Juges 19

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1 Il arriva aussi en ce temps-là, n'y ayant point de Roi en Israël, qu'il y eut un Lévite, demeurant aux côtés de la montagne d'Ephraïm, qui prit une femme concubine de Bethléhem de Juda.

2 Mais sa concubine paillarda chez lui, et s'en alla d'avec lui en la maison de son père en Bethléhem de Juda, et elle y fut quelques jours, savoir l'espace de quatre mois.

3 Puis son mari se leva, et s'en alla après elle, pour lui parler selon son cœur, [et] pour la ramener. Il avait aussi avec soi son serviteur, et deux ânes; et elle le fit entrer dans la maison de son père; et le père de la jeune femme le voyant se réjouit de son arrivée.

4 Son beau-père donc, père de la jeune femme, le retint [à grande instance]; de sorte qu'il demeura avec lui trois jours; et ils mangèrent et burent, et logèrent là.

5 Et au quatrième jour s'étant levé de bon matin, il se mit en chemin pour s'en aller; mais le père de la jeune femme dit à son beau-fils : Fortifie ton cœur avec une bouchée de pain, et puis vous vous en irez.

6 Ils s'assirent donc, et mangèrent et burent eux deux ensemble; et le père de la jeune femme dit au mari : Je te prie qu'il te plaise de passer encore ici cette nuit, et que ton cœur se réjouisse.

7 Et comme le mari se fut mis en chemin pour s'en aller, son beau-père le pressa tellement, qu'il s'en retourna; et il y passa encore la nuit.

8 Et au cinquième jour il se leva de bon matin pour s'en aller, et le père de la jeune femme dit : Je te prie, fortifie ton cœur; et ils tardèrent tant, que le jour baissa pendant qu'ils mangeaient eux deux [ensemble].

9 Puis le mari se mit en chemin pour s'en aller, lui et sa concubine, avec son serviteur. Et son beau-père le père de la jeune femme, lui dit : Voici maintenant le jour baisse, il se fait tard, je vous prie passez ici la nuit, voici le jour finit, passe ici la nuit, et que ton cœur se réjouisse; et demain au matin vous vous lèverez pour aller votre chemin, et tu t'en iras en ta maison.

10 Mais le mari ne voulut point y passer la nuit; mais il se leva, et s'en alla et vint jusque vis-à-vis de Jébus, qui est Jérusalem, ayant avec soi ses deux ânes embâtés, et sa concubine.

11 Or comme ils étaient près de Jébus, et que le jour était fort avancé, le serviteur dit à son maître : Marchez, je vous prie, et détournons-nous vers cette ville des Jébusiens, afin que nous y passions la nuit.

12 Et son maître lui répondit : Nous ne Nous détournerons point vers aucune ville des étrangers, où il n'y a point d'enfants d'Israël; mais Nous passerons jusqu'à Guibha.

13 Il dit aussi à son serviteur : Marche, et nous gagnerons l'un de ces lieux-là, et nous passerons la nuit à Guibha, ou à Rama.

14 Ils passèrent donc plus avant et marchèrent, et le soleil se coucha comme ils furent près de Guibha, qui appartient à Benjamin.

15 Alors ils se détournèrent vers Guibha pour y entrer et y passer la nuit; et y étant entrés, ils demeurèrent en la place de la ville, car il n'y avait personne qui les retirât chez soi afin qu'ils y passassent la nuit.

16 Et voici sur le soir un vieux homme venait des champs de son travail, et cet homme était de la montagne d'Ephraïm, mais il demeurait à Guibha, dont les habitants étaient enfants de Jémini.

17 Et levant ses yeux il vit dans la place de la ville ce passant; et cet homme vieux lui dit : Où vas-tu, et d'où viens-tu?

18 Et il lui répondit : Nous passons de Bethléhem de Juda vers les côtés de la montagne d'Ephraïm, d'où je suis, parce que j'étais allé jusqu'à Bethléhem de Juda, mais maintenant je m'en vais à la maison de l'Eternel, et il n'y a ici personne qui me retire chez lui.

19 Nous avons pourtant de la paille et du fourrage pour nos ânes, et du pain et du vin pour moi et pour ta servante, et pour le garçon qui est avec tes serviteurs; Nous n'avons besoin d'aucune chose.

20 Et le vieillard lui dit : Paix te soit, quoi qu'il en soit je me charge de tout ce dont tu as besoin; [je te prie] seulement de ne passer point la nuit dans la place.

21 Alors il le fit entrer en sa maison, et il donna du fourrage aux ânes; ils lavèrent leurs pieds, mangèrent et burent.

22 Comme ils faisaient bonne chère, voici les gens de la ville, hommes fort corrompus, environnèrent la maison, heurtant à la porte, et ils parlèrent au vieux homme, maître de la maison, en disant : Fais sortir cet homme qui est entré en ta maison, afin que nous le connaissions.

23 Mais cet homme, [savoir] le maître de la maison, sortit vers eux, et leur dit : Non, mes frères, ne lui faites point de mal, je vous prie : puisque cet homme est entré en ma maison, ne faites point une telle infamie.

