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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Judges 19

Verses 1-30

  1. Intro: Anarchy [an=w/o - arkhos=chief/ruller; w/o a ruler]
    1. Imagine a football game with no rules. Sounds like fun but in in anarchy. Imagine a busy intersection w/no stop lights. It can function, but with a lot of frustration and people ultimately doing what they please.
      1. Here we have a nation w/no rules. Not wanting to follow God. No leadership over them. And every man doing what is right in his own eyes.
    2. We have this last story in Judges, bringing us to a culmination of the horrible conditions that prevailed in Israel, right before the rise of the monarchy. Chaos, lawlessness, & anarchy prevailed.
    3. Map of cities to know: Ephraim Benjamin, Judah. Jebus(ites)Jer Jabesh Gilead Bethlehem
  2. GIBEANITES GONE WILD (Ch.19)
    1. (1) A concubine was a friend with benefits in that day. A sexual partner, but who did not possess the legal and cultural status of a wife.
      1. Lev.21:14,15 says who he can/can’t marry. A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman or a harlot - these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife. Didn’t say anything about concubine! Levitical Loophole he thought?
    2. (15) Hospitality a prime virtue in their culture...normally. But here a serious breach of Near Eastern etiquette.
    3. (23,24) In the name of hospitality - this man was willing to protect this male visitor...and forsake the defense of the weak & helpless.
      1. ​​​​​​​He knew his neighbors were wrong by wanting to have sex with this man [see wickedly, outrage, vile] But decides heterosexual rape is better than homosexual rape?
    4. (25) Gang raped her all night.
    5. (27) I guess he got a good nights sleep.
    6. (28,29) He was surprised she was dead, or almost?
      1. So he takes her home & dismembers her body (like a bad episode of Criminal Minds) & sends the pieces to each of the12 tribes.
      2. It was symbolic act. If Israel failed to help him take revenge they would suffer the same fate as his concubine.
        1. I wonder if this is where Saul gets the idea to unite Israel later, where he did this w/ one of his dads yoke of oxen?
      3. Well, He got the desired outcome...see vs.30.
    7. With the rape of the Levite’s concubine, the moral depravity of Israel reached a new low.
    8. Judges 19 is the updated equivalent of Genesis 19. Sodom & Gomorrah & lot.
      1. Not only do the two share much of the same vocabulary, the # of Hebrew words in Gen 19:4–8 and Judg 19:22–24 are identical.
    9. How far Israel had fallen! Adultery, lack of common hospitality, sodomy, rape, and murder had become a way of life!
      1. When people become their own law, social order and basic morality do not exist. Humankind, left to its own devices, falls into unimaginable sin.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Judges 19". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/judges-19.html. 2017.