I’m going to slap a big trigger warning on today’s post which involves a grisly sexual assault.
The bible, everyone.
We’re getting a story today that is nearly identical to Genesis 19. A few details are changed, but I have to wonder if maybe the two tales were originally one story, a rural legend, perhaps, about the dangers and wickedness of the big city.
To start, there was a Levite who owned a sex slave. She left him and returned home. He goes to her father’s house and talks her into coming back to live with him. They stay with her father for a few days before leaving for their home.
As they pass by Jerusalem, the man’s slave suggests they stay for the night, but the Levite is unwilling to spend the night with Gentiles, so they continue on until nightfall and come to the town of Gibeah, a town of the tribe of Benjamin.
Unable to find anyone to offer them hospitality, they prepare to sleep in the town square, when an elderly man finds them and brings them to his house. He feeds them and their animals and washes their feet.
And then a gay rape mob shows up demanding that the old man turn over the Levite to them. The old man says, “No, don’t be so evil. Here’s my pre-teen virgin daughter and the man’s sex slave. Rape them instead!” But the rape mob isn’t happy. So the Levite shoves his sex slave out of the door and closes it behind her. And the rape mob rapes and tortures the poor girl all night long. Finally, when they were finished, the woman crawls back and collapses at the door of the old man’s house.
Her “husband” comes out in the morning and says, “Get up.” Charming guy.
She is dead, however, so he brings her body home, desecrates her body by cutting it into twelve pieces and mails the pieces to the other tribes.
I wonder why they don’t tell this story in Sunday School.
Everyone in Israel is angry as the pieces of the dead girl arrive at the post. So they gather together and say, “What the hell, man?”
The Levite says, “The men of Gibeah wanted to rape and kill me, so I gave them my concubine instead, and they raped and killed her, and I cut her up in pieces to show you what a lewd and vile act they committed.” Which, yeah, but who was the one who threw her to the angry rape mob again?
So the Israelites form an army and demand the tribe of Benjamin give up the guilty parties, but the Benjamites were unwilling, I don’t know why… maybe the rape mob was in their bowling league. So they go to war.
Then the Israelites ask God if they should go fight, and the Lord, having a sick sense of humor, says, “Sure!”
And the Israelites go fight and lose 22,000 men and the battle. Oh, God, you scamp!
So they mourn the dead and their defeat and they ask God again if they should go fight, and God, trying not to laugh says, “Sure! You guys have fun!”
So they go out to battle again and lose, and another 18,000 men died. I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God has a sick sense of humor…
So this time they all fast and then they go to God, and I guess they’ve groveled sufficiently this time because God promises them that they’ll win the battle. Or it could be that they change their tactics this time and set up an ambush hitting Benjamin from two sides, but this time they win and slaughter most of the army that Benjamin had sent and they go from town to town burning them down.
Oh, but now here comes the really fun part. When the bloodlust has died down, the other tribes are sad because they killed so many people of Benjamin and swore that they would never marry off their daughters to that tribe again, so they fear that the end of the tribe of Benjamin is at hand.
Oh, but they have a plan now. They find that one city didn’t send any soldiers to fight against Benjamin, so they send an army to the town, kill all of the men, women, and boys, and kidnap any girls who haven’t had sex with a man. So they kidnap about 400 pre-teen girls after ruthlessly slaughtering their families and burning their homes to the ground.
So they sent envoys to the surviving tribesman of Benjamin and deliver the 400 pre-teen (or young teens) to them so they can rape them and make little rape babies so the tribe can survive. But there just weren’t enough pre-teen girls so every man could rape his own, so they had to come up with another idea.
And they did.
One of the men said, “Hey, I know. Every year the town of Shiloh has a harvest festival and the young teen girls come out into the fields to celebrate. Let’s just tell the Benjamites to go kidnap any of the girls they want to rape and carry them off to their territory to rape them and make little rape babies with them, and if the men of Shiloh object to having their young teenage or pre-teen daughters kidnapped and raped, well, we have swords, so we’ll tell them to shut up.
And so they did. And they all lived happily ever after, except for all the girls who were raped, but it’s not like they were people, so their opinions on the subject didn’t matter.
Okay, to be fair, other than the dickishness of God yanking the chains of the Israeli army and getting 40,000 people killed, there’s nothing to say that God ordered or condoned any of this, but all the same, I need to go vomit and take a shower now.