The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Judges
Chapter 19
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There was another Levite, living in the hill-country of Ephraim, that took a woman from Bethlehem-Juda for his mate;
but she played him false, and went back to her father’s house at Bethlehem, and stayed there four months.
Then her lord went after her, with one of his servants and two asses, to end the quarrel with soft words and win her back again; and as for her, she made him welcome in her father’s house. Her father, too, was glad at the news, and rejoiced to see him;
he was entertained as a friend, and lodged for three days with his father-in-law, eating and drinking at ease in his company.
On the fourth day, he would have set out early; but his father-in-law would still detain him; A mouthful of bread, to stay thy appetite, and then take the road.
As they sat down together to eat and drink, the father would have him wait till the morrow, and spend the day in good cheer;
in vain he rose up to go, his father-in-law would take no denial; he must spend the night there.
Even when the fifth day dawned, and the Levite was for setting out, the other would have him take a little food while the day was young, to refresh him for his journey. So they sat at table together;
and now the young man must take the girl with him, and summon his servant, and begone. Why, said his father-in-law, there is little day-light left now; evening draws on. Better wait one more day, and spend it in good cheer, and take thy way home to-morrow.
But this time his son-in-law would not listen to him; there and then he set out on his journey.

So the asses were saddled, and man and woman made their way to Jebus (which is the same as Jerusalem);
but even as they approached Jebus, night-fall was not far off. Master, the servant said, let us turn aside and find a lodging in this city of the Jebusites.
What, said his master, betake ourselves to an alien town, that is no part of Israel? No, I am for pressing on to Gabaa,
to find a night’s lodging there, or perhaps to Rama.
So they passed by Jebus and held on their way; but the sun had set before they reached Gabaa, which is a town belonging to Benjamin.
To it they turned aside, hoping to lodge there, but, once within, they could only sit down to rest in the main street of the town; no one would give them shelter.
At last an old man came by, returning late from working on his farm; he lived in Gabaa, but he, too, came from the hills of Ephraim; he was not a Benjamite like his neighbours.
And when he looked round and saw a traveller sitting there in the open street, he asked, Whence comest thou? And whither bound?
So the other told him how they were returning to their home on the slopes of the Ephraim, after a visit to Bethlehem-Juda; the House of the Lord was their next halting-place. But no one will give us shelter here, said he,
although we have straw with us and fodder for our beasts, food enough for myself and the woman thou seest, and the servant who is with me; it is only of lodging that we stand in need.
Have no fear, the old man said, I will provide all thy wants; thou canst not pass the night here in the open street.
So he took them home, and fed their beasts for them; and now the travellers must wash their feet, and sit at table with him.

There, then, they sat, refreshing themselves after their journey, when suddenly wanton townsfolk beset the old man’s house and fell to beating on the door, crying aloud to the owner of the house that he must bring out his guest, to satisfy their evil pleasure.
So the old man went out and reasoned with them: Nay, brethren, why would you do such wrong to one who is my guest? Put away these reckless thoughts of yours.
I have a daughter that is a maid, and this man too has a woman with him; let me bring these out, for your lust to feed on their shame, and let us hear no more of this unnatural purpose.
But still they would not be satisfied; so at last the Levite brought out his own concubine, and gave her up to their pleasure. All night long they treated her with outrage, and in the morning let her go.
And now, as the shadows lifted, she came back to the door of the house where her lord was lodging, and there fell down;
so that when he opened the door next day, ready to go forward on his journey, he found his concubine there in the gate-way, with her hands spread out wide on the threshold.
He thought she slept; Rise up, he said, we must be on our way; then, when no answer came, he knew that she was dead. He put her body on one of the asses, and made his way home.

His home once reached, he took a sword, and cut up her body, bones and all, into twelve pieces, which he sent round, this way and that, all through the land of Israel.
None that saw it but cried aloud, Such a deed was never done in Israel, from the day when our fathers left Egypt to this! Let every man speak his mind; resolve we in common what we mean to do.