Judges 19

It happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took for himself a concubine from Bethlehem Judah. His concubine was unfaithful to him and went away from him to her father's house in Bethlehem of Judah, and was there about four months. Her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys. And she brought him into her father's house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. His father-in-law, the young lady's father, welcomed him; and he stayed with him three days. So they ate and drank and stayed there.

It happened on the fourth day, that they arose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart: and the young lady's father said to his son-in-law, "Refresh yourself with a piece of bread, and after that you may go." So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together. Then the young lady's father said to the man, "Please agree to stay the night, and enjoy yourself." The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he stayed there again. He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady's father said, "Please refresh yourself and stay until the day declines." And they both ate.

When the man rose up with his concubine and his servant to leave, his father-in-law, the young lady's father, said to him, "Behold, now the day draws toward evening, please stay the night. Behold, the day grows to an end, stay here, and enjoy yourself; and tomorrow you can get up early for your journey so that you may go home." 10 But the man wouldn't stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). And there were with him a couple of saddled donkeys, and his concubine was also with him.

11 When they were by Jebus, the day was almost gone, and the servant said to his master, "Please come and let us stop at this city of the Jebusites, and spend the night in it."

12 His master said to him, "We won't go into the city of a foreigner that is not of the children of Israel, but we will pass over to Gibeah." 13 He said to his servant, "Come and let us try to reach one of those places and we will spend the night in Gibeah or Ramah." 14 So they passed on and went their way; and the sun set on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15 They turned that way to go in to spend the night in Gibeah. And he went in and they sat down in the street of the city; for there was no one who would take them into their house to spend the night.

16 Behold, there came an old man from his work out in the field at evening. Now the man was of the hill country of Ephraim, and he was residing in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, "Where are you going? Where did you come from?" 18 He said to him, "We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim. I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem in Judah. I am going to the house of the  Lord; and there is no man who will take me into his home. 19 Yet there is both straw and feed for our donkeys, and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your female servant, and for the young man who is with your servants. There is no lack of anything."

20 And the old man said, "Peace be to you. I will take care of all your needs; however, do not spend the night in the square." 21 So he brought him into his house, and fed the donkeys. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank. 22 As they were enjoying themselves, behold, the men of the city, some wicked men of the city surrounded the house, beating at the door. And they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may have sex with him!"

23 The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, "No, my brothers, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house. Do not do this folly. 24 Behold, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but do not do any such a disgraceful thing to this man."

25 But the men wouldn't listen to him: so the man laid hold of his concubine, and brought her out to them. And they raped her and abused her all night until the morning, and when the day began to dawn they let her go. 26 Then at daybreak the woman arrived and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, until daylight. 27 Her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold.

28 He said to her, "Get up, and let us go!" But no one answered. Then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and went to his place. 29 When he had come into his house, he took a knife, and took hold of his concubine and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. 30 It was so, that all who saw it said, "There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day! Consider it, take counsel, and speak."

Copyright information for NHM