During the times when Israel had no king, a Levite lived in the remote mountains of Ephraim. He took for himself a concubine from Bethlehem, but his concubine was unfaithful to him and left him, returning to her father’s house and staying there for four months.
Eventually the Levite missed her, so he went after her to woo her back. He brought along a servant and an extra donkey for her to ride on the journey back to Ephraim.
When the Levite arrived at her father’s house, the father was glad to meet him and invited him to stay for three days. He agreed, and they ate and drank and visited together. This continued for two more days. Each time the Levite would prepare to leave in the morning, the young woman’s father would convince him to stay and let his heart be merry.
The Levite and his concubine and servant finally ended up leaving in the late afternoon rather than morning. Though the father urged them to wait until morning to depart, they departed his house as evening was nearing. This decision would prove disastrous for the concubine.
As a man of God, this Levite should have never taken a concubine, but he did. Why did he not just marry her? We don’t know, but apparently, she wasn’t happy with his treatment of her, so she went seeking fulfillment from other men. She then went back to her father rather than her Levite master.
This unnamed woman likely had dreams of love and romance. Instead, she ended up with men who didn’t value her. When she realized how unsatisfying they were, she ran away back home, but her father didn’t protect her.
Read about the Levite’s concubine in Scripture: Judges 19
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