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Judges 20:4-7: The Levite's Complaint against Gibeah

Verse 4:[1] And the Levite (Heb. the man the Levite[2]), the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, (Judg. 19:15) I came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.


The Levite; to whose relation the other two gave their consent.


Verse 5:[3] (Judg. 19:22) And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: (Judg. 19:25, 26) and my concubine have they forced (Heb. humbled[4]), that she is dead.



[Desiring to kill me, אוֹתִי֙ דִּמּ֣וּ לַהֲרֹ֔ג] Me they thought (wished [Arabic], had proposed to themselves [Junius and Tremellius], imagined [Junius], were showing themselves to desire [Tigurinus]) to kill (Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Pagnine, Montanus), that is, to abuse me by their wrongheaded lust unto death (Vatablus). To kill, suppose, unless I had gratified their lust: but I preferred death, rather than to endure that crime: σεμνὸς λόγος, a dignified statement (Junius, Piscator).


Thought to have slain me; except I would either submit to their unnatural lust, which I was resolved to withstand even unto death; or deliver up my concubine to them, which I was forced to do.



Verse 6:[5] And (Judg. 19:29) I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for they (Josh. 7:15) have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.


[Crime, וּנְבָלָה] Foolishness (Malvenda). Folly, or a foolish deed. It is generally accommodated to a crime that is contrary to public honesty, and has filthiness and shame adjoined (Bonfrerius).


Lewdness and folly: that is, A lewd folly; most ignominious and impudent wickedness.


Verse 7:[6] Behold, ye are all children of Israel; (Judg. 19:30) give here your advice and counsel.

[Ye are all here, O children of Israel] Hebrew: behold, all ye are the children of Israel.[7] That is to say, This injury does not touch me alone, but the entire republic of Israel (Malvenda out of Junius).



Children of Israel; the sons of that holy man, who for one filthy action left all eternal brand upon one of his own sons; a people in covenant with the holy God, whose honour you are obliged to vindicate, and who hath expressly commanded you to punish all such notorious enormities.


[Determine, etc.] Hebrew: Give for yourselves (or, bring forth from yourselves [Munster]) word and counsel here[8] (Montanus). Communicate among yourselves, etc. (Junius and Tremellius). The לָכֶם, for yourselves, is superfluous; that is, Pass judgment, and give counsel (Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּ֜עַן הָאִ֣ישׁ הַלֵּוִ֗י אִ֛ישׁ הָאִשָּׁ֥ה הַנִּרְצָחָ֖ה וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הַגִּבְעָ֙תָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לְבִנְיָמִ֔ן בָּ֛אתִי אֲנִ֥י וּפִֽילַגְשִׁ֖י לָלֽוּן׃


[2] Hebrew: הָאִ֣ישׁ הַלֵּוִ֗י.


[3] Hebrew: וַיָּקֻ֤מוּ עָלַי֙ בַּעֲלֵ֣י הַגִּבְעָ֔ה וַיָּסֹ֧בּוּ עָלַ֛י אֶת־הַבַּ֖יִת לָ֑יְלָה אוֹתִי֙ דִּמּ֣וּ לַהֲרֹ֔ג וְאֶת־פִּילַגְשִׁ֥י עִנּ֖וּ וַתָּמֹֽת׃


[4] Hebrew: עִנּוּ.


[5] Hebrew: וָֽאֹחֵ֤ז בְּפִֽילַגְשִׁי֙ וָֽאֲנַתְּחֶ֔הָ וָֽאֲשַׁלְּחֶ֔הָ בְּכָל־שְׂדֵ֖ה נַחֲלַ֣ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כִּ֥י עָשׂ֛וּ זִמָּ֥ה וּנְבָלָ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃


[6] Hebrew: הִנֵּ֥ה כֻלְּכֶ֖ם בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הָב֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם דָּבָ֥ר וְעֵצָ֖ה הֲלֹֽם׃


[7] Hebrew: הִנֵּ֥ה כֻלְּכֶ֖ם בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל.


[8] Hebrew: הָב֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם דָּבָ֥ר וְעֵצָ֖ה הֲלֹֽם׃.

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3 Comments


Good Hebrew lesson this morning... I'm grateful for this group!

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
May 05, 2019


Matthew Henry: 'A solemn examination of the crime charged upon the men of Gibeah. A very horrid representation of it had been made by the report of the messengers that were sent to call them together, but it was fit it should be more closely enquired into, because such things are often made worse than really they were; a committee therefore was appointed to examine the witnesses (upon oath, no doubt) and to report the matter. It is only the testimony of the Levite himself that is here recorded, but it is probable his servant, and the old man, were examined, and gave in their testimony, for that more than one were examined appears by the original (Judges 20:3), whic…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
May 05, 2019

Hebrew Highlights: The Hebrew is pretty straightforward.

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