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Shofetim 19 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

19 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no melech in Yisroel, that there was a certain Levi sojourning in the remote har Ephrayim country, who took to him a pilegesh out of Beit-Lechem Yehudah.

And his pilegesh played the zonah against him, and went away from him unto her bais av to Beit-Lechem Yehudah, and was there four whole months.

And her ish arose, and went after her, to speak unto her lev, and to bring her back, having his na’ar (servant) with him, and a couple of donkeys; and she brought him into her bais av; and when the avi hana’arah saw him, he had simcha to welcome him.

And his khoten (father-inlaw), the avi hana’arah, held him fast; and he abode with him shloshet yamim; so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the boker, that he rose up to depart; the avi hana’arah said unto his choson (sonin-law), Refresh thine lev with a morsel of lechem, and afterward go your way.

And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together; for the avi hana’arah had said unto the ish, Be pleased, and tarry all night, and let thine lev be content.

And when the ish rose up to depart, his khoten (fatherin-law) urged him; therefore he lodged there again.

And he arose early in the boker on the yom hachamishi to depart; and the avi hana’arah said, Refresh now thine lev. Tarry till the yom turns [past midday], and they did eat both of them.

And when the ish rose up to depart, he, and his pilegesh, and his na’ar, his khoten (father-in-law), the avi hana’arah, said unto him, Hinei, now the yom draweth toward erev, tarry the night now; hinei, the yom groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine lev may be content; and makhar (tomorrow) get you early on your derech, that thou mayest go to your ohel.

10 But the ish would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came to nokhach (straight before, in the direction of) Yevus, which is Yerushalayim; and there were with him two donkeys saddled, his pilegesh also was with him.

11 And when they were near Yevus, the yom was far spent; and the na’ar said unto his adon, Come, now, and let us turn in into ir haYevusi, and lodge in it.

12 And his adon said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the ir nochri, that is not of the Bnei Yisroel; we will pass over to Giv’ah.

13 And he said unto his na’ar, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Giv’ah, or in Ramah.

14 And they passed on and went their way; and the shemesh went down upon them when they were near Giv’ah, which belongeth to Binyamin.

15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge the night in Giv’ah; and when he went in, he sat him down in the rechov of the ir; for there was no ish that took them into his bais to lodge the night [T.N. See Iyov 31:32 regarding the sin here, made more shameful in that it was committed against a Levi].

16 And, hinei, there came an ish zaken from his work out of the sadeh at erev, and the ish was also from har Ephrayim; and he sojourned in Giv’ah; but the anashim of the place were Bnei Yemini (Benjamites).

17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw haish haoreach (the wayfaring man, traveling man) in the rechov haIr; and the ish hazaken said, Whither goest thou? And whence comest thou?

18 And he said unto him, We are passing from Beit-Lechem Yehudah toward the remote har Ephrayim country; from thence am I; and I went to Beit-Lechem Yehudah, but I am now going to the Bais Hashem [see 18:31]; but there is no ish that receiveth me into the bais.

19 Yet there is both straw and fodder for our donkeys; and there is lechem and yayin also for me, and for thy amah (maidservant), and for the na’ar which is with thy avadim; there is no machsor (want, need) of any thing.

20 And the ish hazaken said, Shalom lach; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the rechov.

21 So he brought him into his bais, and mixed fodder for the donkeys; and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.

22 Now as they were making their hearts content, hinei, the anshei haIr, anshei bnei Beliya’al, surrounded the bais, and pounded incessantly on the delet, and shouted to the ish, the Ba’al HaBayit, the zaken, saying, Bring out the ish that came into thine bais, that we may know him [T.N. a thin line drawn between homosexual rape and murder].

23 And the ish, the Ba’al HaBayit, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, do not so wickedly; seeing that this ish is come into mine bais, do not this nevalah (outrage).

24 Hinei, here is my bat a betulah, and his pilegesh; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth hatov unto your eyes; but unto this ish do not so devar hanevalah (vile, wicked a thing).

25 But the anashim would not pay heed to him; so the ish took his pilegesh, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her kol halailah until the boker; and when the shachar (dawn) came, they let her go.

26 Then came the isha at the break of haboker, and fell down at the petach bais haish where her adon was, ad haohr (until daylight, sunrise).

27 And her adon rose up in the boker, and opened the daletot habais, and stepped out to go on his derech; and, hinei, the isha, his pilegesh, was fallen at the petach habais! And her hands were upon the sahf (threshold).

28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But there was no answer. Then the ish took [the corpse] upon a donkey, and the ish rose up, and set out for his makom (place, home).

29 And when he was come into his bais, he took a ma’akhelet (knife), and laid hold on his pilegesh, and divided her, together with her atzmot, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the territory of Yisroel.

30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the yom that the Bnei Yisroel came up out of Eretz Mitzrayim unto this day; give ye heed unto it, make up your minds [about the punishment], and speak.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

Judges 19 New 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!


  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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