In those days Israel didn't have a king. There was a Levite who lived deep in the hill country of Ephraim. He got a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.
But she wasn't faithful to him. She left him. She went back to her father's house in Bethlehem in Judah. She stayed there for four months.
Then her husband went to see her. He tried to talk her into coming back with him. He had his servant and two donkeys with him. She took her husband into her father's house. When her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.
His father-in-law, the woman's father, begged him to stay. So he remained with him for three days. He ate, drank and slept there.
On the fourth day they got up early. The Levite prepared to leave. But the woman's father spoke to his son-in-law. He said, "Have something to eat. It will give you strength. Then you can go on your way."
So the two of them sat down. They ate and drank together. After that, the woman's father said, "Please stay tonight. Enjoy yourself."
The man got up to go. But his father-in-law talked him into staying. So he stayed there that night.