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Judges 19:3: A Joyful Reconciliation

Verse 3:[1] And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her (Heb. to her heart;[2] Gen. 34:3[3]), and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father’s house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

[Desiring to be reconciled] Hence Bonfrerius and Menochius gather that she had not committed adultery: for then her husband would not have sought reconciliation with such zeal (Bonfrerius); neither would this have been lawful for him, if adultery had intervened, and she had been married to another man, Deuteronomy 24:3, 4 (Menochius). In addition, adulteries among the Israelites were severely punished (Bonfrerius).

[And to allure, לְדַבֵּ֤ר עַל־לִבָּהּ֙] So that he might speak to (or, upon [Junius and Tremellius, Piscator]) her heart (Pagnine), what things were to her heart (Junius and Tremellius), that is, words soft and consolatory, as in Genesis 34:3; 50:21;[4] Hosea 2:14.[5] But it is another thing to speak עִם־לִבִּי, with mine heart, Ecclesiastes 1:16,[6] that is, within me (Drusius).

To speak friendly unto her, or, to speak to her heart, that is, kindly and comfortably, as that phrase is taken, Genesis 50:21; Hosea 2:14, to offer, her pardon and reconciliation, and restitution to her former state.

[And to lead back, לַהֲשִׁיבוֹ] Thus it stands in writing;[7] but in the reading it is לַהֲשִׁיבָ֔הּ, to bring her back (Drusius).

To bring her again, to wit, to his own house. A couple of asses; partly for himself or his wife to ride upon, as there was occasion; and partly for carrying their provision, as appears from Judges 19:19. He rejoiced to meet him, hoping the breach would be made up by this means.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֙קָם אִישָׁ֜הּ וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ אַחֲרֶ֗יהָ לְדַבֵּ֤ר עַל־לִבָּהּ֙ לַהֲשִׁיב֔וֹ וְנַעֲר֥וֹ עִמּ֖וֹ וְצֶ֣מֶד חֲמֹרִ֑ים וַתְּבִיאֵ֙הוּ֙ בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יהָ וַיִּרְאֵ֙הוּ֙ אֲבִ֣י הַֽנַּעֲרָ֔ה וַיִּשְׂמַ֖ח לִקְרָאתֽוֹ׃

[2] Hebrew: עַל־לִבָּהּ.

[3] Genesis 34:3: “And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel (וַיְדַבֵּ֖ר עַל־לֵ֥ב הַֽנַּעֲרָֽ׃).”

[4] Genesis 50:21: “Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them (וַיְדַבֵּ֖ר עַל־לִבָּֽם׃).”

[5] Hosea 2:14: “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her (וְדִבַּרְתִּ֖י עַל־לִבָּֽהּ׃).”

[6] Ecclesiastes 1:16: “I communed with mine own heart (דִּבַּ֙רְתִּי אֲנִ֤י עִם־לִבִּי֙), saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”

[7] Thus the Kethib, לַהֲשִׁיבוֹ, to bring him back.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Apr 13, 2019

Matthew Henry: 'The Levite went himself to court her return. It was a sign there was no king, no judge, in Israel, else she would have been prosecuted and put to death as an adulteress; but, instead of that, she is addressed in the kindest manner by her injured husband, who takes a long journey on purpose to beseech her to be reconciled, Judges 19:3. If he had put her away, it would have been a crime in him to return to her again, Jeremiah 3:1. But, she having gone away, it was a virtue in him to forgive the offence, and, though the party wronged, to make the first motion to her to be friends again. It is par…


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Apr 13, 2019

Hebrew Highlights: What do you make of the Kethib/Qere in this verse?

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