| Judges 19-1
[Judges 19:1] AND IT CAME TO PASS IN THOSE DAYS, WHEN THERE WAS NO KING IN
ISRAEL, THAT THERE WAS A CERTAIN LEVITE SOJOURNING ON THE SIDE OF MOUNT
EPHRAIM, WHO TOOK TO HIM A CONCUBINE OUT OF BETHLEHEM-JUDAH.
This story concludes the Book of Judges. Like the previous story concerning
the Tribe of Dan it presents a picture of moral degradation and it repeats
<<THERE WAS NO KING IN ISRAEL>>.
The first king of Israel was Saul from the Tribe of Benjamin. The choosing
of Saul was intended to rectify situations such as that described in the
present chapter. Events in the early days of Saul take place in locations
mentioned in this chapter abd a certain parallelism (that we will discuss
later) has been noticed by the Commentators.
The tale concerns a Levite from Mount Ephraim who is connected (through his
wife) with Beth-Lehem in Judah. Similarly in the previous chapter the
Levite, Jonathan, had originally come from Beth-Lehem in Judah, went to the
house of Micah in Mount Ephraim and from there joined the Danites.
[Judges 19:2] AND HIS CONCUBINE PLAYED THE WHORE AGAINST HIM, AND WENT AWAY
FROM HIM UNTO HER FATHER'S HOUSE TO BETHLEHEM-JUDAH, AND WAS THERE FOUR
<<CONCUBINE>>: Hebrew "pilagesh" usually implying a wife of lower status
though in some contexts it can mean simply a "mistress" or sexually
<<PLAYED THE WHORE>>: Hebrew "tizneh" from the root "ZoNeH" from which we
have the English word "sin". In Hebrew also the word can mean simply "sin"
and some of the Commentators opined that the woman had simply "sinned"
against her husband but not necessarily committed adultery that that is how
the expression is usually understood.
<<FOUR WHOLE MONTHS>>: In Hebrew law after a woman is divorced or widowed
she must wait at least three months before remarrying in order to determine
whether she is pregnant or not by her previous husband. Perhaps this four
month intermission is connected with a similar test period?
[Judges 19:3] AND HER HUSBAND AROSE, AND WENT AFTER HER, TO SPEAK FRIENDLY
UNTO HER, AND TO BRING HER AGAIN, HAVING HIS SERVANT WITH HIM, AND A COUPLE
OF ASSES: AND SHE BROUGHT HIM INTO HER FATHER'S HOUSE: AND WHEN THE FATHER
OF THE DAMSEL SAW HIM, HE REJOICED TO MEET HIM.
<<DAMSEL>>: Hebrew "naarah" i.e. young woman, perhaps a sexual object. She
had sinned against her husband (with somebody else?) and her husband came
after her but later does not seem interested in her well-being. He offers
her up as a sexual diversion to a mob and she is sexually violated until
dying. She is also described as a concubine implying a wife for limited
purposes and of lower status.
A Modern Day Version?
Mexican-USA Border Crime Scene
Sunday November 2, 2003
Ciudad Juarez is known as 'the city of the dead girls'. In 10 years almost
400 women have been murdered in this city on the border between Mexico and
El Paso, Texas, and the killings continue. Now a courageous
Mexican-American journalist is alleging a group of six businessmen is
behind the slaughter. Described as 'untouchables', their wealth puts them
above the law. Their motive is said to be blood sport.
The border has always been violent, but organised crime exploded in 1993
when the Carrillo-Fuentes drug cartel, known as the Juarez Cartel, took
control. It is the most powerful cartel in Mexico, and the most brutal,
being responsible for trafficking most of Latin America's drugs into the
US. In daylight, the narcos smuggle their loads across three bridges that
link Juarez with El Paso. Law enforcers on either side have the choice,
according to one former trafficker, of being 'very rich, or very dead'.
Cartel members live in garish mansions in the Golden Zone of Juarez, a far
cry from the shanties where most of the city's two million residents
subsist. The narcos pay millions of dollars in bribes to stay above the law
and Juarez has become one of the money-laundering capitals of the world.
Narco money has built 'legitimate' businesses and made Juarez the
fourth-largest city in Mexico. The rise of the cartel coincided with the
feminicido, the female murders. The first victim was Angelica Luna
Villalobos; her body was dumped in the Alta Vista neighbourhood in 1993.
