Does Biblical Law Force Rape Victim To Marry Rapist?

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Some modern Christians have attempted to show that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 does not condone or sanction a rapist to marry the rape victim. The verse in question is very clear in Hebrew. It categorically states that if a woman (“virgin”) was raped in ancient of days, the penalty for the rapist is that he has to pay fifty shekels and he gets to marry the victim. He was never allowed to divorce her.

Now I know it is hard for some Bible believers to accept this, I am in the same shoe as them when I first read the passage. My personal view in regards to this is, that the verse may have been inserted by men into the Bible to satisfy their evil lustful desires.

Here are some of the translations for Deuteronomy 22:28-29, notice they all agree that the verse in question is in relation to “rape”.

Deuteronomy 22:28:29 Translations

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Categories: Islam

28 replies

  1. there
    Yet again we have same lies being peddled by the Muslims maybe you guys can’t help yourselves always looking a contradiction or something to discredit the bible.

    Deu 22:25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:
    Deu 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
    Deu 22:27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
    Deu 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
    Deu 22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
    Deu 22:30 A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.

    Verse 25 the bible says here this woman is forced which means rape…the penalty is DEATH.

    Verse 28 the bible says the man lay hold on her…this word

    taw-fas’
    A primitive root; to manipulate, that is, seize; chiefly to capture, wield; specifically to overlay; figuratively to use unwarrantably: – catch, handle, (lay, take) hold (on, over), stop, X surely, surprise, take.

    We know that it means to manipulate. This is what this man did to the woman he just wants to take her and have sex with her.

    What’s the penalty in this verse…marriage because he humbled this woman he didn’t rape her because the word doesn’t exist in the verse…he manipulates her into having sex with him.

    Something else is key in the verse and that it says…”if they be found”

    So please stop lying verse 28 is not talking about rape although you would love to make it stick.

    Same dumb argument was posted online a couple of years so we are going to see the same old tired arguments.

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    • How did the ancient Jews understand this verse?

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    • Hi Kmak
      What is the penalty for rape?

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    • According to the verse the penalty is 50 shekels and you get to marry her.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Not bad value – if you are a rapist.

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    • defendchrist, what do ancient Jewish commentators say what the penalty for rape is?

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    • Thanks for the added context. This does seem to clear up the issue.

      Now, just how concerned Christians are with old Jewish law is a different discussion…

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    • Are you aware that the Laws are different to a betrothed and not a betrothed?

      Deuteronomy 22:25 speaks about a girl that is betrothed

      Deuteronomy 22:28-29 speaks about a virgin, a girl that is NOT married. Completely different mate.

      A question: are you saying all these Bible translators and scholars are lying when they say that a rapist marries a rape victim for only fifty shekels?

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    • Defend,
      It seems that the multiple Bible translations and exegesis provided in the article are clearly in agreement that the verse is talking about rape. It seems that there is no argument on that understanding. Are we to take your own individual opinion over what seems to be a translational interpretive consensus amongst the Biblical scholars in the field?

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    • Hi Ibn Issam
      Scholars are not the final authority on the understanding of scripture because many scholars say the crucifixion took place, and you would hold your opinion over what they say am I right?

      So you wouldn’t base your eternal salvation on a scholar would you?

      I have studied the text and I don’t have time to go through everything but the scripture is not talking about a rape verses 28-30.

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    • Another futile attempt to somehow explaining the uncomfortable verse of the bible.

      I will respond to the particular word Taw-fas that you brought out here. You disregarded all the commentaries that Kaleef mentioned here and concocted your own interpretation. I am well aware of christian missionaries insisting on the word SEDUCE instead of RAPE for the translation of hebrew word TAW-FAS because they are uncomfortable with all such stuffs in bible.
      Now in the hebrew dictionary gave the meaning to lay hold of, seize, arrest, catch, to grasp in order to wield, wield, to be seized, be arrested, be caught, be taken, captured catch, grasp with the hands for the word TAW-FAS.
      Also Hebrew word used in Deut. 22:25 is “Hehezik” that gives the meaning rape which also gives a similar meaning like tawfas which points the fact that this act was done by force and not by seducing.Moreover the other verses in Deuteronomy 22 which only talk about adultery or fornication [ not rape or sexual abuse ] don’t use words like “taw-fas” or “hehezik” to describe the act of sexual intercourse between the man and the woman.

      so please stop bringing poor arguments to defend something that shouldn’t be defended Mr.defend christ.

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    • Ibn Adam,
      Good points!

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  2. Hi Paul.

    You said this….Now I know it is hard for some Bible believers to accept this, I am in the same shoe as them when I first read the passage. My personal view in regards to this is, that the verse may have been inserted by men into the Bible to satisfy their evil lustful desires.

