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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A story for the kiddies

16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the men of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, "Where are you going? Where did you come from?"

18 He answered, "We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the LORD. No one has taken me into his house. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, your maidservant, and the young man with us. We don't need anything."

20 "You are welcome at my house," the old man said. "Let me supply whatever you need. Only don't spend the night in the square." 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don't do such a disgraceful thing."

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, "Get up; let's go." But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it said, "Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!"

-- Judges 19:16-29, New International Version

I just hope that this horrible story is fictional. I cannot begin to express how disgusted I am right now.


  1. Tales like that are killers. When ever people accuse us of quoting the bible out of context - where's your context now?

    In which context does that passage become morally acceptable? What kind of spin do you have to put on that to reconcile it with a god of love.

    PS Over at AC the "nice touchy-feely biblical slavery" is being raised again. Oh how I wish I'd been a slave in those days, apparantly it was a bed of roses.

  2. ... I. had. no. idea. it. ended. with. dismemberment.

    That is absolutely horrifying. And somehow that whole story was considered a VIRTUOUS one?

  3. The poor man sacrificed his own wife to save a complete stranger. hat is the ultimate level of compassion ,altruism and hospitality. i'm sure you guys wouldn't do the same to save someone staying at your house.

    Sure the story is unpleasant but homosexuals and rapists are an unpleasant reality they faced back in biblical times and we still face today(Fortunately today we can call the police on the latter )

  4. "Oh how I wish I'd been a slave in those days, apparantly it was a bed of roses."
    I wouldn't call it a bed of roses but it was certaainly better than lower class conditions back then

  5. Mr. FreeThinker said:

    The poor man sacrificed his own wife to save a complete stranger. hat is the ultimate level of compassion ,altruism and hospitality. i'm sure you guys wouldn't do the same to save someone staying at your house.

    This is the ultimate example of "doublethink". How can you even find any justification in that story. It's horrifying. And it wasn't his "wife", it was his "concubine" which is the same as mistress. And he also offered his virgin daughter. Obviously you, much like the authors of the bible, find a man's life much more valuable than a women's. What was the purpose of dismemberment? Just kill her and be done with it.

    And you're right, I would never sacrifice one of my loved ones for a stranger. If that makes you consider me selfish, so be it.

  6. See, they were the wicked men, so they infected the concubine's genes with their sin, and by cutting her into pieces, which wasn't a sin because the story says he's a godly guy, the genes were cleansed, and to demonstrate this he set her pieces to all his blog-friends...

    aw, fuck it. I wonder how often they read this story aloud in church. I guess about zero times a year.
    What I want to see is a detailed explanation, devoid of obfuscating language and sophistry, that show in very clear and unambiguous terms why the New Covenant changed everything, but God didn't change, because he's unchanging, but he wouldn't call sociopathic killers godly anymore, except that he would because he's unchanging...


    These stories were written by people who had gotten them by word of mouth. They used to be told to completely ignorant and illiterate semi-nomadic tribesmen. The stories are meant to instill a fear of their god and thereby obedience to the laws the priests gave them. This strengthened their tribal bondage and kept everyone under the morale boost of being the chosen people. To question meant death or exile.
    Which is exactly what ancient Greek priests told their congregation. Just like the Babylonians. And the Egyptians.

    These stories never had to make sense, because there was nobody with the capability and the incentive to read them critically. This changed only after they had been written down and some people unhappy with the imposed rulership of the clerics started looking more closely centuries later.

