Judges 19:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 19:30, NIV: Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, 'Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!'

Judges 19:30, ESV: And all who saw it said, “Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak.”

Judges 19:30, KJV: 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.

Judges 19:30, NASB: All who saw it said, 'Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, make a plan, and speak up!'

Judges 19:30, NLT: Everyone who saw it said, 'Such a horrible crime has not been committed in all the time since Israel left Egypt. Think about it! What are we going to do? Who's going to speak up?'

Judges 19:30, CSB: Everyone who saw it said, "Nothing like this has ever happened or has been seen since the day the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt until now. Think it over, discuss it, and speak up! "

What does Judges 19:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When trapped by a mob, a traveling Levite coldly forced his concubine outside, where she was brutally raped to death (Judges 19:25–28). His response to her death is outrageous (Judges 19:29), but it achieves his desired effect. He has dismembered the corpse of the murdered woman, cutting it into twelve pieces. He has sent those pieces, likely by messenger, throughout Israel. Perhaps a piece was sent to each of the twelve tribes. His symbolic action seemed a call to all of Israel to hold the men of Gibeah responsible for the blood of this woman. Perhaps, as a Levite meant to represent the Lord (Numbers 3:5–10), he meant to rouse his people to stand against all the outrageous, evil practices of their fellow Israelites (Deuteronomy 12:29–32).

Throughout Israel, everyone who saw a part of the woman's body was indeed shocked. The writer of Judges records something to the effect of "we haven't seen this kind of evil since we left Egypt." That context is important, since what happened to the concubine closely parallels Lot's experience in Sodom just before God destroyed it (Genesis 19:2–7). The corrupted depravity of the men of Gibeah is like that of Sodom in the days of Abraham. The people resolve that something must be done.

While it's good that the people are seeking justice in response to a crime, it's important to note what's not said. The name of Yahweh—the Lord God of Israel—has not been mentioned in any of this. The people will eventually begin to consult Him in the following chapter. The Levite, though responsible for sparking this reaction, is not shown to be especially wise or compassionate. Nor is he said to speak on behalf of God.