Judges 19: A Most Vicious Gang Rape

On another occasion a Levite, who lived in Ephraim, had a major falling out with his concubine. In a huff, she decided to return to her father’s house in Bethlehem, which was in Judah. After about four months, the Levite decided it was time to make up with her, so he traveled to Bethlehem to fetch her.

When he got there, her father was delighted to see him, and kept feasting him, and urging him to stay another night. After about a week, however, the Levite grew tired and insisted it was time for them to be returning to Ephraim.

So they set out. Around sunset, they were near Jerusalem, and the Levite’s servant urged his master to stop there to spend the night. But the Levite scoffed at the suggestion, because there was no way he would sleep in a godless city. (At that time, Jerusalem was ruled by the Jebusites). So the party continued on until they came to Gibeah in Benjamin. It was past dusk by this time, so the Levite prepared to make camp in the town square. Fortunately, an old man, who was originally from Ephraim, happened along just then, and invited the travelers back to his house for the night.

Unfortunately, as they sat at table eating, telling stories, and generally making merry, a gang of drunken Gibeans started banging on the door and yelling for the old man to eject his guest so they could fuck him. The old man yelled back, NO! That’s so wrong! It violates all rules of hospitality! Why don’t you take my virgin daughter and his concubine to rape instead? But the men kept yelling and shouting for the Levite, growing more and more violent. To save his own skin, the Levite shoved his concubine out the door and barricaded it behind her.

The mob spent the night gang-raping the girl. At sunset, they let her go, and she crawled to the old man’s door, sobbing for help. No one answered, and she died there on the doorstep.

Later in the morning, the Levite opened the door to leave and found her lying there dead. So he slung her body over the back of one of his donkeys and continued home to Ephraim. There, he cut her body into twelve pieces and sent one, along with the story, to the leader of every tribe of Israel.


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