Dave Burnette's Commentary

Judges Chapter 19

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Samuel 
Date Penned: (550 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel's Compromise in the Promised Land (c 1-21)
Theme: The Moral Failure of Israel (c 17-21)
Message: War Against the Tribe of Benjamin (v 1-30)

Judges 19 Commentary

(19:1) Doing What is Right in Your Own Eyes - What is the significance of this tragic story? When the Israelites' faith in God disintegrated, their unity as a nation also disintegrated. They could have taken complete possession of the land if they had obeyed God and trusted him to keep his promises. But when they forgot him, they lost their purpose, and soon, "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (21:25). When they stopped letting God lead them, they became no better than the evil people around them. When they made laws for their own benefit, they set standards far below God's. When you leave God out of your life, you may be shocked at what you are capable of doing (see 19:30).

(19:2-21) Accepted but Not Intended - Having concubines was an accepted part of Israelite society, although this is not what God intended (see Genesis 2:18-24 and the note there). A concubine had most of the duties but only some of the privileges of a wife. Although she was legally attached to one man, she and her children usually did not have the inheritance rights of the legal wife and legitimate children. Her primary purpose was giving the man sexual pleasure, bearing additional children, and contributing more help to the household or estate. Concubines were often foreign prisoners of war. But they could also be Israelites, as was probably the case in this story.

(19:24) A Misapplication of Hospitality - Nowhere is the unwritten law of hospitality stronger than in the Middle East. Even in ancient times, protecting a guest at any cost ranked at the top of a person's code of honor. But here the hospitality code was gravely misapplied. Allowing the rape and abuse of this woman had become preferable to even the possibility of a conflict between a guest and a neighbor. The two men were selfish (not wanting to get hurt themselves), they lacked courage (not wanting to face a conflict even when lives were at stake), and they disobeyed God's law (allowing deliberate abuse and murder). What drastic consequences can result when social protocol carries more authority than moral convictions.

(19:29-30) A Crime Calls People to Action - Although this was a terrible way to spread the news, it effectively communicated the horror of the crime and called the people to action. Saul used a similar method in 1 Samuel 11:17. Ironically, the Levite who alerted Israel to the murder of his concubine was nearly as guilty for her death as the men who had actually killed her.

(19:30) A Failure to Establish a Government - The horrible crime described in this chapter wasn't Israel's worst offense. Even worse was the nation's failure to establish a government based upon God's moral principles, where the law of God was the law of the land. As a result, laws were usually not enforced and crime was ignored. Sexual perversion, murder, and lawlessness were by-products of Israel's disobedience to God. Whenever we abandon God and his Word, all sorts of evil will likely follow. Our drifting away from God may be slow and almost imperceptible, with the ultimate results affecting a future generation, or it can occur dramatically when we fail to speak up for abused and disenfranchised people. We must continually call people to God and work toward the establishment of God's reign in the heart of every person. The Israelites weren't willing to speak up until events had gone too far. A tragic event woke people up. Who is going to speak up today?



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Obeying the Bible


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Judges with Chapter 19 and we continue in the 3rd section of this book, The Moral Failure of Israel and this the final section, The war against the tribe of Benjamin and today the runaway concubine as we see the fruit of the seed planted as "every man did what was right in his own eyes" Israel quit letting God lead them and became like any other of the heathen tribes of the world. In making application we see Christians doing the same today. Ignoring the leading of the Lord from His Word and as a result we see the Church having the same problems as the world. Divorce, morality, financial problems, etc. are just as prevalent as the lost because the Christian of today has rejected the truth of the Scripture, doing what is right in his eyes, reaping the same fruit of the lost. How about you? Do you see the truth in our text today? Let us learn from our text today and obey the teachings of the Bible so we will see fruit of our obedience resulting in the Blessings of God.


Judges 19

Judges 19

 1And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

 2And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.

 3And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

 4And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

 5And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.

 6And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.

 7And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.

 8And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them.

 9And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.

 10But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

 11And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

 12And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah.

 13And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah.

 14And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

 15And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.

 16And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.

 17And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?

 18And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house.

 19Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.

 20And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.

 21So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.

 22Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

 23And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

 24Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

 25But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

 26Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light.

 27And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

 28And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.

 29And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

 30And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.