World English Bible
The Levite and his Concubine
1It happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite living on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehem Judah. 2His concubine played the prostitute against him, and went away from him to her father's house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there the space of four months. 3Her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys: and she brought him into her father's house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. 4His father-in-law, the young lady's father, retained him; and he stayed with him three days: so they ate and drink, and lodged there. 5It happened on the fourth day, that they arose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart: and the young lady's father said to his son-in-law, "Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way." 6So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together: and the young lady's father said to the man, "Please be pleased to stay all night, and let your heart be merry." 7The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he lodged there again. 8He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady's father said, "Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day declines;" and they both ate. 9When the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the young lady's father, said to him, "Behold, now the day draws toward evening, please stay all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow go on your way early, that you may go home."
10But the man wouldn't stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus (the same is Jerusalem): and there were with him a couple of donkeys saddled; his concubine also was with him. 11When they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, "Please come and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it." 12His master said to him, "We won't turn aside into the city of a foreigner, that is not of the children of Israel; but we will pass over to Gibeah." 13He said to his servant, "Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah." 14So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them near to Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15They turned aside there, to go in to lodge in Gibeah: and he went in, and sat him down in the street of the city; for there was no man who took them into his house to lodge.
16Behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at evening: now the man was of the hill country of Ephraim, and he lived in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17He lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, "Where are you going? Where did you come from?" 18He said to him, "We are passing from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim. I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem Judah. I am going to the house of Yahweh; and there is no man who takes me into his house. 19Yet there is both straw and provender for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servants: there is no want of anything." 20The old man said, "Peace be to you; howsoever let all your wants lie on me; only don't lodge in the street." 21So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder; and they washed their feet, and ate and drink.
22As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may have sex with him!" 23The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, "No, my brothers, please don't act so wickedly; since this man is come into my house, don't do this folly. 24Behold, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them what seems good to you; but to this man don't do any such folly." 25But the men wouldn't listen to him: so the man laid hold of his concubine, and brought her out to them; and they had sex with her, and abused her all night until the morning: and when the day began to dawn, they let her go. 26Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, until it was light.
27Her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28He said to her, "Get up, and let us be going!" but no one answered. Then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and went to his place. 29When he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel. 30It was so, that all who saw it said, "There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day! Consider it, take counsel, and speak."
The World English Bible is a 1997 revision of the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible, first published in 1901. It is in the Public Domain. Please feel free to copy and distribute it freely. Thank you to Michael Paul Johnson for making this work available. For the latest information, to report corrections, or for other correspondence, visit www.ebible.org.
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