Judges 19:1-30 (Part 1) – Gibeah: It’s Like Deja Vu, Sodom & Gomorrah Style

Posted: September 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

Judges 19:1-30 (Part 1 of 3)
The Levite and His Concubine

Sometimes, I surprise myself after studying individual books of the Bible from beginning to end for the last five years. Today, when I was reading in Judges 19, and about the heinous crimes contained therein, I was struck with the feeling that it was just like the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I didn’t remember what chapter it was in though. So a quick internet search lead me to find that it was in Genesis 19. The thing that got me was how eerily similar the two stories are in virtually every detail except for the angelic intervention in Genesis 19. Virtually, every detail is the same otherwise but here in Judges it is some 500 years after the God-directed natural disaster that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Let’s go back in time and read that story once again before we read Judges 19:

19 That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.”

“Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.”

3 But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. 4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

9 “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.

 

Normally, preceding the passage of the day that I am dealing with, I will offer up a story from my personal life or from the lives of others or from current events. But while the story in Genesis 19 is still fresh in your mind, let’s now immediately read through Judges 19:

19 Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine. 2 But she became angry with him[a] and returned to her father’s home in Bethlehem.

After about four months, 3 her husband set out for Bethlehem to speak personally to her and persuade her to come back. He took with him a servant and a pair of donkeys. When he arrived at[b] her father’s house, her father saw him and welcomed him. 4 Her father urged him to stay awhile, so he stayed three days, eating, drinking, and sleeping there.

5 On the fourth day the man was up early, ready to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Have something to eat before you go.” 6 So the two men sat down together and had something to eat and drink. Then the woman’s father said, “Please stay another night and enjoy yourself.” 7 The man got up to leave, but his father-in-law kept urging him to stay, so he finally gave in and stayed the night.

8 On the morning of the fifth day he was up early again, ready to leave, and again the woman’s father said, “Have something to eat; then you can leave later this afternoon.” So they had another day of feasting. 9 Later, as the man and his concubine and servant were preparing to leave, his father-in-law said, “Look, it’s almost evening. Stay the night and enjoy yourself. Tomorrow you can get up early and be on your way.”

10 But this time the man was determined to leave. So he took his two saddled donkeys and his concubine and headed in the direction of Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). 11 It was late in the day when they neared Jebus, and the man’s servant said to him, “Let’s stop at this Jebusite town and spend the night there.”

12 “No,” his master said, “we can’t stay in this foreign town where there are no Israelites. Instead, we will go on to Gibeah. 13 Come on, let’s try to get as far as Gibeah or Ramah, and we’ll spend the night in one of those towns.” 14 So they went on. The sun was setting as they came to Gibeah, a town in the land of Benjamin, 15 so they stopped there to spend the night. They rested in the town square, but no one took them in for the night.

16 That evening an old man came home from his work in the fields. He was from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was living in Gibeah, where the people were from the tribe of Benjamin. 17 When he saw the travelers sitting in the town square, he asked them where they were from and where they were going.

18 “We have been in Bethlehem in Judah,” the man replied. “We are on our way to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim, which is my home. I traveled to Bethlehem, and now I’m returning home.[c] But no one has taken us in for the night, 19 even though we have everything we need. We have straw and feed for our donkeys and plenty of bread and wine for ourselves.”

20 “You are welcome to stay with me,” the old man said. “I will give you anything you might need. But whatever you do, don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took them home with him and fed the donkeys. After they washed their feet, they ate and drank together.

22 While they were enjoying themselves, a crowd of troublemakers from the town surrounded the house. They began beating at the door and shouting to the old man, “Bring out the man who is staying with you so we can have sex with him.”

23 The old man stepped outside to talk to them. “No, my brothers, don’t do such an evil thing. For this man is a guest in my house, and such a thing would be shameful. 24 Here, take my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine. I will bring them out to you, and you can abuse them and do whatever you like. But don’t do such a shameful thing to this man.”

