In those days Israel had no king. Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim1 took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.22
But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her father's house in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months,
her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her father's house, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.
His father-in-law, the girl's father, prevailed upon him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking,3 and sleeping there.
On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the girl's father said to his son-in-law, "Refresh yourself4 with something to eat; then you can go."
So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the girl's father said, "Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.5"
And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night.
On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the girl's father said, "Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!" So the two of them ate together.
Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the girl's father, said, "Now look, it's almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home."
But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus6 (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.