士师记 19

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1 利未和他的妾

2 他的妾背夫行淫,离开丈夫,回到犹大伯利恒父亲的家那里去了,在那里住了的日子。

3 她的丈夫起来着一个仆和两头去追她,用话打动她的,叫她回来。她把丈夫到自己父家,那少女父亲见了那,就欢欢喜喜迎接他。

4 那人的岳父,就是女子的父亲,强留那人,那人就与他同;他们一起,在那里宿。

5 到了第四,他们清起来,那人起身要走;那女子的父亲对女婿:“请吃点饼增添力,然再走。”

6 于是下,一起;女子的父亲对那:“请你答应再过一夜,畅快你的。”

7 起来要走,他的岳父强留他,他又在那里过了一夜。

8 到了第五,他清起来要走;那女子的父亲:“请点饼增添心力,等到日头西斜再走吧。”于是他们耽延,直到日头西斜;人一同饭。

9 和他的妾,以及他的仆起来要走的时候,他的岳父,就是那女子的父亲,对他:“看哪,快晚了!请再住一夜。看哪,日头西斜了!请在这里再住一夜,畅快你的心;明天可以清起来,上回家去。”

10 不愿再住一夜,就着自己的妾和两头备好了的起来走了,到耶布斯对面;耶布斯就是耶路撒冷

11 基比亚之行程他们走近耶布斯的时候,日头快要落了;仆人对:“来,让我们到这耶布斯人的城去,好在那里住宿。”

12 人对他:“我们不可到这座不是以色列人居住的外族人的城里去,我们过到基比亚去吧。”

13 又对他的仆人:“来吧,我们可以到这些地方其中个去投宿,或在基比亚或在拉玛。”

14 于是他们走过去;他们走近便雅悯人的基比亚的时候,日头已经落了。

15 他们从那里转身,要进基比亚去宿;他们进去,在城里的广场上,因为没有接待他们到里去宿。

16 晚上,有一个老年从田间工作;那原是以法莲地的,寄居在基比亚;那地方却是便雅悯

17 那老年举目,见那个旅客在城里的广场上,就问他:“你要到哪里去?你从哪里?”

18 利未回答他:“我们是从犹大伯利恒过来的,要到以法莲地的偏远地区去,我原是那地方的;我去过犹大伯利恒,现在我要到我的家去(“到我的家去”原文作“到耶和华的殿去”),但没有接待我到家里去。

19 其实我有粮、有饲料,可以喂;我和我的妾,以及与你的仆人在一起的那个青年人,都有饼和酒吃喝,一无所缺。”

20 那老年:“愿你平安,你所缺乏的,由我负责好了;只是不可在广场上过夜。”

21 于是把他领到自己的家里,用饲料喂了,他们,就

22 基比亚匪徒的罪行他们里正畅快的时候,忽然城里有些无赖之徒,围绕房子,不住地敲,对老房主:“把进入你家的那个,我们要与他交合。”

23 那房主出见他们,对他们:“我的众兄弟啊,不可这样,请你们不要作恶;这既然进了我的家,你们就不要作这羞耻的事。

24 这里有我的女儿,还是处女,并且有这的妾,我把她们领出来,让你们污辱她们;你们看怎样,就怎样待她们吧。只是对这个,你们却不要作这羞耻的事。”

25 那些却不肯从他的话,那就抓住自己的妾,拉出外边去交给他们,他们就与她交合,整夜污辱她;直到早晨,天色破晓的时候,才放她走。

26 天快亮的时候,那女子回到留她住宿的那的房子口,就仆倒在那里,直到天亮。

27 早晨,她的起来开了,出去要上的时候,就看见那妇人,就是他的妾,仆倒在口,她的双搭在槛上。

28 他对那妇:“起来我们走吧!”可是却没有回答。那就把她驮在上,起程回自己的地方去了。

29 他到了家里,就拿起,抓住自己的妾,把她的肢体切成十块,叫人送到以色列的全境去。

30 见的人都:“自从以色列人埃及地上来的日子,直到今日,这样的事并没有发生过,也没有见过;你们要思想,要商议,要讨论。”

  

Exploring the Meaning of 士师记 19      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Levite’s Concubine and the Crime of Gibeah

In many ways the events in this chapter show the further deterioration of the spiritual condition of the people of Israel. It's a terrible story, much like the story of Sodom, much earlier in the Book of Genesis. It ends with some men of Gibeah – a town of Israel – seeking to have sex with a man who is a guest of one of the men of the city. This does not happen; they are instead diverted into an all-night rape of the man’s concubine, so that she is lifeless when he retrieves her body in the morning. He then cuts her up into twelve pieces and sends these throughout the whole territory of Israel.

