And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider it, take counsel, and speak your minds.
Read Chapter 19
Athanasius the Apostolic
Our sufferings have been dreadful beyond endurance, and it is impossible to describe them in suitable terms; but in order that the dreadful nature of the events which have taken place may be more readily apprehended, I have thought it good to remind you of a history out of the Scriptures. It happened that a certain Levite was injured in the person of his wife; and, when he considered the exceeding greatness of the pollution (for the woman was a Hebrew, and of the tribe of Judah), being astounded at the outrage which had been committed against him, he divided his wife’s body, as the holy Scripture relates in the book of Judges, and sent a part of it to every tribe in Israel, in order that it might be understood that an injury like this pertained not to himself only, but extended to all alike; and that if the people sympathized with him in his sufferings, they might avenge him; or if they neglected to do so, might bear the disgrace of being considered thenceforth as themselves guilty of ...
Egypt, that is for the space of eighty years. (Salien)
Indeed the annals of all past ages could hardly furnish an instance of such barbarous lust.
Done. In every city, people gathered together to consult how the crime was to be expiated; (Haydock) and all agreed to assemble before the Lord. (Calmet)
Grabe's Septuagint observes, that the Levite "gave order to the men, to whom he sent, saying, these things shall you speak to every Israelite. If such a word (or thing) has come to pass, from the day of the coming up of the sons of Israel out of Egypt, till the present day? Take ye advice concerning it, and speak. "(Haydock)