1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a
certain Levite sojourning in the remote areas of the mountains of Ephraim, who took a
concubine for himself, a woman from Bethlehem in Judah.
2 But his concubine committed adultery against him, and went away from him to her
father's house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there four months of days.
3 And her husband rose up and went after her, to speak to her heart, to bring her back,
having his servant and a couple of donkeys with him. So she brought him into her father's
house; and when the father of the young woman saw him, he was glad to meet him.
4 And his father-in-law, the young woman's father, detained him; and he stayed with him
three days. So they ate and drank and lodged there.
5 And it came to pass on the fourth day that they arose early in the morning, and he rose
up to depart; but the young woman's father said to his son-in-law, Sustain your heart with
a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.
6 So they sat down, and the two of them ate and drank together. Then the young woman's
father said to the man, Please accept my invitation to stay the night, and let your heart be
7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father-in-law pressed upon him; so he turned
back and lodged there.
8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart, but the young woman's
father said, Please sustain your heart. So they delayed until afternoon; and both of them
9 And when the man rose up to depart, he and his concubine and his servant, his father-in-law, the young woman's father, said to him, Behold, the day is now drawing toward
evening; please spend the night. Behold, the day is coming to an end; lodge here, that your
heart may be merry; and tomorrow go your way early, so that you may go to your tent.
10 However, the man was not willing to spend that night; so he rose up and departed, and
came to a place opposite Jebus (which is, Jerusalem). With him were the two saddled
donkeys; his concubine was also with him.
11 They were near Jebus, and the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master,
Come, please, and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites and lodge in it.
12 But his master said to him, We will not turn aside here into a city of foreigners, who
are not of the children of Israel; we will go on to Gibeah.
13 And he said to his servant, Come, let us draw near to one of these places, and lodge in
Gibeah or in Ramah.
14 And they passed by and went their way; and the sun went down on them near Gibeah,
which belongs to Benjamin.
15 And they turned aside there to go in to lodge in Gibeah. And when he went in, he sat
down in the open place of the city, for no one received them into his house to lodge.
16 And behold, an old man came in from his work in the field at evening, who also was
from the mountains of Ephraim; he was sojourning in Gibeah, whereas the men of the
place were Benjamites.
17 And when he lifted up his eyes, he saw the traveling man in the open place of the city; and the old man said, Where are you going, and where do you come from?
18 And he said to him, We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah toward the remote areas
of the mountains of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem in Judah; now I am
going to the house of Jehovah. But no one is receiving me into his house,
19 even though we have both straw and fodder for our donkeys, and bread and wine for
myself, for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servant; there is no
lack of anything.
20 And the old man said, Peace to you! However, let all your needs be upon me; only do
not spend the night in the open place.
21 So he brought him into his house, and gave fodder to the donkeys. And they washed
their feet, and ate and drank.
22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, certain men of the city, sons of
wickedness surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the
house, the old man, saying, Bring out the man who has come to your house, that we may
23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, No, my
brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do
not do this disgraceful folly.
24 Behold, here is my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now.
Humble them, and do with them whatever seems good to your eyes; but to this man do
not do such a disgraceful thing!
25 But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out
to them. And they knew her and abused her wantonly all night until morning; and when the
day began to break, they let her go.
26 Then the woman came as the day was dawning, and fell down at the door of the man's
house where her master was, till it was light.
27 And when her master arose in the morning, and opened the doors of the house and
went out to go his way, behold the woman, his concubine, fallen at the door of the house
with her hands on the threshold.
28 And he said to her, Get up and let us be going. But there was no answer. So the man
lifted her onto the donkey; and the man rose up and went to his place.
29 And when he entered his house he took a knife, laid hold of his concubine, and divided
her into twelve pieces with her bones, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.
30 And so it was that all who saw it said, No such deed has been done or seen from the
day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day. Determine, take
counsel, and speak up!