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Judges 19

1 - In those days, when there was no king in Israel, there was a certain Levite living on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took for himself a concubine out of Bethlehem Judah.

2 - His concubine played the prostitute against him, and went away from him to her father's house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there for four months.

3 - Her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys. She brought him into her father's house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

4 - His father-in-law, the young lady's father, kept him there; and he stayed with him three days. So they ate and drank, and stayed there.

5 - On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning, and he rose up to depart. The young lady's father said to his son-in-law, "Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way."

6 - So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together. Then the young lady's father said to the man, "Please be pleased to stay all night, and let your heart be merry."

7 - The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he stayed there again.

8 - He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady's father said, "Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day declines"; and they both ate.

9 - When the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the young lady's father, said to him, "Behold, now the day draws toward evening, please stay all night. Behold, the day is ending. Stay here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow go on your way early, that you may go home."

10 - But the man wouldn't stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and toward Jebus (also called Jerusalem). With him were a couple of saddled donkeys. His concubine also was with him.

11 - When they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, "Please come and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and stay in it."

12 - His master said to him, "We won't turn aside into the city of a foreigner that is not of the children of Israel; but we will pass over to Gibeah."

13 - He said to his servant, "Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah."

14 - So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.

15 - They turned aside there, to go in to stay in Gibeah. He went in, and sat down in the street of the city; for there was no one who took them into his house to stay.

16 - Behold, an old man came from his work out of the field at evening. Now the man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he lived in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites.

17 - He lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, "Where are you going? Where did you come from?"

18 - He said to him, "We are passing from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim. I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem Judah. I am going to The LORD's house; and there is no one who has taken me into his house.

19 - Yet there is both straw and feed for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your servant, and for the young man who is with your servants. There is no lack of anything."

20 - The old man said, "Peace be to you; how ever let me supply all your needs. Just don't sleep in the street."

21 - So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder. Then they washed their feet, and ate and drank.

22 - As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came into your house, that we can have sex with him!"

23 - The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, "No, my brothers, please don't act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, don't do this folly.

24 - Behold, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them what seems good to you; but to this man don't do any such folly."

25 - But the men wouldn't listen to him: so the man laid hold of his concubine, and brought her out to them; and they had sex with her, and abused her all night until the morning. When the day began to dawn, they let her go.

26 - Then the woman came in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, until it was light.

27 - 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 down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold.

28 - He said to her, "Get up, and let us be going!" but no one answered. Then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and went to his place.

29 - When he had come into his house, he took a knife, and cut up his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel.

30 - It was so, that all who saw it said, "Such a deed has not been done or seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day! Consider it, take counsel, and speak."


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Judges Images and Notes

The Book of Judges

Judges 4:1 - And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD
Judges 6:6 - And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
Judges 6:7 - And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,
Judges 6:8 - That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Philistine Captives Temple of Ramses III

Wall Relief with Philistines

The ancient Egyptian temples reveal what the Philistines looked like in the ancient world. In the sculptured scenes within the funerary temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, near Thebes in Upper Egypt, is an incredible bas relief portraying Philistine captives. Pharaoh had hired these warriors as mercenaries. Rameses III who reigned from 1198-1167 BC saw that the Canaanite area was being invaded and with the help of the Philistines he established peace, according to his own record. Later the Philistines rose to a powerful position in the region with five powerful cities, they flourished in the time of Samson and the judges, their supremacy might have been due to their formal acknowledgment of pharaohs authority. Within a couple centuries they disappeared from history.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Judges
Hebrew Name - Shophtim "Judges or Deliverers"
Greek Name - Krites (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1425 to 1120 BC Approximately
Theme - 7 cycles of idolatry, oppression, repentance, and deliverance during the first 300 years in the land of Canaan
Types and Shadows - In Judges Jesus is the great judge and deliverer of His people

Summary of The Book of Judges

In the book of Judges we can see the first 300 years of the history of Israel, from the time of the death of Joshua to the time of Samuel the last of the Judges. All of the events mentioned in the book of Judges are not meant to be given in a strict chronological order and it is impossible to determine exact dates. Everything that took place happened really on a local level in the land of Israel and not necessarily on a national level. The first two chapters deal with the death of Joshua and after his death and the generation surrounding him, "there arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord or the work which he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10).

This generation of Israelites, and every generation after that during this time period fell into idolatry, they forgot the commands of God and there is a severe decline morally and spiritually. As each generation unfolded idolatry would prevail, a foreign invasion would take place and oppress the people of Israel in that local area, they would cry out to God for help, and God would send a deliverer. This cycle happened seven times in the book of Judges and speak clearly about the cycle of sin and its consequences, as well as God's love and willingness to send help when his people cry out to him.

Quick Reference Map
The Judges and the 12 Tribes of Israel
Map of the Judges and the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Click to Enlarge)


The book of Judges records six such major invasions:

Outline of the Book of Judges

The first was the Mesopotamian invasion from the northeast (Judges 3:8-11) from which Othniel delivered his people.

The second was by the Moabites and came from the southeast (Judges 3:12-20). Israel was delivered from the Moabites by Ehud, the left handed assassin of the Moabite king, Eglon.

The third invasion came under the Canaanite leaders Jabin and Sisera (Judges 4, 5). Israel was delivered from the Canaanites by Deborah, the only woman judge of which there is any record. It is interesting to note that Sisera himself was killed by a woman, Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite.

The Midianite invasion from the southeast (Judges 6-9) lasted seven years and was ended under the bold leadership of Gideon.

The foolish vow of Jephthah, which cost him the life of his daughter, came after he delivered Israel from the fifth invasion, that by the Ammonites from the east (Judges 10:6-11:40).

The sixth invasion was by the Philistines, from the southwest, and was apparently something of a recurrent nature rather than one particular campaign. During a period of at least 200 years, Israel was delivered from the Philistines by Shamgar, Samson, Samuel, Saul, and David.

The major social problem stemmed from the recurrent failure of the Israelites to drive the Canaanites out of the land, a direct violation of God's commandment. The Israelites then intermarried with the Canaanites, adopting many of their customs. This assimilation of Canaanite culture promoted the growth of idolatry which constituted the religious problem of the people.

The three most prominent deities of Canaanite worship were Baal, Asherah, and Dagon.

Baal was usually represented by a stone pillar and was a god of fertility, usually worshipped in the groves. At various times Baal-worship included fornication (Jeremiah 7:9 ), self-mutilation (1 Kings 18:28), and human sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). Baal is the deity most often mentioned in the Old Testament as being a snare for the people of God.

The symbol of Asherah was a wooden post set up in the "high places" of idolatrous worship. The Phoenician goddess of procreation and love, she was the chief female deity and is often mentioned in connection with Baal.

Dagon was a Philistine deity having the body of a fish with human hands and a human face. It was a temple of Dagon which Samson pulled down in his final act of strength.

There is seen in the book of Judges a consistent pattern—Israel is oppressed by a foreign power; the people cry to God and he raises up a judge to deliver them from their predicament; after peace is established the people become complacent and relapse into idolatry.

The judges, although chosen by God, to lead His people, were not always men of ideal character, yet they fulfilled God's purposes in delivering Israel. They served in a multiple role as judicial, military, and spiritual leaders. The period of the judges may be said to extend through the life of the last judge, Samuel, whose death is recorded
in 1 Samuel 25.

Quick Reference Maps - Judges

The Twelve Tribes and the Judges

Hazor

Jezreel

Mizpeh

Zorah

The Danites

Gibeah

Jabesh Gilead

 

The First Day. Light.

Judges Resources

The Judges

More About the Book of Judges
Judges in the Picture Study Bible
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