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Copyr. !997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 13  - CIVIL WAR (THE LEVITE AND THE CONCUBINE)

INTRODUCTION: I APPRECIATE RICHARD BYRD TEACHING FOR ME TWO WEEKS
AGO.  IF YOU ATTENDED CAMPMEETING LAST WEEK, YOU WERE TREATED TO A
LESSON IN WHICH THE TEACHER DID NOT EVEN READ A SINGLE WORD FROM
THE BOOK OF JUDGES.
     AS USUAL, WE WILL BE READING A LOT OF WORDS FROM JUDGES TODAY:
WORDS I'LL BET YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD BEFORE.  WHY? BECAUSE THIS IS
ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL STORIES IN THE BIBLE.  LETS GET INTO IT!

I. THE KING, FATHER AND HUSBAND

     A. READ JUDGES 19:1-3. THE TEXT STARTS OUT TELLING US THAT 
     ISRAEL HAD NO KING. 
          1. IS THAT GOOD OR BAD? 

          2. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT IN 1 SAMUEL 8, AFTER SAMUEL WAS
          OLD, THE PEOPLE DEMANDED A KING? SAMUEL WAS UPSET, BUT
          GOD TOLD HIM IT WAS NOT SAMUEL THEY WERE REJECTING, BUT
          GOD. (1SAM8:7)

          3. SO, THESE PEOPLE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK, RIGHT? 
          (WRONG! DURING THE TIME OF THE JUDGES, THE PEOPLE HAD
          REJECTED GOD. SO THEY DID NOT HAVE GOD AS THEIR KING AND
          THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY MAN AS THEIR KING EITHER.)

          4. IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHAT DO YOU THING WOULD BE THE
          RESULT OF HAVING NO KING? (THERE WAS NO LAW ENFORCEMENT.
          JUDGES 21:25 REPEATS THE STATEMENT THAT THEY HAD NO KING,
          AND ADDS: "EVERYONE DID AS HE SAW FIT.")

          5. THUS, AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS STORY WE ARE TOLD THAT
          THIS WAS A LAWLESS TIME.  THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE
          PREVAILED. WITH THAT IN MIND, LETS GO ON.

     B. HIS WIFE IS A CONCUBINE, WHICH MEANS THAT SHE IS A
     SECONDARY WIFE. THIS DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT HE HAD ANY
     OTHER WIVES. IT MIGHT MEAN, ACCORDING TO MATTHEW HENRY, THAT
     SHE DID NOT COME WITH A DOWRY. PERHAPS HER FATHER WAS POOR.

     C. IN VERSE 2 THE NIV SAYS SHE WAS "UNFAITHFUL." IN THE KJV
     IT SAYS "SHE PLAYED THE WHORE" AND IN OTHER VERSIONS SHE IS
     CALLED A "HARLOT."

          1. LET ME TELL YOU THAT THE WORD TRANSLATED "PLAYED THE
          WHORE" OR "UNFAITHFUL" (WATIZNEH) IS THE HEBREW WORD THAT
          DOES NOT EXCLUSIVELY MEAN SEXUAL MISCONDUCT (GEN 38:15;
          JOSHUA 6:17), BUT IS GENERALLY USED TO DESCRIBE
          UNFAITHFULNESS TO GOD (LEV.20:6; NUM.15:39;DEUT.31:16).

          2. WHAT DOES THE CONTEXT SUGGEST IS HER FAILURE? (GOING
          BACK TO HER FATHER. ALTHOUGH THE TEXT IS NOT CLEAR, IT
          APPEARS THAT THIS IS THE KIND OF UNFAITHFULNESS THAT
          ISRAEL HAD TO GOD: THAT SHE TURNED AWAY FROM HIM AND LEFT
          HIM. SHE WENT BACK TO HER FATHER.)

     D. WE ARE TOLD THAT THE HUSBAND WENT BACK TO PERSUADE HER TO
     RETURN. IT SAYS THAT HER FATHER "GLADLY WELCOMED" THE HUSBAND.

          1. WHAT DOES THIS SUGGEST ABOUT WHETHER SHE HAD BEEN 
          SEXUALLY UNFAITHFUL? (IF SHE HAD, THE HUSBAND MIGHT HAVE
          BEEN COMING TO KILL HER.(GEN 38:24) THIS IS ANOTHER
          INDICATION THAT SHE WAS NOT SEXUALLY UNFAITHFUL.)

     E. SO THEY ARE ALL TOGETHER, A "HAPPY LITTLE FAMILY." LETS 
     READ ON. READ JUDGES 19:4-10.

          1. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? WHY DOES THE FATHER KEEP 
          SUGGESTING THAT THEY STAY ANOTHER DAY?