24 Voici, j'ai une fille vierge, et [cet homme] a sa concubine, je vous les amènerai dehors maintenant, et vous les violerez, et vous ferez d'elles comme il vous semblera bon; mais ne commettez point cette action infâme à l'égard de cet homme.

25 Mais ces gens-là ne voulurent point l'écouter; c'est pourquoi cet homme prit sa concubine, et la leur amena dehors; et ils la connurent, et abusèrent d'elle toute la nuit jusques au matin, puis ils la renvoyèrent comme l'aube du jour se levait.

26 Cette femme donc, comme le jour approchait, s'en revint, et étant tombée à la porte de la maison de l'homme où était son Seigneur, elle y demeura jusqu'au jour.

27 Et son Seigneur se leva de bon matin, et ayant ouvert la porte il sortait pour continuer son chemin; mais voici, sa femme concubine était tombée à la porte de la maison, et avait les mains sur le seuil.

28 Et il lui dit : Lève-toi, et allons-nous-en; mais elle ne répondait point. Alors il la chargea sur un âne, et se mit en chemin, et s'en alla en son lieu.

29 Et étant venu en sa maison, il prit un couteau, et empoignant sa concubine il la partagea avec ses os en douze parts, et en envoya dans tous les Cantons d'Israël.

30 Et il arriva que tous ceux qui virent cela dirent : Une telle chose n'a été faite ni vue depuis le jour que les enfants d'Israël sont montés hors du pays d'Egypte, jusqu'à ce jour. Pensez à cela, consultez, et prononcez.

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Exploring the Meaning of Judges 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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Arcanes Célestes 3148, 4592

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Významy biblických slov

Roi
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Israël
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

côtés
'Sides' signify the interior or middle between the inmost and the extremes. The word 'rib' is used to mean sides, they denote truths, but sides...

Montagne
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

Ephraïm
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

femme
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

Bethléhem
Il existe une relation étroite entre Éphrata et Bethléem dans la Bible ; il peut s'agir de deux noms différents pour la même ville, ou...

Juda
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

mais
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Maison
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

père
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

quatre
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

Mois
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

mari
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

après
Selon Swedenborg, le temps et l'espace n'existent pas dans la réalité spirituelle ; ce sont des choses purement naturelles qui n'existent que sur le plan...

parler
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

cœur
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

Ânes
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

entrer
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

Jeune
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

voyant
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

se réjouit
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

réjouit
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

Trois
'Thirteen,' between twelve and fourteen, denotes the intermediate state. 'Thirteen,' as the sum of ten and three, denotes remains.

Quatrième
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

jour
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

levé
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

Matin
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

dit
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

pain
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

deux
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

demain
'Tomorrow' signifies eternity.

Jérusalem
Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, signifies the doctrine of love to the Lord, and how it governs your life. Jerusalem first comes to our attention in...

Maître
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

nous
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Ville
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

étrangers
A foreigner, as in Exodus 12:45, signifies one who does good from his own natural disposition alone.

Enfants
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

d'Israël
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

un
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Rama
'Ramah' denotes things that pertain to spiritual truth derived from celestial truth.

passèrent
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Soleil
The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

Benjamin
Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

soir
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

vieux
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...

homme
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

des champs
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

champs
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

travail
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

yeux
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

viens
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

l'eternel
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

paille
The word 'straw,' as in Genesis 24:25, signifies scientific truths, because it is food for camels. Straw,' as in Isaiah 11:6, signifies the Word in...

Fourrage
'Provender' signifies the good of scientific truths. 'To give provender to his donkey,' as in Genesis 42:27, signifies reflection upon scientific ideas, because 'provender' is...

du vin
Wine played a key role in the ancient world, where safe, reliable water sources were scarce. It could be stored for long periods of time;...

vin
Wine played a key role in the ancient world, where safe, reliable water sources were scarce. It could be stored for long periods of time;...

servante
'Maids' denote external affections serving the internal.

garçon
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

serviteurs
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

pieds
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

Hommes
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Porte
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

parlèrent
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

entré
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

connaissions
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

Frères
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

fille
Marriages among people – both in the Bible and in life – represent spiritual marriage. Women represent the desire to be good and to do...

vierge
'Virgins,' as in Revelation 14:4, signify people who love truths because they are truths, so from a spiritual affection. 'Virgin' signifies the church as a...

Écouter
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

connurent
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

nuit
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Aube
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

l'homme
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Seigneur
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

Ouvert
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

mains
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

âne
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

venu
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Couteau
'A knife' used for sacrifices denotes the truth of faith.

OS
Les os sont forts et nous soutiennent, ils fournissent un cadre à notre corps et rendent possible le mouvement et l'action. Ils sont également la...

vue
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Pays
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

Egypte
Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...

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 Deborah and Barak Review Questions
Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about the story of Deborah and Barak.
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 Dividing the Land of Canaan Review Questions
Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about the division of the land of Canaan.
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