Shof'tim (Judges) Chapter 19

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Koph- holiness; cycles of growth; summary and judgment at the end of the cycle of life.

Shof’tim 19:1 Now it came about in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote part of the hill country of Efrayim, who took a concubine for himself from Beit-Lechem in Y’hudah.

It is lawful for a priest to take a wife but she must not be a harlot.

Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:14 'A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by harlotry, these he may not take; but rather he is to marry a virgin of his own people;

Shof’tim 19:2 But his concubine played the harlot against him, and she went away from him to her father's house in Beit-Lechem in Y’hudah, and was there for a period of four months.

The husband was forbidden to take her back.

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 24:4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the L-RD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the L-RD your G-d gives you as an inheritance.

Shof’tim 19:3-9 Then her husband arose and went after her to speak tenderly to her in order to bring her back, taking with him his servant and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him into her father's house, and when the girl's father saw him, he was glad to meet him. And his father-in-law, the girl's father, detained him; and he remained with him three days. So they ate and drank and lodged there. Now it came about on the fourth day that they got up early in the morning, and he prepared to go; and the girl's father said to his son-in-law, "Sustain yourself with a piece of bread, and afterward you may go." So both of them sat down and ate and drank together; and the girl's father said to the man, "Please be willing to spend the night, and let your heart be merry." Then the man arose to go, but his father-in-law urged him so that he spent the night there again. And on the fifth day he arose to go early in the morning, and the girl's father said, "Please sustain yourself, and wait until afternoon"; so both of them ate. When the man arose to go along with his concubine and servant, his father-in-law, the girl's father, said to him, "look now, the day has drawn to a close; please spend the night. Lo, the day is coming to an end; spend the night here that your heart may be merry. Then tomorrow you may arise early for your journey so that you may go home."

To speak tenderly to her – Later we will see how much this levite cared for her.

Shof’tim 19:10-15 But the man was not willing to spend the night, so he arose and departed and came to a place opposite Y’vus (that is, Yerushalayim). And there were with him a pair of saddled donkeys; his concubine also was with him. When they were near Y’vus, the day was almost gone; and the servant said to his master, "Please come, and let us turn aside into this city of the Y’vusites and spend the night in it." However, his master said to him, "We will not turn aside into the city of foreigners who are not of the sons of Israel; but we will go on as far as Giv’ah." And he said to his servant, "Come and let us approach one of these places; and we will spend the night in Giv’ah or Ramah." So they passed along and went their way, and the sun set on them near Giv’ah which belongs to Binyamin. And they turned aside there in order to enter and lodge in Giv’ah. When they entered, they sat down in the open square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night.

Y’vus is an old name for Yerushalayim.

No one would offer this Levite lodging for the night. They were prepared to spend the night in the town square.

Shof’tim 19:16-21 Then look, an old man was coming out of the field from his work at evening. Now the man was from the hill country of Efrayim, and he was staying in Giv’ah, but the men of the place were Benjamites. And he lifted up his eyes and saw the traveler in the open square of the city; and the old man said, "Where are you going, and where do you come from?" And he said to him, "We are passing from Beit-Lechem in Y’hudah to the remote part of the hill country of Efrayim, for I am from there, and I went to Beit-Lechem in Y’hudah. But I am now going to my house, and no man will take me into his house. Yet there is both straw and fodder for our donkeys, and also bread and wine for me, your maidservant, and the young man who is with your servants; there is no lack of anything." And the old man said, "Peace to you. Only let me take care of all your needs; however, do not spend the night in the open square." So he took him into his house and gave the donkeys fodder, and they washed their feet and ate and drank.

Remember what the Messiah said,

Mattityahu (Matthew) 25:35-40 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

Shof’tim 19:22-24 While they were making merry, look, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him." Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, "No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly. Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish. But do not commit such an act of folly against this man."

Worthless fellows – literally “Sons of Belial”. The word Belial comes from Baal one of the chief gods of the Canaanites

Nice guy, here have my daughter and his wife.

We saw this before with Lot in Genesis. It is almost an identical scene with the two angels visiting Sodom and Lot offered his two virgin daughters to them.

B’resheet (Genesis) 19:1-11 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, "Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant's house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." They said however, "No, but we shall spend the night in the square." Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them." But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof." But they said, "Stand aside." Furthermore, they said, "This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them." So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.

Shof’tim 19:25-26 But the men would not listen to him, so the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them. And they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn. As the day began to dawn, the woman came and fell down at the doorway of the man's house where her master was, until full daylight.

Apostasy usually leads to depravity. Those that do not know G-d, or have strayed from the true G-d, are going to do what seem right in their own eyes. We see again what happens when there is no leadership or King in Israel. I think we will see judgment coming again soon.

Shof’tim 19:27-30 When her master arose in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, then look, his concubine was lying at the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. And he said to her, "Get up and let us go," but there was no answer. Then he placed her on the donkey; and the man arose and went to his home. When he entered his house, he took a knife and laid hold of his concubine and cut her in twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout the territory of Israel. And it came about that all who saw it said, "Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!"

"Get up and let us go" – What a cruel heartless man! He does not defend her. He goes to bed and appears to have slept through the night. Then he tells her to "Get up and let us go" like she was sleeping in. No questions or concern shown about her ordel. It seems she was already dead when he cut her up but what a horrible thing. Almost makes the Mafia look good. No?! I imagine it was done for the effect.