Judges 19-21

These last 3 chapters are rough!! 

Chapter 19.  A Levite and his Concubine.  This story is crystal clear and does not need a recap.  This story is parallel to Sodom in Genesis 19.  The moral deterioration of Israel is exactly as it was before.  Actually worse!  There is an unwritten law of hospitality in the Middle East that is strong BUT it should never be stronger than God’s Law.  Chapter 19 ends with the Levite chopping up her broken, raped body into 12 pieces and sends it Fed Ex to the tribes as a “call to action” for revenge.

The Gibeah - Bible Maps

This horrible event occurred in Gibeah.  As you can see it happened in the land of Benjamin.   So Chapter 20 now begins a civil war when the Benjaminites side with the offenders.  I am not sure why, as you can see the “story” is already being falsely told on the Levite’s side so I assume the Gibeah side is too.  Or it could be that the Benjaminites don’t want to fight their own land.  Either way, you can see this civil war is 11 tribes against 1.  When the 11 inquire to the Lord “Who should fight first?”, the Lord sends Judah but never promises victory.  The second time they ask “should we fight them?” and the Lord says “yes”. See, the Israelites needed their discipline for fighting against their own tribe, the Benjaminites.  However, on the 3rd request, the 11 show repentance by fasting and offering a burnt offering, so this time the Lord grants them permission to fight again, promising them victory.  The Lord now will discipline the Benjaminites for siding with the offenders.

Chapter 21:  What a hot mess!!  So the men of Israel had taken an oath NOT to intermarry with the Benjaminites.  (Ummmm…God’s Law said not to intermarry with NON-Israelites)  So because of this oath, the Tribe of Benjamin will dwindle out!  Well, we know this can’t happen because we need to have the first king Saul, Queen Esther, and the apostle Paul, who were all Benjaminites.

So these Einsteins come up with a plan.

  • “Let’s find anyone who did not participate on our side in this civil war, we will kill them and their wives and just steal the virgins”.
  • What in Sam Hill!  So they did that and pocketed 400 virgins.
  • “Shoot!  We are still 200 short, what shall we do??”
  • “Oh I know….there is an annual festival in this place called Shiloh, during the festival we can hide in the bushes and the old men can each steal for themselves a woman”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!  Why is there an annual festival in this little place called SHILOH?????

FreeBibleimages :: The altar of witness :: When the tribes east of ...

Can you see the magnitude of the whole scene??  Why are they not commemorating the annual feast as mandated?  Do they even know what the feasts commemorate?

So what started as avenging the rape of 1 woman, ended with the rape of 600 women and many many deaths.

And the final verse in Judges could not be more fitting to the tragic ending

 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

5 thoughts on “Judges 19-21

  1. In the Bible Recap podcast, the speaker always asks us to find our “God Shot” each day. Today’s is a struggle – I think I’ll go with … he still communicated to them in their unGodly choices. That’s minimal, but that about it. (I haven’t listened to today’s Recap- maybe there’s more,) Come to think of it, I think I’ve had those moments myself- moments that human logic would lead me to to be abandoned by Him and He has either whispered or hollered my name to me in various ways to let me know He is still there.

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  2. Now reading this story twice – Instead of 11 tribes against one – isn’t it 10 against one since the tribe of Mizpah didn’t fight? Or is this just part of one tribe that didn’t show up? Am I off- did I miss something?

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  3. Furthermore why wasn’t God their king? Who is the author of the first concubine story and then who is the author of this story? What’s the Jewish background of the story? I have so many questions

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  4. Wow…I’m glad this book is over! So many names, and Battles, and people doing what was best in their own sight. I tried to read these texts with a view of the “on stage” action and it’s gory. 26k vs 400k and Benjaminites aren’t completely wiped out…allowed to hide in a cave, then encouraged to steal wives. Talk about a Jerry Springer episode…

    Liked by 1 person

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