Judges 19

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1 And it was, in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a man, a Levite, sojourning on the flanks of Mount Ephraim, who took to him a woman, a concubine, out of Bethlehem of Judah.

2 And his concubine committed·​·harlotry against him, and went from him to the house of her father, to Bethlehem of Judah, and she was there the days of four months.

3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak unto her heart, to turn· her ·back, and his lad was with him, and a pair of donkeys; and she brought him into the house of her father: and the father of the damsel saw him and was·​·glad to meet him.

4 And his father-in-law, the father of the damsel, held· him ·firmly, and he dwelt with him three days; and they did eat and drink, and passed·​·the·​·night there.

5 And it was, on the fourth day, that they got·​·up·​·early in the morning, and he arose to go, and the father of the damsel said to his son-in-law, Sustain thy heart with a morsel of bread, and afterwards go.

6 And they sat and did eat, the two of them, and they drank, and the father of the damsel said unto the man, Be·​·content, I pray thee, and pass·​·the·​·night, and let thy heart be·​·well.

7 And the man arose to go, and his father-in-law urged him, and he returned and lodged there.

8 And he got·​·up·​·early on the morning of the fifth day to go; and the father of the damsel said, Sustain thy heart, I pray thee, and they lingered until the day stretched·​·out; and the two of them did eat.

9 And the man arose to go, he and his concubine and his lad. And his father-in-law, the father of the damsel, said to him, Behold, now, the day slackens to evening. Pass·​·the·​·night, I pray thee. Behold, the day encamps. Pass·​·the·​·night here, and let thy heart be·​·good; and tomorrow get· on your way ·early, and go to thy tent.

10 But the man was· not ·willing to pass·​·the·​·night, and rose·​·up and went and came opposite Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and with him were the pair of donkeys saddled; and his concubine was with him.

11 When they were by Jebus, the day had gone·​·down exceedingly, and the lad said unto his lord, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn·​·aside to this city of the Jebusite, and pass·​·the·​·night in her.

12 And his lord said to him, We will not turn·​·aside to a foreign city, that is not of the sons of Israel; but will pass·​·on until Gibeah.

13 And he said unto his lad, Come, and let us come·​·near to one of the places, and let us pass·​·the·​·night in Gibeah or in Ramah.

14 And they passed·​·by and went; and the sun went·​·in* for them beside Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.

15 And they turned·​·aside there to come·​·in to lodge in Gibeah; and he came·​·in and sat in the avenue of the city; and no man gathered them in to his house to lodge.

16 And, behold, an old man came from his work, from the field, in the evening; and the man was from Mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjaminites.

17 And he lifted·​·up his eyes and saw the traveling man in the avenue 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 of Judah toward the flanks of Mount Ephraim; from thence am I; and I went to Bethlehem of Judah; and I am going to the house of Jehovah, and no man gathers me to his house.

19 And there·​·is both straw and fodder for our donkeys; and there·​·is also bread and wine for me and for thy maidservant, and for the lad with thy servants; there is no want of anything.

20 And the old man said, Peace be to thee; only let all thy wants be upon me; only pass· not ·the·​·night on the avenue.

21 And he brought them into his house, and gave fodder to the donkeys; and they bathed their feet, and did eat and drink.

22 They were making their hearts good, and behold the men of the city, men of the sons of Belial, surrounded the house, pushed·​·on the door, and said to the man, the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring·​·out the man that came to thy house, and we will know him.

23 And the man, the master of the house, went·​·out unto them, and said unto them, No, my brothers, I pray you, do· not ·evil; after this man is come into my house, do not do this folly.

24 Behold my daughter, the virgin, and his concubine; them will I bring·​·out now, and afflict ye them, and do to them what is good in your eyes; but unto this man do not do this thing of folly.

25 But the men were· not ·willing to hearken to him; and the man took hold· of his concubine ·firmly, and brought· her ·forth unto them on the street; and they knew her and abused her all the night, until the morning; and in the coming·​·up of the dawn they sent· her ·away.

