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365 Devotionals: The Promised Land

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP

The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series

The Ephraim Levite’s Concubine

“In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself”. John 1:1 AMP

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28th Judges Chapter 19 The Ephraim Levite’s Concubine

Devotional Reading: Judges 19:1-2 AMP

In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite was living temporarily in the most remote part of the hill district of Ephraim, who took to himself a concubine [of inferior status than a wife] from Bethlehem in Judah. And his concubine was untrue to him and went away from him to her father’s house at Bethlehem of Judah and stayed there the space of four months.

Jewish tradition holds that the “certain Levite’s” concubine was involved in infidelity; rather, she cooked a meal for her Levite master and there was a fly or a hair or something of the like in the serving; and he became angry with her. This anger is supposedly influential in the woman’s father not wanting them to leave his house and he constrained them to stay many days when the Levite came to seek the woman and bring her home to him again. The father seems to have had the instinct that he might not see his daughter well again if they left his home. Even if he knew something was awry, he could not have prepared for what was to come.

Devotional Reading: Judges 19:10-15 AMP

10 But the man would not stay that night; so he rose up and departed and came opposite to Jebus, which is Jerusalem. With him were two saddled donkeys [and his servant] and his concubine. 11 When they were near Jebus, it was late, and the servant said to his master, Come I pray, and let us turn into this Jebusite city and lodge in it. 12 His master said to him, We will not turn aside into the city of foreigners where there are no Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah. 13 And he said to his servant, Come and let us go to one of these places and spend the night in Gibeah or in Ramah. 14 So they passed on 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 and lodge at Gibeah. And the Levite went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no man took them into his house to spend the night.

It is a sad state when the former righteousness is passed away. This was the case with Gibeah. A Levite should have been able to dwell safely in Gibeah among the Benjamites, one of the tribes of Israel. A Levite would understandably want to lodge among his people. Unfortunately, the traveling Levite had no idea that the city of his brethren was full of idol worshipers and had become an abominable city. The lack of Godly hospitality was blaring in that the Levite and his company had not been offered accommodations sooner than nightfall. No one had inquired from whence they had come or where they were going to – which was unusual among permanent residents and travelers. Finally, the Levite is met miraculously by an elderly man who lived in Ephraim as he did, but who was working temporarily in Gibeah.

Devotional Reading: Judges 19:16-21 AMP

16 And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening. He was from the hill country of Ephraim but was living temporarily in Gibeah, but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 And when he looked up, he saw the wayfarer in the city square, and the old man said, Where are you going? And from where did you come? 18 The Levite replied, We are passing from Bethlehem of Judah to the rear side of the hill country of Ephraim; I am from there. I went to Bethlehem of Judah, but I am [now] going [home] to the house of the Lord [where I serve], and there is no man who receives me into his house. 19 Yet we have both straw and provender for our donkeys and bread and wine also for me, your handmaid, and the young man who is with your servants; there is no lack of anything. 20 And the old man said, Peace be to you, but leave all your wants to me; only do not lodge in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house and gave provender to the donkeys. And the guests washed their feet and ate and drank.

Devotional Reading: Judges 19:22-25 AMP

Sexual sin run amuck came to the door of the elderly man who had taken the Levite and his company as guests. Ultimately, the Levite’s concubine was given up instead of the Levite and she was defiled and abased and abused. The horrid demise of this woman is highly disturbing; and it had narrowly been she and the Elderly man’s daughter also, but the Levite forced his concubine out of the house.

Devotional Reading: Judges 19:26-29 AMP

26 At daybreak the woman [the Levite’s concubine] came and fell down and lay at the door of the man’s house where her master was, till it was light. 27 And her master rose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way; and behold, his concubine had fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold. 28 And he said to her, Up, and let us be going. But there was no answer [for she was dead]. Then he put her [body] upon the donkey, and the man rose up and went home.

The Levite used the plight of his concubine in an unorthodox way to ignite war against the Benjamites.

Devotional Reading: Judges 19:30 AMP

30 And all who saw it said, There was no such deed done or seen from the day that the Israelites came up out of the land of Egypt to this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak [your minds].


[1] Jewish Women’s Archive. Concubine of a Levite: Midrash and Aggadah. http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/women-in-samsons-life-midrash-and-aggadah. Accessed April 4, 2015

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