Since then, 370 women have been killed. Some deaths may be attributed to
domestic violence or random crime. But more than a third of the women were
raped before death. Most victims are tortured and mutilated. Sometimes the
killer leaves a signature; a breast or a nipple is sliced off. The bodies
are then dumped in wasteland.
The average age of the victims is 16; all were poor. Their deaths, says
Amnesty International, 'have no political cost to the authorities'. Many
suspects are in custody, but the killings go on.
Human rights organisations accuse the authorities of incompetence, and
there have been allegations of torture used to obtain false confessions.
Women are frightened to go out, day or night, reminded of danger by the
pink crosses marking places where bodies were found.
Only prostitutes come out at night - to cater to the Americans from an army
base in El Paso. Prostitutes can earn $100 a day compared to the $30-$60
weekly wage of a factory worker. 'This is a dangerous job,' said Sandrita,
19, 'but it's safer than working in a maquila (factory). Most of the girls
who disappear have worked in the maquilas. At least we get protection from
Hundreds of factories - often internationally owned sweatshops - have drawn
tens of thousands of women here from all over Mexico to seek work. The
police have often blamed the girls for the abductions, accusing them of
behaving sluttishly. Public pressure forced the maquila bosses to provide
buses to ferry the girls home safely.
A mother of one of the victims took The Observer to a cross that marked
where her 17-year-old daughter's body was dumped. The girl disappeared
after leaving work to catch a bus home. Like other victims, she had been
gang-raped and strangled. Her left breast had been severed and her body,
covered in bite marks, was badly beaten.
Diana Washington Valdez has investigated the murders for five years for the
El Paso Times. Courageous in the mould of Veronica Guerin, the
investigative journalist murdered in Ireland, she has gone on the record
about the killers' identities. In doing so, she knows she is putting her
life on the line.
In her book, Harvest of Women, to be published next year, Washington
exposes the seedy underworld of Juarez's narco-traffickers. 'The girls are
carefully screened,' she says. 'They're always a safe bet. Disposable
women. They are watched in advance for suitability - young and poor.'
Washington's accusations are based on her research and on leaks from the
FBI and Mexican investigators.
'Mexican federal authorities have conducted investigations, which reveal
who the killers are,' she claims. 'Five men from Juarez and one from
Tijuana who get together and kill women in what can only be described as
blood sport. Some of those involved are prominent men with important
political connections - untouchables.'
The chosen victims are so young, explains Washington, to avoid sexually
transmitted diseases. Underlings supply new victims: 'They capture the
girls and bring them to their masters.'
Washington alleges at least 100 women have been killed by these men, of
whom all but one are multi-millionaires. They have political connections
going all the way to President Vicente Fox, and some have allegedly made
contributions to Fox's presidential campaign. They have ties to the Juarez
Cartel, and have used their drug wealth to build respectable businesses.
In March, the FBI passed a report to the Mexican authorities detailing
locations in Juarez where the abducted girls are brought to. The FBI
believes the Mexicans did not act on the intelligence, even though it
revealed plans to capture another four girls.
Sickened that the authorities did nothing to prevent further murders,
Washington campaigned to expose the killers. She does not believe they will
'It sounds crazy,' said psychologist Dr Stanley Krippner, who teaches in
Cuidad Juarez, at the Institution of Medical and Advanced Behavioural
Technology. He attributes the murderers' behaviour to a mix of male bonding
and wild fantasies.
'It is one aspect of men in power,' he said, 'especially in a developing
country. They know they can get away with outrageous behaviour because they
are more powerful than the police and the government.'
Manuel Esparza, spokesman for the women's sexual homicide department, said:
'We don't have information that links our cases to organised criminals, to
the drug cartels.' He says if there was evidence of who was committing the
murders they would be arrested. But Amnesty International's report, which
Esparza admitted he hadn't read, said his unit had undermined the
credibility of the justice system.
Now the feminicido seems to be spreading. In the neighbouring city of
Chihuahua, at least 16 young women have disappeared over two years in a
seemingly copycat pattern. Eight have turned up dead.
