy in town.)

Strange Flesh: The Levite's concubine

19:24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

(19:24) So what did the host do when he answered the door? Well, he offered the mob his virgin daughter (and his guest's concubine), of course! It's the polite thing to do. (And the biblically correct thing to do, as well. See Gen 19:8.)

19:25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

19:26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light.

(19:25-27) But the men didn't want the host's virgin daughter, so the Levite gave them his concubine instead.

The men raped her all night; the next morning, she came back to the house and collapsed at the door.

19:27 And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

19:28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.

(19:27-28) The Levite opened the door, saw the concubine lying there, and told her to get up. But she didn't answer. So he put her on his donkey and went home.

19:29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

19:30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

(19:29) When the Levite arrived home, he cut his concubine into twelve pieces and sent one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Now that is a strange way to send a message! Someone from each tribe of Israel got a rotting piece of flesh in the mail. What were they supposed to make of that? (Oh, look Martha, here's a stinking hunk of putrefied abdomen that arrived in the mail parcel post!)