Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death...
The ways that had seemed “right” to Israel led to the depths of depravity, to unbelievable moral decay, and to death. So much more than physical death is pictured in this dark incident.
*There is the death of love. The Old Testament Law taught a person to love God and to love others as himself. Here was a Levite, who represented instruction in God’s Law—selfishly thrusting his concubine out to a group of depraved perverts. The capacity to care for others dies when one deserts God’s ways.
*There is the death of identity. The Levite and the old man with whom he stayed both showed that they viewed women as something less than human. In the Creation, woman was taken from man’s ribs as a vivid affirmation of her identity with man. Woman was created second, but is not secondary. She is of the same stuff as man; with man she bears the image of God and bears the privilege of dominion.
With the loss of the divine viewpoint, which came with abandonment of Israel’s legacy of Law, there came the loss of woman’s identity. Distortion of the divine plan brought a measure of death to men and women alike, for in denying woman full humanity, man denies himself.
*There is a death of image. Man was made in the image of God, with a personality to reflect the personality of the Creator. Jude sees them doing “by instinct, like unreasoning animals” the very things which destroy them (Jude 10). The depravity exhibited by the Benjamites clearly shows the degradation which comes when men lose sight of their divine image and deny their origins in Him.
The Teacher's Commentary