Judges 19

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Last week on Saviors that fail: The Danites were disobedient to God and found a new home up north, and hired a Levite to be their pagan priest. They are not among the 144,000 in Revelation 7. This week on Saviors that fail: The rape scene in this chapter is among the most grotesque and sickening in the book, if not in the entire Scripture. Isreal is now worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. Application →Think it over, discuss it, speak up! How you treat the least of these is how you treat God. .... And will someone finally tell Spain about the Light of the world??? Judges 19 (CSB) Outrage in Benjamin 19 In those days, when there In those days when there was no king in Israel 17:6 introduces this phrase, followed by “and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” In 18:1, this phrase is followed by “the Danite tribe was looking for territory.” What happens in 19:1? was no king in Israel, a Levite staying in a remote part of the hill country of Ephraim acquired a woman from Bethlehem in Judah as his concubine. 2 But she was unfaithful to him and left him for her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah. She was there for four months. 3 Then her husband got up and followed her to speak kindly to her and bring her back. He had his servant “Concubine” is a word not used in the Torah, which gave wives certain rights and protections. To get around those laws, men would remove the word “wife” and replace it with “concubine”, a type of wife with no rights. While the law did not forbid multiple wives, it did for Levites, who were to model marriage. with him and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him to her father’s house, and when the girl’s father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the girl’s Unfaithful: This term does not always father, detained him, and imply sexual unfaithfulness. It may he stayed with him for only mean she ran away. We don’t three days. They ate, know either way. drank, and spent the nights there. 5 On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning and The last story was about a Levite leaving Bethlehem. I wonder if that’s important? prepared to go, but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Have something to eat to keep up your strength and Hospitality Middle Eastern hospitality is in full swing at the father-inlaw’s house. But is there an secret motive? Compare this hospitality with what is to come. then you can go.” 6 So they sat down and the two of them ate and drank together. Then the girl’s father said to the man, “Please agree to stay overnight and enjoy yourself.” 7 The man got up to go, but his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed and spent the night there again. 8 He got up early in the morning of the fifth day to leave, but the girl’s father said to him, “Please keep up your strength.” So they waited until late afternoon and the two of them ate. 9 The man got up to go with his concubine and his servant, when his fatherin-law, the girl’s father, said to him, “Look, night is coming. Please spend the night. See, the day is almost over. Spend the night here, enjoy yourself, then you can get up early tomorrow for your journey and go home.” 10 But the man was unwilling to spend the night. He got up, departed, and arrived opposite Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). The man had his two saddled Jebus We are reminded from the beginning of Judges that the Benjaminites did not obey and conquer Jerusalem. David would do it a century later. donkeys and his concubine with him. 11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Please, why not let us stop at this Jebusite city and spend the night here?” 12 But his master replied to him, “We will not stop at a foreign city where there are no Israelites. Let’s move on to Gibeah.” 13 “Come on,” he said, So far, the Israelites are just as bad as the Levite feared the Canaanites would be . . . “let’s try to reach one of these places and spend the night in Gibeah or Ramah.” 14 So they continued on their journey, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 They stopped to go in and spend the night in Gibeah. The Levite went in and sat down in the city square, but no one took them into their home to spend the night. 16 In the evening, an old man came in from his work in the field. He was from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was residing in Gibeah where the people were Benjaminites. 17 When he looked up and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going, and where do you come from?” 18 He answered him, “We’re traveling from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote hill country of Ephraim, where I am from. I went to Bethlehem in Judah, and now I’m going to the house of the LORD. No one has taken me into his home, 19 although there’s straw and feed for the donkeys, and I have bread and wine for me, my concubine, and the servant with us. There is nothing we lack.” 20 “Welcome!”Lit.Peacebeuponyou said the old man. “I’ll take care of everything you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he brought him to his house and fed the donkeys. Then they washed their feet and ate and drank. 22 While they were enjoying themselves, all of a sudden, wicked men of the city surrounded the house and beat on the door. They said to the old man who was the owner of the house, “Bring out the man who Sodom and Gomorrah The story about the Levite in Gibeah mirrors the story of Lot in Sodom . . . until the Levite acts. The comparison is clear: Israel is just as bad a Sodom, and worse! came to your house so we can have sex with him!” 23 The owner of the house went out and said to them, “Please don’t do this evil, my brothers. After all, this man has come into my house. Don’t commit this horrible outrage. 