As we have been saying, these last few chapters of the Book of Judges show clearly that once evil takes hold of a person – even a community or a country – and goes unchecked, and there is no indication of any desire to stop it or to turn from it, it will expand and poison the whole ‘body’. Then there is no distinction between what is good and evil, or between what is true and what is false, and there is no longer any active conscience left to check thoughts, desires and actions. (Arcana Caelestia 977)

The story begins… A Levite, a priest of Israel, takes a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah, but she takes part in prostitution and leaves the priest and goes to her father’s house in Bethlehem. The Levite goes to talk kindly with her, and she takes him into her father’s house where he is made welcome by her father.

The spiritual meaning of this is about a fairly mild situation of disorder and wrong which will form the beginning of all that is to happen. The Levite has a concubine. The concubine takes part in prostitution. The father’s fault seems to be that he keeps delaying the Levite’s departure. Every person lives with their own natures which produce mild disorders which can in fact become useful to us during regeneration. But allowed or left to stay unchecked, these disorders can begin to take hold. (Arcana Caelestia 8407)

The Levite keeps intending to leave, but several times the father of the concubine begs him to stay another night and detains him. Three days there becomes four, another night is spent, and on the fifth day the father urges the Levite to stay and eat and spend another night and go away early the next day. This time the Levite refuses and they leave and get to the town of Jebus, a Canaanite town which will eventually become Jerusalem.

The spiritual meaning of these delays before leaving lies in the danger of not turning away from something which is beginning to hold us and become our new normality. The father is very persuasive, but he is the father of a concubine who prostitutes herself. The Levite senses something is not right, and he insists he will leave. (Divine Providence 329)

The Levite’s servant asks for them to stay in Jebus, but the Levite refuses to stay in a foreign city and says they will go on to Gibeah or Ramah. They come to Gibeah and stay in the square as no one will take them in. An old man passes by and offers to take them into his house, and they go with him.

The spiritual point of this refusal to stay in the foreign city of Jebus but to go on to Gibeah, a city in Israel, is to bring out for us a sense of the abhorrence of what is about to happen there, and the extent of the wrong in Israel. (Apocalypse Revealed 158)

Some men of Gibeah beat on the door demanding that the man staying there come out so that they can sexually abuse him. The old man refuses but offers them his virgin daughter and the visitor’s concubine, but the men refuse. The Levite takes the concubine out of the house to the men and they rape her all night until morning.

The spiritual meaning for us of this story of the men of Gibeah and the concubine stems from the fact that no one in the entire story is blameless, apart from the virgin daughter of the old man. Everyone else is culpable. Spiritually, this reminds us that we are potentially capable of thinking about and even wanting to commit every evil and that regeneration – shunning all evils as sins against God and living in careful obedience to the Word – is the guard against this. (Divine Providence 296)

Abused and left, the concubine falls at the door of the house. In the morning the Levite sees her, bids her get ready to leave, then realises she is dead. He puts her on his donkey and goes to his house. He takes a knife and cuts the concubine into twelve pieces and sends these throughout the whole of Israel. And all who see say that no such thing has been seen since Israel came out of Egypt and end saying, ‘Consider it. Confer. Speak up!’

The spiritual meaning for us in dividing the concubine’s body in twelve parts and distributing them throughout all Israel is to do with our need to examine ourselves and see where our evils lie within us, often hidden and unknown. This is to be done in view of our actions, words, thoughts, intentions and what we might do if there were no penalty. (Divine Providence 149, 152, 278)

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