Judges 19

Study

           

1 And it cometh to pass, in those days, when there is no king in Israel, that there is a man a Levite, a sojourner in the sides of the hill-country of Ephraim, and he taketh to him a wife, a concubine, out of Beth-Lehem-Judah;

2 and commit whoredom against him doth his concubine, and she goeth from him unto the house of her father, unto Beth-Lehem-Judah, and is there days -- four months.

3 And her husband riseth and goeth after her, to speak unto her heart, to bring her back, and his young man [is] with him, and a couple of asses; and she bringeth him into the house of her father, and the father of the young woman seeth him, and rejoiceth to meet him.

4 And keep hold on him doth his father-in-law, father of the young woman, and he abideth with him three days, and they eat and drink, and lodge there.

5 And it cometh to pass, on the fourth day, that they rise early in the morning, and he riseth to go, and the father of the young woman saith unto his son-in-law, `Support thy heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward ye go on.'

6 And they sit and eat both of them together, and drink, and the father of the young woman saith unto the man, `Be willing, I pray thee, and lodge all night, and let thy heart be glad.'

7 And the man riseth to go, and his father-in-law presseth on him, and he turneth back and lodgeth there.

8 And he riseth early in the morning, on the fifth day, to go, and the father of the young woman saith, `Support, I pray thee, thy heart;' and they have tarried till the turning of the day, and they eat, both of them.

9 And the man riseth to go, he and his concubine, and his young man, and his father-in-law, father of the young woman, saith to him, `Lo, I pray thee, the day hath fallen toward evening, lodge all night, I pray thee; lo, the declining of the day! lodge here, and let thine heart be glad -- and ye have risen early to-morrow for your journey, and thou hast gone to thy tent.'

10 And the man hath not been willing to lodge all night, and he riseth, and goeth, and cometh in till over-against Jebus (It [is] Jerusalem), and with him [are] a couple of asses saddled; and his concubine [is] with him.

11 They [are] near Jebus, and the day hath gone greatly down, and the young man saith unto his lord, `Come, I pray thee, and we turn aside unto this city of the Jebusite, and lodge in it.'

12 And his lord saith unto him, `Let us not turn aside unto the city of a stranger, that is not of the sons of Israel, thither, but we have passed over unto Gibeah.'

13 And he saith to his young man, `Come, and we draw near to one of the places, and have lodged in Gibeah, or in Ramah.'

14 And they pass over, and go on, and the sun goeth in upon them near Gibeah, which is to Benjamin;

15 and they turn aside there to go in to lodge in Gibeah, and he goeth in and sitteth in a broad place of the city, and there is no man gathering them into the house to lodge.

16 And lo, a man, an aged one, hath come from his work from the field in the evening, and the man [is] of the hill-country of Ephraim, and he [is] a sojourner in Gibeah, and the men of the place [are] Benjamites.

17 And he lifteth up his eyes, and seeth the man, the traveller, in a broad place of the city, and the aged man saith, `Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?'

18 And he saith unto him, `We are passing over from Beth-Lehem-Judah unto the sides of the hill-country of Ephraim -- thence I [am], and I go unto Beth-Lehem-Judah; and to the house of Jehovah I am going, and there is no man gathering me into the house,

19 and both straw and provender are for our asses, and also bread and wine there are for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man with thy servants; there is no lack of anything.'

20 And the old man saith, `Peace to thee; only, all thy lack [is] on me, only in the broad place lodge not.'

21 And he bringeth him in to his house, and mixeth [food] for the asses, and they wash their feet, and eat and drink.

22 They are making their heart glad, and lo, men of the city, men -- sons of worthlessness -- have gone round about the house, beating on the door, and they speak unto the old man, the master of the house, saying, `Bring out the man who hath come unto thine house, and we know him.'

23 And the man, the master of the house, goeth out unto them, and saith unto them, `Nay, my brethren, do not evil, I pray you, after that this man hath come in unto my house, do not this folly;

24 lo, my daughter, the virgin, and his concubine, let me bring them out, I pray you, and humble ye them, and do to them that which is good in your eyes, and to this man do not this foolish thing.'

25 And the men have not been willing to hearken to him, and the man taketh hold on his concubine, and bringeth [her] out unto them without, and they know her, and roll themselves upon her all the night, till the morning, and send her away in the ascending of the dawn;

26 and the woman cometh in at the turning of the morning, and falleth at the opening of the man's house, where her lord [is], till the light.

27 And her lord riseth in the morning, and openeth the doors of the house, and goeth out to go on his way, and lo, the woman, his concubine, is fallen at the opening of the house, and her hands [are] on the threshold,

28 and he saith unto her, `Rise, and we go;' and there is none answering, and he taketh her on the ass, and the man riseth and goeth to his place,

29 and cometh in unto his house, and taketh the knife, and layeth hold on his concubine, and cutteth her in pieces to her bones -- into twelve pieces, and sendeth her into all the border of Israel.

30 And it hath come to pass, every one who seeth hath said, `There hath not been -- yea, there hath not been seen like this, from the day of the coming up of the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt till this day; set your [heart] upon it, take counsel, and speak.'

  

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)

    Studovat vnitřní smysl

Přeložit: