Boys and girls, today our story comes from the book of Judges, chapter 19.
Once there was a man who paid a woman to be his wife. One day the wife ran away from her husband. Her husband went looking for her and found her hiding out at her dad’s house far far away.
The man was so tired by the time he found her that he decided to hang out at her dad’s house for a few days and take it easy.
After his rest, the man and his wife left her dad’s house and began the long trip back home. When it got too dark to travel any farther the man and his wife stopped in a city called Gibeah.
When you and your family take trips, where do you stay? A hotel maybe? That’s a safe place to spend the night. Let’s see where this man and his wife spent the night.
An old man, a stranger, asked the man and his wife to come stay at his house. He took care of their donkeys and let the man and his wife use his shower. He cooked them supper too.
While they were enjoying themselves a gang of men who were Benjaminites started banging on the old stranger’s house. The gang wanted the man to come outside so they could kiss on him. The old stranger asked them not to do that to his guest. The old stranger told the gang they could kiss on his young daughter who’d never been kissed before if they wanted, or they could kiss the man’s wife, but they couldn’t kiss the man.
The gang was angry and wouldn’t listen to the old stranger.
So the man cracked the door just enough to push his wife outside. The gang of men kissed on her all night long until early the next morning. Then they let her go.
When the man woke up in the morning and opened the door he found his wife exhausted, laying on the ground outside. “Get up,” he told her,” let’s get going.” But she didn’t move.
So he picked up his wife, put her on a donkey and carried her home. When they got home he cut his wife up into 12 pieces. He gave the 12 pieces of his wife to twelve messengers who rode around the country telling everybody what the gang of men had done to the man’s wife. And everyone got angry and started a war with the Benjaminites.