Judges 20:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 20:5, NIV: During the night the men of Gibeah came after me and surrounded the house, intending to kill me. They raped my concubine, and she died.

Judges 20:5, ESV: And the leaders of Gibeah rose against me and surrounded the house against me by night. They meant to kill me, and they violated my concubine, and she is dead.

Judges 20:5, KJV: And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead.

Judges 20:5, NASB: But the citizens of Gibeah rose up against me and surrounded the house at night, threatening me. They intended to kill me; instead, they raped my concubine so that she died.

Judges 20:5, NLT: That night some of the leading citizens of Gibeah surrounded the house, planning to kill me, and they raped my concubine until she was dead.

Judges 20:5, CSB: Citizens of Gibeah came to attack me and surrounded the house at night. They intended to kill me, but they raped my concubine, and she died.

What does Judges 20:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The husband of a murdered and dismembered concubine is providing his official statement (Judges 20:1–3). This is being heard by assembled leaders of eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus far, the man noted that he and his concubine had come to Gibeah to spend the night. They were travelers (Judges 20:4).

Here, he describes the crime. This phrasing says it was "the leaders" of Gibeah who violently attacked (Judges 19:22). The earlier statement called them "the men of the city." That phrase can sometimes imply the leaders or elders of a community. The Levite might emphasize that the men were important to Gibeah to motivate the people of Israel to hold the entire town responsible for what happened.

He continues to tell of how these men wanted to kill him, that they raped his concubine, and that she is now dead. It's possible he said more than is explicitly recorded here. However, this account leaves out aspects of the incident which don't reflect well on his own character. He does not seem to mention that he physically pushed his concubine out the door to save himself (Judges 19:23–28).

Regardless of what details are withheld or included, the fact of the heinous crime remains. A brutal mob of rapists tried to kill the Levite without any provocation and then raped and beat his concubine, who later died. It is indeed an abomination and an outrage, as the Levite states in the following verse (Judges 20:6).