Yet these heroic portraits are overshadowed by more bleak and memorable ones: Jephthah's victim daughter, Samson's treacherous Delilah, and the nameless concubine at Gibeah
whose fate reads like a horror script.
The last story in the Book of Judges is the notorious concubine of Gibeah
Attendant compositional questions abound: how to account for the twice-recounted death of Joshua (Joshua 24:29, Judges 2:8); are we to understand the beginning of the narrative of the judges at 3:7 with the account of Othniel; does that narrative extend through Judges 16:31 with the death of Samson, followed by two appendices--the story of the Danites (Judges 17-18) and the outrage at Gibeah
(19-21)--or should Judges 13 through 1 Samuel 7 be seen, as Serge Frolov argues, as a single literary unit of "the Philistine cycle" that has followed the earlier descriptions of the cycles of oppression by the Moabites, Midianites, and Ammonites; and so on.
What is the moral of this story?: Because some men in the Benjamite town of Gibeah
wanted to have same-sex sex with a Levite and his male servant who were staying the night in the town, it ended up with the tribe of Benjamin nearly wiped out by their own brothers, with the exception of "600 men who fled into the desert to the rock of Rimmon.
They also include the leaders of intertribal conflict among the Israelite confederation culminating with the massacre of the tribe of Benjamin at the battle of Gibeah
, putting an end to the judges' era.
Among her topics are whether ancient Israel is a fiction or historical reality, Saul and David, Gibeah
of Saul, and from Saul to schism.
It was probably also represented in some fashion during the 1602 performance at the Fortune, which was described as "a tragicomedy of Samson and the half tribe of Benjamin." (66) That is to say it included the tragedy of Samson, and went on to dramatise the defeat of Gibeah
by the Israelites (Judges 17-21).
This atrocity takes place in the city of Gibeah
, Saul's ancestral home, and so the narrative maybe considered an anti-Saulide polemic.
Sir, - There is a story at the end of the Book of Judges, the seventh book in the Bible, in which a stranger takes refuge in a house in Gibeah
, a town of Benjamin, one of the tribes of Israel.
The governance of the twelve tribes of Israel prior to the installation of Saul as King seems to have been of this genre, as indicated in the account of the reaction of the concubine at Gibeah
(Judges, Chapters 19ff).
As the context of this remark is the story of the multiply-raped and murdered woman in Gibeah
whose severed body is sent throughout Israel, which event subsequently provokes a bloody civil war, the sarcasm and irony of this phrase leads us to conclude that this period is one of moral chaos.