Judges 19



1 “And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel,” -  

(ch.17:6; 18:1; 21:25). It appears from ch.20:27-28 that the events narrated in

these three last chapters of the Book of Judges happened in the lifetime of Phinehas,

and while the ark was at Shiloh (see ch.20:27, note). Phinehas evidently outlived

Joshua (Joshua 24:29, 33), though there is no evidence to show how long. The

events in these chapters must have occurred in the interval between the death of

Joshua and the death of Phinehas - “that there was a certain Levite” -  It is a

curious coincidence that both the Levite whose sad story is here told, and the Levite

the son of Gershom of whom we read in the preceding chapters, were sojourners

in the hill country of Ephraim, and also closely connected with Bethlehem-judah.

Perhaps the legitimate inference (see v. 18, and ch.20:26-27) is that in both cases

the Levites were drawn to Ephraim by the ark being at Shiloh, and also that there

was a colony of Levites at Bethlehem-judah.  Whether there was any connection

between the presence of Levites at Bethlehem and the annual sacrifice at Bethlehem

which existed in David’s time, and which argues the existence of a high place there,

can only be a matter of conjecture (see I Samuel 9:13, and 20:29). All we can say is

that there was the universal prevalence of high-place worship during the time of the

judges, and that the services of Levites were sought after in connection with it

(ch.17:13) - sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim,” - Hebrew, sides.

In the masculine form the word means the hip and upper part of the thigh; in the

feminine, as here, it is applied only to inanimate objects, as a house, the temple,

a cave, the north, a pit, a country, etc., and is used in the dual number (see

I Samuel 24:4; I Kings 6:16; Psalm 48:3; 128:3; Isaiah 37:24; Ezekiel 32:23).

It means the innermost, hindmost, furthermost parts. Its application here to the

northern side of Ephraim seems to imply that the writer wrote in the south,

probably in Judah -  “who took to him a concubine” -  An inferior wife,

who had not the same right for herself or for her children as the wife had

(see Genesis 25:6) - “out of Bethlehem-judah.”


2 “And his concubine played the whore against him,” - Perhaps the phrase only

means that she revolted from him and left him. Her returning to her father’s house,

and his anxiety to make up the quarrel, both discourage taking the phrase in its

worst sense -  “and went away from him unto her father’s house to

Bethlehem-judah, and was there four whole months.” Literally, days, four

months; meaning either a year and four months, as in I Samuel 27:7, where,

however, the and is expressed; or days (i.e. many days), viz., four months. For

the use of days for a year see Exodus 13:10; ch.17:10.


3 “And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto

her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of

asses:” -  One for himself and one for her - “and she brought him into her

father’s house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced

to meet him.” No doubt, in part at least, because the expense of his daughter’s

maintenance would be transferred from himself to his daughter’s husband.


4 “And his father in law, the damsel’s father, retained him;” -  See the same

phrase II Kings 4:8, where it is rendered she constrained him. The full phrase is in

Genesis 21:18, hold him in thy hand -“and he abode with him three days: so

they did eat and drink, and lodged there.”


5 “And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the

morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel’s father said

unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart” - Compare Genesis 18:5 -

 with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.”


6 “And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together:

for the damsel’s father had said unto the man,” -  or rather, And the

damsels father said. He had not at first intended to stay on, but to go on

his way after he had eaten and drunk (v. 5). But when they had prolonged their

carousal, the father of the damsel persuaded him to stay on another night.

 “Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.”


7 “And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him:

therefore he lodged there again.”  Literally, he returned and lodged there.

The Septuagint and one Hebrew MS. read, And he tarried and lodged there.


8 “And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and

the damsel’s father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they

tarried until afternoon,” -  It should rather be rendered in the imperative mood:

And tarry ye until the afternoon - “and they did eat both of them.”  The

imperative comfort thine heart is in the singular because only the man and the

father-in-law are represented throughout as eating and drinking both of them

 together. The imperative tarry ye is in the plural because it applies to the wife

as well as the man.


9 “And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and

his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said unto him,

Behold, now the day draweth toward evening,” - The Hebrew phrase, which

is uncommon, is, The day is slackening to become evening, i.e. the heat and

the light of the day are becoming slack and weak, and evening is coming on.