    And now the apologists fall all over themselves trying to explain why it makes sense after all. The only way they can claim this doesn't fail completely is by waffling, twisting, obfuscating, picking whatever translation seems the most harmless, and flooding the reader with so much inane drivel that few people have the stamina to actually try to understand it, which they aren't meant to.
    Funny thing is, 800 apologists will explain the same few verses in at least 500 different and mostly exclusive ways. And each one of them is confident to be correct. Just like the person who first spoke the name YHWH, they are making an image of god in their minds and then fit the meaning of the text to that image. Which each one of them would certainly deny, telling the critic that he hadn't read the text properly, that he didn't know enough about the correct translation, the historical context and on and on. Trying to divert the attention from the elephantous fact that they still all disagree. The only thing they agree about is that it's true.
    Seriously, it's totally mindblowingly insane.
    Ask them how they think it's true, and you will get hundreds of different answers yet again. Literally true, metaphysically true, poetically true, spiritually true. And then probably a dozen other terms they made up to seem more scholarly. You're supposed to see a long text and think there must be some content, it's really difficult, but surely it's there.
    The fact is:
    They have no idea.
    They don't know what it means.
    They are guessing.
    And they do it just to preserve the illusion that there's a fact somewhere at the bottom of the well. They repress the fact that what they have just guessed to explain one part now contradicts another part, so they take another guess for a different verse. They are scared to scoop out the water, because they know somewhere in their subconscious mind that there will be no pebble of fact found. Instead they fill in more water by buckets, and throw in as much stuff as possible to make it more murky.
    When they've made it completely opaque, they proudly turn around and declare: 'Here it is. It's all perfectly clear now. This should convince everyone of the pebble.

    Oh, almost forgot to tell you, using buckets is a sin.'

  7. Liz concubines had most of the same rights as wives back then (except for inheritance).
    I don't think a man's life is more important than a womans's.
    I just think that is wasabrave thing he did out of hospitality to his guests (as you pointed out) not many people would do that.

  8. I just think that is was a brave thing he did out of hospitality to his guests

    Since they obviously wanted the male guest, why didn't he offer himself? Now THAT would have been brave and the ultimate act of altruism right?

    (as you pointed out) not many people would do that.

    Not any sane people anyway.

  9. Liz,

    Nail. On. The. Head.

    You winz teh interwebz!


    Why DIDN'T he sacrifice himself? I'm really interested to hear an explanation for this.

  10. Here's a commentary from a German site on this (my translation):
    God's angels with Lot in Sodom and The infamy of Gibea-Benjamin

