The Levite’s Unfaithful Concubine
There was a Levite, whose concubine became unfaithful to him and ran back to is father’s home in Bethlehem in Judah. After 4 months, the Levite who lived in the hill country of Ephraim decided to journeyed to Bethlehem with 2 donkeys to get her back. When the Levite arrived, the concubine’s father welcomed him and insisted that he stayed there for 3 days.
On the 4th days, the Levite got up early and wanted to leave with the woman. However, his father in law insisted that he stay for one more night. On the 5th day, the Levite prepared to go back with the woman again but his father in law insisted tat he stayed until afternoon. When it was afternoon, the Levite wanted to leave with his concubine but the father in law insisted again. This time, the Levite decided not to linger anymore at the house so he and his concubine set out for Jebus (Jerusalem).
The Men of Gibeah Raped the Levite’s Concubine
When they were near Jebus, his servant suggested to stop by at the city. However, the man refused because Jebus was not an Israelite town. He decided to journey to Gibeah or Ramah to spend the night. At evening, they arrived outside the town of Gibeah. There was an old man who was coming in from the field into the town. He saw the Levite and invited him into his house. At night, a number of wicked men surround the house, knocked at the door and asked to have sex with the man.
The owner went outside the house to persuade them not to do such things. Instead, he would give them his virgin daughter. However, they did not give in to the owner. The Levite, having no choice, sent his concubine outside. They raped and abused her for the entire night and let her go at dawn. She returned to the house and collapsed at the door.
When the Levite woke up, he found out that his concubine had died as she did not responded to him. The Levite used a knife to chop the corpse of his concubine into 12 pieces. After that, he sent each piece to each tribe of Israel. He did this so that the Israelite would do something about the matter and punish the men of Gibeah.
The Israelite assembled at Mizpah to discuss what to do about the issue. They decided to ask the Benjamites to hand over the men of Gibeah who committed the crime. The Benjamites refused to hand over the men of Gibeah. They mustered all 25,000 swordsmen from theri towns and 700 able young men from Gibeah to fight them.
On the first and second day of the battle, the Israelite lost to the Benjamites. On the first day, the Benjamites cut down 22,000 Israelites. On the second day, the Benjamites cut down 18,000 Israelites. On the third day, God gave the Israelite victory and they cut down 25,000 Benjamites. There were 600 Benjamites that managed to escape to the rock of Rimmon. The israelite put the towns of the Benjamites to fire and kill everyone including animals and other living things found there.
Wives for the Benjamites
The Israelite had taken oath not to give any of their daughters in marriage to the Benjamites. They went to Bethel and cried bitterly because the tribe of Benjamin is now almost gone. They asked among themselves who did not assemble at Mizpah to fight the Benjamites. They found out that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to assemble at Mizpah to fight the Benjamites. Therefore, they sent 12,000 fighting men to put to sword every male and female that is not virgin and the children. They found tat there were 400 young women from Jabesh Gilead. After they put to sword the people of Jabes Gilead, they brought the 400 young women to the Benjamites after making an offer of pace to them at the rock of Rimmon.
However, 200 Benjamites still do not have wives. At that time, there was an annual festival in Shiloh so they instructed the 200 Benjamites without wives to go and hide in ambush in the vineyards. When the young women came out to dance in Shiloh, the Benjamites were required to rush out from their hiding place and grab a woman back to be their wife. The 200 Benjamites without wives did what the Israelite suggested. Then, rhey returned to build their towns. In those days, there was no king so everyone do as they see fit.
What Can We Learn from the Battle of Gibeah?
The Israelite were rush in making decision to put the Benjamites to sword. In the first two battles, they lost to the Benjamites. Probably, God let them be defeated in the first two battles to remind them that they are fighting against their own relatives. We must always forgive our enemies and be good to them instead of taking revenge. Instead of taking revenge on the enemies yourself, you should let God deal with them yourself. In this way, you will not sin. In the end, God did help the Israelite to defeat the Benjamites. Sins will always be punished. Sexual immorality is a sin. It is a sin for a person to sleep with a person that is of the same gender with him or her. They also committed the sin of sexual abuse.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (Romans 12:14 KJV)
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth. (Proverbs 24:17 KJV)
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23:34 KJV)
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20 KJV)
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36 KJV)
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:13-20 KJV)
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 KJV)
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthains 10:13 KJV)
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28 KJV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV)
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4 KJV)
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5 KJV)
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV)
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22 KJV)
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11 KJV)
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19 KJV)