What does Judges 19:25 mean?
ESV: But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go.
NIV: But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go.
NASB: But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her outside to them; and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn.
CSB: But the men would not listen to him, so the man seized his concubine and took her outside to them. They raped her and abused her all night until morning. At daybreak they let her go.
NLT: But they wouldn’t listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door. The men of the town abused her all night, taking turns raping her until morning. Finally, at dawn they let her go.
KJV: But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
Once again, this story resembles what took place in Sodom during the time of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 19:2–7). Lot, too, was a non-native resident (Judges 19:16) facing down a mob that wanted to rape his male guests (Judges 19:20–23). Lot also offered women to the crowd (Judges 19:24; Genesis 19:8). In the case of Sodom, God carried out His plan to destroy the city before the night was over (Genesis 19:11, 23–25). By including this story, the writer of Judges is showing that the people of Israel had sunk to the level of those ancient cities God had destroyed for their wickedness (Deuteronomy 12:29–32).
An old man has brought travelers into his home to protect them from his neighbors. Those "worthless men"—literally "sons of wickedness" in Hebrew—have come to his door demanding the male guest be handed over to be raped. Likely fearing for his life, the old man offered his daughter and the man's concubine, instead. The mob ignores this request.
In a moment of horribly selfish desperation, the Levite man physically forces his concubine out the door, handing her over to the mob. The repulsive strategy works: the men of Gibeah violate and abuse her until dawn, sparing those hiding inside the home.
Judges 19:22–30 finds a Levite traveler and his concubine spending the night in the home of an old man in the Israelite town of Gibeah. Suddenly, the house is surrounded by a mob of men demanding the Levite be handed over so they can rape him. In desperation, the Levite sends out his concubine to save himself. The mob violates and beats her until morning, after which she is found dead. The Levite carries her body home and sends a graphic message to all of Israel: cutting her into twelve pieces and sending them throughout the tribes. This sparks outrage against Gibeah leading to a civil war (Judges 20:8–10), and infamy (Hosea 9:9)
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 5:27:28 AM
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