About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Levite And His Concubine (ch.
19: 1 - 30 )
scholars suggest that this chapter took place prior to the last two
see a Levite in this chapter. We
should understand that this Levite is not the same Levite we saw in the
last two chapters. This
shows how the Levites, who were to be priests, were so messed up, even
at this early date after crossing the Jordan River.
verse 1 we see this Levite had a concubine.
A concubine wasn't necessarily a mistress.
She was basically a second class wife.
NIV states in verse 2 that this concubine was unfaithful to the Levite.
There is some debate because of the way the Hebrew text is worded
that this concubine might not have been unfaithful sexually, but just
unfaithful in the sense she didn't want to be the Levite's concubine.
So, she went back to her father.
those days, if a wife, or a concubine, went back home to live, this was
a disgrace to the family. The
father would have been quite upset over this.
concubine's hometown was in
2 and 3 state that after 4 months, the Levite took a servant with him to
persuade the concubine to return home with him.
Four months seems a long time.
We don't know why it took him so long, but, maybe it wasn't long
in his thinking. I think I
can safely say, especially after reading the whole chapter, that this
concubine wasn't at the top of this Levite's priority list.
3 states that when the father of the concubine saw the Levite "he
gladly welcomed him". There
are two things going on here. "Gladly
welcome" means that the father was glad to see the Levite because
he hoped his daughter would return to the Levite and take away the
family shame that would have taken place due to this separation.
"Gladly welcome" also means that this was simply good
social protocol. Back than whenever anyone had a guest, the guest
immediately came to be the number one priority of the family.
verses 3 to 10 is the simple narrative that shows the Levite staying 5
days at his concubines father's house.
in verse 10 the city called "Jebus".
Jebus later became
verses 14 and 15 we see that they went beyond Jebus and ended up
spending the night in an Israeli town, a town of Benjamin, named Gibeah. They went to
the town square. Normally
people would see strangers in the town square and take them home for the
evening. Even staying in the
town square for the night should not have been a problem, but not so in
Gibeah. It was a very rough
fact that no one took them home for the night shows you what kind of
town this was. Hospitality,
whether Jewish, or pagan, was high on the list of cultural norms back
then, but apparently not for this town.
This shows you how rough this town was.
verses 16 to 21 we note that an old man came up to the Levite, his
concubine, and his servant and invited them to his house for the night.
This old man was originally from Ephraim, as was the Levite.
So they did have some things in common.
in verse 18 that the Levite was going to the "house of the
Lord". Some suggest the house of the Lord spoken of here is the
22 shows how wicked this city was. It
all over again, except these were Israeli men.
They pounded on the door. The
Hebrew suggest a real hard pounding, a violent pounding.
They wanted the old man to send out the Levite so they could have
sex with the Levite. Throughout
the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, homosexuality is at the top
of the list of sexual sins.
verse 23 we see the old man saying, "no my friends".
They probably weren't his friends, but maybe the old man figured
if he was nice to them, they would leave.
24 shows us the culture of the day.
Male guests were important, and, even more important than female
guests. The old man
volunteered his own virgin daughter and the Levite's daughter to these
men. Letting his own
daughter to be sexually abused to save the vile acts to be performed on
a male stranger is hard for us to imagine.
You also wonder how the Levite would allow his concubine outside
with these men, but apparently he did.
This was a male dominated world.
need to note at this point, that all pagan societies treated women
poorly. The Law of Moses was
the first document that promoted better times for women and a better
sense of equality. That
being said, there was, and I believe still is, in the mind of God, an
order to be followed. The apostle Paul put it this way.
He told us that men should love their wives as Christ loved the
church. (Ephesians 5:22 and following) He told the women to submit to
their husbands. He also said
that in the church a woman should not have authority over a man.
The point is simple. In
the chain of authority, a man is over a woman.
This however does not mean a man is a dictator over a woman.
A man should love a woman as Christ loves us, who by the way,
died for us. This kind of
love was not seen in pagan societies, and it wasn't until the Law of
Moses came, that it was seen in history.
The simple fact is, when men live as the Lord would have them
live, women live a much better life.
This was not the case here.
in verse 25 to 28 we see that the Levite's concubine was raped all night
by many men. The Levite got
up in the morning, saw his concubine lying at the door, as if she tried
to make it inside the house but just couldn't get there.
The Levite simply said, "get up".
I can't say for sure, but my guess is that when the Levite saw
his concubine at the threshold of the door, thinking she was alive, he
just said "get up", as if, "what are you doing down
there. Let's get
going", without any concern for what she had just been through.
fact of the matter is that the Levite's concubine was dead.
The men raped her so badly she had died. In
verses 28 to 31, after the Levite got home, he cut up his concubine into
12 pieces and his servants send each piece to each tribe of
Hebrew words "cut up" here are words that would normally be
used as "cut up" as in an animal sacrifice for worship of God.
We should note that Levites were like modern day butchers.
They knew how to cut animals for sacrifice and then cook those
parts that weren't used in the sacrifice.
This Levite man knew how to cut up his concubine.
this chapter shows us how depraved
chapter ends with the words, "think about this … Tell us what to
do"? Even in their
state of great depravity, Israelis were dumbfounded.
As the western world today moves away from its Judeo Christian
consensus we once gave ourselves to, we become
more pagan. With this new paganism will come such vile events as this.
We're beginning to see it right now in 2012.