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Judges 19:20

ESV And the old man said, “Peace be to you; I will care for all your wants. Only, do not spend the night in the square.”
NIV You are welcome at my house,' the old man said. 'Let me supply whatever you need. Only don't spend the night in the square.'
NASB Then the old man said, 'Peace to you. Only let me take care of all your needs; however, do not spend the night in the public square.'
CSB "Welcome! " said the old man. "I'll take care of everything you need. Only don't spend the night in the square."
NLT You are welcome to stay with me,' the old man said. 'I will give you anything you might need. But whatever you do, don’t spend the night in the square.'
KJV And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.

What does Judges 19:20 mean?

The Levite (Judges 19:10) has explained his circumstances to an old man who has asked how he and his companions came to be sitting in the city square of Gibeah after dark (Judges 19:11–17). They need only a place to sleep for the night, but nobody has offered them the customary hospitality of the times (Judges 19:18–19). This is a subtle, early sign that Gibeah is not as safe as the Levite expected it to be.

The old man greets them with the words "peace be to you," officially welcoming them to the town. Despite the group having more than enough provisions, the old man offers to care for all their needs. He seems insistent that they do not remain out in the square into the night. While he does not say so, the man likely knows exactly why nobody in town offered a place to stay. He may be the only hope they have to pass the night in safety.

His appeal parallels that of Lot, who probably recognized similar danger and wanted to help a pair of travelers he met in Sodom (Genesis 19:2–7). What happens in Gibeah, tragically, will parallel that event (Judges 19:22). This further reflects how far into sin and lawlessness God's people had sunk during their earliest years in the Promised Land (Judges 2:16–19; 21:25).
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