What does Judges 19:18 mean?
ESV: And he said to him, “We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, from which I come. I went to Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to the house of the LORD, but no one has taken me into his house.
NIV: He answered, 'We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the LORD. No one has taken me in for the night.
NASB: And he said to him, 'We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote part of the hill country of Ephraim, for I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem in Judah. But I am now going to my house, and no one will take me into his house.
CSB: He answered him, "We're traveling from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote hill country of Ephraim, where I am from. I went to Bethlehem in Judah, and now I'm going to the house of the Lord. No one has taken me into his home,
NLT: We have been in Bethlehem in Judah,' the man replied. 'We are on our way to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim, which is my home. I traveled to Bethlehem, and now I’m returning home. But no one has taken us in for the night,
KJV: And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house.
NKJV: So he said to him, “We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah toward the remote mountains of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem in Judah; now I am going to the house of the Lord. But there is no one who will take me into his house,
Verse Commentary:
A Levite man, along with his concubine and servant, are sitting in the city square of the town of Gibeah after dark. They are Israelite travelers and this is an Israelite town of the tribe of Benjamin. They'd expected someone to show them hospitality, but no one has (Judges 19:14–17). An old man who had been working in the fields comes into the city and asks about their journey. The Levite tells him the basics, probably recounting how they came to leave Bethlehem and arrive in Gibeah after dark (Judges 19:1–13).

Commentators suggest that "house of the LORD" could be a flowery way of referring to the Levite's own home. Or, that he serves as one of the Levites at the shrine in the town of Shiloh where the ark of the covenant is kept.

The Levite concludes by noting that nobody in town has offered to house them for the night, contrary to the normal custom of the culture. He notes that he's not asking for any handouts—he can feed himself and his group (Judges 19:19)—so all he needs is a safe place to sleep.
Verse Context:
Judges 19:11–21 explains how the Levite, his concubine, and his servant came to stay in the Israeli town of Gibeah. The man refuses to stop in the city of Jebus. Instead, they continue after dark to Gibeah. Oddly, no one there is willing to take them in. An older migrant worker sees the group and insists they avoid the square overnight. This parallels the comments Lot made to a pair of angels he encountered in Sodom (Genesis 19:2–7), and for good reason (Judges 19:22). What happens next is one of the most stomach-turning incidents in the entire Bible.
Chapter Summary:
A Levite man travels to reconcile with his runaway concubine. On their way back home, they spend the night in the city of Gibeah, in the home of an old man. The wicked men of the town form a mob, demanding the Levite be handed over to be raped. Instead, the Levite forces his concubine outside; the mob rapes and beats her until sunrise. The Levite finds her body, carries it home, and cuts it into twelve pieces. He sends these pieces throughout Israel. This shocks the entire nation into demanding some action be taken against Gibeah.
Chapter Context:
This chapter's stomach-turning depravity provides another example of the great wickedness in Israel, in an era when everyone did whatever they wanted to without regard for law or God (Judges 21:25). A mob of rapists murders a Levite man's concubine. He sends pieces of her body throughout the nation. This shocks the people into demanding justice. In the following chapters, the tribe of Benjamin refuses to hand over their guilty members. Israel is plunged into civil war.
Book Summary:
The Book of Judges describes Israel's history from the death of Joshua to shortly before Israel's first king, Saul. Israel fails to complete God's command to purge the wicked Canaanites from the land (Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:4). This results in a centuries-long cycle where Israel falls into sin and is oppressed by local enemies. After each oppression, God sends a civil-military leader, labeled using a Hebrew word loosely translated into English as "judge." These appointed rescuers would free Israel from enemy control and govern for a certain time. After each judge's death, the cycle of sin and oppression begins again. This continues until the people of Israel choose a king, during the ministry of the prophet-and-judge Samuel (1 Samuel 1—7).
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