[Judges 19:4] AND HIS FATHER IN LAW, THE DAMSEL'S FATHER, RETAINED HIM; AND
HE ABODE WITH HIM THREE DAYS: SO THEY DID EAT AND DRINK, AND LODGED
<<RETAINED HIM>>: The Hebrew can be interpreted to mean "seized hold of
him". He forced them to stay for three days and after that he persuaded
them to stay for another two and only on the sixth day did the Levite
manage to "get away" and leave for his own house as he had wanted to at the
beginning. This Levite does not come across as a "manly" person. His woman
sins against him and runs away but he goes after her to bring her back even
though in his heart he cannot seem to respect her. His father-in-law
manipulates him and causes him to waste five days that he would have
preferred to use otherwise. He will throw his woman out to the mad mob to
do with as they wish in order to save his own skin. He does not seem
concerned about the well-being of his woman the next morning and when he
realizes she is dead he cuts her body into pieces and sends the pieces
around demanding vengeance.
From a distance we can judge other people. It happens that a person cuts
caught up in circumstances and looses control of himself. Let us hope that
none of us ever encounter trials and tests of this or any other type and if
we do that we be able to come through them in safety and without shame.
Most commentary concentrates on the negative qualities of the man but
perhaps the woman also has to share part of the blame. She may have behaved
in such a way that her man lost interest in respecting himself or her (or
he was always like that anyway?).
[Judges 19:5] AND IT CAME TO PASS ON THE FOURTH DAY, WHEN THEY AROSE EARLY
IN THE MORNING, THAT HE ROSE UP TO DEPART: AND THE DAMSEL'S FATHER SAID
UNTO HIS SON IN LAW, COMFORT THINE HEART WITH A MORSEL OF BREAD, AND
AFTERWARD GO YOUR WAY.
[Judges 19:6] AND THEY SAT DOWN, AND DID EAT AND DRINK BOTH OF THEM
TOGETHER: FOR THE DAMSEL'S FATHER HAD SAID UNTO THE MAN, BE CONTENT, I PRAY
THEE, AND TARRY ALL NIGHT, AND LET THINE HEART BE MERRY.
[Judges 19:7] AND WHEN THE MAN ROSE UP TO DEPART, HIS FATHER IN LAW URGED
HIM: THEREFORE HE LODGED THERE AGAIN.
[Judges 19:8] AND HE AROSE EARLY IN THE MORNING ON THE FIFTH DAY TO DEPART;
AND THE DAMSEL'S FATHER SAID, COMFORT THINE HEART, I PRAY THEE. AND THEY
TARRIED UNTIL AFTERNOON, AND THEY DID EAT BOTH OF THEM.
[Judges 19:9] AND WHEN THE MAN ROSE UP TO DEPART, HE, AND HIS CONCUBINE,
AND HIS SERVANT, HIS FATHER IN LAW, THE DAMSEL'S FATHER, SAID UNTO HIM,
BEHOLD, NOW THE DAY DRAWETH TOWARD EVENING, I PRAY YOU TARRY ALL NIGHT:
BEHOLD, THE DAY GROWETH TO AN END, LODGE HERE, THAT THINE HEART MAY BE
MERRY; AND TO MORROW GET YOU EARLY ON YOUR WAY, THAT THOU MAYEST GO
The father of the woman had been happy to see him and so it seems was the
woman. Elchanan bin Nun ("Harari Oz") examines the nuances of language and
grammar and suggests that something was wrong with the way the man felt
towards his woman. He had indeed come to bring her back since he apparently
felt a need for her but in his eyes she lacked a certain human worth. The
father of the woman wanted the couple to make up with each other and he
also noticed a growing reservation on the part of the man. The father kept
delaying them in the hope that through feasting and merry making the couple
would reach a reconciliation that was genuine and involved a renewed mutual
respect. This possibility actually increases the likelihood that the
initial offence of the woman was that she had gone to another. When this
happens amongst present day couples the husband might make up with his wife
(whether he should or not) but a basic respect will be lacking.
[Judges 19:10] BUT THE MAN WOULD NOT TARRY THAT NIGHT, BUT HE ROSE UP AND
DEPARTED, AND CAME OVER AGAINST JEBUS, WHICH IS JERUSALEM; AND THERE WERE
WITH HIM TWO ASSES SADDLED, HIS CONCUBINE ALSO WAS WITH
[Judges 19:11] AND WHEN THEY WERE BY JEBUS, THE DAY WAS FAR SPENT; AND THE
SERVANT SAID UNTO HIS MASTER, COME, I PRAY THEE, AND LET US TURN IN INTO
THIS CITY OF THE JEBUSITES, AND LODGE IN IT.
<<THIS CITY OF THE JEBUSITES>>: Apparently Jerusalem which had been
conquered and destroyed by Israelites then re-settled by Canaanite-Jebusites.
