19Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine.H3117H4428H3478H376H3881H1481H3411H2022H669H3947H802H6370H1035H3063 2But she became angry with him and returned to her father's home in Bethlehem. After about four months,H6370H2181H3212H1H1004H1035H3063H702H2320H3117 3her husband set out for Bethlehem to speak personally to her and persuade her to come back. He took with him a servant and a pair of donkeys. When he arrived at her father's house, her father saw him and welcomed him.H376H6965H3212H310H1696H3820H7725H5288H6776H2543H935H1H1004H1H5291H7200H8055H7125 4Her father urged him to stay awhile, so he stayed three days, eating, drinking, and sleeping there.H2859H5291H1H2388H3427H7969H3117H398H8354H3885 5On the fourth day the man was up early, ready to leave, but the woman's father said to his son-in-law, "Have something to eat before you go."H7243H3117H7925H1242H6965H3212H5291H1H559H2860H5582H3820H6595H3899H310H3212 6So the two men sat down together and had something to eat and drink. Then the woman's father said, "Please stay another night and enjoy yourself."H3427H398H8354H8147H3162H5291H1H559H376H2974H3885H3820H3190 7The man got up to leave, but his father-in-law kept urging him to stay, so he finally gave in and stayed the night.H376H6965H3212H2859H6484H3885H7725 8On the morning of the fifth day he was up early again, ready to leave, and again the woman's father said, "Have something to eat; then you can leave later this afternoon." So they had another day of feasting.H7925H1242H2549H3117H3212H5291H1H559H5582H3824H4102H3117H5186H398H8147 9Later, as the man and his concubine and servant were preparing to leave, his father-in-law said, "Look, it's almost evening. Stay the night and enjoy yourself. Tomorrow you can get up early and be on your way."H376H6965H3212H6370H5288H2859H5291H1H559H3117H7503H6150H3885H3117H2583H3885H3824H3190H4279H7925H1870H1980H168 10But this time the man was determined to leave. So he took his two saddled donkeys and his concubine and headed in the direction of Jebus (that is, Jerusalem).H376H14H3885H6965H3212H935H5227H2982H3389H6776H2543H2280H6370 11It was late in the day when they neared Jebus, and the man's servant said to him, "Let's stop at this Jebusite town and spend the night there."H2982H3117H3966H7286H5288H559H113H3212H5493H5892H2983H3885 12"No," his master said, "we can't stay in this foreign town where there are no Israelites. Instead, we will go on to Gibeah.H113H559H5493H5892H5237H1121H3478H5674H1390 13Come on, let's try to get as far as Gibeah or Ramah, and we'll spend the night in one of those towns."H559H5288H3212H7126H259H4725H3885H1390H7414 14So they went on. The sun was setting as they came to Gibeah, a town in the land of Benjamin,H5674H3212H8121H935H681H1390H1144 15so they stopped there to spend the night. They rested in the town square, but no one took them in for the night.H5493H935H3885H1390H935H3427H7339H5892H376H622H1004H3885 16That evening an old man came home from his work in the fields. He was from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was living in Gibeah, where the people were from the tribe of Benjamin.H935H2205H376H4639H7704H6153H376H2022H669H1481H1390H582H4725H1145 17When he saw the travelers sitting in the town square, he asked them where they were from and where they were going.H5375H5869H7200H732H376H7339H5892H2205H376H559H3212H370H935 18"We have been in Bethlehem in Judah," the man replied. "We are on our way to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim, which is my home. I traveled to Bethlehem, and now I'm returning home. But no one has taken us in for the night,H559H5674H1035H3063H3411H2022H669H3212H1035H3063H1980H1004H3068H376H622H1004 19even though we have everything we need. We have straw and feed for our donkeys and plenty of bread and wine for ourselves."H3426H8401H4554H2543H3899H3196H519H5288H5650H4270H1697 20"You are welcome to stay with me," the old man said. "I will give you anything you might need. But whatever you do, don't spend the night in the square."H2205H376H559H7965H7535H4270H3885H7339 21So he took them home with him and fed the donkeys. After they washed their feet, they ate and drank together.H935H1004H1101H2543H7364H7272H398H8354 22While they were enjoying themselves, a crowd of troublemakers from the town surrounded the house. They began beating at the door and shouting to the old man, "Bring out the man who is staying with you so we can have sex with him."H3820H3190H582H5892H582H1121H1100H5437H1004H5437H1849H1817H559H1167H1004H2205H376H559H3318H376H935H1004H3045 23The old man stepped outside to talk to them. "No, my brothers, don't do such an evil thing. For this man is a guest in my house, and such a thing would be shameful.H376H1167H1004H3318H559H408H251H7489H310H376H935H1004H6213H5039 24Here, take my virgin daughter and this man's concubine. I will bring them out to you, and you can abuse them and do whatever you like. But don't do such a shameful thing to this man."H1323H1330H6370H3318H6031H6213H5869H2896H376H6213H2063H5039H1697 25But they wouldn't listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door. The men of the town abused her all night, taking turns raping her until morning. Finally, at dawn they let her go.H582H14H8085H376H2388H6370H3318H2351H3045H5953H3915H1242H7837H5927H7971 26At daybreak the woman returned to the house where her husband was staying. She collapsed at the door of the house and lay there until it was light.H935H802H6437H1242H5307H6607H376H1004H113H216 27When her husband opened the door to leave, there lay his concubine with her hands on the threshold.H113H6965H1242H6605H1817H1004H3318H3212H1870H802H6370H5307H6607H1004H3027H5592 28He said, "Get up! Let's go!" But there was no answer. So he put her body on his donkey and took her home.H559H6965H3212H6030H376H3947H2543H376H6965H3212H4725 29When he got home, he took a knife and cut his concubine's body into twelve pieces. Then he sent one piece to each tribe throughout all the territory of Israel.H935H1004H3947H3979H2388H6370H5408H6106H8147H6240H5409H7971H1366H3478 30Everyone who saw it said, "Such a horrible crime has not been committed in all the time since Israel left Egypt. Think about it! What are we going to do? Who's going to speak up?"H1961H7200H559H2063H7200H3117H1121H3478H5927H776H4714H3117H7760H5779H1696
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.