Judges 19:23
And 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.
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(23) Do not this folly.—It is from no deficiency of moral indignation that the word “folly” (nebalah) is used. Sometimes when crime is too dark and deadly for ordinary reproach the feelings are more deeply expressed by using a milder word, which is instantly corrected and intensified by the hearer himself. (See Genesis 34:7; Deuteronomy 22:21.) Thus Virgil merely gives the epithet “unpraised” (“illaudati Busiridis aras”) to the cannibal tyrant, which serves even better than a stronger word. (Comp. “Shall I praise you for these things? I praise you not” 1Corinthians 11:17-22.) (See the author’s Brief Greek Syntax, p. 199.) This figure of speech takes the various form of antiphasis, litotes, meiosis, &c.

17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.This man is come into mine house - He appeals to the sacred rights of hospitality, just as Lot did Genesis 19:8. Both cases betray painfully the low place in the social scale occupied by woman in the old world, from which it is one of the glories of Christianity to have raised her. Jud 19:22-28. The Gibeahites Abuse His Concubine to Death.

22-24. certain sons of Belial beset the house—The narrative of the horrid outrage that was committed; of the proposal of the old man; the unfeeling, careless, and in many respects, inexplicable conduct of the Levite towards his wife, disclose a state of morality that would have appeared incredible, did it not rest on the testimony of the sacred historian. Both men ought to have protected the women in the house, even though at the expense of their lives, or thrown themselves on God's providence. It should be noted, however, that the guilt of such a foul outrage is not fastened on the general population of Gibeah.

This man is come into mine house, and therefore I am obliged to protect him by the laws of hospitality. Compare Genesis 19:17,8.

And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them,.... Opened the door, and went out to converse with them, and talked them after this manner:

and said unto them, nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; it is plain he understood them in such sense, that they meant not bare knowledge of the man, as who he was, &c. but to commit wickedness the most abominable; so great, that it cannot be well said how great it is; and to dissuade from it, he uses the most tender language, and the most earnest entreaties:

seeing this man is come into my house, do not this folly; he argues from the law of hospitality, which ought not to be infringed; a man being obliged to protect a stranger under his roof; and from the nature of the crime, which was folly, stupidity, and what was abominable to the last degree.

And 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.
23. Nay, my brethren … wickedly] Similarly Genesis 19:7.

do not … folly] This translation is only a makeshift. The Hebr. nebâlâh means much more than folly; it implies moral insensibility, repudiation of the claims of morality and religion, particularly, in this phrase, an outrage against the laws of nature, Jdg 20:6; Jdg 20:10, Genesis 34:7, Deuteronomy 22:21, 2 Samuel 13:12. In Joshua 7:15 the phrase is used of Achan’s iniquity.

Verse 23. - He pleads the sanctity of hospitality. Judges 19:23The old man sought, as Lot had done, to defend his guests from such a shameful crime by appealing to the sacred rights of hospitality, and by giving up his own virgin daughter and the concubine of his guest (see the remarks on Genesis 19:7-8). נבלה, folly, used to denote shameful licentiousness and whoredom, as in Genesis 34:7 and Deuteronomy 22:21. אותם ענּוּ, "humble them." The masculine is used in אותם and להם as the more general gender, instead of the more definite feminine, as in Genesis 39:9; Exodus 1:21, etc.
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