The Levite and his concubine
And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that
there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took
to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.
And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him
unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.
There was a certain Levite who had a concubine,
who "played the whore" by running away to her father's house.
And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and
to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and
she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel
saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.
So the Levite travelled to her father's house to "speak friendly to her"
and retrieve her.
When he arrived, her father rejoiced and greeted him warmly.
And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode
with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.
The Levite stayed three days, eating and drinking and having a good time.
And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the
morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his
son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go
On the fourth day, the Levite decided to leave, but his concubine's father talked him out of it, saying,
Stay and eat. Then you can be on your way.
And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the
damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry
all night, and let thine heart be merry.
So they ate and drank. And the concubine's father said to the Levite,
Stay another night. Let your heart be merry.
And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore
he lodged there again.
The next day, when they Levite rose to depart, his father in law talked him out of it again.
So he stayed there another night.
And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the
damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried
until afternoon, and they did eat both of them.
On the morning of the fifth day, the Levite tried to leave again, but his host insisted he stay a bit
longer and eat a bit more.
And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his
servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now
the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day
groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow
get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.
But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and
came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two
asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.
And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said
unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the
Jebusites, and lodge in it.
And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city
of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to
And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these
places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.
Finally, though his host begged him to party with him one more night, the Levite, his two asses,
and his concubine departed, passing through Jebus , which is now called Jerusalem.
And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them
when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.
After a night in Jebus, they traveled to Gibeah, in the land of Benjamin.
And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when
he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man
that took them into his house to lodging.
When they arrived in Gibeah, the Levite decided to camp out in the street, since there was no room
in the inn.
And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even,
which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of
the place were Benjamites.
And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street
of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest
But an old man saw them and said to them,
Where are you going? And where'd you come from?
And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side
of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am
now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to
Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread
and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is
with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.
The Levite answered the old man,
We come from Bethlehemjudah.
Since there's no place to stay here, we will stay in the street.
We have what we need for ourselves and our animals, so we'll be okay.
And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie
upon me; only lodge not in the street.
The old man said,
Don't sleep in the street. Stay at my house.
So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and
they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.
So they went to the old man's house, who took care of his asses.
They washed their feet, and ate and drank.
Now as they were
making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of
Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the
master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came
into thine house, that we may know him.
As they were making their hearts merry, the men of Gibeah (certain
sons of Belial
) beat on the door, and said to the old man,
Bring out the man who is staying with you so we can have sex with him. 
And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto
them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that
this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.
Behold, here is my
daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble
ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man
do not so vile a thing.
The old man said to them,
No, you can't have him.
But here is my daughter, who is a virgin, and my guest's concubine. 
Humble them by doing whatever you want to them, but don't do anything to this man.
But the men would not
hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto
them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning:
and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
Then came the woman in
the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where
her lord was, till it was light.
But the men didn't want the host's virgin daughter, so the Levite gave them his concubine instead.
The men raped her all night; the next morning, she came back to the house and collapsed at the door.
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 was fallen down at the door of the
house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
And he said unto her,
Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an
ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.
The Levite opened the door, saw the concubine lying there, and said to her,
Get up. Let's get going.
But she didn't answer.
So he put her on his donkey and went home.
And when he was come
into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and
divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into
all the coasts of Israel.
When the Levite arrived home, he cut his concubine into twelve pieces and sent one piece to each
of the twelve tribes of Israel. 
And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor
seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of
Egypt unto this day: consider
of it, take advice, and speak your minds.
Nothing like that had ever happened before or since in Israel.
Think about it and speak your mind!
- Jebus, which is Jerusalem (v.10)
Yes, Homer, Jebus is in the Bible!
- Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. (v.22)
Can't you just picture it? All the men of a city come to a house and demand to have sex with the new guy in town.
Strange Flesh: The Levite's concubine
- Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them,
and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. (v.24)
So what did the host do when he answered the door? Well, he offered the mob his virgin daughter
(and his guest's concubine), of course! It's the polite thing to do. (And the biblically correct thing to do, as well.
See Gen 19:8.)
- He took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones,
into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. (v.29)
Now that is a strange way to send a message! Someone from each tribe of Israel got a rotting piece of flesh
in the mail. What were they supposed to make of that? (Oh, look Martha, here's a stinking hunk of
putrefied abdomen that arrived in the mail parcel post!)
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- Now will we deal worse with thee, than them