Judges 19:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 19:17, NIV: When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, 'Where are you going? Where did you come from?'

Judges 19:17, ESV: And he lifted up his eyes and saw the traveler in the open square of the city. And the old man said, “Where are you going? And where do you come from?”

Judges 19:17, KJV: 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?

Judges 19:17, NASB: And he raised his eyes and saw the traveler in the public square of the city; and the old man said, 'Where are you going, and where do you come from?'

Judges 19:17, NLT: When he saw the travelers sitting in the town square, he asked them where they were from and where they were going.

Judges 19:17, CSB: 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? "

What does Judges 19:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The sun has set, and the Levite finds himself sitting in the city square of the town of Gibeah. He has arrived to spend the night with his concubine and servant and two donkeys (Judges 19:10–14). The man insisted they come here, despite it being dark, rather than staying in a Gentile city. Strangely, none of the town's Israelite people, of the tribe of Benjamin, have offered the Levite the customary hospitality expected in this time. This is the first grim hint that all is not well, or safe, in Gibeah.

Now an old man has come back into the city late in the evening. He has been working in the fields. He is an Ephraimite and not from Gibeah. He sees the Levite and his travelling companions in the city square and asks about their journey They don't know it, yet, but he has reason to be concerned for their welfare. He will insist they avoid the square overnight. This is a close parallel to Lot's plea to the angels he met in Sodom (Genesis 19:2–7), and this old man likely has the same concern in mind (Judges 19:22).