Puzzling Passages Made Plain: The Levite and His Concubine – Part 1

I received the inspiration and most of the words for this post three week ago… and sat on it. “Why bother?” I thought, “No one is going to get it. It will either look like genius or madness.” The spouse got a synopsis of it and agreed with my feelings. All I know is that if I do not write it, He will give the assignment to someone else. *sigh*

Since this is getting massive, so I will enter this section now and continue with the rest. I strongly recommend checking out Puzzling Passages Made Plain: Tossed to the Depraved prior to reading.

Thank you, Kelley, for the slight change in focus; He agreed with you.

Judges 19 tells a tale that is difficult for people—in particular, women—to process. Always remember, we cannot judge the past with the mindset of the present, or compare a culture to ours, believing ours superior. The keys to analyzing the deeper level of any story in the Bible are 1) look at the symbolism (Scripture interprets Scripture) and 2) everything points to the Father’s plan and His Son’s role in it. This post will address both of these.

He Created Both Male and Female

First, keep in mind that the Father duplicated all of His attributes into man, then split those attributes evenly into man and woman, right down to life-creation. Man and woman in union is the physical symbol of the Father Himself. When the speaking and living breaths of Yah (spirit) entered the man (flesh) and he became a living soul (life, personality – heart, mind, self-effort), this demonstrated the subordination of the soul (life, personality) to the flesh or the spirit. Without the soul, man would be just a meat robot. This means the male, who came first, represents either the flesh (beast, outside of Yah’s will)…

Job 18:3 Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight?

Psalm 49:12 and Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 73:22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

Proverbs 30:2 Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding.

Ecclesiastes 3:18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.”

Ecclesiastes 3:19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless.

2 Peter 2:12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction.

Jude 1:10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

…or the spirit (guidance, within Yah’s will).

Genesis 41:38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”

Genesis 45:8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father [guide] to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Proverbs 20:27 The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

Job 29:16 I was a father [guide] to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.

Job 32:8 But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

Isaiah 22:21 I will clothe Him with your robe and fasten your sash around Him and hand your authority over to Him. He will be a father [guide] to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah.

Daniel 4:8 and Daniel 4:9 [Nebuchadnezzar] said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.

Daniel 5:11 and Daniel 5:14 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners.

Therefore the female represents the soul (life, personality – heart, mind, self-effort) that either submits to the flesh (beast, against Yah’s will)…

1 Samuel 6:6 Why should you harden your hearts [souls, lives, efforts] as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After He had dealt severely with them, did they not send the people away, and they departed?

Job 15:8 Do you listen in on God’s council [mind]? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?

Proverbs 6:26 For a prostitute’s [heresy] fee is only a loaf of bread, but an adulteress [apostasy] goes after a precious life.

Proverbs 6:32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.

Proverbs 29:3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes [heresies, distractions] squanders his wealth [gifts, blessings].

Ezekiel 13:18 …and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives [souls, hearts] of my people but preserve your own?’

Matthew 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul [life]? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul [life]?

Romans 2:9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

…or the spirit (guidance, for Yah’s will).

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart [life, soul], for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 23:19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart [life, soul] on the right path.

All of Proverbs 31

Hosea 11:3-4 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim [Israel] to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.

Matthew 16:25 For whoever would save his life [soul] will lose it, but whoever loses his life [soul] for my sake will find it.

Romans 2:7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

1 Corinthians 2:16 for, “Who has known the mind [soul, life] of the Lord so as to instruct him? [Isaiah 40:13, Jeremiah 23:18, Romans 11:34]” But we have the mind [soul, life] of Christ.

The order of operation goes as followed:

In His will: spiritsoulflesh
The soul willfully subjects to the spirit, and thus both control the flesh. The soul is the vehicle through which the spirit operates the outer man.

Against His will: soulflesh
The spirit (breath, wind) keeps you alive, waiting for the moment to convict you.

Decision or life in general: ¿spirit? →←soul→←¿flesh?
This is what Paul meant when he said the flesh lusts against the Spirit and Spirit against the flesh. The poor soul (pun intended) is stuck in the middle, trying to decipher which way to go.

Jesus Submits

The personhood of Jesus is the best example of spiritsoulflesh operation. He came from the Father (spirit) to bring life (soul) to the existence through the spoken word (Yah’s will) and later, put on flesh to show us what to do (Yah’s desire). Although He is part of Yah (spirit), He still says His life (soul) is in subjection to His Father Creator. The Father provided His Son guidance and sustenance (spirit and soul working together, directing the flesh) so He could fulfill His mission in this dimension.

In turn, symbolically, the Ecclesia (men and women both) submits to Christ’s headship (authority) as He tends to our needs, spiritual or otherwise, just as a wife submits to her husband and her husband to her needs (Ephesians 5:22-33). This is a mostly voluntary, symbiotic relationship. I say mostly voluntary because faith is a gift from the Father (Romans 4:16, 1 Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 2:8) and He wishes to operate His creation through the volunteers He chose from the beginning of the world (Acts 13:48, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11, 2 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 1:20).

