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Judges 19Amplified Bible (AMP)

A Levite’s Concubine Degraded

19 Now it happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that a certain Levite living [as an alien] in the most remote part of the hill country of Ephraim, who took a [a]concubine for himself from Bethlehem in Judah. But his concubine was unfaithful to him, and left him and went to her father’s house in Bethlehem of Judah, and stayed there for a period of four months. Then her husband arose and went after her to speak kindly and tenderly to her in order to bring her back, taking with him his servant and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him into her father’s house, and when the father of the girl saw him, he was happy to meet him. So his father-in-law, the girl’s father, detained him; and he stayed there with him for three days. So they ate and drank, and he lodged there. On the fourth day they got up early in the morning, and the Levite prepared to leave; but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen yourself with a piece of bread, and afterward go your way.” So both men sat down and ate and drank together; and the girl’s father said to the man, “Please be willing to spend the night and enjoy yourself.” Then the man got up to leave, but his father-in-law urged him [strongly to remain]; so he spent the night there again. On the fifth day he got up early in the morning to leave, but the girl’s father said, “Please strengthen yourself, and wait until the end of the day.” So both of them ate. When the man and his concubine and his servant got up to leave, his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said to him, “Behold, now the day has drawn to a close; please spend the night. Look, now the day comes to an end; spend the night here and celebrate, enjoy yourself. Then tomorrow you may get up early for your journey and go [b]home.”

10 But the man was not willing to stay the night; so he got up and left and came to a place opposite Jebus (that is Jerusalem). With him were two saddled donkeys [and his servant] and his concubine. 11 When they were near Jebus, the day was almost gone, and the servant said to his master, “Please come and let us turn aside into this Jebusite city and spend the night in it.” 12 But his master said to him, “We will not turn aside into a city of foreigners who are not of the sons (descendants) of Israel. We will go on as far as Gibeah.” 13 And he said to his servant, “Come and let us approach one of these places: and we will spend the night in Gibeah or in Ramah.” 14 So they passed by and went on their way, and the sun set on them near Gibeah, which belongs to [the tribe of] Benjamin, 15 and they turned aside there to go in and spend the night in Gibeah. And the Levite went in and sat down in the open square of the city, because no man invited them into his house to spend the night.

16 Then behold, there was an old man who was coming out of the field from his work at evening. He was from the hill country of Ephraim but was staying in Gibeah, and the men of the place were sons (descendants) of Benjamin. 17 When he looked up, he saw the traveler [and his companions] in the city square; and the old man said, “Where are you going, and where do you come from?” 18 The Levite replied, “We are passing through from Bethlehem [in the territory] of Judah to the most remote part of the hill country of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem of Judah, but I am now going [home] to my house, and there is no man [in the city] who will take me into his house [for the night]. 19 Yet we have both straw and feed for our donkeys, and also bread and wine for me, and for [c]your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servant; there is no lack of anything.” 20 Then the old man said, “Peace be to you. Only leave all your needs to me; and do not spend the night in the open square.” 21 So he brought him into his house and fed the donkeys; and they washed their feet and ate and drank.

22 While they were [d]celebrating, behold, men of the city, certain worthless and evil men, surrounded the house, pounding on the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house so that we may have relations with him.” 23 Then the man, the master of the house, went out and said to them, “No, my fellow citizens, please do not act so wickedly. Since this man has come to my house [as my guest], do not commit this sacrilege. 24 Here is my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine. I will bring them out now; abuse and humiliate them and do to them [e]whatever you want, but do not commit this act of [f]sacrilege against this man.” 25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took the Levite’s concubine and brought her outside to them; and they had relations with her and abused her all night until morning; and when daybreak came, they let her go. 26 [g]At daybreak the woman came and collapsed at the door of the man’s house where her master was, until it was [fully] light.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, he saw his concubine lying at the door of the house, and her hands were on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up, and let us go.” But there was no answer [for she had died]. Then he put her [body] on the donkey; and the man left and went home. 29 When he arrived at his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his [dead] concubine, he cut her [corpse] limb by limb into twelve pieces, and sent her [body parts] throughout all the territory of Israel. 30 All who saw the dismembered parts said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day that the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel, and speak [your minds]!”

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 19:1 I.e. a type of secondary or inferior “wife” (often a slave), much lower in rank than the official wife who managed the household and gave birth to the “legitimate” children. Concubines had marginal rights to financial support and recognition. Their children were usually acknowledged as offspring of the man, but were of lower status than the children born to the official wife.
  2. Judges 19:9 Lit to your tent.
  3. Judges 19:19 I.e. the concubine.
  4. Judges 19:22 Lit treating their hearts well.
  5. Judges 19:24 Lit what is good in your eyes.
  6. Judges 19:24 I.e. despicable sin.
  7. Judges 19:26 Lit At the turning of the morning.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Judges 19New International Version (NIV)

A Levite and His Concubine

19 In those days Israel had no king.

Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.

On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself. And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.

Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.

11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”

12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.

16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”

18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”

20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 19:18 Hebrew, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum; Septuagint going home
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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