An Outstanding Moral Lesson (Judges 19)

Judges 19 diverges again into a moral lesson which I think I already learned from a shitty movie with Jeremy Piven called “Very Bad Things”.

For whatever reason, the chapter picks up with the story of a man who is never named, who happens to have a concubine, who is also never named. The man is travelling about with his concubine (great travel buddies – very agreeable, those concubines) and he has a hard time finding a place to crash. He happens upon this old guy who offers him a place to stay. Him and his concubine hunker down for the night until a bunch of party animals start banging on the door, wanting to “know him”. If you remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah then you know what that means. They’re not looking for a tete-a-tete.

Here’s what the old guys suggests: “No, my brethren, do not act so wickedly; seeing that this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing” (Jud 19: 23-24). What a great problem-solver; must have been in gifted class.

So the party animals descend upon the concubine who is raped, literally, to death. In the morning, the man finds her dead outside the house and – in an effort to tie up loose ends – he takes a knife and cuts her into twelve pieces and spreads those pieces “throughout all the territory of Israel” (Jud 19: 29).

These passages are described in such an incredibly neutral tone that I don’t know what anybody is supposed to learn from this. 

When I was thirteen, I read a lot of Amy Tan books and wanted to be Asian. I remember renting this movie and thinking I was really sophisticated for doing so because it’s foreign.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 2:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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