    The first mention of the homosexuality in the Bible is found in the book Genesis. Concerning there is also a passage from Judges 19 with relatively similar events, both places are treated together here. The text in Genesis stands for the ungodly relations in Sodom, in Judges for the moral decay in Israel shortly before the time of Samuel.
    Strangers come to a town in which they find only with effort the hospitality otherwise usual in the East. It is granted to them, finally, only by citizens who had immigrated themselves. Both angels of God are accommodated in Sodom by Lot. In the Judges story a Levite travelling finds lodging with none of the citizens in Gibea-Benjamin, only an Ephraimite takes him in.
    The indifference of the inhabitants changes after nightfall into aggressiveness with a clearly sexual undertone. In Sodom like in Gibea a mob bands together before the house and requires the delivery of the strangers, linked with the demand "to recognise" them – a formulation which didn't mean "get acquainted" here, but – as often in biblical usage - means the sexual act. The further course of the events confirms this.
    Because the delivery of the strangers would mean, nevertheless, the complete break of the right to hospitality holy in the East, by which the host answers with his life for the security of his guest, Lot as well as the Ephraimite have the presumption to offer to deliver their maiden daughters instead. In Genesis the angels by virtue of their power prevent a further escalation. In Judges, the Levite drags his concubine before the door where the men abuse them on the street throughout the night as a result, until she breaks down dead in the morning.
    In both cases it is primarily about – even if only intended – homosexual action. However, note that it concerns a violent sexual action, a rape by a whole group. The fact that this is to be judged negatively, needs no discussion. As a specific argument against homosexuality in themselves these passages in the Bible are specifically not suitable. Just as little would one view the actually committed heterosexual rape in Gibea as an argument against sexuality in general.
    However, the described events are interesting for two other reasons for our question.
    On the one hand, it becomes clear on looking more carefully that the respective men before the door – at least in the majority – are not at all homosexuals (for the purposes of a homosexual disposition), but heterosexuals who apparently want a special sexual "kick" from a same-sexual and violent on top of that method . "The men of Sodom... all people came to Sodom far and wide". In Gibea these were "the men from the town" (Ju 19.22). The Levite describes it afterwards in such a way:" the citizens of Gibea banded together against me" (Ju 20.5). It concerned both times a large part of the citizens. Now it would be absurd to suppose that both places' citizens consisted primarily of homosexuals! Rather heterosexual men pursued homosexual methods here for the special experience, then found their "satisfaction" in the rape of a woman. Just as they were estimated by Lot and the Ephraimite from Gibea, as the offer to offer their daughters instead makes clear. In a modern "gay's disco", the deplorable concubine of the Levite would have presumably been substantially safer than on the street of Gibea...!
    Second, the story set in Gibea-Benjamin shows that homosexual behaviour patterns were known in Israel obviously very well. From evangelical side it is maintained often with pleasure that homosexuality was looked upon in Israel from the start as so wrong that it did not practically exist at all - allegedly this is also the reason, why generally so few places in the Bible deal with this subject.
    However, it is hardly to be supposed that the men of Gibea came here all spontaneously and for the first time with the thought of a homosexual activity. Obviously they already knew such a thing. If they had strikingly differed in it from all other Israelites, the whole tribe of Benjamin would have been hardly ready not only to accept this extraordinary infamy, but to show solidarity with the citizens of Gibea and to move in her defence against the other tribes in the war as it happened afterwards. The events in Gibea rather let one conclude the fact that the Israelites knew homosexual actions not only from "viewing" their neighbouring nations, but had also adopted and partly practised them. But at least in this example, they were excercised by heterosexuals."


  11. laof,

    Why DIDN'T he sacrifice himself? I'm really interested to hear an explanation for this.

    Are you mistaking laof for mrfreethinker here?

  12. A commentary by Henri Rossier (French physician who lived 1835-1928) states:
    "Now the poor woman who had stood off, without remorse and without practise of her conscience, from her former whoring ways dies of the awful results of that which she had lusted after earlier. God lets the measure of evil fill; however, He knows how to make an occasion for his glorification even out of this execrable action, as we see in the following chapters."

  13. I dunno why he didn't sacrifice himself (the passage says he was an old man- I don't think anyone wants to rape a senile guy!!)
    But I mean you do see that when she is killed, the tribes of Israel gather in outrage at the act which did show that it was sinful.

  14. Sorry, yes, I was replying to laof in another thread and got confused. Apologies.

  15. let's see how the story continues:
    - the other tribes of Israel unite and do a mighty smiting unto the town and the Benjamites
    - a minority of Benjamites flee to a mountain and hole in there, all their women dead
    - the tribes of Israel gather to ask God what to do, since they can't have one tribe cut off out of Israel, which God promised wouldn't happen (it doesn't say whether God answered or advised them)
    - the people of Jabeshgilead didn't come to the assembly, punishable by death
    - so, the tribes gather once more and smite every man, woman and child in Jabeshgilead save for the virgins, which they take with them
    - they bring the virgins to the Benjamites so that they would continue their tribe
    - but, the virgins are too few, so the tribes tell the Benjamites to lie hiding in the fields outside the town of Shiloh, and to abduct the wives of the men of Shiloh when they are dancing at a feast of the Lord (God)
    - they do so, the men of Shiloh are told to stfu because they hadn't given them their wives in the war (this part is a bit obscure, since we don't get a clear indication whether this refers to the wives of the Shilohans themselves or the wives of the Benjamites they had slain in the war), and the Benjamites rebuild their cities and have their tribe reinstated

    This whole cycle is seen as an account of anarchic times, where the people allegedly didn't follow God's law but their own ideas, and had no king. Apparently God had no interest in intervening or making himself known otherwise during these times. He was probably busy elsewhere (Andromeda?) and didn't pay attention while tens of thousands of his chosen people massacred each other. I guess they had it coming for not getting a king in time and worshipping idols. The message I get: when God is pissed, be ready to get massacred until he's done sulking. But he loves you.

