Misunderstood Verses

Judges 19:29

Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.  And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.  Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light.  And her 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, and her hands were upon the threshold. And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. And it was so, that all that 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 unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

 

The word "so that we may know him," does not mean have sex with him.  That is not the word for that.  If anything it means to get to know him, explore him, get him to join him.  The word is used is translated as, "Know, Known, Knowledge, percieve, shew, tell, wist, understand, certainly, acknowledge, aquaintence, consider, declare, teach, and 85 miscelanious uses.  My point is that we see that word as meaning "have sex," and it is never used in that context.

Now as they were making their hearts merry, (celebrating, enjoying each others company) behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial (a family/group that was known for being worthless and good for nothing), beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him (Hey!  Let us meet this guy, send him out!!). But the owner of the house knew these men, and knew that they were dangerous.

And the master of the house went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, I pray you, do not do so wickedly;  (I know what you're up to, leave the guy alone) seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.  (This man is my guest, and you need to stop)

Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.  (This sentence is really interesting.  He was offering his daughter, someone they probably knew already and/or a concubine.  A concubine was often taken in war, and were often slaves that were given to the women to help them in the household.  The house owner knew these men and thought that they would have some fun, and leave them be.  But he had to protect his guest and he probably knew that they would be rough with him.)

But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, (They wouldn't go away and were getting worse, so they let the concubine go with them to shut them up.) and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: (They were rough with her.  the word means to be brutal, vicious, to kill someone who is wounded, to drain dry, to collect even the last of the grain from a field.  It also means to play like a child and tease someone, to be petulant, to mistreat someone, to treat someone so badly that they die from it.) and when the day began to spring, they let her go. (The word used is closer to, "they cast her out, threw her away.")   If I had my guess, I would say that the homeowner and the husband did not expect her to be treated so badly.  They might have expected to get a drunk woman back, but not one hurt and near death.

And her 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, and her hands were upon the threshold. 

Imagine after a rough night, being threatened, and waking, he was ready to go.  He opened the door, and the women was lying at the entrance.  Now, two words are used here... yad and caph.  They are translated as her hands were upon the threshold.  But they can ALSO mean she was lying at the door with a goblet in her hands.  Yad means hands, wrists and a few other words... and caph can be theshold, sill, door-keeper - but it is also translated as cup, goblet, bowl, basin. 

So he got up, ready to go, and when he opened the door she was lying there flopped over, with a goblet in her hand.  He wasn't thinking she was injured, he thought she was drunk!  He wasn't being insensitive - well, yes he was, he was ready to go.

"And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place."

This verse is beautiful.  He said to her to get up, but she didn't answer him.  (It's clear he sees that she's hurt) So he took her (This word means to marry, to be kind, to carry, to take care of) and put her on the donkey so that she could ride comfortably, while he walked beside her and took her home.  It's clear she died on the way.

And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

So he took a knife and cut her up to send to everyone, to show what had been done to her.  I'll bet that she was really hurt and had a lot of bruising and other wounds, and he was showing how badly she was treated.  Today we would take pictures.  It was a warning to everyone to not let this happen and not people get away with this kind of abuse.  It would be no different than us putting pictures of a violent attack on a billboard to get media attention to the attack. 

And it was so, that all that 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 unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds

The last part is three words.  Consider of it - suem, take advice - uwts, and speak your minds - dabar. 

Suem means to appoint, lay (violent) hands on, set, ordain, establish, bring to pass.

Uwts means to take advice or take notice.

Dabar means to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, to lead away, to put to flight.

So, "consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds." Could also mean "Make some rules about this kind of thing, give everyone notice that it's not going to happen again, threaten them if you need to, warn them, and if you need to, lead them away or run them out of town."

It's a beautiful set of verses which address domestic violence and mistreatment of people, and a command that if they are going to act like this, kick them out.  Adding the sexual innuendo into this reduces the verse and deprives it of it's power.  Even today we deal with these kinds of abuses, and we deal with them in a very similar way.  We eject them from our society... but the land wasn't very populated yet, then, and casting someone out was a harsh punishment.  We put them in jail - or in a case like this, execute them.

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