Study Guide

Book of Judges Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

The Most Disgusting Chapter In The Bible

  • 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.

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