What does Judges 19:19 mean?
ESV: We have straw and feed for our donkeys, with bread and wine for me and your female servant and the young man with your servants. There is no lack of anything.”
NIV: We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants--me, the woman and the young man with us. We don't need anything.'
NASB: Yet there is both straw and feed for our donkeys, and also bread and wine for me, and your female slave, and the young man who is with your servants; there is no lack of anything.'
CSB: although there's straw and feed for the donkeys, and I have bread and wine for me, my concubine, and the servant with us. There is nothing we lack."
NLT: even though we have everything we need. We have straw and feed for our donkeys and plenty of bread and wine for ourselves.'
KJV: Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.
While sitting in the town square of Gibeah, after dark, a Levite has explained to a kind old man their recent history (Judges 19:14–18). They are travelers on their way to Ephraim. Nobody in this town of the Israelite tribe of Benjamin has offered them a place to stay overnight.
The Levite adds that they need no provisions. They have straw and feed for the two donkeys with them and bread and wine for themselves. He refers to his concubine (Judges 19:10) as "your female servant." He and she can stay together, and his young servant can stay with the old man's servants. The Levite is perhaps offering, even, to share their provisions with the old man. They only need a safe place to sleep.
Safety was a likely reason the Levite refused to stop in a Gentile city earlier that day (Judges 19:11–12). As it happens, Gibeah is not safe, and this elderly worker knows it. He will insist—strongly—that they not spend the night in the town square (Judges 19:20).
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.
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.
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.
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).
Accessed 11/30/2023 6:47:00 AM
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