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CHAPTER 19 Jun. 17 
A Levite and His Concubine
In those days, when there was no king in Israel, there was a Levite living on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took a concubine out of Bethlehem Judah. 2His concubine was unfaithful to him, and went away from him to her father’s house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there for four months. 3Her husband went after her to persuade her to return. He had his servant with him and a couple of donkeys, and she brought him into her father’s house. When her father saw him, he was pleased to meet him. 4His father-in-law, the girl’s father, persuaded him to stay, and he stayed with him three days, eating and drinking and sleeping there. 5On the fourth day they arose early in the morning, and he got ready to depart, and the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, Strengthen yourself with something to eat and then go on your way. 6So they sat down, ate and drank together, and then the girl’s father said to the man, Please stay another night and enjoy yourself. 7When the man got up to go, his father-in-law urged him to stay, so he stayed there again. 8On the fifth day he got up early to leave, and the girl’s father said, Please refresh yourself and stay until the afternoon; and they ate together. 9When the man, his concubine and his servant got up to leave, his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said to him, Look now, it’s nearly evening; please stay all night. Stay here and enjoy yourself, and tomorrow set off early and go home. 10But the man wouldn’t stay that night; he got up and departed, and went towards Jebus (that is Jerusalem) with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine. 11When they were near Jebus, the light was almost gone, and the servant said to his master, Please come and let us go into this city of the Jebusites, and stay the night there. 12His master said to him, We won’t go into the city of a foreigner whose people are not Israelites; we will go on to Gibeah. 13He said to his servant, Come and let us get to one of these places; we will spend the night in Gibeah or in Ramah. 14So they went on and towards evening they were near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15They stopped there to spend the night in Gibeah. They went in and sat down in the street, because no-one took them into his house for the night. 16In the evening there came an old man from his work in the field. He was from the hill country of Ephraim and he lived in Gibeah, but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17When he saw the traveller in the street the old man said, Where are you going? Where have you come from? 18He said to him, We are on our way from Bethlehem Judah to the far side of the hill country of Ephraim. I am from there and I have been in Bethlehem Judah. I am going to the house of Yahweh, and no-one has taken me into his house. 19Yet we have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine also for me and for the maidservant and for the young man who is with us. We don’t need anything. 20The old man said, Peace to you! But I will provide for you; don’t stay all night in the street. 21So he brought him into his house and gave the donkeys fodder, and they washed their feet and ate and drank. 22As they were enjoying themselves the wicked men of the city surrounded the house, beating on the door; they said to the owner of the house, the old man, Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may have sex with him! 23The owner of the house went out to them and said to them, No my brothers, please don’t act so wickedly; since this man is my guest don’t do this disgraceful thing. 24Look, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out now and you can use them and do with them what seems good unto you, but don’t do any such disgusting thing to this man. 25But the men wouldn’t listen to him, so the man took 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. 26Then the woman went back and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, and lay there until it was light. 27Her master got up in the morning and opened the door and went out to continue on his way, and there was his concubine fallen down at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28He said to her, Get up, and let us be going! but there was no answer. Then he put her up on the donkey and set off for home. 29When he had come into his house, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent them throughout all the regions of Israel. 30All who saw it said, Such a deed has never been done or seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of Egypt until this day! Consider it! Decide what should be done.


19:12 This man was likely an alcoholic (note he got drunk four days in a row, and took wine with him, :19), a polygamist and hard hearted and brutal toward his woman (he told her when unconscious and gang-raped to just get up and carry on the journey, :28). Yet he still had a religious conscience, and thought that separation from the Gentile world was important; we note that he emphasized the externality of his religious devotions in :18. But separation from the flesh must begin internally; it’s no good to be separate from the world and yet live the life of the flesh in our private lives.
19:30 This was done so that all who received the parts of that broken body would “consider" and be motivated in response. It was designed to elicit the declaration of their hearts, and above all to provoke to concrete action. Splitting up a body and sharing it with all Israel was clearly a type of the breaking of bread, where in symbol, the same happens. Consider some background, all of which points forward to the Lord’s sufferings: The person whose body was divided up was from Bethlehem, and of the tribe of Judah (:1); They were ‘slain’ by permission of a priest; They were dragged to death by a wicked Jewish mob; They were “brought forth" to the people just as the Lord Jesus was to the crowd (:25); “Do... what seems good unto you" (:24) is very much Pilate language; A man sought to dissuade the crowd from their purpose- again, as Pilate. There should be a like effect upon us as we receive the emblems of the Lord’s body- the inner thoughts of our hearts are elicited, and we are provoked to action.