Judges 19:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 19:3, NIV: her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents' home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.

Judges 19:3, ESV: Then her husband arose and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back. He had with him his servant and a couple of donkeys. And she brought him into her father’s house. And when the girl’s father saw him, he came with joy to meet him.

Judges 19:3, KJV: 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.

Judges 19:3, NASB: Then her husband set out and went after her to speak gently to her in order to bring her back, taking with him his servant and a pair of donkeys. And she brought him into her father’s house, and when the girl’s father saw him, he was glad to meet him.

Judges 19:3, NLT: her husband set out for Bethlehem to speak personally to her and persuade her to come back. He took with him a servant and a pair of donkeys. When he arrived at her father's house, her father saw him and welcomed him.

Judges 19:3, CSB: Then her husband got up and followed her to speak kindly to her and bring her back. He had his servant with him and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him to her father's house, and when the girl's father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.

What does Judges 19:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Four months have passed since a Levite's concubine left him in Ephraim and returned to her family in Bethlehem (Judges 19:1–2). She had been unfaithful to him, most likely in the sense of adultery, but perhaps simply in the sense of running away. Given the customary role of concubines in that era, she may have been much younger than him.

It's possible she made no announcement as to where she was going, so the Levite didn't immediately realize she had abandoned him. Perhaps he waited for her to return on her own. Perhaps he had other duties—even other wives and concubines—and was in no hurry to retrieve her. Whatever the reason, the Levite arrives at her father's home after a long delay. He comes with a servant and two donkeys. He intends to speak kindly to her, put the past behind them, and bring her back home.

The passage makes it appear the Levite's intentions are good; he seems loving and accepting of the concubine. The young woman seems glad to see her husband. She invites him into her father's house, and her father is clearly glad the Levite has come back. Both the concubine and her father may have worried that the Levite would not want her back after she had run away from him.