19 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that a certain Levite, sojourning on the further side of mount Ephraim, took him a concubine out of Bethlehem-Judah.
2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him to her father's house to Bethlehem-Judah, and was there some time,—four months.
3 And her husband rose up and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again; and his servant was 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.
4 And his father-in-law, the damsel's father, retained him, and he abode with him three days; and they ate and drank, and lodged there.
5 And it came to pass on the fourth day, that they arose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart; and the damsel's father said to his son-in-law, Refresh thy heart with a morsel of bread, and afterwards ye may go your way.
6 And they sat down, and ate and drank, both of them together. And the damsel's father said to the man, Be content, I pray thee, and pass the night, and let thy heart be glad.
7 And the man rose up to depart, but his father-in-law urged him, and he lodged there again.
8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; but the damsel's father said, Refresh thy heart, I pray thee. And they lingered until the afternoon, and they did eat both of them.
9 And the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant; and his father-in-law, the damsel's father, said to him, Behold now, the day draws toward evening—I pray you stay all night; behold, the day is declining, lodge here, and let thy heart be merry; and to-morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go to thy tent.
10 But the man would not tarry the night; and he rose up and departed, and came opposite to Jebus, that is, Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, and his concubine was with him.
11 They were near Jebus, and the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.
12 But his master said to him, We will not turn aside into the city of a stranger, which is not of the children of Israel, but we will pass on to Gibeah.
13 And he said to his servant, Come and let us draw near to one of these places, and lodge 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 belongs to Benjamin.
15 And they turned aside thither, to go in, to lodge in Gibeah. And he went in, and sat down in the open place of the city; and there was no one that received him into his house to pass the night.
16 And behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even; and the man was of mount Ephraim, and he sojourned in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjaminites.
17 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the open place of the city; and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?
18 And he said to him, We are travelling from Bethlehem-Judah towards the further side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I; and I went to Bethlehem-Judah, and I have to do with the house of Jehovah; and there is no man that receives me into his house.
19 And we have both straw and provender for our asses; and I have bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man with thy servants: there is no lack of anything.
20 Then the old man said, Peace be with thee; only let all thy wants lie on me; but lodge not in the street.
21 And he brought him into his house, and gave the asses provender; and they washed their feet, and ate and drank.
22 They were making their hearts merry, when behold, the men of the city, sons of Belial, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thy house, that we may know him.
23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, No, my brethren, I pray you, do not wickedly; seeing that this man is come into my house, do not this villany.
24 Behold, my daughter, who is a virgin, and his concubine; let me bring them out, and humble ye them, and do to them as is good in your sight; but to this man do not so vile a thing.
25 But the men would not hearken to him; and the man took his concubine, and brought her forth to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning; and let her go when the morning-dawn arose.
26 And the woman came at the dawning of the day, and fell down at the entrance 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 door of the house, and went out to go his way, and behold, there lay the woman his concubine at the entrance of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
28 And he said to her, Up, and let us go; but no one answered. And he took her upon the ass; and the man rose up, and went to his place.
29 And when he was come into his house, he took the knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, according to her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the borders of Israel.
30 And it came to pass that every one that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came out of Egypt to this day. Think it over, advise, and speak.
New International Version
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(A) took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.(B) 2 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, 3 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. 4 His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking,(C) and sleeping there.
5 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(D) with something to eat; then you can go.” 6 So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.(E)” 7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. 8 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.
9 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(F) (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(G) 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(H) and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin.(I) 15 There they stopped to spend the night.(J) They went and sat in the city square,(K) but no one took them in for the night.
16 That evening(L) an old man from the hill country of Ephraim,(M) 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?”(N)
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](O) No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder(P) for our donkeys(Q) and bread and wine(R) 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.(S)
22 While they were enjoying themselves,(T) some of the wicked men(U) 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.(V)”
23 The owner of the house went outside(W) and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing.(X) 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter,(Y) 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(Z) and abused her(AA) 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(AB) and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.(AC) 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.(AD) Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!(AE)”
- Judges 19:18 Hebrew, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum; Septuagint going home