2/3 saved - 2 out of 3 traveler guests saved by friendly city host!
2 out of 3 traveler guests saved from gang rape by friendly city host!
Re: Judges 19
The old man of Gibeah in Benjamin came home from a long day of heavy work and saw travelers in the city square. He was concerned for them. He had heard reports of abuse of anyone camping out. He asked friendly questions to know what the situation was:
"Where are you going?"
Où va tu? French
¿Adónde vas? Spanish
Wohin gehst du? German
"Where did you come from?"
D'où viens tu? French
The strangers answered that they were from a remote area in the hill country. They were going back home. They also proceeded to tell him what they considered minor problems.
¿De dónde vienes? Spanish
Woher kommst du? German
The strangers said that no one offered to give them shelter, but that that was fine since they had provisions for themselves and their animals.
They didn't seem particularly concerned because they had chosen to come to a "safer" city with people of their own kind and had avoided a city of different people.
Even though the old man was alarmed enough, he followed more normal social conventions first for whatever reason:
"You are welcome at my house."
Sois le bienvenu! French
"Let me supply whatever you need."
Seid mir willkommen. German
Je vais m'occuper de ce qui pourrait te manquer. French
Laßt mich für euch sorgen! German
Yo proveeré a todas tus necesidades. Spanish
But he really wanted to say or scream:
"ONLY DON'T SPEND THE NIGHT IN THE SQUARE!"
Il ne faut pas que tu passes la nuit sur la place! French
Auf diesem Platz hier könnt ihr nicht übernachten! German
Pero no pases la noche en la plaza. Spanish
They went and enjoyed themselves at the old man's home.
The stranger probably related that he had gone to see his father-in-law and that he had stayed too long, refreshing and enjoying himself. He had left late on the fifth day. Because he left late he had less options about his travel itinerary home. He probably didn't mention anything bad about HIMSELF. He may have mentioned that concubines were trouble. He probably didn't mention that HIS concubine ran away to her parents. He wouldn't mention that he was insensitive to her. He probably wasn't aware of that fact. Because he might end up with questions and not 'look too good', he may not have personalized but kept to generalities.
Then things became serious.
Some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house.
They pounded on the door.
They shouted to the old man to send out the man guest.
No. The old man was very brave and went out himself to face this mob. He must have known them. He thought he could deal with them, or that he was the best one to deal with them. Maybe he thought that after all he was old and had lived a full life.
He called the wicked people "my friends".
These wicked people wanted a man, so offering them women seemed a good choice. They wouldn't want them.
And they didn't ask for the young man accompanying the stranger and his concubine.
Maybe they hadn't seen him and didn't know about him. Good! At least he would be safer, since they couldn't ask for him.
'Those wicked men know I have a daughter," the old man thought. 'And they saw the guest's concubine. That means I have to make an offer regarding both of them.' He said,
"Look, here is my virgin daughter and the concubine."
Écoutez, j'ai une fille encore vierge et il a avec lui une épouse de second rang. French
Aquí está mi hija, que es virgen, y también la concubina de mi compañero. Spanish
Ich bringe euch meine Tochter, die noch Jungfrau ist, und dazu die Frau des Fremden. German
Maybe they will leave and go somewhere else to try to have their way.
They didn't want the daughter or the concubine. They still wanted the man.
The stranger was not aware of city ways.
The stranger, ON HIS OWN, sent out his concubine to the men on the outside thinking that in the morning he would be saying to her:
"Get up; let's go."
Lève-toi, nous partons. French
Levántate y vámonos. Spanish
Steh auf, wir wollen weiter. German
The old man didn't offer his daughter again.
The stranger underestimated what the mob could or would do.
In the household everyone eventually fell asleep. The old man was so tired from all that happened--the work and being host. The stranger got up in the morning, but not early enough to save the life of his concubine.
But the concubine had needed help desperately! She had been raped and abused until dawn. Yet, she found the inner strength to seek help. She had the focus to get back to safety at the old man's house!
It took all her strength to get to the house door, to grasp the threshhold!
She must have whimpered. No one heard her whimper though. She died alone, hoping to get help. She died alone, except for God's who was present and seemd to have had abandoned her too.
