Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

The Death of the Levite’s Concubine

The Levite, his concubine, and his servant headed home as the sun fell for the night. They passed the city of Jebus, also known as Jerusalem, but though the servant asked to stop, the Levite refused, not wishing to lodge with foreigners. He insisted they continue to Gibeah, a Benjamite city.

They arrived in Gibeah at nightfall, but no one would take them in. Finally, an old man from Ephraim, invited them to lodge with him. He washed their feet and gave them food and drink. Then, in a scene much like that with Lot in Sodom, local men surrounded the house, wanting the old man to give them the Levite. 

The old man offered up his virgin daughter and the man’s concubine, but the men paid him no heed. So the Levite took the concubine and gave her up to the men of the city. They then spent the night abusing her and leaving her for dead. 

The Levite got up the next morning and found her sprawled on the doorstep with her hands on the threshold. Rather than offering compassion on her, he told her to get up so they could be going. When she didn’t respond, he threw her on the donkey and continued home where he cut her body into pieces and sent the pieces to the tribes of Israel. He considered it a warning of how far the Israelites had fallen, but he took no responsibility for his role in her story. 

In Judges 20 the Levite blames the Benjamite men, but he’s the one who gave her to them. He should have been her protector. Instead, he slept soundly while they ravaged her. What an awful commentary of the state of their society.

Read about the Levite’s concubine in Scripture: Judges 19

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