The Morality of Concubine Rape
Judges 19In the days when Israel had no king, in the remote hill country of Ephraim, there lived a Levite man who, for the purposes of this story, we’ll call Bob. Wait, that’s not very Jewish sounding… We’ll call him Bobedaiah.
2 Now, Bobedaiah had a concubine who we’ll call Tallulah. She didn’t love him, so she screwed his best friend and ran back home to her parents’ house in Bethlehem, Judah.
3 Four months later, Bobedaiah was missing sex, so he went to Bethlehem to track down his concubine. He took his servant and two donkeys; as far as he was concerned, the bitch could walk back home. 4 His father-in-law welcomed him into his house and encouraged him to stay with him while they worked on their concubinage.
5 After four days, he still hadn’t managed to convince Tallulah to return home with him, in fact, she spent the whole time locked in her room. He was getting ready to leave when his father-in-law asked him to at least stay and have a meal with him. 6 Over dinner, his father-in-law urged him, ‘Please stay the night. It’s been hell around here having my daughter back. She does these peculiar things like making her own decisions and speaking without being spoken to. It’s almost as though she has a will of her own…’
‘Now you know what I’ve had to put up with,’ griped Bobedaiah. ‘Sometimes when I’m forcing her to have sex, it’s like she’s not even there!’
7 ‘Look, if you stay here tonight, we can have a few beers and get merry. My friend Jacob is wrestling an angel this evening, we could go see the match!’
8 So, Bobedaiah agreed to stay the night, but in the morning, he got up to leave with his servant.
His father-in-law begged him, ‘Please don’t give up. I need you to take her back with you!’
‘What use is she to me if she’s refusing to put out?’ moaned Bobedaiah.
‘But I’ve got plenty of food and beers, and I’m sure I can persuade her to go!’
9 After they’d eaten, Bobedaiah dragged Tallulah out of her room, and he went to return home.
‘Ahhh!’ screamed his father-in-law. ‘Where are you going?’
‘I’ve got her bound and gagged,’ replied Bobedaiah. ‘I’m heading home.’
‘But… but… I want you to stay!’ protested his father-in-law.
‘Why…?’ replied Bobedaiah nervously.
‘Because! I… I love you!’
10 Bobedaiah looked at him with disgust and left. He saddled his donkeys and rode off to Jebus (aka Jerusalem).
11 In the evening as they neared Jebus, his servant suggested that they stop there for the night. 12 Bobedaiah exclaimed, ‘What? With those bloody foreigners? They’ll try to rape me!’
‘Rape you?’ spat Tallulah. ‘Who the fuck would want to have sex with you? I’m concubound to you, and I can barely stomach looking at you!’
13 He glared at his concubine, thought for a moment, and replied, ‘Piss off.’ He turned back to his servant and said, ‘It’ll be better to head to Gibeah or Ramah. The only foreigners there are slaves.’
14 They arrived in Gibeah, Benjamin just as the sun was setting, 15 and stopped in the town square to see if anyone would let them stay in their house, but nobody did.
16 A few hours later an old Ephraimite man who lived in Gibeah was walking home from working in the field. 17 When he saw Bobedaiah, he yelped, ‘Where the fuck did you come from?’
17 ‘Why are you surprised?’ replied Bobedaiah. ‘You’ve been looking right at me the whole time you were walking towards us, and I did call out several times!’
‘Now, now, young whippersnapper,’ replied the man. ‘My eyes don’t work as well as they used to. Is this young strumpet your wife? She’s a looker!’
18 ‘That’s my donkey, you daft old bat!’ He gestured towards Tallulah and said, ‘This is my concubine.’
The man turned and looked at her, and he exclaimed, ‘Wowzas! She’s a comely maiden! In fact, I think I may have comelied right down my…’
19 ‘Hey!’ yelled Bobedaiah. ‘We’re looking for a place to stay!’
20 ‘She can come sleep with me… Erm… I mean… you can come stay with me.’
‘Great!’ cheered Bobedaiah, and they followed the old man to his house. Soon, they were all sitting at his house having their feet washed and a bite to eat.
21 Meanwhile, the wicked men of the city had gathered around the house. 22 They pounded on the door and shouted, ‘Bring out the man who’s staying with you! We want to make sweet love to his anus!’
Bobedaiah looked at his concubine and said, ‘Unrapable, huh?’
23 The old man rushed outside and said to the crowd, ‘Guys, guys, don’t be so vile! You shouldn’t be going around raping men! You should be raping women!’ He muttered to himself, ‘Kids today.’ 24 Then he continued, ‘Look, I have a virgin daughter. Why don’t you rape her instead?’
Bobedaiah called out the window, ‘You can rape my concubine too!’
25 But the men refused to listen, so Bobedaiah grabbed Tallulah and flung her out the door.
The men spent the whole night raping Tallulah while Bobedaiah, the old man, and his servant stayed inside ignoring her cries. 26 By morning, battered, bruised, and bleeding, Tallulah lay slumped against the door of the house.
27 When Bobedaiah woke up, he opened the door and saw Tallulah lying dead. 28 ‘Get up, you lazy bitch,’ he barked. But she couldn’t, what with being dead and all.
29 He travelled home with Tallulah’s corpse on the back of his donkey, and when he arrived, he hacked her up into twelve pieces with his axe and sent his servant to every tribe of Israel to hand out the chunks. 30 Everyone who was offered a piece of mutilated concubine replied, ‘Eww! No! What the fuck is wrong with you?’
So, the moral of the story appears to be, women are pieces of meat.