The stranger was insensed that such a crime could happen in a "safer" city with people of his own kind. He let EVERYBODY know about this crime in all the areas of his country in graphic detail.
It didn't bring back his concubine, though.
He asked everybody to THINK in order to prevent similar crimes.
"Think about it."
Il faut examiner cette affaire. French
Piensen en ello. Spanish
Bedenkt das. German
Il faut se consulter. French
"Tell us what to do."
Haltet Rat. German
Il faut prendre une décision. French
Well, part of the answer is to listen at the door and not to go to sleep after such an incident.
Tomen una decisión. Spanish
Was ist zu tun? German
The following lives were saved:
- The old man's
- His virgin daughter's
- Anyone else's of his household
- The stranger's
- The young man's who traveled with the stranger
Did the old man just ask anyone home at the town square? Not likely. The initial "friendly questions" gave him a chance to evaluate the stranger to prevent him from putting his household in danger by taking a perpetrator home. He did not seem to have had any uneasy feeling.
The only victim's life could have been saved by a number of people.
- By anyone really listening...
- by anyone getting up before dawn...
- by any helpful person up early, who just happened to see her...
- by anyone concerned about her who went looking for her, but kept a distance from danger.
- By any of the perpetrators who repented and helped her.
- By the stranger who should have listened even more to the experienced well-intentioned local. He should not have sent the woman of "second rang" outside to face a bad situation alone. He should not have looked down on any wife. He should not have abused his position of power over the years. He should have loved his wife since the beginning.
- By anyone who helps prevent gangs from forming or getting bigger by mentoring someone before they join.
- By the community that could have offered safe shelter quickly for strangers. They should not have tolerated the gang when it started out and later when it was bigger.
- Even by the old man, if he hadn't "offered" his own daughter or the concubine in the first place. The perpetrators may just have gone to find a different victim, hopefully to ultimately find none. With God good results are possible.
-The concubine's father could have prevented what happened, if he had given his daughter shelter, after she had run away from her husband.
Could the concubine herself have prevented what happened to her? Her father and her husband had "traditional" power over her. She had a checkered past of which only a part was hinted at. Should we throw even a pebble (horrible words etc.) at such concubines or those using the power structure of the time? She had had spunk, since she had run away from her husband to her parents. God's plan calls for repentance for any sin. For her too there were the stories of Joseph in Egypt and of other heros to help. Some had dealt with very difficult circumstances and overcame. "With God" everything wonderful is possible. There are encouraging Bible verses for those "under some power or other". Ultimate judgement should be God's.
The only victim's quality of life could have been improved by the same people.
"Each one should carry his/(her) own load."
Waawiici'itik tahsh cipimiwitamaatiyek ini kaapimiwitooyek. N. Ojibwe
When the burdens are too heavy:
Car chacun doit porter sa propre charge. French
Sillä jokaisen on kannettava oma taakkansa. Finnish
Sepse, secili do ta mbarë barrën e vet. Albanian
Meri kiki a maga terhéi hordozza. Hungarian
"Carry each other's burdens."
Mii hsa eshinaakwaninik kahkina awiya wiin iko cipimiwitamaasohpan opimiwanaan. N. Ojibwe
Aiutatevi a partare i pesi gli uni degli altri. Italian
Kantakaa toistenne taakkoja. Finnish
Aidez-vous les uns les autres à porter vos fardeaux. French
Egymás terhét hordozátok. Hungarian
Let us pray: Lord, we put before you those that are surrounded and hounded without any help.
We put before you these terrible dilemnas that wicked people set up.
You say that you DO show us the way out of trouble.
Help us, so that there are no victims at all. So let us not be naive and ignorant, selfish or afraid.
We thank you for those that consistently and insistently offer help wherever travelers are likely to be in trouble.
Help us warn anyone who may join a group that surrounds people to frighten them, hurt them or put them in any danger.
Help us to watch out after anyone has been handed over to wicked people so that we are alert to saving their lives.
Confuse wicked people. Be loving, forgiving and just to us, Lord. Show yourself to them too so the perpetrators change their lives. Amen.