    Can you give some evidence for your personal view?

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  3. Paul
    Men don’t need to add scripture in order to rape! Many that don’t live by the scriptures are doing all sorts of wickedness including rape and they couldn’t careless about the bible.

    The truth is people don’t need a reason to sin!

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    • Why are you getting at me dude? I didn’t write the article

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    • Defend,
      Don’t get the wrong impression, no one is saying that every rapist that ever lived is Christian, or that Christians are rapists by nature, no of course not!

      But the Bible verse in question is definitely problematic, in that it clearly condones or sanctions raping uncommited virgins! You are right that people don’t need a reason to sin, but if therected are those that do then this verse seems to justify such sin.

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  4. Hi Ibn Issam
    I don’t believe I said anything Christians being rapist. Just like I asked before what is the penalty for rape and no Paul it’s not 50 shekels…its death.

    It’s a shame you don’t read the bible properly and come up with a completely different understanding of the text, why? because it suits your position trying to prove the bible false and discredit its validity as the word of God.

    Flying Pir you need to read the bible again because a woman can be betrothed and be a VIRGIN, you are implying that a betrothed woman is not a virgin read verse 23.

    So here this is the context that you Muslims want to mess about with…

    Verse 22 this is adultery…the penalty is death.

    Verse 23 this is fornication with engaged woman who “didn’t cry out”…the penalty is death.

    Verse 25 this is the rape of an engaged woman…the penalty for the man only is death.

    Verse 28 this consensual sex with a virgin…the penalty bride price and marriage. The key words in the text is “if they be found” which means there was agreement between them.

    In other words men are not just going to able to go around and take a young woman’s virginity and bear no responsibility towards her.

    And Paul stop acting innocent about this article because this was posted on your blog a couple of years ago and no I’m not picking on you.

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  5. Hi Ibn Adam
    You said the following…Another futile attempt to somehow explaining the uncomfortable verse of the bible.

    I will say the same thing to you the question is…what is the penalty for rape?

    If the situation is rape in verse 28 then it should be death to the man.

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  6. there is no indication that the victim has to marry the rapist. It says that the perpetrator cannot divorce her. perhaps for context here is what the bible says of Amnon after he raped his sister Tamar: (2 Samuel 13:15) “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!””
    That is the behavior of a rapist. He has an impulse and uses the girl as a tool. The second he does what he lusted for he discards the girl like a useless object. That is what the bible is telling the rapist. Before you do your act that you think might only last 5 minutes, know that you will not be permitted to send her away, you’ll be stuck forever [including the obligation to provide for her…]. many people don’t take hell into consideration before sinning. However, having to support a woman for life, and being stuck with a wife that you raped, is a lot to take into consideration for 5 minutes of lust.
    There is zero indication that the girl has to live with him against her will, the verse is talking about his obligation, not hers.

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  7. Ibn Adam
    You said the following…Moreover the other verses in Deuteronomy 22 which only talk about adultery or fornication [ not rape or sexual abuse ] don’t use words like “taw-fas” or “hehezik” to describe the act of sexual intercourse between the man and the woman.

    The reason why is because there is no difficulty in the previous verses and they are plain and simple adultery and fornication.

    Whereas verses 25 and 28-30 are talking about two different scenarios and a different attitude within those situations.

    One of them is blatant rape

    The other one is a man using words to manipulate and breakdown her resistance until she says YES…”and they be found” and so he has not forced her (verse 25) and neither has she cried out (verse 27) so it is not rape it is consensual.

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  8. Still niether jews nor christians can deal with the fact that their bible has nothing to do with their western secular values.
    Moses & Jesus both had nothing to do woth your western values! Just deal with it.
    If Moses were alive, he would be labeled as middle eastern “terrorist” in your media !
    If Jesus were here, he would be labeled as middle eastern “terrorist” who wants to shake the satiability if the world which is based on marrying between paganism, secularism, and hypocrites so called religous people.

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  9. Hi Abdullah
    We are talking about Deut 22:25-30 what is your point referring to.

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  10. i remember thom stark making an argument that in those days a raped women would have been devalued and she would not have any choice but to marry her rapist to protect her fathers honor and respect. so if one is limited to one choice, then ….

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    • Hi Heathcliff
      That may be so but in this verse the woman has not been raped otherwise the penalty would be death as it was for the man in verse 25 in this verse it says “if they be found” means that she was into it as well as the man.

      Reading some verses in context where the meaning is as plain as can be, does not need the commentary of a scholar to explain, the only ones that set that criteria for scriptures is the Muslims I speak to on a regular basis.

      And Paul says he thinks men added the verse to satisfy their lustful desires, I think he must be talking about your prophet.

      Scriptures came down conveniently for him to suit his desires.

      Like

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