“I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end,” - Another

unusual phrase; literally, Behold the declining of the day, or, as some render it,

the encamping of the day, as if the sun after his day’s journey was now pitching

his tent for the night - “lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to

morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.”  Literally,

to thy tent, as in ch.20:8. So the phrase, To your tents, O Israel, means,  

 Go home (see I Kings 12:16).


10 “But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed,

and came over against Jebus,” – See ch. 1:21, note. Jerusalem is numbered

among Joshua’s conquests (Joshua 10:23; 12:10). But from this verse

it would appear that the Israelite population had withdrawn and left the city

to be entirely occupied by the Jebusites, who held it till the time of David

(II Samuel 5:6). Jerusalem is only about two hours from Bethlehem - “which is

Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also

Was with him.  11 And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent;

and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in

into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.”


12 “And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into

the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will

pass over to Gibeah.”  (or ha-Gibeah, the hill).. In the tribe of Benjamin

(Joshua 18:28); Saul’s birthplace. Its modern name is Jeba It would be about

two and a half hours’ further journey from Jerusalem.


13 “And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of

these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.”  (ha-Ramah, the

height). Now er-Ram, less than an hour’s journey from Gibeah, both being about

equi-distant from Jerusalem.


14 “And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down

upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and

when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city:” - Rather, the

broad space or place near the gate, such as is usual in an Oriental city (compare

Ruth 4:1) - “for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.”

This absence of the common rites of hospitality toward strangers was A


(see Genesis 18:3-8; 19:2-3; Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:1-2; I Peter 4:9).


16 “And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field

at even, which was also of mount Ephraim;” - The Hebrew is, And the

man was from the hill country of Ephraim. It does not mean that he also,

as well as the Levite, was from Ephraim - “and he sojourned in Gibeah: but

the men of the place were Benjamites.  17 And when he had lifted up his

eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man

said, Whither goest thou? And whence comest thou?


18 “And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehem-judah toward

the side of mount Ephraim;” - See v. 1, note - “from thence am I: and I

went to Bethlehem-judah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD;” -

i.e. to the tabernacle at Shiloh. But some translate the words I frequent, am

conversant with, walk in, the house of the Lord, i.e. am a Levite. But the former

seems the best rendering on the whole -“and there is no man that receiveth me

to house.”


19 “Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is

bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man

which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.”  He only lacked

shelter, he had all his provisions with him, it was but little that he asked for, and yet

no man would take him in.


20 “And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie

upon me; only lodge not in the street.  21  So he brought him into his house,

and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet,” - See Genesis

18:4; 19:2; Luke 7:44; I Timothy 5:10 -  and did eat and drink.”   Kindness

to strangers is a duty obligatory upon all of us!  The graphic picture of the old

man returning from his work in the fields at even and taking note of the houseless

strangers is the one relieving feature in the terrible story of that night’s doings.

Modern and Western habits may modify the form of our hospitality, but they

cannot exonerate us from the duty to show similar kindness under similar

circumstances. From the mythical gentleman who excused himself for not

saving a drowning man because he had not been introduced to him, to the

Yorkshire native, who, seeing a strange face in his hamlet, cried, “Let’s

heave a brick at him!” how common it is for people to limit their kindness

to persons of their acquaintance! The parable of the good Samaritan

teaches us that any one who needs our help is our neighbor (Luke



22 “Now as they were making their hearts merry,” - as in vs. 6, 9, and in

ch.16:25; Ruth 3:7. But there is nothing in the expression implying any excess in

drinking - “behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial,” -  See ch.20:13,

where the same Hebrew phrase is rendered children of Belial. Belial in this common

phrase is not a proper name, but a noun meaning worthlessness.  (Compare

II Peter 2:12  - “But these as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and

destroyed….shall receive the reward of unrighteousness” – CY – 2012) -

Sons or men of Belial means worthless fellows - beset the house round about,

and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man,

saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house,” -  The abandoned

character of the men appears in this, that not only did they offer no hospitality to

the stranger themselves, but were ready to violate the sanctity of the hospitality

