This chapter reveals one of the most sordid events in the Bible and illustrates the truth of Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Due to its length, we will give a brief outline of the chapter.

In verses 1-9 we learn that an unnamed Levite had a concubine who left him and returned to her home where she became a harlot. Four months later he went to her father’s house and they were reconciled, and when they decided to leave, her father convinced the Levite to stay and they partied for over four days.

In verses 10-21 we see them travelling home and they made it as far as Gibeah, a city belonging to the tribe of Benjamin. No one would put them up for the night, except an old man from the hill country of Ephraim.

In verses 22-26 we have the shocking account of a band of homosexual men surrounding the house and demanding that the old man send out the Levite so they could have sexual relations with him. Instead, he offered his daughter and the Levite’s concubine. The Levite, fearing for his life, sent his concubine out and the men raped her all night, resulting in her death the next morning.

In verses 27-30 we see the Levite taking her corpse home and then he cut her into twelve pieces and sent one part to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The depravity of man’s heart is clearly seen in this solemn passage. Adultery, prostitution, drunkenness, homosexuality, rape, murder, and mutilation are all on display in this chapter. God is faithful to “tell it like it is,” and to reveal just how ugly the human heart is. This behavior sounds a lot like the wickedness that prevailed in Sodom and Gomorrah, yet this all took place in the land of Israel, where God had promised to bless His earthly people if they were obedient to Him. If we were to read chapters 17-18 we would see that Israel had fallen into gross idolatry, so there was RELIGIOUS CORRUPTION in the land. In 19:1 we read these words, “And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel…” The book of Judges ends on that same note in 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Thus we see that ANARCHY reigned in Israel instead of a king. The absence of religious conviction and government left Israel without a “moral” compass, which in turn led men to commit these horrific acts. This sounds eerily similar to what we see and read of every day in around the world, whether it be in the news, on television, or in trashy novels that line the shelves of modern bookstores.  And the reason for the filth we have all around us today has the same cause; men have abandoned God and His word and are worshipping anything and everything but God, and the government that does exist is corrupt and is heading for anarchy. But the BASIC CAUSE is seen in the verse we began with, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.”

We refuse to end on that negative note. God has, by His marvelous grace, provided salvation for the human race through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He offers us a NEW HEART if we will receive the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior. We would encourage you to read John 3:1-17 and John 1:12-13 to learn how you can enter into God’s family through a NEW BIRTH, resulting in a NEW HEART.  (185.8)  (DO)