25 But they wouldn’t listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door. The men of the town abused her all night, taking turns raping her until morning. Finally, at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman returned to the house where her husband was staying. She collapsed at the door of the house and lay there until it was light.

27 When her husband opened the door to leave, there lay his concubine with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said, “Get up! Let’s go!” But there was no answer.[d] So he put her body on his donkey and took her home.

29 When he got home, he took a knife and cut his concubine’s body into twelve pieces. Then he sent one piece to each tribe throughout all the territory of Israel.

30 Everyone who saw it said, “Such a horrible crime has not been committed in all the time since Israel left Egypt. Think about it! What are we going to do? Who’s going to speak up?”

Wow! The similarities are eerily similar. If we cast our net even further back in Genesis to capture Genesis 18. You will note that the two angels had spent the day with Abraham and Sarah. The differences between that event in Genesis 18 and the beginning of this passage in Judge 19 will be discussed tomorrow. But lets focus today on the events of Judges 18:15-27 in comparison to Genesis 19:1-11. The similarities are so chilling that you would think you were having déjà vu or something. In each case, the main characters start to spend the night in the town square. In each case, a man of the town (in the case of Genesis, it was Lot but here the man is unnamed) offers to get them out of the night air and take them to his home. While, in each case, they were eating and enjoying each other’s company, a mob of men from the town come the home and demand that the host give up the guest males in the house to the crowd so they can publicly have group sex with the men. Make no mistake this was going to be a public homosexual gang rape in both cases. If that sounds gross and ugly and nasty. It should. In both cases, a female is offered up to satisfy the group’s licentious sexual desires.

There are differences also. In the case of the female being offered up to gratify the sexual desires of a gang of men, in the Genesis story, the females are Lot’s own daughters who are virgins. In the Judges story, the female is a concubine. In the Genesis story, Lot defends the angelic visitors but in the Judges story the host and the Levite priest offer up the concubine rather quickly. In the Genesis story, the angels prevent anything from happening to Lot himself or his daughters and the mob is prevented from taking the event to the next level – gang rape, whether it had been homosexual or heterosexual. In the Judges story, there is no angelic intervention or divine intervention by God. In the Judges story, the poor girl is so raped so hard and so long by so many that she is must have had severe internal injuries as well as external ones to the point that she died.

That’s kind of the point here I think. The writers are showing the readers that you just thought Sodom and Gomorroh were depraved, just look how depraved Israel is now. The Sodom and Gomorrah story’s sequence about Lot and the angels seems tame compared to what happened here. This story is disgusting in its depravity. The gang came to the house to have a homosexual orgy and end up killing a girl in a heterosexual one. They apparently just like having orgies and group sex. They were going to get some no matter whether it was a man or woman. How freaking sick were these people? The fact that God did not intervene is significant. Remember, Abraham dickered with God about whether God would spare the towns if He found x number of righteous people. Ultimately, after saving Lot and his family, Sodom and Gomorroh were destroyed. However, there is no such search here by angels. They were that morally depraved there is no intervention. We have a Levite with a concubine. We have a host who is willing to sell out his guests instead of going outside to confront the crowd. We have a Levite willing to sell out a person who is part of his people under his care (the concubine). We have a crowd that was gonna gang rape somebody. We have a crowd that ravaged a woman so hard and so long without a care for her safety that they killed her by having sex with her so much. How morally depraved is this town and this people?

That’s the question we must ask ourselves about our own nation today? Are we becoming Sodom and Gomorrah? Are we becoming the progressively worse Gibeah? We are a nation now that accepts behaviors that are forbidden by God’s law and we glorify them now. We accept sex in all its forms as freedom of personal expression regardless of whether it is condoned by God’s Word or not. We are a nation with no king. Jesus is no longer the central figure in our nation’s collective moral conscience. We are doing what we think is right in our own minds. We have rationalized away sex as recreation whether it be unmarried heterosexuality or any type of homosexuality as my seeking my own self fulfillment. We are just like the Sodom and Gomorrah and we are Gibeah.

Think about it.

Amen and Amen.

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