19.1-21 the concubine. The subject of concubines is a difficult one for the western mind to grasp. Why was this allowed? Is it ok today? Why a concubine and not a wife? The first consideration is there were no provisions for a woman if she was without support of father, family, or husband. She had no social assistance to turn to. Secondly, due to wars and their prevalence there was usually more women in the society than men. This left women without any means of support. She was left with the option of being a harlot or prostitute, or becoming a concubine. A concubine had no wedding dowry to give her husband. God did not institute this way of life any more than He did slavery. What God did in the Old Testament was regulate the social customs of that historical era to provide fairness and equity. This was why the social institution of concubines existed in that day and not today. Today we have provisions for women and children who are destitute. A concubine in some ways was not the equal of a wife for no dowry had been provided. In other ways a concubine was equal in being supported and provided for as we see in the 12 tribes of Israel. In this chapter the concubine of a Levite is abused and therefore falls under the same consideration as a wife because protection was provided for concubines. The ensuing battle and it’s consequences would not be different if she had been a wife of the Levite. 

19.22-30 This event transpires early in the book of Judges because Phinehas is the high priest (20.28), so this event occurred soon after the death of Joshua. This chapter records the crime, chapter 20 records the war that resulted, and chapter 21 is the preservation of the tribe of Benjamin from complete extinction. This is supported by the fact the entire nation goes to war and this is the only time in the entire book we know of this happening. Therefore, the sin was egregious and was offensive to every man in Israel. This crime touched a nerve so deep in every man that every tribe mobilized for war. Eventually 65,000 men will die over this issue. This totals more casualties than all the wars of the seven nations combined. The inner war of Israel between her own tribes killed more than the wars fought against the heathen nations. The enemy within is more dangerous than the enemy without.

Thanks for reading today….

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