[Judges 19:12] AND HIS MASTER SAID UNTO HIM, WE WILL NOT TURN ASIDE HITHER
INTO THE CITY OF A STRANGER, THAT IS NOT OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL; WE WILL
PASS OVER TO GIBEAH.
On the whole the Biblical attitude is that Israelites prefer fellow
Israelites and not involve themselves with foreigners. In this case however
such an attitude was to lead to disaster.
[Judges 19:13] AND HE SAID UNTO HIS SERVANT, COME, AND LET US DRAW NEAR TO
ONE OF THESE PLACES TO LODGE ALL NIGHT, IN GIBEAH, OR IN RAMAH.
<<GIBEAH>>: In Modern Hebrew pronounced something like "Givah".
[Judges 19:14] AND THEY PASSED ON AND WENT THEIR WAY; AND THE SUN WENT DOWN
UPON THEM WHEN THEY WERE BY GIBEAH, WHICH BELONGETH TO BENJAMIN.
[Judges 19:15] AND THEY TURNED ASIDE THITHER, TO GO IN AND TO LODGE IN
GIBEAH: AND WHEN HE WENT IN, HE SAT HIM DOWN IN A STREET OF THE CITY: FOR
THERE WAS NO MAN THAT TOOK THEM INTO HIS HOUSE TO LODGING.
[Judges 19:16] AND, BEHOLD, THERE CAME AN OLD MAN FROM HIS WORK OUT OF THE
FIELD AT EVEN, WHICH WAS ALSO OF MOUNT EPHRAIM; AND HE SOJOURNED IN GIBEAH:
BUT THE MEN OF THE PLACE WERE BENJAMITES.
[Judges 19:17] AND WHEN HE HAD LIFTED UP HIS EYES, HE SAW A WAYFARING MAN
IN THE STREET OF THE CITY: AND THE OLD MAN SAID, WHITHER GOEST THOU? AND
WHENCE COMEST THOU?
[Judges 19:18] AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, WE ARE PASSING FROM BETHLEHEMJUDAH
TOWARD THE SIDE OF MOUNT EPHRAIM; FROM THENCE AM I: AND I WENT TO
BETHLEHEMJUDAH, BUT I AM NOW GOING TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD; AND THERE IS
NO MAN THAT RECEIVETH ME TO HOUSE.
[Judges 19:19] YET THERE IS BOTH STRAW AND PROVENDER FOR OUR ASSES; AND
THERE IS BREAD AND WINE ALSO FOR ME, AND FOR THY HANDMAID, AND FOR THE
YOUNG MAN WHICH IS WITH THY SERVANTS: THERE IS NO WANT OF ANY
[Judges 19:20] AND THE OLD MAN SAID, PEACE BE WITH THEE; HOWSOEVER LET ALL
THY WANTS LIE UPON ME; ONLY LODGE NOT IN THE STREET.
[Judges 19:21] SO HE BROUGHT HIM INTO HIS HOUSE, AND GAVE PROVENDER UNTO
THE ASSES: AND THEY WASHED THEIR FEET, AND DID EAT AND DRINK.
[Judges 19:22] NOW AS THEY WERE MAKING THEIR HEARTS MERRY, BEHOLD, THE MEN
OF THE CITY, CERTAIN SONS OF BELIAL, BESET THE HOUSE ROUND ABOUT, AND BEAT
AT THE DOOR, AND SPAKE TO THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE, THE OLD MAN, SAYING,
BRING FORTH THE MAN THAT CAME INTO THINE HOUSE, THAT WE MAY KNOW HIM.
[Judges 19:23] AND THE MAN, THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE, WENT OUT UNTO THEM,
AND SAID UNTO THEM, NAY, MY BRETHREN, NAY, I PRAY YOU, DO NOT SO WICKEDLY;
SEEING THAT THIS MAN IS COME INTO MINE HOUSE, DO NOT THIS
[Judges 19:24] BEHOLD, HERE IS MY DAUGHTER A MAIDEN, AND HIS CONCUBINE;
THEM I WILL BRING OUT NOW, AND HUMBLE YE THEM, AND DO WITH THEM WHAT
SEEMETH GOOD UNTO YOU: BUT UNTO THIS MAN DO NOT SO VILE A
THING. . .