of the old man’s house by their brutal violence. (Is this where homosexuality is

leading today?  Not only shameless and selfish, but oblivious to common

courtesy, nor do not want anyone else setting the biblical norm!  They are like

Cain in his jealousy of Abel.  Murder there and murder here?  Murder in the

Future???? -  See Luke 11:52; I John 3:12 – CY – 2012) There must have

been a fearful absence of all law and order and government when such

 deeds could be done without any interference on the part of magistrate

 or elder or ruler of any kind.  (Is this where the Progressive movement is

leading?  - CY – 2012) The singular resemblance of the whole narrative to that

in Genesis 19 suggests that the Israelites by their contact with the

ACCURSED CANAANITES had reduced themselves to THE LEVEL

OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH.  (This is worse than “snares …traps…

scourges and thorns in your eyes”- IT LEADS TO TOTAL ANIHILATION –


FIRE” – I highly recommend looking at satellite photos of the area where

once Sodom and Gomorrah existed – see arkdiscovery.com – CY – 2012)

Surely this shows the wisdom of the command to destroy utterly the workers of

abomination. (Now in the 21st century, we have 50 millions of children

aborted and five abortion doctors slain.  The secular media’s slant on this

IS CRIMINAL!  If not in the Judicial System of the United States,


DAY!  -  for rationale see below or Abortion Rationale – 2012 – this web site –

CY – 2012)“that we may know him.”


23 “And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto

them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that

this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.”  He pleads the sanctity of



24 “Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will

bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good

unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.  25  But the men would

not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine,” -  One’s blood boils at

such selfish baseness and such cowardly cruelty. It is not quite clear whether

the man means the Levite or the old Ephraimite - “and brought her forth unto

them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning:

and when the day began to spring, they let her go.”  As fire burns most when

drawn together, vice is most inflamed when men are companions in wickedness.

Each tempts the rest by his example. GUILT APPEARS TO BE LESSENED

BY BEING SHARED???????????  Men excuse their conduct by comparing

 it with that of their neighbors. Thus the greatest depravity is most often seen in

cities — in the concourse of many men. In the excitement of a mob men will

commit excesses from which they would shrink in solitary action. Yet

responsibility is still individual, and each man must ULTIMATELY



Human nature has a wide range of capacities. Man can rise infinitely above

the brute, and he can fall infinitely below the brute. He can rise to the angelic,

he can fall to the devilish. His originality of imagination, power of inventiveness,

and freedom of will open to him avenues of evil as well as pathways of good

which are closed to the more dull life of the animal world. The greater the

capacity of the instrument, the more horrible is the discord which results

from its getting out of tune. Those men who have the highest genius HAVE

THE FACULTY FOR THE WORST SIN!   So tremendous is the capacity

of the soul both for good and for evil, that the wise and humble man, fearing

to trust it alone to the temptations of life, will learn to “commit it to the

keeping of a faithful Creator” (I Peter 4:19).


26 “Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at

the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.” Or, as

the words may mean, at daylight.


27 “And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the

house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his

concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands

were upon the threshold.” Poor thing!  With her last breath she turned to

the house where he was who should have been her protector, but who

had deserted her in her hour of need.


28 “And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered.

Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat

him unto his place.  29 And when he was come into his house, he took

a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with

her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.”

Compare I Samuel 11:7.


30  And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed

done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out

of the land of Egypt unto this day:” - Some translate this verse quite

differently.  They understand the whole verse as what the Levite said when he

sent the twelve pieces of the murdered woman to the twelve tribes, as thus: “He

sent her into all the coasts of Israel (v. 29), saying, It shall come to pass

that all who see it will say, There hath been nothing done and nothing

seen like this from the day, etc. But the Authorized Versioin makes very good

sense, and the Hebrew will bear it.  consider of it, take advice, and speak

your minds.”  The general sense of the whole nation was to call a national

council to decide what to do. The Levite had succeeded in arousing the

indignation of the twelve tribes to avenge his terrible wrong. Monstrous

wickedness should excite deep and serious consideration.   It is easy to be

indignant. But the hasty passion of indignation may do more harm than good.

It may strike in the wrong place; it may only touch superficial symptoms and

leave the root of the evil; and it is likely to die down as quickly as it springs up.

Great sins should be visited not with the rage of vindictiveness, BUT WITH

GRAVE, SEVERE JUSTICE!  We should “consider and take advice,” reflect,

consult, discuss the cause and the remedy. Undisciplined human nature will

express horror and seek revenge at the revelation of a great crime. It lacks

Christian thoughtfulness and a deep, sad conviction of duty to practice

self-restraint in the moment of indignation, and to investigate the painful

subject with care after the interest of a temporary excitement has flagged.



