1 There was a certain man, a Levite, living beside mount Ephraim, who took a wife from Bethlehem of Judah.
2 She left him, and she returned to the house of her father in Bethlehem. And she stayed with him for four months.
3 And her husband followed her, wishing to be reconciled with her, and to speak kindly to her, and to lead her back with him. And he had with him a servant and two donkeys. And she received him, and brought him into the house of her father. And when his father-in-law had heard about this, and had seen him, he met him with joy.
4 And he embraced the man. And the son-in-law stayed in the house of his father-in-law for three days, eating and drinking with him in a friendly manner.
5 But on the fourth day, arising in the night, he intended to set out. But his father-in-law took hold of him, and he said to him, “First taste a little bread, and strengthen your stomach, and then you shall set out.”
6 And they sat down together, and they ate and drank. And the father of the young woman said to his son-in-law, “I ask you to remain here today, so that we may rejoice together.”
7 But getting up, he intended to begin to set out. But nevertheless, his father-in-law pressed him resolutely, and made him remain with him.
8 But when morning came, the Levite was preparing for his journey. And his father-in-law said to him again, “I beg you to take a little food, and to be strengthened, until the daylight increases, and after that, you shall set out.” Therefore, they ate together.
9 And the young man got up, so that he might travel with his wife and servant. And his father-in-law spoke to him again: “Consider that the daylight is declining, and it approaches toward evening. Remain with me also today, and spend the day in gladness. And tomorrow you shall set out, so that you may go to your own house.”
10 His son-in-law was not willing to agree to his words. Instead, he immediately continued on, and he arrived opposite Jebus, which by another name is called Jerusalem, leading with him two donkeys carrying burdens, and his mate.
11 And now they were near Jebus, but day was turning into night. And the servant said to his lord, “Come, I beg you, let us turn aside to the city of the Jebusites, so that we may find lodging in it.”
12 His lord responded to him: “I will not enter into the town of a foreign people, who are not of the sons of Israel. Instead, I will cross over as far as Gibeah.
13 And when I will have arrived there, we will lodge in that place, or at least in the city of Ramah.”
14 Therefore, they passed by Jebus, and continuing on, they undertook the journey. But the sun went down on them when they were near Gibeah, which is of the tribe of Benjamin.
15 And so they diverted to it, so that they might lodge there. And when they had entered, they were sitting in the street of the city. For no one was willing to give them hospitality.
16 And behold, they saw an old man, returning from the field and from his work in the evening, and he was also from mount Ephraim, and he was living as a stranger in Gibeah. For the men of that region were of the sons of Benjamin.
17 And the old man, lifting up his eyes, saw the man sitting with his bundles in the street of the city. And he said to him: “Where have you come from? And where are you going?”
18 He answered him: “We set out from Bethlehem of Judah, and we are traveling to our own place, which is beside mount Ephraim. From there we went to Bethlehem, and now we go to the house of God. But no one is willing to receive us under his roof.
19 We have straw and hay as fodder for the donkeys, and we have bread and wine for the use of myself, and for your handmaid and the servant who is with me. We lack nothing except lodging.”
20 And the old man responded to him: “Peace be with you. I will provide all that is necessary. Only, I beg you, do not stay in the street.”
21 And he led him into his house, and he gave fodder to his donkeys. And after they had washed their feet, he received them with a banquet.
22 And while they were feasting, and were refreshing their bodies with food and drink after the labor of the journey, the men of that city, sons of Belial (that is, without yoke), came and surrounded the old man’s house. And they began to knock at the door, calling out to the lord of the house, and saying, “Bring out the man who entered your house, so that we may abuse him.”
23 And the old man went out to them, and he said: “Do not choose, brothers, do not choose to do this evil. For this man has entered to my hospitality. And you must cease from this senselessness.
24 I have a virgin daughter, and this man has a mate. I will lead them out to you, so that you may debase them and may satisfy your lust. Only, I beg you, do not commit this crime against nature on the man.”
25 But they were not willing to agree to his words. So the man, discerning this, led out his mate to them, and he delivered her to their sexual abuse. And when they had abused her for the entire night, they released her in the morning.
26 But the woman, as darkness was receding, came to the door of the house, where her lord was staying, and there she fell down.
27 When morning came, the man arose, and he opened the door, so that he might complete the journey that he had begun. And behold, his mate was lying before the door, with her hands reaching out to the threshold.
28 And he, thinking that she was resting, said to her, “Get up, and let us walk.” But since she gave no response, realizing that she had died, he took her up, and he laid her on his donkey, and he returned to his house.
29 And when he had arrived, he took up a sword, and he cut into pieces the dead body of his wife, with her bones, into twelve parts. And he sent the pieces into all the parts of Israel.
30 And when each one had seen this, they were crying out together, “Never has such a thing been done in Israel, from the day that our fathers ascended from Egypt, even to the present time. Let a sentence be brought and let us decide in common what ought to be done.”