26 And the woman came at the turning of the morning, and fell down at the entrance of the house of the man, where her lord was, until it was light.

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 had fallen at the entrance of the house, and her hands were over the doorway.

28 And he said to her, Arise, and let us go; but none answered. And he took her on the donkey, and the man arose and went to his place.

29 And he came to his house, and he took a knife, and firmly·​·held his concubine, and sectioned her according to her bones in twelve sections, and sent her into every border of Israel.

30 And it was, that all who saw it said, There has not been such, nor has such been seen as this from the day that the sons of Israel came·​·up from the land of Egypt until this day. Set yourselves upon it, take·​·counsel and speak.

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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)

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 3148, 4592

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 16:8, 18:4, 5, 19:2, 4, 5, 8, 34:3, 7, 43:23

Joshua 15:8, 18:25, 28

Judges 1:21, 3:27, 6:23, 12:8, 17:6, 20:4, 5, 6, 7

Ruth 3:7

1 Samuel 11:7

Psalms 104:15, 23

Proverbs 20:18

Isaiah 10:29

Hosea 2:16, 5:8, 9:9

Romans 1:27

Hebrews 13:2

Významy biblických slov

four
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...

months
'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...

husband
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...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

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

meet
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

dwelt
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

fourth
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...

drank
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

heart
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...

urged
When someone is pressed or pressured in the Bible, it simply indicates a sense of urgency in a conflict between spiritual states.

returned
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

lingered
'To linger,' as in Genesis 19:16, signifies resistance from the nature of evil. Lingering' signifies a state of doubt. When a state of life passes...

two
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...

father
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...

Father-in-law
Father-in-law denotes good, from which comes good conjoined to truth.

damsel
The damsels of Rebecca, in Genesis 24:61, signify subservient affections. See Daughter.

tomorrow
'Tomorrow' signifies eternity.

early
Since the sun represents the Lord, the early morning and sunrise represent a state of enlightenment, with a new and clear understanding coming after a...

tent
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

jerusalem
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...

saddled
'To saddle,' as in Genesis 22:3, signifies preparation.

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

pass
'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...

near
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one
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...

places
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

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

passed
'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...

sun
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
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

turned
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sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

gathered
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

work
'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...

field
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...

evening
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...

gibeah
Gibeah, as in 2 Samuel 6, signifies the natural or ultimate principle of the church. Gibeah, Ramah, and Bethaven, as in Hosea 5:8, denote those...

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

lifted
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goest
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comest
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passing
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bethlehem
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judah
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mount
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ephraim
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going
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

jehovah
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straw
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fodder
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bread
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Wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

maidservant
'Maids' denote external affections serving the internal.

lad
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servants
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want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

peace
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donkeys
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.)

bathed
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feet
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eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

hearts
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...

old
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...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

surrounded
People inspired by evil desires and informed by false ideas want nothing more than to attack and destroy the things that are good and true...

door
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...

To
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

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

brothers
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

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

virgin
'Virgin' and 'woman,' in the Word, signify the affection of good.

good
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eyes
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...

Folly
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

men
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

hearken
'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...

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

night
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...

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

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

light
In the Word, “light” in the highest sense represents Divine Truth: knowledge, ideas, understanding that come to us from the Lord. In lesser degrees...

lord
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,...

rose
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...

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

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

doors
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...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

Woman
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

fallen
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

entrance
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...

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

arise
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...

us
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,...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

donkey
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.)

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

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

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

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

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

concubine
'Sons of concubines' signify the spiritual degree.

bones
Bones are strong and supportive, providing a framework for our bodies and making motion and action possible. They are also the least "alive" part of...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

border
Often translated as “edge,” “border,” “boundary,” “outskirts,” “far places” and other ways, this term is used in the Bible for the farthest reaches of an...

saw
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

said
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...

seen
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

israel
'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...

land
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

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

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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.
Activity | All Ages

 Dividing the Land of Canaan Review Questions
Choose words from a word bank to complete sentences about the division of the land of Canaan.
Activity | All Ages


Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.


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