The Message

Judges 19

The Levite

11-4 It was an era when there was no king in Israel. A Levite, living as a stranger in the backwoods hill country of Ephraim, got himself a concubine, a woman from Bethlehem in Judah. But she quarreled with him and left, returning to her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah. She was there four months. Then her husband decided to go after her and try to win her back. He had a servant and a pair of donkeys with him. When he arrived at her father’s house, the girl’s father saw him, welcomed him, and made him feel at home. His father-in-law, the girl’s father, pressed him to stay. He stayed with him three days; they feasted and drank and slept.

5-6 On the fourth day, they got up at the crack of dawn and got ready to go. But the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen yourself with a hearty breakfast and then you can go.” So they sat down and ate breakfast together.

6-7 The girl’s father said to the man, “Come now, be my guest. Stay the night—make it a holiday.” The man got up to go, but his father-in-law kept after him, so he ended up spending another night.

8-9 On the fifth day, he was again up early, ready to go. The girl’s father said, “You need some breakfast.” They went back and forth, and the day slipped on as they ate and drank together. But the man and his concubine were finally ready to go. Then his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said, “Look, the day’s almost gone—why not stay the night? There’s very little daylight left; stay another night and enjoy yourself. Tomorrow you can get an early start and set off for your own place.”

10-11 But this time the man wasn’t willing to spend another night. He got things ready, left, and went as far as Jebus (Jerusalem) with his pair of saddled donkeys, his concubine, and his servant. At Jebus, though, the day was nearly gone. The servant said to his master, “It’s late; let’s go into this Jebusite city and spend the night.”

12-13 But his master said, “We’re not going into any city of foreigners. We’ll go on to Gibeah.” He directed his servant, “Keep going. Let’s go on ahead. We’ll spend the night either at Gibeah or Ramah.”

14-15 So they kept going. As they pressed on, the sun finally left them in the vicinity of Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. They left the road there to spend the night at Gibeah.

15-17 The Levite went and sat down in the town square, but no one invited them in to spend the night. Then, late in the evening, an old man came in from his day’s work in the fields. He was from the hill country of Ephraim and lived temporarily in Gibeah where all the local citizens were Benjaminites. When the old man looked up and saw the traveler in the town square, he said, “Where are you going? And where are you from?”

18-19 The Levite said, “We’re just passing through. We’re coming from Bethlehem on our way to a remote spot in the hills of Ephraim. I come from there. I’ve just made a trip to Bethlehem in Judah and I’m on my way back home, but no one has invited us in for the night. We wouldn’t be any trouble: We have food and straw for the donkeys, and bread and wine for the woman, the young man, and me—we don’t need anything.”

20-21 The old man said, “It’s going to be all right; I’ll take care of you. You aren’t going to spend the night in the town square.” He took them home and fed the donkeys. They washed up and sat down to a good meal.

22 They were relaxed and enjoying themselves when the men of the city, a gang of local hell-raisers all, surrounded the house and started pounding on the door. They yelled for the owner of the house, the old man, “Bring out the man who came to your house. We want to have sex with him.”

23-24 He went out and told them, “No, brothers! Don’t be obscene—this man is my guest. Don’t commit this outrage. Look, my virgin daughter and his concubine are here. I’ll bring them out for you. Abuse them if you must, but don’t do anything so senselessly vile to this man.”

25-26 But the men wouldn’t listen to him. Finally, the Levite pushed his concubine out the door to them. They raped her repeatedly all night long. Just before dawn they let her go. The woman came back and fell at the door of the house where her master was sleeping. When the sun rose, there she was.

27 It was morning. Her master got up and opened the door to continue his journey. There she was, his concubine, crumpled in a heap at the door, her hands on the threshold.

28 “Get up,” he said. “Let’s get going.” There was no answer.

29-30 He lifted her onto his donkey and set out for home. When he got home he took a knife and dismembered his concubine—cut her into twelve pieces. He sent her, piece by piece, throughout the country of Israel. And he ordered the men he sent out, “Say to every man in Israel: ‘Has such a thing as this ever happened from the time the Israelites came up from the land of Egypt until now? Think about it! Talk it over. Do something!’”

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

士师记 19

利未人和他的妾

1那时候,以色列没有王。有一个利未人住在以法莲山区的偏远地带,他娶了犹大 伯利恒的一个女子为妾。 那女子不忠,离开丈夫回到犹大 伯利恒的父亲家,住了四个月。 后来,她丈夫带着一个仆人和两头驴去见她,用好话劝她回去。那女子带他去见自己的父亲。她父亲看见女婿来了,便热情地接待他, 留他在家里小住。他便在那里住了三天,一起吃住。 第四天,他清早起来准备回家,岳父对他说:“吃点东西补充体力后再走吧。” 于是,二人坐下来一起吃喝。岳父对他说:“再住一夜,高兴高兴吧。” 他不肯答应,起来要走,但岳父一再挽留,他就又住了一夜。 第五天清早起来,他准备回家,岳父对他说:“吃点东西,太阳偏西再走吧。”于是,二人一同吃饭。 他带着妾和仆人起来要走的时候,岳父对他说:“看啊,太阳偏西了,天色已晚,再住一夜高兴高兴,明天一早再走吧。”

10 可是,他不愿意再留一夜,就备好两头驴,带着他的妾走了,来到耶布斯附近。耶布斯就是耶路撒冷。 11 他们临近耶布斯时,天快黑了,仆人对主人说:“我们不如就在耶布斯人的城里住宿吧。” 12 主人说:“我们不可在没有以色列人住的外邦城邑住宿,不如赶到基比亚。” 13 他又说:“我们前往基比亚或拉玛住宿吧。” 14 于是,他们继续前行,到便雅悯境内的基比亚时,天已经黑了。 15 他们决定在那里过夜。因为没有人接待他们,他们只好在城中的广场露宿。

16 那时,有一个老人从田间工作回来,经过那里。他本来是以法莲山区的人,现在住在便雅悯境内的基比亚。 17 他看见有人在城中的广场露宿,就问:“你们从哪里来,要到哪里去?” 18 利未人回答说:“我们从犹大的伯利恒来,正要回家去。我住在以法莲山区的偏远地带。我现在要去耶和华的殿。这里没有人接待我。 19 其实我有粮草喂驴,我和我的妾及仆人也有饼和酒,什么也不缺。” 20 那老人说:“到我家来吧,我会供应你们的需要,千万不可在街头露宿。” 21 于是,那老人带他们回家,喂他们的驴。他们洗完脚后,便一起吃喝。

22 他们正欢快的时候,城里的一群无赖前来围住房子,连连叩门,对老人说:“把你家里的客人交出来,我们要跟他性交。” 23 老人出去对他们说:“弟兄们啊,不要做这种恶事!这人是我的客人,不要干这种卑鄙的事! 24 我有个女儿,仍是处女,还有这人的妾,我把她们交出来,任你们玩弄,只是不要对这人干这种卑鄙的事。” 25 他们却不肯听。利未人就把自己的妾推出去交给他们。他们强暴她,终夜凌辱她,直到天快亮才放她走。 26 她回到丈夫住宿的房子门前,就扑倒在地。

27 早晨,她丈夫起来打开房门要上路,发现她倒卧在门前,双手搭在门槛上, 28 就对她说:“起来,我们走吧!”她却没有反应。于是,他就把她的尸体放在驴背上启程回家。 29 回到家里,他用刀把尸体切成十二块,派人送往以色列全境。 30 看见的人都说:“自从以色列人离开埃及以来,这种事从未发生过,也从未见过。我们必须商量一下,看看该怎么办。”