Judges Chapters (Bible in Basic English)
1 Now in those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite was living in the inmost parts of the hill-country of Ephraim, and he got for himself a servant-wife from Beth-lehem-judah.
2 And his servant-wife was angry with him, and went away from him to her father’s house at Beth-lehem-judah, and was there for four months.
3 Then her husband got up and went after her, with the purpose of talking kindly to her, and taking her back with him; he had with him his young man and two asses: and she took him into her father’s house, and her father, when he saw him, came forward to him with joy.
4 And his father-in-law, the girl’s father, kept him there for three days; and they had food and drink and took their rest there.
5 Now on the fourth day they got up early in the morning and he made ready to go away; but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, Take a little food to keep up your strength, and then go on your way.
6 So seating themselves they had food and drink, the two of them together; and the girl’s father said to the man, If it is your pleasure, take your rest here tonight, and let your heart be glad.
7 And the man got up to go away, but his father-in-law would not let him go, so he took his rest there again for the night.
8 Then early on the morning of the fifth day he got up to go away; but the girl’s father said, Keep up your strength; so the two of them had a meal, and the man and his woman and his servant did not go till after the middle of the day.
9 And when they got up to go away, his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said to him, Now evening is coming on, so do not go tonight; see, the day is almost gone; take your rest here and let your heart be glad, and tomorrow early, go on your way back to your house.
10 But the man would not be kept there that night, and he got up and went away and came opposite to Jebus (which is Jerusalem); and he had with him the two asses, ready for travelling, and his woman.
11 When they got near Jebus the day was far gone; and the servant said to his master, Now let us go from our road into this town of the Jebusites and take our night’s rest there.
12 But his master said to him, We will not go out of our way into a strange town, whose people are not of the children of Israel; but we will go on to Gibeah.
13 And he said to his servant, Come, let us go on to one of these places, stopping for the night in Gibeah or Ramah.
14 So they went on their way; and the sun went down when they were near Gibeah in the land of Benjamin.
15 And they went off the road there with the purpose of stopping for the night in Gibeah: and he went in, seating himself in the street of the town, for no one took them into his house for the night.
16 Now when it was evening they saw an old man coming back from his work in the fields; he was from the hill-country of Ephraim and was living in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.
17 And when he saw the traveller in the street of the town, the old man said, Where are you going? and where do you come from?
18 And he said to him, We are on our way from Beth-lehem-judah to the inmost parts of the hill-country of Ephraim: I came from there and went to Beth-lehem-judah: now I am on my way back to my house, but no man will take me into his house.
19 But we have dry grass and food for our asses, as well as bread and wine for me, and for the woman, and for the young man with us: we have no need of anything.
20 And the old man said, Peace be with you; let all your needs be my care; only do not take your rest in the street.
21 So he took them into his house and gave the asses food; and after washing their feet they took food and drink.
22 While they were taking their pleasure at the meal, the good-for-nothing men of the town came round the house, giving blows on the door; and they said to the old man, the master of the house, Send out that man who came to your house, so that we may take our pleasure with him.
23 So the man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said, No, my brothers, do not this evil thing; this man has come into my house, and you are not to do him this wrong.
24 See, here is my daughter, a virgin, and his servant-wife: I will send them out for you to take them and do with them whatever you will. But do no such thing of shame to this man.
25 But the men would not give ear to him: so the man took his woman and sent her out to them; and they took her by force, using her for their pleasure all night till the morning; and when dawn came they let her go.
26 Then at the dawn of day the woman came, and, falling down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, was stretched there till it was light.
27 In the morning her master got up, and opening the door of the house went out to go on his way; and he saw his servant-wife stretched on the earth at the door of the house with her hands on the step.
28 And he said to her, Get up and let us be going; but there was no answer; so he took her up and put her on the ass, and went on his way and came to his house.
29 And when he had come to his house, he got his knife, and took the woman, cutting her up bone by bone into twelve parts, which he sent through all Israel.
30 And he gave orders to the men whom he sent, saying, This is what you are to say to all the men of Israel, Has ever an act like this been done from the day when the children of Israel came out of Egypt to this day? Give thought to it, turning it over in your minds, and give your opinion of it.