Bible Study – Judges 19

Coalition member, the World Council of Churches have produced a contextualised bible study on Judges 19. Written by Dr Fulata Mbano-Moyo, a systematic theologian and church historian and currently works as the World Council of Churches’ Programme Executive for women in church and society.

Bible Text: Text – Judges 19

Bible Study: Study – Judges 19

Though the story of the “Concubine” in Judges 19 is about costly sacrifice through dismembering and death, it always reminds me of my being sacrificed to hospitality. Whose interests and safety do we serve in our understanding of hospitality?

This is surely one of the most horrific stories in the Bible. It is certainly not one that was read to me at my mother’s knee.

The individual tragedy of the abused concubine and of the women in the film are much more resonant and yet in both the film and the Bible narrative, the male protagonists find excuses, prejudices and political theories to keep them from accepting the basic truth of human suffering. Tragedy fuels further tragedy, as revenge and violence escalates and trauma compounds.

Their bodies are wrecked by the careless greed of men but the response from their kinsmen is one of shame, disgust and further violence. Do we ever find ourselves responding to another’s pain with such violence?

A body willingly given is very different to a body taken by force. Does a God who knows rejection and violence have a special message for women who share these experiences?

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