The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Judges 19

Jdg 19:1

Jdg 19.

Jdg 19-21: See Lesson, Gibeah, sin (Jdg 19-21).

Jdg 19:2

WAS UNFAITHFUL TO HIM: Or "was angry with him" (LXX; RSV). "Josephus has a different version of the story here [ie, as cpd with KJV] -- that 'they quarrelled one with another perpetually; and at last the woman was so disgusted at these quarrels, that she left her husband and went to her parents.' The Septuagint tends to support this. And it requires but the interchange of two letters in the Hebrew text to read the same idea here" (WJR).

Jdg 19:5

REFRESH YOURSELF: Euphemistic for another day of feasting.

Jdg 19:9

THE DAY IS NEARLY OVER: Lit, "the sun is going to pitch its tent."

Jdg 19:15

What a ct with Jdg 19:5-9. Boorish behavior by men of Gibeah.

Jdg 19:16

LIVING: Or "sojourning"; not a permanent resident.

Jdg 19:17

WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?: 'Don't you know better than to stop in a place like this?'

Jdg 19:19

WE HAVE BOTH...: That is, the traveling party would require little from anyone with whom they might lodge.

Jdg 19:22

MEN OF THE CITY: "City leaders". The society of Gibeah was rotten from top to bottom.

BRING OUT THE MAN...: Cp Lot's situation. But here there were no angels to help.

Jdg 19:23

A religious practice? Deu 23:17,18. It is treated as such: cp Jdg 20 with Deu 13:12-16.

DISGRACEFUL THING: "Folly" in AV. Sw Jdg 20:6,10: used of sexual sin.

Jdg 19:24

CONCUBINE: Not having the natural status of a wife.

Jdg 19:25

The memory of this night lasted a long time: Hos 9:9; 10:9.

Did they hope that these men would experience the same fate as Sodom? "Expositors may talk as plausibly as they may about the shockingly low status of women in those countries and those days; it still remains a grievous difficulty that the Levite should behave so callously to the woman whom he had just coaxed into returning with him. It has been argued that, after all, righteous Lot was prepared to make a similar offer to the vile men of Sodom (Gen 19:8). But in this respect are the two cases really parallel? Lot probably had good reason already to suspect the identity of his guests, and he certainly knew something of the character of his daughters (!) and would realise that having grown up in the place it would not be beyond their powers to cope with that vicious mob, most of whom they knew personally.

"Even so, this resemblance to the experience of Lot and the angels in Sodom is remarkably close in certain details. There can be little doubt that the narrative is designed to stress the similarities:

1. The wickedness of each city is general.
2. The one offering hospitality is a stranger, and aged.
3. The house is attacked,
4. the door is assaulted;
5. and the surrender of visitors is demanded,
6. for the same vile purpose.
7. Women are offered, that hospitality might not be abused,
8. and ultimately each city is utterly destroyed.

"Can it be that in this resemblance between Gibeah and Sodom lies the explanation of the two men's strange readiness to sacrifice their womenfolk to the animal appetite of the gang outside? When they did so, was it because they had already recognized the similarity with Lot's experience, and were even then devoutly hoping that the outcome would be the same -- blindness on the perverts howling outside the door, and speedy judgment from heaven on their incurable wickedness? Certainly there would then be added reason for the Levite's precipitate departure next morning" (WJR).

Notice: no appeal was made to the God of Israel. And this man was a Levite!

Jdg 19:27

Jdg 19:27.

"My concubine they have forced, so that she is dead" (Jdg 20:5).

Jdg 19:29

CUT UP... LIMB BY LIMB: As though she were a sacrifice. See Lesson, Covenant-victim, the.

SENT THEM INTO ALL THE AREAS OF ISRAEL: "A grisly form of mail solicitation."

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