In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite, residing in the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, took to himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.
But his concubine became angry with a him, and she went away from him to her father's house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there some four months.
Then her husband set out after her, to speak tenderly to her and bring her back. He had with him his servant and a couple of donkeys. When he reached b her father's house, the girl's father saw him and came with joy to meet him.
His father-in-law, the girl's father, made him stay, and he remained with him three days; so they ate and drank, and he c stayed there.
On the fourth day they got up early in the morning, and he prepared to go; but the girl's father said to his son-in-law, "Fortify yourself with a bit of food, and after that you may go."
So the two men sat and ate and drank together; and the girl's father said to the man, "Why not spend the night and enjoy yourself?"
When the man got up to go, his father-in-law kept urging him until he spent the night there again.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)