¶ 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.
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.
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.
| 1 -
In those days This chapter and the next describe the early history
of the tribe of Benjamin.
1 - No king in Israel Law and order bring prosperity and peace but God's plan was not that His people should be directed by a human monarch 1sa0807. The Lord would lead them personally.
1 - Concubine Abraham followed the customs of the times in taking Hagar as a second wife but this was not God's plan as we can see in the story of the two women. See ge16. Concubines were certainly not in the divine plan.
2 - Played the whore That is, became a prostitute. Some manuscripts indicate instead that she was angry with him but the Hebrew as translated here is best.
3 - Speak friendly Or "speak to her heart."
| 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.
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.
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.
7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.
|4 - Retained him The woman's father was apparently not eager for the couple to leave.|
| 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.
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.
.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.
|10 - Jebus The older name of the home of the Jebusites.|
| 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
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.
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.
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.
.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.
|12 - Gibeah See map, north of Jerusalem.|
¶ 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.
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?
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 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.
20 And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.
21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.
¶ 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.
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.
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.
- Making their hearts merry The greater sin may have been in turning
their minds over to alcohol.
22 - Sons of Belial Or "Sons of worthlessness." The name was later used to describe Satan 2co0615.
22 - Beset the house The scene is detestable. Compare ge1908. See ho0909, ho1009.
| 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.
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.
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.
|25 - Took Literally, "sieze" or "take by force."|
| 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.
.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.
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.
|30 - No such deed Enough to enflame the whole nation.|