Gibeah’s Crime and Punishment (Judges 19:22 – 20:48)

As the Levite was being cared for by the old man in Gibeah, perverted men from the city came to his house, demanding access to him for sex.  The old man offered them his virgin daughter and the Levite’s concubine instead.  They took the Levite’s concubine and raped her all night, then let her go.  She sent back to the house, and fell down at the door.  When the Levite saw her, he told her to get up, they were leaving, but she did not answer.  He put her on his donkey and headed back to his place.  Once home, he took a knife (presumably she was dead) and divided her into twelve pieces, and sent the pieces throughout Israel. They were outraged.

They determined to take a force to Gibeah to punish the perverted men who committed this crime.  When they arrived and asked for the men to exact punishment, the Benjamites refused, and formed battle array.  They had great warriors, including a left-handed group especially skilled with the sling.  The first day, Judah led the Israelite army.  Benjamin killed over 20,000 men the first day.  Israel asked God if they should go against them a second day, and He instructed them to go.  The second day Benjamin killed another 18,000 men.  They consulted God again and He promised to give them victory the third day.  The third day they laid in ambush, drawing the Benjamites out of the city, and those hiding for the ambush went into the city and set it on fire.  Then the Israelites fought hard against Benjamin and killed 25,000 men.

Crime demands punishment.  The men of Gibeah performed a disgusting act, and deserved judgment.  The men of Benjamin stood with the criminals, and they all paid for the crime.  Loyalty is important, but sin is sin.  Do not stand on the wrong side of a conflict.  Stand for right, because eventually, one way or another, right will prevail!

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