  16. MFT,

    You said:

    The poor man sacrificed his own wife to save a complete stranger. hat is the ultimate level of compassion ,altruism and hospitality. i'm sure you guys wouldn't do the same to save someone staying at your house.

    And then you said:

    I just think that is wasabrave thing he did out of hospitality to his guests (as you pointed out) not many people would do that.

    LMFAOOOOO !!! Offering up your daughter, and then your mistress to be raped and abused horrifically is HOSPITALITY !!!!!

    Well, shit, I bet Miss Manners will be glad to know she had that whole 'hospitality' thing wrong all these years!

  17. Remind me to never crash at MFT's house. I have no desire to be subjected to either end of his "hospitality"...

  18. Just to make this clear, Mr Freethinger made a mistake in his reading of those verses, and a couple of people have repeated it.

    The man providing the hospitality to the Levite did not offer his concubine to the men.

    He offered his guests concubine to the men, and it was his guests (the levites) concubine that was abused, murdered and dismembered.

    @ TheShaggy: [quote] "I need you to call the police... [whisper] because someone just stole my innocence". [unquote]

  19. Quasar,

    Very true. Still, I'd like to see MFT try to justify the hospitality in that situation.

  20. mrfreethinker said:

    "The poor man sacrificed his own wife to save a complete stranger. hat is the ultimate level of compassion ,altruism and hospitality.

    And what did the concubine think of this? Did she volunteer?

    What if she had made a choice to be saved the very next day, but the man sent her to the rapists? He has just condemned her to hell.

    i'm sure you guys wouldn't do the same to save someone staying at your house."

    You're damn fucking right I wouldn't send my wife or daughter out to rapists, irrespective of the circumstances. Would you? Would you *really*??

    What if your wife / parents felt that they should sacrifice you for a stranger? Would you go willingly?

    I just think that is wasabrave thing he did out of hospitality to his guests (as you pointed out) not many people would do that.

    You have a... strange... definition of bravery. In my book, bravery would be to defend the stranger AND the concubine against the rapists, even if it cost him his life.

    They were looking for some man tail right? Bravery would have been to GO OUT HIMSELF to the rapists.

    Hiding behind the skirts of his concubine is the OPPOSITE of bravery. Sheesh!

    This is bravery in the same way that spending three days dead was a "sacrifice". Hardly a sacrifice if you come back to life!

  21. Alphageek said:

    And what did the concubine think of this? Did she volunteer?

    What does it matter? She was only a woman, after all - the lesser vessel. The bibble make it very clear that women are not equal to men, so her feelings aren't really important, are they?

  22. Note that the commentaries I read are unanimous in their assessment that this is all about sinful, Godless times.
    Therefore, and explicitly stated, the behavior of both the Levite and the Ephraimite are seen as Godless, just a notch better than the rapists's. God was absent, and according to the commentaries the whole country was behaving based on their own urges and laws.
    The whole cycle of Judges is one huge condemnation of 'moral relativism' and human law. The message to modern Abrahamitism is that any other system other than a theocracy is bound to fall into depravity and wanton, destructive violence. Which is exactly what Christians from the Evangelicals to the Pope assert, only the Pope says it more carefully.

  23. Okay guys, I admit that it wasn't a nice thing that the guy did to his concubine, but at least he tried to protect his guests.

    "The bibble make it very clear that women are not equal to men"
    No it makes it clear that they are equal

  24. It wasn't a nice thing??!!?? Uh...LOL...that's as good as we're gonna get !! MFT, there are days where you do crack me up!


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