24 Here, let me bring out my virgin daughter and the man’s concubine now. Abuse them and do whatever you wantLit.dowhatisrightinyoureyes to them. But don’t commit this outrageous thing against this man.” The owner of the house puts his own pride to honor guests over his obligation as a father. He makes the worst possible statement. 25 But the men would not listen to him, so the man seized his concubine and took her outside to them. They raped her and abused her all night until morning. At daybreak they let her goLit.discard. 26 Early that morning, the woman made her way back, and as it was getting light, she collapsed at the doorway of the man’s house where her master was. “rape”, “abuse”, and “discard” each and all make this crime unspeakable 27 When her master got up in the morning, opened the doors of the house, and went out to leave on his journey, there was the woman, his concubine, collapsed near the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28 “Get The callousness that the Levite shows to his concubine in the morning (not the “early” morning as before), compounds his betrayal of her. Did she die clinging to the door? Or did the Levite kill her later? The text leaves us wondering. Abandoned by her father, thrown to dogs by her husband, brutalized, then disrespected and mutilated, the young woman suffers the fate that Israel deserved. Her life displays the top to bottom corruption in Israel. up,” he told her. “Let’s go.” But there was no response. So the man put her on his donkey and set out for home. 29 When he entered his house, he picked up a knife, took hold of his concubine, cut her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and then sent her throughout the territory of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or has been seen since the day the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt until now. Think it over, discuss it, and speak up!” Chopping up a bull and sending out pieces of the corpse was an ancient call to arms, “our nation is being destroyed!” See 1 Sam. 11:7 However, doing it to a person was as terrible then as it is now. The Levite treats her as a piece of meat. His knife is a symbol of the covenant chopped to pieces. Like Samson, touching a dead body makes him ritually unclean. But he had stopped keeping the law a long time ago. The Israelites are astonished that nothing like this has happened “since the day the Israelites cam out of the land of Egypt.” Did you catch that? Nothing about the Lord delivering them out of Egypt. The Levite or the author say to “think it over, discuss it, and speak up”? Judges 20 (CSB) War against Benjamin 20 All the Israelites from Dan to Beer-sheba and from the land of “Dan to Beer-Sheba” The rest of the OT often uses this phrase to mean the top to bottom of Israel → Dan the very northernmost city and Beer-Sheba at the very south. We know how Dan got up there from chapter 18. very Gilead: even the Gilead came out, and the community assembled as one body before the LORD at Mizpah. 2 The leaders of all the people and of all the tribes of Israel presented themselves in the assembly western Israelites came, despite chapter 10-11 with Jephthah’s revenge. of God’s people: four hundred thousand armed foot soldiers. 3 The Benjaminites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah. The Israelites asked, “Tell us, how Assembly of God’s people: did this evil act happen?” elsewhere in the Bible this is 4 The Levite, the husband of the a spiritual congregation. This battle is a spiritual decision. murdered woman, answered: “I went to Gibeah in Benjamin with my concubine to spend the night. 5 Citizens of Gibeah came to attack me and surrounded the house at night. They intended to kill me, but they raped my concubine, and she died. 6 Then I took my concubine and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout Israel’s territory, because they have committed a wicked outrage in Israel. 7 Look, all of you are Israelites. Give your judgment and verdict here and now.” The Levite’s speech Did they really try to kill him? Or something else? He sounds very innocent in his speech. He asks Israel for a verdict instead of giving pastoral wisdom. Where are the other Levites? Is the priesthood worthless? 8 Then all the people stood united and said, “None of us will go to his tent or return to his house. 9 Now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will attack it. By lot 10 we will take ten men out of every hundred from all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred out of every thousand, and one thousand out of every ten thousand to get provisions for the troops when they go to Gibeah in Benjamin to punish them for all the outrage they committed in Israel.” 11 So all the men of Israel gathered united against the city. 12 Then the tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What is this evil act that has happened among you? 13 Hand over the wicked men in Gibeah so we can put them to death and eradicate evil from Israel.” But the Benjaminites would not listen to their fellow Israelites. 14 Instead, the Benjaminites gathered together from their cities to Gibeah to go out and fight against the Israelites. 15 On that day the Benjaminites mobilized twenty-six thousand armed men from their cities, besides seven hundred fit young men rallied by the inhabitants of Gibeah. 16 There were seven hundred fit young men who were left-handed among all these troops; all could sling a stone at a hair and not miss. 17 The Israelites, apart from Benjamin, mobilized four hundred thousand armed men, every one an experienced warrior. 18 They set out, went to Bethel, and inquired of God. The Israelites asked, “Who is to go first to fight for us against the Benjaminites?” And the LORD answered, “Judah will be first.”
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