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 (Traditional)

士師記 19


1那時候,以色列沒有王。有一個利未人住在以法蓮山區的偏遠地帶,他娶了猶大 伯利恆的一個女子為妾。 那女子不忠,離開丈夫回到猶大 伯利恆的父親家,住了四個月。 後來,她丈夫帶著一個僕人和兩頭驢去見她,用好話勸她回去。那女子帶他去見自己的父親。她父親看見女婿來了,便熱情地接待他, 留他在家裡小住。他便在那裡住了三天,一起吃住。 第四天,他清早起來準備回家,岳父對他說:「吃點東西補充體力後再走吧。」 於是,二人坐下來一起吃喝。岳父對他說:「再住一夜,高興高興吧。」 他不肯答應,起來要走,但岳父一再挽留,他就又住了一夜。 第五天清早起來,他準備回家,岳父對他說:「吃點東西,太陽偏西再走吧。」於是,二人一同吃飯。 他帶著妾和僕人起來要走的時候,岳父對他說:「看啊,太陽偏西了,天色已晚,再住一夜高興高興,明天一早再走吧。」

10 可是,他不願意再留一夜,就備好兩頭驢,帶著他的妾走了,來到耶布斯附近。耶布斯就是耶路撒冷。 11 他們臨近耶布斯時,天快黑了,僕人對主人說:「我們不如就在耶布斯人的城裡住宿吧。」 12 主人說:「我們不可在沒有以色列人住的外邦城邑住宿,不如趕到基比亞。」 13 他又說:「我們前往基比亞或拉瑪住宿吧。」 14 於是,他們繼續前行,到便雅憫境內的基比亞時,天已經黑了。 15 他們決定在那裡過夜。因為沒有人接待他們,他們只好在城中的廣場露宿。

16 那時,有一個老人從田間工作回來,經過那裡。他本來是以法蓮山區的人,現在住在便雅憫境內的基比亞。 17 他看見有人在城中的廣場露宿,就問:「你們從哪裡來,要到哪裡去?」 18 利未人回答說:「我們從猶大的伯利恆來,正要回家去。我住在以法蓮山區的偏遠地帶。我現在要去耶和華的殿。這裡沒有人接待我。 19 其實我有糧草餵驢,我和我的妾及僕人也有餅和酒,什麼也不缺。」 20 那老人說:「到我家來吧,我會供應你們的需要,千萬不可在街頭露宿。」 21 於是,那老人帶他們回家,餵他們的驢。他們洗完腳後,便一起吃喝。

22 他們正歡快的時候,城裡的一群無賴前來圍住房子,連連叩門,對老人說:「把你家裡的客人交出來,我們要跟他性交。」 23 老人出去對他們說:「弟兄們啊,不要做這種惡事!這人是我的客人,不要幹這種卑鄙的事! 24 我有個女兒,仍是處女,還有這人的妾,我把她們交出來,任你們玩弄,只是不要對這人幹這種卑鄙的事。」 25 他們卻不肯聽。利未人就把自己的妾推出去交給他們。他們強暴她,終夜凌辱她,直到天快亮才放她走。 26 她回到丈夫住宿的房子門前,就仆倒在地。

27 早晨,她丈夫起來打開房門要上路,發現她倒臥在門前,雙手搭在門檻上, 28 就對她說:「起來,我們走吧!」她卻沒有反應。於是,他就把她的屍體放在驢背上啟程回家。 29 回到家裡,他用刀把屍體切成十二塊,派人送往以色列全境。 30 看見的人都說:「自從以色列人離開埃及以來,這種事從未發生過,也從未見過。我們必須商量一下,看看該怎麼辦。」