Nachmanides points out that though the host offered his daughter and the
concubine to the mob it was unlikely that they would take his daughter
since after all he did not live amongst them but the concubine they would
have taken as indeed they did.
Genesis chapters 18 & 19 describes how angels in the guise of humans came
to the city of Sodom and how Lot gathered them in and fed them. The men of
Sodom gathered around the house of Lot and demanded that the guests be
delivered over to them for Sodomy.
<<AND THERE CAME TWO ANGELS TO SODOM AT EVEN; AND LOT SAT IN THE GATE
OF SODOM: AND LOT SEEING THEM ROSE UP TO MEET THEM; AND HE BOWED HIMSELF
WITH HIS FACE TOWARD THE GROUND; [Genesis 19:1]
<<AND HE SAID, BEHOLD NOW, MY LORDS, TURN IN, I PRAY YOU, INTO YOUR
SERVANT'S HOUSE, AND TARRY ALL NIGHT, AND WASH YOUR FEET, AND YE SHALL
RISE UP EARLY, AND GO ON YOUR WAYS. AND THEY SAID, NAY; BUT WE WILL ABIDE
IN THE STREET ALL NIGHT. [Genesis 19:2]
<<AND HE PRESSED UPON THEM GREATLY; AND THEY TURNED IN UNTO HIM, AND
ENTERED INTO HIS HOUSE; AND HE MADE THEM A FEAST, AND DID BAKE UNLEAVENED
BREAD, AND THEY DID EAT. [Genesis 19:3]
<<BUT BEFORE THEY LAY DOWN, THE MEN OF THE CITY, EVEN THE MEN OF SODOM,
COMPASSED THE HOUSE ROUND, BOTH OLD AND YOUNG, ALL THE PEOPLE FROM EVERY
QUARTER: [Genesis 19:4]
<<AND THEY CALLED UNTO LOT, AND SAID UNTO HIM, WHERE ARE THE MEN
WHICH CAME IN TO THEE THIS NIGHT? BRING THEM OUT UNTO US, THAT WE MAY KNOW
THEM. [Genesis 19:5]
<<AND LOT WENT OUT AT THE DOOR UNTO THEM, AND SHUT THE DOOR AFTER HIM,
<<AND SAID, I PRAY YOU, BRETHREN, DO NOT SO WICKEDLY. [Genesis
<<BEHOLD NOW, I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS WHICH HAVE NOT KNOWN MAN; LET ME,
I PRAY YOU, BRING THEM OUT UNTO YOU, AND DO YE TO THEM AS IS GOOD IN YOUR
EYES: ONLY UNTO THESE MEN DO NOTHING; FOR THEREFORE CAME THEY UNDER THE
SHADOW OF MY ROOF. [Genesis 19:8]
<<AND THEY SAID, STAND BACK. AND THEY SAID AGAIN, THIS ONE FELLOW CAME IN
TO SOJOURN, AND HE WILL NEEDS BE A JUDGE: NOW WILL WE DEAL WORSE WITH
THEE, THAN WITH THEM. AND THEY PRESSED SORE UPON THE MAN, EVEN LOT, AND
CAME NEAR TO BREAK THE DOOR. [Genesis 19:9]
<<BUT THE MEN PUT FORTH THEIR HAND, AND PULLED LOT INTO THE HOUSE TO
THEM, AND SHUT TO THE DOOR. [Genesis 19:10]
<<AND THEY SMOTE THE MEN THAT WERE AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE WITH BLINDNESS,
BOTH SMALL AND GREAT: SO THAT THEY WEARIED THEMSELVES TO FIND THE DOOR.
Not only are the two cases (of Sodom and GIBEAH) similar but the language
used in Judges to describe the event is deliberately derived from that
employed in Genesis,
-A fact remarked upon by several commentators. So to, just as Sodom was
destroyed because of its sin so too was Gibeah whose destruction involved
the near extermination of the entire tribe to which its people belonged.
It should be pointed out that today in the very heart of the Land of Israel
with the nearby presence of the "almighty" Israeli army if a Israeli should
wander or accidentally drive into most Palestinian areas the chances are
that he/she will be torn to pieces by wild animals in human garb. If the
Israeli army does do anything "do-gooders " from Europe or even from
Israel itself will raise an outcry against "barbarity". It is as if they
consider the animalistic behavior of the "Palestinians" to be a natural
phenomenon that the "unfortunate" Arabs were born with and should not be
expected to do anything about.
