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Highlights of Judges 19-21 - Theocratic Ministry School

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Study information for Theocratic Ministry School

Bible reading: Judges 19-21 (8 min.)


(Judges 19:1)

In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a Levite who was then living in a remote part of the mountainous region of E′phra•im took a concubine from Beth′le•hem in Judah as his wife.

*** it-1 p. 300 Bethlehem ***
Since there was another Bethlehem in the territory of Zebulun (Jos 19:10, 15), the town in Judah was usually distinguished by reference to Ephrath, or by calling it “Bethlehem in Judah.”—Jg 17:7-9; 19:1, 2, 18.

(Judges 19:2)

But his concubine was unfaithful to him, and she left him to go to her father’s house at Beth′le•hem in Judah. She remained there for four months.

*** it-1 p. 300 Bethlehem ***
Since there was another Bethlehem in the territory of Zebulun (Jos 19:10, 15), the town in Judah was usually distinguished by reference to Ephrath, or by calling it “Bethlehem in Judah.”—Jg 17:7-9; 19:1, 2, 18.

(Judges 19:15)

So they stopped there and went in to stay overnight in Gib′e•ah. Once inside, they sat down in the public square of the city, but nobody took them into his house to stay overnight.

*** w05 1/15 p. 27 par. 9 Highlights From the Book of Judges ***
19:14, 15. The unwillingness on the part of the people of Gibeah to extend hospitality was an indication of a moral shortcoming. Christians are admonished to “follow the course of hospitality.”—Romans 12:13.

*** it-1 p. 1149 Hospitality ***
Also, in the cities hospitality was probably not offered as readily as in more isolated areas. However, a Levite man with his attendant and his concubine sat down after sunset in the public square of Gibeah, seemingly expecting to be offered a place to stay overnight. This indicates that hospitality, even in the cities, was quite common. (Jg 19:15)

(Judges 19:18)

He replied: “We are traveling from Beth′le•hem in Judah to a remote area of the mountainous region of E′phra•im, where I am from. I went to Beth′le•hem in Judah, and I am going to the house of Jehovah, but nobody is taking me into his house.

*** it-1 p. 300 Bethlehem ***
Since there was another Bethlehem in the territory of Zebulun (Jos 19:10, 15), the town in Judah was usually distinguished by reference to Ephrath, or by calling it “Bethlehem in Judah.”—Jg 17:7-9; 19:1, 2, 18.

(Judges 20:1)

Consequently, all the Israelites came out from Dan down to Be′er-she′ba and from the land of Gil′e•ad, and the entire assembly gathered unitedly before Jehovah at Miz′pah.

*** it-1 p. 277 Beer-sheba ***
Beer-sheba came to stand for the southernmost point in describing the length of the Promised Land, as expressed in the proverbial phrase “from Dan down to Beer-sheba” (Jg 20:1), or, in a converse direction, “from Beer-sheba to Dan.” (1Ch 21:2; 2Ch 30:5) After the division of the nation into two kingdoms, Beer-sheba continued to be used to indicate the southern extremity of the kingdom of Judah in the expressions “from Geba as far as Beer-sheba” (2Ki 23:8) and “from Beer-sheba to the mountainous region of Ephraim” (where the northern kingdom of Israel began). (2Ch 19:4) In postexilic times the expression was used in a yet more limited form to refer to the area occupied by the repatriated men of Judah, extending from Beer-sheba “clear to the valley of Hinnom.”—Ne 11:27, 30.
In reality, there were other towns of the Promised Land that lay to the S of Beer-sheba, even as there were Israelite towns N of Dan. However, both Dan and Beer-sheba were situated at natural frontiers of the land. In the case of Beer-sheba, its position was below the mountains of Judah on the edge of the desert. Additionally, it was one of the principal cities of Judah (along with Jerusalem and Hebron), and this was not only because it had an excellent supply of water as compared with the surrounding region, thus allowing for both farming and grazing of herds and flocks, but also because important roads converged on it from several directions. From Egypt an ancient route led up by the “Way of the Wells” through Kadesh-barnea to Beer-sheba, being joined by another road over which traveled the camel caravans from the “Spice Kingdoms” of the Arabian Peninsula, heading for Philistia or Judah. From Ezion-geber, at the head of the Gulf of ʽAqaba, another route led up through the Arabah and then turned W, climbing the Ascent of Akrabbim to Beer-sheba. At Gaza, in the Philistine Plain, a road branching from the highway led SE to Beer-sheba. And, connecting it with the rest of Judah, a road ran from Beer-sheba to the NE, climbing the plateau up into the mountains of Judah to Jerusalem and points farther N.—Ge 22:19.

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