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Thread: Judges 19 - what a story! Some questions

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    Question Judges 19 - what a story! Some questions

    I was warned that Judges 19 is a pretty shocking tale...it truly is. Though I think it was probably more shocking 100 years ago than today, when every night there are shows about murder and serial killers on TV for entertainment.

    I'm a little confused about verses 5-9. Why does the Levite tarry (to use my KJV's word)? What is the point of this passage? I think it's trying to show how his father-in-law showed good hospitality versus what he received in Gibeah...? In my own experience, a host who wants his guests to leave will make excuses why they have to go, but the father-in-law constantly invites him to stay longer, indicating he truly is offering hospitality. And presumably since the Levite stayed, he was enjoying the company. So it shows good hospitality. Do you think I'm on the right track?

    Second, I'm still working my way through Israelite history and the significance of different tribal names. Is the fact that we are talking about a Levite who has such good relations with a father-in-law in Bethlehem have some geographical or tribal significance?

    Third, the episode in Gibeah seems to be a parallel of Lot's tale, where visitors are demanded by a mob. In both cases, the householder tries to protect the traveler. In both cases, a father offers his own children (daughters in Genesis, the single daughter/concubine in Judges). In this case, the concubine is sort of both a child and a traveler. It's interesting to me that in both cases (Gen 19:5, Judges 19:22) the mob demands the men, but in this case is apparently satiated with the woman.

    Finally, what are we to make of the "maiden" reference in 19:24? The KJV refers to the concubine as a "maiden" and the ESV as a "virgin daughter". How do we square that with 19:2? The KJV says she "played the whore" and the ESV records she "was unfaithful to him". Is the father in law grimly attempting to entice the crowd with a lie? E.g., we'll not only give you a woman but a virgin as well, presuming in that cultural context that this fact makes the victim more desirable).

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    Re: Judges 19 - what a story! Some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ObadiahHaidabo View Post
    I was warned that Judges 19 is a pretty shocking tale...it truly is. Though I think it was probably more shocking 100 years ago than today, when every night there are shows about murder and serial killers on TV for entertainment.

    I'm a little confused about verses 5-9. Why does the Levite tarry (to use my KJV's word)? What is the point of this passage? I think it's trying to show how his father-in-law showed good hospitality versus what he received in Gibeah...? In my own experience, a host who wants his guests to leave will make excuses why they have to go, but the father-in-law constantly invites him to stay longer, indicating he truly is offering hospitality. And presumably since the Levite stayed, he was enjoying the company. So it shows good hospitality. Do you think I'm on the right track?

    Second, I'm still working my way through Israelite history and the significance of different tribal names. Is the fact that we are talking about a Levite who has such good relations with a father-in-law in Bethlehem have some geographical or tribal significance?

    Third, the episode in Gibeah seems to be a parallel of Lot's tale, where visitors are demanded by a mob. In both cases, the householder tries to protect the traveler. In both cases, a father offers his own children (daughters in Genesis, the single daughter/concubine in Judges). In this case, the concubine is sort of both a child and a traveler. It's interesting to me that in both cases (Gen 19:5, Judges 19:22) the mob demands the men, but in this case is apparently satiated with the woman.


    Finally, what are we to make of the "maiden" reference in 19:24? The KJV refers to the concubine as a "maiden" and the ESV as a "virgin daughter". How do we square that with 19:2? The KJV says she "played the whore" and the ESV records she "was unfaithful to him". Is the father in law grimly attempting to entice the crowd with a lie? E.g., we'll not only give you a woman but a virgin as well, presuming in that cultural context that this fact makes the victim more desirable).
    [1] The Levite tarried because his concubine's father was showing hospitality as you say. It says earlier that the father of this concubine liked the Levite and was glad to see him..

    [2] I do not believe there is any geographical significance at all. Levites did not have their own inheritance of land in the Promised Land. Each tribe who got land also received a group of Levites to live among them. There were Levites everywhere in the Promised Land.

    [3] This story is a sick and bizarre one indeed. Moses is long since dead. Joshua is dead. There is NO leadership to guide the people in the ways of God. God raises up judges of his choosing and they aren't all rosy role models. The book of Judges says that every one did what was right in his own eyes. When mankind does that - the results are horrifying.

    And just because God doesn't strike the host and the Levite down with lightning doesn't mean that God isn't angry at their actions. That's what I have had to stress in Sunday School, community Bible Study, and other classes......people are so horrified over this story and a few others that they question God. God didn't cause this sin or approve in silence this sin. The culture was what is was.

    Don't forget this led to the almost destruction of the tribe of Benjamin. The other tribes got mad because the tribe of Benjamin sheltered the town where the mob abused these women. So the rest of Israel fought against Benjamin and almost wiped them out - leaving only a few hundred men.

    THEN, they felt bad for what they did to Benjamin and tried to help the find wives to keep the tribe going and attack yet another town who did not help and allowed the few hundred Benjaminites to kidnap women from this town to steal as wives.

    It just get worse and worse and broader and broader .


    [4] There were two women thrown to the mob. The virgin daughter of the host and the concubine of the Levite. The host says in both King Jams and other versions that he will send "them" out to the mob and that they can do to "them" what they wish.

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    Re: Judges 19 - what a story! Some questions

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I agree

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    Re: Judges 19 - what a story! Some questions

    The book of Judges is essentially a long death spiral of the nation of Israel. I think the narrative which is almost exactly similar to that of Lot in Sodom is absolutely intentional and in fact paints the Israelites in a worse light than the mob in Sodom.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

    John777 exists to me only in quoted form.



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