[Judges 19:25] BUT THE MEN WOULD NOT HEARKEN TO HIM: SO THE MAN TOOK HIS
CONCUBINE, AND BROUGHT HER FORTH UNTO THEM; AND THEY KNEW HER, AND ABUSED
HER ALL THE NIGHT UNTIL THE MORNING: AND WHEN THE DAY BEGAN TO SPRING,
THEY LET HER GO.
[Judges 19:26] THEN CAME THE WOMAN IN THE DAWNING OF THE DAY, AND FELL DOWN
AT THE DOOR OF THE MAN'S HOUSE WHERE HER LORD WAS, TILL IT WAS LIGHT.
[Judges 19:27] AND HER LORD ROSE UP IN THE MORNING, AND OPENED THE DOORS OF
THE HOUSE, AND WENT OUT TO GO HIS WAY: AND, BEHOLD, THE WOMAN HIS CONCUBINE
WAS FALLEN DOWN AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE, AND HER HANDS WERE UPON THE
Israel Rozenson ("Shofet HaShoftim") points out that the man was prepared
to go on his way without looking for his wife. He is described several
times as "her LORD" especially in this end scene. He relates to the woman
as an object. He cuts her in pieces as one would do to an object and seeks
retribution it seems more for damage done to his object than to the woman
as a person.
[Judges 19:28] AND HE SAID UNTO HER, UP, AND LET US BE GOING. BUT NONE
ANSWERED. THEN THE MAN TOOK HER UP UPON AN ASS, AND THE MAN ROSE UP, AND
GAT HIM UNTO HIS PLACE.
He does not approach, try and pick up, check what her situation is, just
commands and when she does not obey notices that she is dead.
[Judges 19:29] AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO HIS HOUSE, HE TOOK A KNIFE, AND
LAID HOLD ON HIS CONCUBINE, AND DIVIDED HER, TOGETHER WITH HER BONES, INTO
TWELVE PIECES, AND SENT HER INTO ALL THE COASTS OF ISRAEL.
This action may have had parallels in the Middle East amongst other peoples
but it offends Hebraic religious sensibilities of respect for human
remains. It could be that the situation was exceptional and needed shocking
action to shock the rest of Israel in to action. It could also be that the
man went mad through grief and possibly shame.
The Hebrew word for knife used here is "Ma-acelut" which denotes a large
cutting sword like instrument and is found elsewhere (as Rozenson mentions)
only in the story of Abraham and Isaac.
<<AND ABRAHAM STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND TOOK THE KNIFE ["ma-acelet"] TO
SLAY HIS SON>> [Genesis 22:10].
The task of the knife in the story of Abraham is related to the height of
spiritual heroism whereas here we have reached the depths of depravity and
lack of self-respect and respect of the other.
" ma-acelut" is Classical Hebrew and only found in two places in the
Bible. The usual word for knife is "sakin".
When I first came to Israel as a young man I could not speak Hebrew very well
and even now my accent sometimes leaves the listener perplexed.
I went into a hardware store to buy a knife and requested a " ma-acelut" .
The shopkeeper looked at me with sympathy and asked what kind of knife I had in mind.
Back to the incident on hand: To take a large knife and cut a human body
into pieces and send the pieces out requires a certain ferocity. If on the
night in question the Levite had taken a knife and come charging out,
waving it about, or even cutting people up he may have saved the situation.
Who knows? Mobs act strangely. They can come charging at you as if they do
not care how many of them are hit as long as they get to you or they can
all turn and run away in an illogical panic. It only takes one to break.
They had nothing against the Levite. They only sought the satisfaction of
their lusts. The mob was a collection of individuals and as individuals
not one of them may have wanted to actually risk his life. They came as a
group because there is safety in numbers. If that safety had have been
threatened each individual may have suddenly realized that it may not be
worth his will. People who deal with mobs (Defence Forces, etc) learn to
focus on those who appear to be the leaders and to deal with them individually.
[Judges 19:30] AND IT WAS SO, THAT ALL THAT SAW IT SAID, THERE WAS NO SUCH
DEED DONE NOR SEEN FROM THE DAY THAT THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL CAME UP OUT OF
THE LAND OF EGYPT UNTO THIS DAY: CONSIDER OF IT, TAKE ADVICE, AND SPEAK
The narrator of the account is not only describing how those who saw the
evidence reacting but is also stating a fact. A moral low had been reached
and drastic action was required.