MLToday: [Judges Chapter Nineteen]: When Insensitivity Leads to Travesty. In going through the bible chapter by chapter you don’t have the luxury of bypassing uncomfortable passages as is so common in our pulpits today. In this passage a Levite, a man of God purchases to himself a sexual slave who is later gang raped in the city of Gibeah. As a result the man dismembers her unconscious body and sends the pieces to the tribes of Israel to provoke a civil war. In all of this the social commentary is that “every man did what was right in his own eyes…” This is much the character of the world today. Is there a higher ethic than personal choice or individual liberty. In this chapter we will consider these thoughts as we study the very uncomfortable narrative of the Levite and his concubine.

[Jdg 19:1-30 KJV] 1 And it came to pass in those days, when [there was] no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. 2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father’s house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. 3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, [and] to bring her again, having his servant 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: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there. 5 And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel’s father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. 6 And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel’s father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. 7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again. 8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart: and the damsel’s father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them. 9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home. 10 But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which [is] Jerusalem; and [there were] with him two asses saddled, his concubine also [was] with him.

The three remaining chapters of Judges convey a very sad event in the history of the nation of Israel. The city of Gibeah resorts to the character of Sodom and come out against a Levite, a stranger in their city. The Levite sends word throughout the land of what transpires and the tribe of Benjamin stands up to defend Gibeah. As a result the other tribes provoke civil war and come very close to wiping out the tribe of Benjamin to the point of extinction. Again as in the case of Jael, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, and Micah, events that transpire in the boundaries of a personal life or family explode to nationwide dimensions and influence the history of God’s people for generations. You can never take for granted the insignificance of your actions even in the privacy of your own home. You have more influence than you know. The movers and shakers in society are not always the people on the world scene who have instantly recognizable faces. The world has created a political and media machine in the western world whereby influence can be generated without integrity, character or deference to God. However God has a ways and means committee in action to turn the fate of our nations through miniscule and seemingly insignificant people and situations.

In this passage a Levite who chooses to own a concubine has difficulty with her because she is unfaithful. A concubine is defined as a woman in a long-term sexual relationship outside of marriage with a financial motive involved. So there are obvious issues involved here for the Levite who is supposed to be a man of God who objectifies a woman in a sexual relationship and then is chagrined when she displays herself to be unfaithful in an unfaithful relationship.

The first verse repeats again the cultural commentary that “… in those days there was no king in Israel…” to explain why things go so terribly awry in the story recounted. This is an indictment against God. In the time of the judges God intended the people to be governed in a theocracy involving the priesthood, the prophets and deliverers such as Gideon, Samson, etc., that would be raised up from time to time. When a king is finally granted them 1 Sam. 12:8 tells us that from God’s standpoint in choosing a king the people reject God himself. So in making the comment that they needed a king to avoid such things they are in effect saying they need to reject God because submitting to God’s government is causing the obnoxious problems their society is plagued with.

The Levite with the concubine seeks her out and restores her to himself. He makes as though to return to his home but the father of the concubine begs him to stay over all night (hoping to save face for his disobedient daughter). The Levite declines and begins his journey home.

11 [And] when they [were] by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it. 12 And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that [is] not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah. 13 And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, 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 [belongeth] to Benjamin. 15 And they turned aside thither, to go in [and] to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for [there was] no man that took them into his house to lodging. 16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which [was] also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place [were] Benjamites. 17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou? 18 And he said unto him, We [are] passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence [am] I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I [am now] going to the house of the LORD; and there [is] no man that receiveth me to house. 19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man [which is] with thy servants: [there is] no want of any thing. 20 And the old man said, Peace [be] with thee; howsoever [let] all thy wants [lie] upon me; only lodge not in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. 22 [Now] as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, [and] beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

The Levite continues his journey but declines to stay in Jerusalem because he doesn’t want to stay in the city of a stranger. Jerusalem during this time was also called Jebus for the Jebusites ruled there because the tribe of Benjamin hadn’t conquered them as yet. As a result the Levite is prevailed upon by a fellow Israelite to lodge in the city of Gibeah. While there the men of Gibeah following the example of Sodom beat on the door and demand the Levite to be surrendered to them so they can gang rape and abuse him.

Here we see the consequence of unbridled personal liberty without spiritual accountability. Personal liberty is the highest and most valued ethic in the western world at this time. Individual rights eclipse social and spiritual responsibility. In the absence of accountability, liberty becomes license. In governing the people by His Spirit God’s intention was never that every man do what was right in his own eyes. Spiritual values and accountability to God took a back seat because of an apparent viewpoint arising from situational ethics and subjective ideas of right and wrong. In that social environment it no longer matters what is right because right and wrong are subjective based upon personal opinion and preference. As a result great harm is done both to individuals and the fabric of society.

23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, [nay], I pray you, do not [so] wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. 24 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. 25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door 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 doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down [at] the door of the house, and her hands [were] upon the threshold. 28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her [up] upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. 29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, [together] with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. 30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, 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: consider of it, take advice, and speak [your minds].

To save his own skin the Levite delivers his concubine to the rape gang of Gibeonites outside his door. What a shocking insensitivity. After being abused all night long she crawls back to the man’s house and collapses at the door. You can’t think that they were all inside sleeping so peacefully that they didn’t realize she was there. In the morning the man walks out and demands her to her feet without showing the slightest concern for her condition. He helps her finally onto her ass and takes her home. Many scholars claim at this point the woman is dead but there is no reference to that here. In fact many Jewish scholars and Christian scholars as well paint this man as a justly wronged Levite who boldly called upon the nation to right a wrong. Closer examination shows that the Levite was a cold and insensitive man who with malice dismembers this unconscious woman and sends pieces of her body to the 11 tribes of Israel to provoke them to war against the tribe of Benjamin.

For me this is one of the most astonishing passages in the bible. In the next few chapters we will see that tens of thousands of men die because of the act of vengeance provoke by the Levite’s brutality. Where did it all begin? With a selfish choice of purchasing a woman for sexual gratification as a concubine. Personal choices often have consequences far beyond the immediate situations or circumstances. Where was God in all of this? At Shiloh. Shiloh is the place of tranquility. At Shiloh the glory still shined between the cherubim of the ark of the covenant and the sacrifice and consecration offerings could still be offered. We can choose to embroil our lives in selfish personal choices, or in obnoxious and shocking events on the national or world scene – or we can return to Shiloh and put our attention upon the government of God that was superintended by the glory between the cherubim.

Get the Daily Prophetic Word in Paperback – OUR LATEST TITLE: The Father Says Today Vol. IV – Click Here

Explore all of Prophet Walden’s Titles on – Click Here

ALSO: The Digital Download of 5 hours of Prophetic Soaking with Prophet Russ Walden – Click Here

Show your support for the Daily Prophetic Word::

With a One Time Donation:

Or You Can Partner with a a Monthly Donation

To Mail a Donation our Address is:
Father’s Heart Ministry
P.O. Box 1915
Branson, Missouri 65615

To Phone in a Donation or to Contact Our Office: 417-593-9802


Leave a Reply