So he brought him into his house, and gave fodder unto the donkeys: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.
All Commentaries on Judges 19:21 Go To Judges 19
Ambrose of Milan
He set out on his journey in happy spirits because he had recovered his dearly beloved wife. One servant was with him, and as day was already declining they sped on their way with swift steps. The woman rode on an ass; her husband felt no weariness, taking joy in his desire and lightening his journey with talk at times with the woman, at times with the slave. When at length they neared Jerusalem, about thirty stades away, a place inhabited then by Jebusites, the servant boy suggested that they turn into the city, especially since night makes even safe places suspect and one must guard against the uncertainties of darkness, and particularly since the inhabitants of this locality were not of the children of Israel. They should beware lest treachery be done with hostile design, for the night’s darkness is opportune enough for any tricksters to perpetrate evil. But his master did not care for the servant’s idea of seeking lodging among foreigners, since Gaba [Gibeah] and Rama, cities of Benjamin, were not far distant. His strong will overrode the servant’s suggestion, as though advice takes its value from one’s condition [of birth] rather than that through advice a lowly condition may be raised. The sun was now setting and he agreed reluctantly to go into the city [Gibeah], for he was overtaken by evening. The Gabanites lived there, unfriendly, harsh, unbearable people, who could stand anything but to receive people hospitably. Indeed, it would have been much more suitable had the Levite not sought hospitality in Gaba [Gibeah]. That his treatment be utterly offensive, he found on entering the city that there was no inn. And when he sat on the road imploring the mercy of these strangers, an old man from the fields happened to stumble on him, for evening had compelled him to leave his work in the fields at night. Seeing him, he asked where he was from and where he was going. He answered, “I came from Bethlehem of Judah, I am going to Mount Ephrem, and my wife is here with me. But I have learned that there is no one here to give hospitality and provide us a chance to rest.” He needed no food or drink for himself nor food for his flock, but they had been refused the hospitality of shelter. They had everything; only a bare lodging was needed. To this the old man kindly and calmly said, “Peace to you! Come in as my guest and fellow citizen, for I am also from the region of Mount Ephrem, and here is a lodging place; someone who lived here a long time laid its foundations.” Having received them into his home, he attentively and carefully provided for his guests and entertained them.