What does Judges 19:5 mean?
ESV: And on the fourth day they arose early in the morning, and he prepared to go, but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and after that you may go.”
NIV: On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman's father said to his son-in-law, 'Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.'
NASB: Now on the fourth day they got up early in the morning, and he prepared to go; but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, 'Strengthen yourself with a piece of bread, and afterward you may go.'
CSB: On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning and prepared to go, but the girl's father said to his son-in-law, "Have something to eat to keep up your strength and then you can go."
NLT: On the fourth day the man was up early, ready to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, 'Have something to eat before you go.'
KJV: And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.
NKJV: Then it came to pass on the fourth day that they arose early in the morning, and he stood to depart; but the young woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.”
Verse Commentary:
The story of a Levite and his concubine takes on an almost comedic, socially awkward tone (Judges 19:1–4). Later, it will spiral into a gruesome tragedy. The young woman's father simply does not want his daughter and her husband to leave and keeps finding ways to prolong their departure.

The couple wakes up early on their fourth day in Bethlehem, expecting to get on the road back to Ephraim. Yet the father-in-law says something akin to, "You'll travel better after a good breakfast. Stay and eat!" Not wanting to be rude, the man and his concubine agree to stay.
Verse Context:
Judges 19:1–10 describes a Levite's journey to retrieve his runaway concubine. For reasons not given, she leaves him and goes back to her father. Months later, the Levite arrives to retrieve her, seemingly with complete forgiveness. The woman and her father are glad, and the father pressures them to stay for several days. Finally, the Levite insists on leaving. He refuses to stay in the then-Gentile-controlled city of Jebus. Instead, they will continue after dark to Gibeah. Ironically, this will lead them into shocking danger.
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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