          2. WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DOES THIS FATHER HAVE WITH
          HIS DAUGHTER? (I THINK HE LOVES HER DEARLY. HE DOES NOT
          WANT HER TO LEAVE. PERHAPS HE IS A POOR MAN, AND HIS
          PRIMARY POSSESSION IS HIS DAUGHTER.)

     F. DOES THIS STORY REMIND YOU OF TRYING TO GET TO
     CHURCH ON TIME?  IN v.10 IT SEEMS THE HUSBAND IS IMPATIENT AND
     HE LEAVES WHEN HE REALLY SHOULD NOT HAVE LEFT.

     G. READ JUDGES 19:11-13. WHY NOT STAY THE NIGHT NEAR JEBUS?
     (JEBUS, BY THE WAY, WAS LATER CALLED JERUSALEM) (PERHAPS
     BECAUSE JEWS WERE TO STAY CLEAR OF UNBELIEVERS. PERHAPS
     BECAUSE HE WAS AFRAID FOR THEIR SAFETY.)

     H. READ 19:14-21. THE OLD MAN TAKES THEM IN. 
          1. IS HE A BENJAMITE?
          2. IS HE A NATIVE OF THE CITY OF GIBEAH?
          3. DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON WITH THE LEVITE? (YES.
          THE OLD MAN'S HOME IS WHERE THE LEVITE LIVES. PERHAPS HE
          HAD A LOOK OR AN ACCENT THAT TOLD THE OLD MAN THAT HE WAS
          "FROM HOME.")

     I. READ 19:22-28.

          1. WHAT OTHER STORY IN THE BIBLE REMINDS YOU OF THESE 
          SERIES OF EVENTS? (GEN.19: LOT, SODOM AND THE ANGELS)

          2. WHAT DOES THIS SHOW US ABOUT GOD'S PEOPLE -- THE 
          BENJAMITES?

          3. I GENERALLY LIKE MATTHEW HENRY'S COMMENTARY. BUT WITH
          THIS STORY HE CONTINUALLY TAKES THE POSITION OF THE
          LEVITE. WHAT DO WE LEARN ABOUT THE LEVITE HERE?

               a. WHAT ABOUT HIS SENDING HIS CONCUBINE OUT TO THESE
               MEN?
               b. WHAT OF HIM SLEEPING THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT INSTEAD
               OF LOOKING FOR HIS CONCUBINE?
     J. LETS SKIP AHEAD JUST A LITTLE BIT. LISTENING TO THE WAY A
     PERSON RETELLS THE STORY CAN GAVE YOU A HINT ABOUT WHAT THEY
     THOUGHT AT THE TIME. READ JUDGES 20:4-5.

          1. HOW DOES THIS STORY VARY FROM THE ACTUAL EVENT? (IT
          SOUNDS LIKE THEY WERE BOTH BEING PURSUED AND SHE WAS NOT
          FAST ENOUGH. HE DOES NOT MENTION THAT HE SENT HIS WIFE
          OUTSIDE TO THEM!)

               a. WHAT DOES THIS TELL US? (THAT HE KNEW IT WAS NOT
               APPROPRIATE TO THROW HIS CONCUBINE OUT TO THEM.  OR
               AT LEAST IF IT WERE "PROPER," IT WOULD CERTAINLY BE
               CONSIDERED COWARDLY. IF A CONCUBINE WAS, IN FACT,
               CONSIDERED PROPERTY, A MAN OF COURAGE WOULD DEFEND
               HIS PROPERTY.)

     K. LETS GO BACK AND FINISH UP CHPT.19. READ 19:29-30.

          1. AS LETTERS OF APPEAL GO, HOW DOES THIS ONE RATE? (IT
          WAS SUCCESSFUL) 

          2. DO YOU SEE ANY "GOOD NEWS" IN THESE VERSES? (YES. THAT
          AT LEAST SOME CRIME COULD SHOCK THEM.  ISRAEL HAD NOT
          SUNK SO LOW THAT THIS VILE CRIME DID NOT MOVE THEM. 
          INSTEAD, THEY AGREED SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE.)

II. THE PUNISHMENT

     A. READ JUDGES 20:1-3,8-10.  DID THE LEVITE SEND A PART OF HIS
     CONCUBINE TO BENJAMIN? (YES, 12 PARTS. JUDGES 1:29)

          1. DID THE BENJAMITES COME TO THE MEETING? (NO. 20:3 
          "THEY HEARD.")

          2. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU? (THAT THE BENJAMITES THOUGHT
          IT WAS NO BIG DEAL, OR THEY WERE LOYAL TO THEIR KINSMEN.)

     B. LETS READ ON. JUDGES 20:12-14. WHERE DID THEY GATHER? 
     (GIBEAH). WHAT DOES THIS TELL YOU ABOUT THE BENJAMITES? (THEY
     ARE GATHERING AROUND THE PERVERTS AND ARE GOING TO DEFEND
     THEM!)

