Judges 19:24
Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble you them, and do with them what seems good to you: but to this man do not so vile a thing.
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(24, 25) Behold, here is my daughter . . .—The main horror of these verses lies, and is meant to lie, in the nameless infamy to which these men had sunk, of whom we can only say,

“Non ragionam di lor ma guarda è passa.”

But we must not omit to notice that the conduct of the old man and the Levite, though it is not formally condemned, speaks of the existence of a very rudimentary morality, a selfishness, and a low estimate of the rights and sacred dignity of women, which shows from what depths the world has emerged. If it was possible to frustrate the vile assault of these wretches in this way it must have been possible to frustrate it altogether. There is something terribly repulsive in the selfishness which could thus make a Levite sacrifice a defenceless woman, and that woman his wife, for a whole night to such brutalisation. The remark of St. Gregory is very weighty: “Minus peccatum admittere ut gravius evitetur est a scelere victimas offerre Deo.”

Jdg 19:24. Behold, here is my daughter, &c. — The master of the house came at last to a resolution that it was less wickedness to prostitute the women to their lusts than the Levite. The dilemma to which he was reduced was indeed dreadful, nevertheless he is not to be justified in the proposal which he makes, no more than Lot was to be justified in a similar case, in offering his two daughters to satisfy the lusts of the men of Sodom. Although of two evils we must choose the less, yet, as we have there observed, “of two sins we must choose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come.”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.

He offers this to avoid a greater and more unnatural sin, which he thought they designed; but it seems they did not, their abuse being confined to the woman, and not extended to the man, who also was in their power, if they had lusted after him. But this offer was sinful, because he offered that which was not in his nor in the man’s power to dispose of, even the chastity of his daughter, and the man’s wife; and because no man must do any evil, though never so small, for the prevention of any evil of sin or misery, or for the procuring of the greatest good, Romans 3:8; though his sin was much mitigated by his ignorance, by his honest and generous intention of protecting a stranger, by the force which was in some sort put upon him, and by the suddenness and violence of the temptation. Behold, here is my daughter, a maiden, and his concubine,.... His own daughter, a virgin, and the concubine of the Levite his guest:

them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you; those he proposed to bring out, and deliver to them, to lie with, to do with as they pleased to gratify their raging lust, which to do was more than he ought, or had power to do: he had no right to prostitute his own daughter, and much less the concubine or wife of another man, though perhaps it might be with the consent of the Levite; but all this he said in a hurry and surprise, in a fright and terror, and of two evils choosing the least, and perhaps in imitation of Lot, whose case might come to remembrance:

but unto this man do not so vile a thing; as he apprehended that to be which they were desirous of, whether to kill him, as he himself says, Judges 20:5 or to commit the unnatural sin, and which, rather than comply with, he should have chosen to have been slain.

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

(h) That is, abuse them, as in Ge 19:8.

24. The verse is clearly dependent on Genesis 19:8, and, as Bertheau and Moore think, may be an addition to heighten the resemblance between the two situations. It does not really fit into the context; and his concubine is out of place in view of Jdg 19:25; while the Hebrew exhibits grammatical irregularities which raise a doubt as to the originality of the text. Reading Jdg 19:25 as the sequel of Jdg 19:23 the narrative becomes much more intelligible.

As it stands, the verse illustrates the extravagant lengths to which the duties of hospitality could be carried. To save his guest the master of the house is prepared to sacrifice his daughter. Pushed to this extreme, the code of honour becomes a sanction of dishonour. The writer, however, does not question the morality of the proceeding.Behold, there came an old man from the field, who was of the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt as a stranger in Gibeah, the inhabitants of which were Benjaminites (as is observed here, as a preliminary introduction to the account which follows). When he saw the traveller in the market-place of the town, he asked him whither he was going and whence he came; and when he had heard the particulars concerning his descent and his journey, he received him into his house. ואת־בּית י הלך אני (Judges 19:18), "and I walk at the house of Jehovah, and no one receives me into his house" (Seb. Schm., etc.); not "I am going to the house of Jehovah" (Ros., Berth., etc.), for את הלך does not signify to go to a place, for which the simple accusative is used either with or without ה local. It either means "to go through a place" (Deuteronomy 1:19, etc.), or "to go with a person," or, when applied to things, "to go about with anything" (see Job 31:5, and Ges. Thes. p. 378). Moreover, in this instance the Levite was not going to the house of Jehovah (i.e., the tabernacle), but, as he expressly told the old man, from Bethlehem to the outermost sides of the mountains of Ephraim. The words in question explain the reason why he was staying in the market-place. Because he served at the house of Jehovah, no one in Gibeah would receive him into his house,

(Note: As Seb. Schmidt correctly observes, "the argument is taken from the indignity shown him: the Lord thinks me worthy to minister to Him, as a Levite, in His house, and there is not one of the people of the Lord who thinks me worthy to receive his hospitality.")

although, as he adds in Judges 19:19, he had everything with him that was requisite for his wants. "We have both straw and fodder for our asses, and bread and wine for me and thy maid, and for the young man with thy servants. No want of anything at all," so as to cause him to be burdensome to his host. By the words "thy maid" and "thy servants" he means himself and his concubine, describing himself and his wife, according to the obsequious style of the East in olden times, as servants of the man from whom he was expecting a welcome.

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