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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…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Apr 13, 2019

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

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