     C. LET ME SUMMARIZE THE NEXT FEW VERSES. THE ARMY OF ISRAEL
     NUMBERS ABOUT 400K AND THE ARMY OF BENJAMIN ABOUT 27K, WHICH
     INCLUDES AN ELITE GROUP OF LEFT-HANDED STONE SLINGERS WHO
     COULD HIT A HAIR!  THE 400 INQUIRED OF THE LORD HOW TO
     PROCEED, AND HE TOLD THEM TO ATTACK WITH JUDAH FIRST.)

     D. LETS READ ON 20:20-26.  THE ISRAELITES, WITH THEIR
     TREMENDOUS NUMERICAL SUPERIORITY, THE MORALLY SUPERIOR CLAIM
     AND THE DIRECTION OF THE LORD, GET THEIR BUTTS KICKED. 40K
     DIE! MORE THAN THE WHOLE BENJAMITE ARMY!

          1. WHAT POSSIBLE EXPLANATION CAN YOU FIND FOR THAT?
          2. WHAT LESSON DO YOU FIND IN THIS? (THAT IT IS NOT 
          ALWAYS EASY TO PREDICT WHAT GOD HAS IN MIND!)

          
     E. READ 20:26-28.  DOES THIS GIVE YOU ANY HINT OF THE REASON
     FOR THE TWO DEFEATS? (WE HAVE SEEN THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK THAT
     ISRAEL WAS FAR FROM GOD DURING A GREAT DEAL OF THIS TIME. THIS
     STORY OF THE BENJAMITES IS THE WORST WE HAVE SEEN. PERHAPS IT
     REFLECTS A GENERAL DECLENSION IN MORALITY. IF SO, THIS IS AN
     OPPORTUNITY TO IMPRESS UPON THE PEOPLE THEIR NEED OF GOD AND
     HIS HELP IF THEY ARE TO OVERCOME.)

     F. READ 20:37-42, 46-47. FINALLY, VICTORY!

III. REBUILDING

     A. READ JUDGES 21:6-7. YOU NOTICE THAT (20:47) THAT 600 
     BENJAMITE MEN SURVIVED BY FLEEING TO ROCK RIMMON.  THEY WERE
     NOW CONCERNED THEY HAD KILLED OFF ONE OF THE TRIBES, AND THE
     PROBLEM WAS COMPOUNDED BY THE OATH IN 21:1 THAT THEY WOULD NOT
     GIVE ONE OF DAUGHTERS TO A BENJAMITE AS A WIFE.

           SO THEY CAME UP WITH TWO SOLUTIONS: 

          1. READ JUDGES 21:5,8-10, 14. (THEY KILLED THOSE WHO HAD
          NOT HELPED IN THE BATTLE AGAINST BENJAMIN, AND TOOK THEIR
          VIRGINS.

          2. READ JUDGES 21:19-23. (THEY GRABBED THE GIRLS WHILE
          THEY WERE DANCING!)

     B. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE SOLUTIONS? (THIS IS ALL 
     IDIOTIC:  
          1. THEY MAKE A FOOLISH VOW (PROBABLY NOT FOOLISH AT THE
          TIME) NOT TO GIVE THEIR DAUGHTERS TO THE BENJAMITES.
          (21:7, 18)
          
          2. THEY GET CARRIED AWAY AND KILL THE BENJAMITE
          WOMEN.(21:48)

          3. THEY MAKE A RASH VOW TO KILL ALL WHO DO NOT SEND HELP
          AGAINST THE BENJAMITES (21:5), SO THEN THEY KILL THE MEN
          OF JABESH GILEAD, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HELP, AND GIVE
          THEIR VIRGINS TO THE BENJAMITES)

          4. AND THEN THEY COME UP WITH THIS HAIR-BRAINED IDEA TO
          HAVE THE BENJAMITES "KIDNAP" THEIR UNSUSPECTING YOUNG
          WOMEN, SO THAT THEY CAN SAY THEY DID NOT "GIVE" THEM AWAY
          AS WIVES TO THE MEN OF BENJAMIN) (21:20-21)

     C. WHAT LESSON DO YOU SEE IN THIS? (DO NOT MAKE RASH VOWS. SIN
     PROMOTES MORE SIN.)

     D. WHAT OVERALL LESSON DO YOU SEE IN THIS BIZARRE AND EVIL 
     STORY? (THAT WITHOUT GOD, EVEN GOD'S PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF
     ENORMOUS SINS.  THAT SIN HAS A TERRIBLE PRICE.  THAT GOD IS
     WILLING TO HELP HIS PEOPLE, AND WITHOUT HIS HELP WE CANNOT
     PREVAIL.)

IV. NEXT WEEK A NEW QUARTER AND A NEW LESSON.  I WILL NOT BE BACK
WITH YOU UNTIL AUGUST. STUDY WHILE I'M GONE!