What was the point of this explanation? To show the importance of the soul’s submission in Yah’s plan and Yeshua’s role. Keep this in mind while reading the rest.

Prophetic Layer #1

Every story in the Tanahk (OT) contains a prophetic meaning or lesson. The Levite traveling through Mt. Ephraim in this tale represents the Father, the concubine, Israel. Making Israel as someone who agrees to be sex partner with without the legal conditions of wifehood symbolizes how far the relationship between Yah and Israel had disintegrated. Throughout the book of Judges, we witness Israel “playing the harlot” or flouting Torah (His Laws) repeatedly. Yah sends prophets to “speak tenderly to her” (woo her back, remind her of their pact).

Her father represents the world. Notice the Levite accepts five days of hospitality from the man. Five is the number of grace—judgment delayed. Yah once again removes Israel from the world (leaves her father’s home) to continue their relationship (the Masoretic text says they were returning home, the Septuagint says they were going to the Lord’s House in Shiloh).

Towards evening, the servant brings to his master’s attention that there is a city nearby where they could rest. The Levite corrects him, saying it was not a place of their brethren. This means the servant represents the desires of the flesh—whatever is easy and/or immediate.

The three pass on to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin, but no one welcomes them into their home. This symbolizes sin, declared by “The Law of Hospitality” in Torah (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:34, Psalm 146:9). The old man and his kindness is Yah’s provision in the midst of wickedness. Both the actions of the Benjamites and the old man represent the Father’s behavior towards believers and unbelievers alike, meaning we all go through the trials and triumphs of life (Genesis 3:16-19, Genesis 8:22, Psalm 65:9, Psalm 147:8, Ecclesiastes 3, Jeremiah 5:24, Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 13:24-30, 1 Corinthians 7:14).

Judgment comes in the form of perverts (Gentiles) who have no knowledge of or respect for Yah, yet are tools in His Hands. See Nebuchadnezzar, My servant, Judges 2:14, 2 Kings 17:20, 2 Kings 18:9-12, 2 Kings 24:2, 1 Chronicles 5:26, Isaiah 8:7-10, Isaiah 44:28 [2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4], Daniel 6:25-28, Hosea 8:1 [Deuteronomy 28:49, Jeremiah 49:22, Ezekiel 17:3, Habakkuk 1:8]. The old man tries to dissuade them because the Father does not delight in the punishment of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:32, Ezekiel 33:11, Isaiah 55:7, 2 Peter 3:9). The offering of the concubine and his virgin daughter is a reminder that both the righteous and unrighteous suffer under judgment (Joshua and Caleb had to wander the desert with Israel, Isaiah 57:1, Ezekiel 21:3-4).

To return the favor of the old man, the Levite grabs his concubine and throws her to the perverts—judgment rendered. The four main judgments in Scripture are famine (no help from the city dwellers), pestilence (sin breeds sin, various forms of sexual abuse), war (wild beasts, continuous abuse unto death), and captivity (holding her hostage). Releasing her at sunrise symbolizes Yah gathering Israel back to the land (or rather, to Him) at a future date. The virgin daughter, Judah in this tale, is spared. This part tells us Yah chooses whom He blesses or destroys [Job 12:23, Exodus 1:15-20, Psalm 105:24, Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 18:9-10,Jeremiah 31:28, Amos 9:11, Acts 17:26 (Isaiah 26:15)].

“…and her hands on the threshold.” This phrase alone should send serious students of Scripture into a flurry of research. Hand in Scripture symbolizes someone’s actions. In ancient times, people honored a guest by the sacrifice of an animal at the threshold of a home. There would be a grove in the stone or wood of the bottom of a doorway so the animal’s blood would flow across the entry. The guest had to step over the blood without touching it, or the guest would become unclean. They believe Yah or their gods would bless the guest, home and the family by this act. Yah took this to another level when He had the Israelites sacrifice lambs, catch the blood in basins, and paint the blood on the doorposts and lintel—a foreshadowing of men crucifying Yeshua by His Father’s will.

For this tale, the concubine’s death was the threshold sacrifice, saving the rest of the occupants. It is also a warning to Judah [the virgin (the soul) and the young male servant (the flesh)] not to break her pact with Him (the spirit). See Deuteronomy 32:25, 2 Chronicles 36:17, Psalm 78:63, Lamentations 2:21, Amos 8:13.

The division of the concubine’s body and a piece dropped into each territory of Israel was the declaration that the Law against Shedding Innocent Blood (Exodus 21:14, Numbers 35:33) had been violated. This situation foreshadows prophets (body parts = imperfect people) of Israel and Judah being persecuted (Jeremiah’s treatment, 2 Chronicles 30:10, 2 Chronicles 36:16) or killed (Nehemiah 9:26, 2 Chronicles 24:20-21), the latter causing the curse of innocent blood to be upon themselves (the flesh = land, dirt, clay).

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1 Response to Puzzling Passages Made Plain: The Levite and His Concubine – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Puzzling Passages Made Plain: The Levite and His Concubine – Part 2 | A Whisper, Screamed

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