Unparalleled Crime: The Spirit and Method

  in Which its Problems are to be Met (v.30)


The narrative of the book has been gradually deepening in tragic interest

and moral importance; it now reaches its climax. The sentence which the

people themselves passed upon this crime is repeated, that public inquiry

may be directed to the significance of it, to the causes of its production,

and the means for preventing the recurrence of similar enormities. To the

author the unity of the nation, publicly represented in the tabernacle at

Shiloh and the throne of the new kingdom, as the outward symbols of

theocratic government, is the grand specific, and the proof of this may be

said to be the dogmatic purpose of his work. Studying the same problem in

its modern illustrations, we are carried onward to a deeper and more

radical cause, and, consequently, to the need of a more potent and inward

influence of RESTRAINT and SALVATION.   But do we study sufficiently,

from the higher philosophic and religious standpoint, the great crimes that

startle us from day to day? Would it not be a “means of grace” by no means

to be despised were we to grapple with the spiritual and practical bearings of

such occurrences? There could not well be a more judicious course in such

events than that advised by the writer. It is terse, natural, philosophic.


·         PERSONAL MEDITATION.Consider it.” In all its relations; our

own as well as others. LET IT SHOW US THE MEASURE OF

PUBLIC.  Ask what neglect in the matter of education, social

fellowship, or religious teaching and influence will account for it.

How far am I as an individual in sympathy with the ideas, customs,

and whole cast of public life in my time? How far am I my brother’s

keeper? Can anything be done to rouse the public conscience to a keener

and more influential activity?  How easy or how difficult would a similar

crime be to myself? Pray that I may be kept from such a thing, and

may lead others into a better way.


·         CONSULTATION.  Statistics” will never solve the problem. It is a

question of HUMAN DEPRAVITY and a general repentance and

alarmed attention is needed.




The Downward Progress (vs. 1-30)


It is certainly not without a purpose that we have in Holy Scripture from time


 FORMS!  The general rule which tells us that “it is a shame even to speak of those

things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12) is, as it were, violated

on these occasions, because it is more important that the depravity of which human

nature is capable at its worst should be revealed, than that the blush of

shame should be prevented by its concealment. Sin, in some of its forms, is

so disguised, and toned down, and softened, that the natural mind of man

does not shrink from it with abhorrence, or perceive its DEADLY NATURE

or ITS FATAL CONSEQUENCES.   But it is essential that sin should be known

to be what it is, and especially that it should be made clear by what gradual

descents a man may glide from one stage of wickedness to another, till,

under favoring circumstances, he reaches a depth of vileness which at one

time would have seemed impossible. The process by which this descent is

reached is not difficult to trace. There is in every man a certain moral sense

which restrains him from the commission of certain acts, whether of

falsehood, dishonesty, cruelty, injustice, sensuality, or any other form of

sin. And while that moral sense is maintained in its vigor, such acts may

appear to him impossible for him to commit. But this moral sense is

weakened, and more or less broken down, by every action done in

contradiction to its authority. At each successive stage of descent there is a

less shock to the weakened moral sense by the aspect of such or such sins

than there was at the preceding stage. The sin appears less odious, and the

resisting power is less strong. It is very true that in many instances, even

after the moral sense is broken down, the force of public opinion, the sense

of a man’s own interests, habit, the authority of the law, and other causes

external to a man’s self, operate to keep him within certain bounds, and to

restrain him from certain excesses of unrighteousness. But, on the other

hand, it may and often does happen that these counteracting causes

ARE NOT IN OPERATION (As is the case in America today – CY – 2012)

