XIX The adultery of the Levite's concubine, ver. 1, 2. The reconciliation to her, and entertainment at her father's, ver. 3-9. His journey homeward as far as Gibeah, ver. 10-15. An Ephraimite takes him in, ver. 16-21. The men of Gibeah assault the house, ver. 22-24. They force his concubine to death, ver. 25- 28. He sends notice of it to all the tribes of Israel, ver. 29, 30
Verse 1. A. concubine - Hebrew. a wife, a concubine, that is, such a concubine as was also his wife: called a concubine, only because she was not endowed. Perhaps he had nothing to endow her with, being himself only a sojourner.
Verse 2. Against him - That is, against her faith given to him. Went away - Either for fear of punishment; or, because her heart was alienated from him; wherein not only she sinned, but her father by connivance at her sin, and neglect of just endeavours for her reconciliation to her husband.
Verse 3. Friendly - To offer her pardon and reconciliation.
Verse 12. A stranger - That is, of a strange nation: which the Canaanites possess; for though the city Jerusalem had been taken by Caleb, chap. i, 8, yet the strong fort of Zion was still in their hands, whence it is likely they did much molest, and afterwards by God's permission, drive out the Israelites who dwelt there.
Verse 15. To lodge - Though they were soft and effeminate in other respects, yet they were hard-hearted to strangers, and at that time there were no public-houses in that country.
Verse 16. Ephraim - Whence also the Levite was, which enclined him to shew the more kindness to his country-man. Benjamites - This was indeed one of the cities belonging to the priests; but the cities which were given to the priests, and whereof they were owners, were not inhabited by the priests or Levites only, especially at this time when they were but few in number, but by many other persons of different professions.
Verse 18. House of the Lord - Which was in Shiloh. Thither he went, either because he lived there, for that was in the tribe of Ephraim; or, rather, because he would there offer prayers and praises, and sacrifices to God, for his mercy in reconciling him and his wife.
Verse 20. Let all, &c. - It matters not whether thou wantest nothing or everything, I will take care to supply all thy wants.
Verse 21. Washed - As they used to do to travelers in those hot countries.
Verse 22. Merry - That is, refreshing themselves with the provisions set before them. Sons of belial - Children of the devil, wicked and licentious men.
Verse 23. Into my house - And therefore I am obliged to protect him by the laws of hospitality.
Verse 26. Fell down - Namely, dead; killed partly with grief of heart, and partly with excessive abuse. Thus the sin she formerly chose, ver. 2, is now her destruction; and though her husband pardoned her, God would punish her, at least as to this life.
Verse 29. Sent - By several messengers, with a relation of the fact.
Verse 30. Speak - Let us meet together, and seriously consider, and every one freely speak what is to be done in this case.