Judges 19:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 19:15, NIV: There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.

Judges 19:15, ESV: and they turned aside there, to go in and spend the night at Gibeah. And he went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night.

Judges 19:15, KJV: 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.

Judges 19:15, NASB: They turned aside there to enter and spend the night in Gibeah. When they entered, they sat down in the public square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night.

Judges 19:15, NLT: so they stopped there to spend the night. They rested in the town square, but no one took them in for the night.

Judges 19:15, CSB: 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.

What does Judges 19:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The sun has already set as the Levite, with his servant and concubine and two donkeys, arrives in Gibeah to spend the night. They are on their way from Bethlehem to Ephraim and plan to be gone in the morning (Judges 19:9–14). The Levite decided not to stop for the night in Jebus, which at that time was controlled by non-Israelis (Judges 1:21). Either he felt hospitality would not be offered, or that they would be in real danger. It's also possible the Levite simply objected to staying with Gentiles.

Instead, he continued a few more hours, after dark, to a town populated by fellow Israelites. As it happens, nobody in Gibeah offered these strangers any hospitality, at all, even though they are also Israelites. This is a subtle, chilling warning that Gibeah is not as safe a place as the Levite had assumed it to be.

The Levite and his party give up and sit down in the city square, which would have been located just inside the gates of the city. Spending the night in the city square would have been both uncomfortable and unsafe. Travelers would be exposed to the weather, as well as to those with criminal motives. It would be less dangerous than camping in open terrain, however.