Judges 19 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Outrage in Benjamin
19 In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a Levite staying in a remote part of the hill country of Ephraim acquired a woman from Bethlehem in Judah as his concubine. 2 But she was unfaithful to[a] him and left him for her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah. She was there for four months. 3 Then her husband got up and followed her to speak kindly to her[b] and bring her back. He had his servant with him and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him to her father’s house, and when the girl’s father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the girl’s father, detained him, and he stayed with him for three days. They ate, drank, and spent the nights there.
5 On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning and prepared to go, but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Have something to eat to keep up your strength and then you can go.” 6 So they sat down and the two of them ate and drank together. Then the girl’s father said to the man, “Please agree to stay overnight and enjoy yourself.” 7 The man got up to go, but his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed and spent the night there again. 8 He got up early in the morning of the fifth day to leave, but the girl’s father said to him, “Please keep up your strength.” So they waited until late afternoon and the two of them ate. 9 The man got up to go with his concubine and his servant, when his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said to him, “Look, night is coming. Please spend the night. See, the day is almost over. Spend the night here, enjoy yourself, then you can get up early tomorrow for your journey and go home.”
10 But the man was unwilling to spend the night. He got up, departed, and arrived opposite Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). The man had his two saddled donkeys and his concubine with him. 11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Please, why not let us stop at this Jebusite city and spend the night here?”
12 But his master replied to him, “We will not stop at a foreign city where there are no Israelites. Let’s move on to Gibeah.” 13 “Come on,” he said,[c] “let’s try to reach one of these places and spend the night in Gibeah or Ramah.” 14 So they continued on their journey, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 They stopped[d] to go in and spend the night in Gibeah. The Levite went in and sat down in the city square, but no one took them into their home to spend the night.
16 In the evening, an old man came in from his work in the field. He was from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was residing in Gibeah where the people were Benjaminites. 17 When he looked up and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going, and where do you come from?”
18 He answered him, “We’re traveling from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote hill country of Ephraim, where I am from. I went to Bethlehem in Judah, and now I’m going to the house of the Lord.[e] No one has taken me into his home, 19 although there’s straw and feed for the donkeys, and I have bread and wine for me, my concubine, and the servant[f] with us. There is nothing we lack.”
20 “Welcome!” said the old man. “I’ll take care of everything you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he brought him to his house and fed the donkeys. Then they washed their feet and ate and drank. 22 While they were enjoying themselves, all of a sudden, wicked men of the city surrounded the house and beat on the door. They said to the old man who was the owner of the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him!”
23 The owner of the house went out and said to them, “Please don’t do this evil, my brothers. After all, this man has come into my house. Don’t commit this horrible outrage. 24 Here, let me bring out my virgin daughter and the man’s concubine now. Abuse them and do whatever you want[g] to them. But don’t commit this outrageous thing against this man.”
25 But the men would not listen to him, so the man seized his concubine and took her outside to them. They raped[h] her and abused her all night until morning. At daybreak they let her go. 26 Early that morning, the woman made her way back, and as it was getting light, she collapsed at the doorway of the man’s house where her master was.
27 When her master got up in the morning, opened the doors of the house, and went out to leave on his journey, there was the woman, his concubine, collapsed near the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28 “Get up,” he told her. “Let’s go.” But there was no response. So the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he entered his house, he picked up a knife, took hold of his concubine, cut her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and then sent her throughout the territory of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or has been seen since the day the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt until now.[i] Think it over, discuss it, and speak up!”
Judges 19 New International Version (NIV)
A Levite and His Concubine
19 In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.
5 On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” 6 So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” 7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. 8 On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.
9 Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.
11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”
12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.
16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”
18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”
20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.
22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”
25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”