Warning: We're not kidding… This chapter is ugly. Really ugly.
Again, it shows the awful things that occurred during the chaos in Israel after Joshua and before the arrival of the replacement judges.
So this concubine (which in this case is just another word for wife) leaves her Levite husband. Some experts think that she had committed adultery against him; others think she left him because he was a bad husband.
At any rate, she goes to her father's house, and her husband follows her there to try and win her back.
He speaks "friendly unto her" (KJV 19:3), and convinces her to come back with him.
On their way home, they come to a Benjamite city called Gibeah. It's getting late, but they can't find a place to spend the night, so they just sit down on the side of the street.
An old man sees them and graciously invites them to stay the night in his house.
He feeds them and their donkeys, and they're having a grand ole' time, until…
…They hear a pounding at the door. It's a group of Benjamite locals, demanding that the old man let them, ahem, "know" his handsome Levite guest.
The old man says, "No way! What's the matter with you guys? This guy's my guest, fer cryin' out loud. Tell you what: Here's his concubine. Do whatever you want to her. Here, I'll even throw in my daughter."
We're thinking that this guy probably never won the Father-of-the-Year award.
This sounds an awful lot like Genesis 19… What's with these guys?
"No deal," say the door-to-door rapists. But the Levite brings out his concubine anyway, and the men of the city take her away and rape her all night.
They finally let her go when the sun begins to rise.
She makes it back to the old man's house where her husband spent the night and collapses in front of the door.
Her husband finds her when he opens the door, and says, "Good morning, sunshine! Ready to go home?" What planet was this guy living on?
She doesn't answer.
So he loads her onto his donkey and returns home.
When he arrives, he chops her into twelve pieces and mails one piece to every tribe of Israel.
Remember, in those days "there was no king in Israel" (KJV 19:1). Anything goes!
Nevertheless, word of this atrocity spreads across Israel, and the people are outraged.
We'd like to take a moment to reiterate that this chapter is really, really awful.