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JUDGES SERIES – CHAPTER 19 (THE LEVITE)

September 22, 2018

Similar to Judges chapter 17 this chapter is believed to have taken place during the time of the earlier judges when there was no king in Israel, thus sin and moral laxity prevailed.

This chapter tells the story of a Levite and his concubine who resided in Mount Ephraim. Accordingly, there was some type of disagreement, and the concubine returned to her father’s home in Bethlehem-judah for four months. Missing her the Levite journeyed to Bethlehem-judah in hopes of getting his concubine to return home with him, and when he arrived her father was happy that the Levite came with plans of reconciliation. After three days of family fellowship, the father was able to persuade the Levite to spend an additional two days prior to their return home.

The Levite, concubine and his servant who accompanied the Levite on this trip started their journey home in the afternoon of the fifth day which caused them to travel into the evening while passing towns inhabited by pagans. When they arrived in Gibeah which belong to the tribe of Benjamin, they found no place to lodge or hospitable welcome from its’ residence until an elderly man from Mount Ephraim who lived in Gibeah cordially invited them to stay with him for the night.

While they were eating and exchanging pleasantries the wicked men of the town gathered around the elderly man’s home and said, “Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him,” but the man protested and said, “Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. 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.”

When the men of the town rejected the offer of the elderly man, the Levite forced his concubine to go outside and be subject to the sexual abuse of the wicked men. Finally, after having their way with the concubine all night, they let her go, and she was able to make it back to the elderly man’s home where she died outside the door with her hands stretched out upon the threshold.

The next morning when the Levite got up and was leaving he saw the concubine lying on the ground, and he said to her, “Up, and let us be going,” but when she did not respond he perceived she was dead. Thus, he put her corpse on an ass and carried her home, and upon arrival, he took a knife and divided her into twelve pieces, and sent the pieces into all the coasts of Israel for the people to consider, take advice, and speak their minds. Consequently, when the Israel tribesmen received the dismembered pieces of the concubine in horror, they proclaimed, “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.”

Conclusion: In the time of the judges, concubines were considered a secondary wife; however, this chapter does not speak of a union between the Levite and another woman (primary wife). The reason why he took a concubine is not recorded.

Commentators believe the expression, “played the whore” means the concubine had a disagreement with the Levite and not committed adultery because he would not seek reconciliation with her if she had committed this act.

Reminiscent of days of Lot where the inhabitants of Sodom practiced sodomy, the wicked Benjamite men have resorted to this act which God instructed the Israelites was an abomination (Lev. 18:22; 20:13)

Hospitality was highly regarded and known to be one of the sacred laws in the East; however, the offering of virgin daughters and another man’s woman to be sexually assaulted to protect a visiting male displayed the low esteem that was prevalent during that time for women

This text implied that the Levite lacked chivalry, was a coward and gave no thought for the welfare of his concubine. It showed he apparently slept while she was being abused, got up in the morning expecting to go home without her, and when he saw her he did not inquire about her state of being but callously addressed her.

Spiritual Application: Don’t enter into a relationship where you have all the responsibilities but no rights.

Being around relatives does not mean you are in a safe environment.

A Rhema word can be found in the mouth of a servant.

Be hospitable.

Understand the enemy is after the head and he seeks to pervert headship.

Men are to be protectors of their family and not cowards.

When traveling know where you are going and lodge in safe environments.

Accept responsibility for your actions.

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From → JUDGES SERIES

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