In Israel’s era of lawlessness, when everyone did as they liked, this is probably the most wicked and saddest event. A Levite went to take his concubine from her father’s house in Bethlehemjudah in a reconciliatory move. Though everything went well while he was there, with merriment and celebrations, things took the worst turn when he eventually decided to leave with his concubine.
It was as though everything worked together against this Levite. His departure was consistently delayed by his father in law, he had the option of staying in Jebus, but he did not, he got to Gibeah and couldn’t find a lodging until an old man kindly allowed him into his house.
However in the night, some men of the Benjaminites came banging on the door and asked the old man to bring out this man so that they might have sex with him. The old man pleaded with them and even went as far as to offer them his own daughter who was a virgin and the man’s concubine to them, but they declined.
Eventually, the Levite brought forth his concubine to them and they raped her till morning. When the Levite got up to go in the morning, the woman was dead hanging to the door handle. The Levite too her on his ass, got back home and cut her into twelve pieces. He then sent the pieces through the coasts of Israel.
It was recorded that since Israel left Egypt no worse evil worse than this had been seen. It was sodomy, a reminder of what the men of Sodom tried to do with Lot when he entertained the angels as guests (Gen 19:1-12). The evil of this sodomy is highlighted in the fact that in both cases, the hosts involved preferred a rape on their own ‘women’ (maiden, daughter) than allowing the men to have sex with their male guests. The Levite was helpless in protecting his concubine, but now looked like he would be sending a message around the whole land and avenging her death.