(I was watching Hannity on Fox News tonight, July 30, 2012 and there

was a woman talking about the controversy caused by the gay community

over Chic-filet’s owner supporting marriage as God ordained it – ONE

WOMAN – ONE MAN!   The woman said that Chic-filet’s owner was

on the wrong side of history.  They say that they who do not know history,

ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT!  I do not want to be offensive here

but she is apparently ignorant of what historically, God did with Sodom

and Gomorrah, as mentioned above.  “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah,

and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over

to fornication, and GOING AFTER STRANGE FLESH, ARE


OF ETERNAL FIRE.”   Jude 1:7-8 – I still recommend with great zest –

arkdiscovery.com - CY – 2012)  A man is placed IN A SOCIETY WHERE

PUBLIC OPINION COUNTENANCES VICE where he  does not seem to

be in danger of any loss  in reputation or in fortune by the basest acts of villainy, where

the authority of law is in abeyance, and, in a word, where there is no barrier but the

fear of God and his own moral sense to restrain him from the LOWEST DEPTHS

OF WICKEDNESS!   Then the melancholy transition from light to darkness takes

place without hindrance. Self-respect, honor, decency, kind feeling towards others,

reverence for mankind, justice, shame, burn gradually with a dimmer and a

dimmer light within, and finally the last spark of the light of humanity GOES

OUT  and leaves nothing but THE HORROR OF A GREAT DARKNESS

in which no crime or wickedness shocks, and no struggle of the conscience


DEPTH!   Not suddenly, we may be sure, for nemo repente fiet turpissimus;

(no one ever became thoroughly bad in one step) but by a gradual downward

progress. There must have been for them a time when God’s mighty acts by the

Red Sea, in the wilderness, in the wars of Canaan, were fresh in their thoughts,

or in their, or their parents’, memories. The great name of Joshua, the living example

of Phinehas, the traditions of the surviving elders, must have set before them a

standard of righteousness, and impressed them with a sense of being the people of

God. But they had not acted up to their high calling. Doubtless they had

MINGLED WITH THE HEATHEN and learned their works. Their hearts

had declined from God, from His fear and service. Idolatry had eaten as a canker

into their moral principle. Its shameful licentiousness had enticed and overcome

them. The Spirit of God was vexed within them. The light of His word was

quenched in the darkness of A GROSS MATERIALISM! Utter callousness of

conscience came on. They began to sneer at virtue, and to scoff at the fear



And thus it came to pass at the time of this history that the whole community was

sunk to the level of the vilest heathenism. Hospitality to strangers, though those

strangers were their own flesh and blood, there was none; pity for the homeless

and weary, though one of them was a woman, there was none either; respect for

neighbors and fellow-townsmen, common decency and humanity, and every feeling

which distinguishes a man from a wild beast or a devil (note again II Peter 2:12),

had wholly left their vile breasts, and, people of God as they were by privilege

and covenant, they were in their ABANDONED STATE  WHOLLY THE

CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL!   The example thus recorded with unflinching

truth is NEEDED FOR OUR GENERATION.  The Israelites were separated

from God by abominable idolatries. The attempt of our age is to separate men from

God by a blasphemous denial of his Being. (Thus secular humanism – a doctrine,

attitude, or way of life centered upon human interests or values; especially

a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism (GOD) and stresses an

individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through

reason!  -  Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – 10th edition – secular

humanism is basically a form of  SELF-WORSHIP it sounds to me

like the platform of the PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT TODAY! - CY –

2012)  The result  is the same, however it may be arrived at.   LET THE



WILL INEVITABLY PERISH ALSO!  (Is not this scenario playing out on

the world stage today?  THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST

CANNOT BE FAR OFF!  - Luke 21:28 – CY – 2012)  VIRTUE CANNOT

SURVIVE UNGODLINESS!   The spirit of man is fed by the Spirit of

God. Extinguish the spiritual, and nothing of man remains but the

CORRUPT FLESH!  And man without spirit is no man at all.


Take an athletic man, the most perfect specimen of athletic training,

                    bone flesh and sinew, if that is all,

he is but one-third of a man and useless to society!


Send him to the schools and cram his mind full,

                    He is but two-thirds of man

and now he is dangerous as well as useless!


Put Christ in his heart to control and urge his purpose

    an ideal man – all three-thirds – A COMPLETE  MAN!


 It is in the cultivation of spiritual affections, in the constant strengthening of

the moral sense, in steady resistance to the first beginnings of sin, and in

steadfast cleaving to God, THAT MAN’S SAFETY LIES! It is in the

 maintenance of religion that THE SAFETY OF SOCIETY CONSISTS.   

Without the fear of God  MAN WOULD SOON BECOME A DEVIL,




Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth

not with me scattereth abroad.”  (Matthew 12:30)


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