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The Story of a Gang Rape as a Means of Liberation. A Contextual Reading of Judges 19

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a combination of contextual readings to offer a better view on gender issues in the book of Judges. The book of Judges appears to function as an introduction to the stories of kings like Saul and David. The story of the gang rape in Judges 19 tells the reader of skepticism toward the present religious leaders. The dreadful story of the gang rape of a concubine is more than just an illustration of the fact that without a good king, especially king David, in Israel hospitality was not guaranteed. It is also a story which evokes serious questions about the subordinate place of women. As part of the authoritative scriptures it therefore has transformative power. By describing the horrible violent acts against a defenseless woman it puts the well-known but often concealed problem on the religious agenda.

Keywords: gang rape; gender issues; Israel; Judges 19; king David



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