April 6, 2023
Today we conclude another book this time – Judges. We see today the first mutilation in Israel as they punish the tribe of Benjamin.
Chapter 19 –
This is a sad chapter in the book of Judges. A Levite priest takes a concubine as his mistress. Over time she becomes unfaithful to him and left for her father’s house. He goes searching for her after several months and upon finding her makes several attempts to leave her father’s house. After several attempts he finally leaves and goes toward the city of Jebus (which one day would be called Jerusalem).
He could find no one that would allow them to stay overnight until an old man sees them sitting in the town square and invites them to his home. As they were having dinner in the house it is surrounded by wicked men of the city. They demanded the old man provide them with the Levite so they could have sex with him. This is similar to the story of Abraham and Lot we read in Genesis nineteen. He refused but offered his virgin daughter and the concubine to them instead. How horrific is this? He may have had the best in this city but one thing he lacked was conscience.
In the morning while he slept all night, the Levite finds her motionless at the door. He tells her to Get up…Let’s go to the deceased body. He finds her dead, places her on his donkey, and departs the city to his house where he cuts her into twelve pieces. Can you get anymore depraved than this?
Nothing like this had ever happened since the Israelites came out of Egypt. No God, no authority, no respect, idol worship. Until the spiritual aspect of is rectified nothing will change.
Chapter 20 –
The soldiers of the tribes of Israel assembled as one body before the Lord at Mizpah. The Levite told them what happened however leaving out one detail that he had allowed the men of the city to have sex with his concubine. They were going to the tribe of Benjamin to eradicate evil among the people. The result would be civil war. The Benjaminites would not listen to their fellow countrymen.
Battle ensued and many men were killed, the battle was not going well at all for Israel. They finally decided to get serious about making repentance before the Lord. This time the whole Israelite army went to Bethel where they wept and sat before God. They offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. This time the Lord defeated Benjamin.
Chapter 21 –
Disgusted with their brother’s behavior they swore not to give their daughters to any Benjamite in marriage. Something they quickly decided to change since they were concerned there would be no propagation of the tribe they had compassion of their brothers. Instead the took the virgins from the city of Jabesh-Gilead who had not come out to fight with them.
Still many Benjaminite men who had no wives so they devise a plan to catch a wife by watching them dance as the men were hiding in the vineyards. Apparently, they reasoned this way the curse said no one could give them a wife but said nothing about catching a wife.
In those days there was no king in Israel and they did as it pleaded them in their own eyes.