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Verses 1-48

Judges 20:48

'Humanity, or mercy, is certainly not the strong point of Achaian Greeks. With them not only no sacredness, but little value, attached to human life; and the loss of it stirs no sympathy unless it be associated with beauty, valour, patriotism, or other esteemed characteristics. Yet here, again, the forms of evil are less extreme. We do not find, even in the stern, relentless vengeance of Odysseus on his enemies, or in the passionate wish of Achilles that nature would permit what it forbade, namely, to devour his hated foe, a form of cruelty and brutality so savage as is recorded in the case of the Levite with his wife and concubine at Gibeah, and of the war which followed it.

W. E. Gladstone.

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