Friday, January 8, 2010

Funny Bible Quote #41

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

~ Deuteronomy 22:28-29, NIV


  1. I wonder how Talmudic scholars read that today.
    There's no doubt about it - in the Old Testament, women were about as valuable as a really good horse or ox.

    I think it's funny when Christians attack Islam for a "barbarous attitude towards women" considering that when compared to the Old Testament and historical time period Muhammad was in - he greatly elevated the place of women.

    But that's beside the point (I'm just on an Islam binge for some reason lately).

    But yeah.... For all those Fundies who protest gay people, they really need to protest the imprisonment of rapists. All we need to know is adjust 50 shekels for inflation and pass legislation for rapists to buy their victims.

    Because owning people is never once condemned in the Bible (do Fundies ever think about that?).

  2. Well... funny story...

    I tend to read the NIV and KJV in order to quote mine. For a decent reading of the Bible, I recommend "The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha." It's a scholarly translation with lots of notes.

    The Oxford translates (and the KJV contextually agrees) the verse to say:

    "If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are caught in the act, the man who lay with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the young woman's father, and he shall become his wife. Because he violated her she shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives."

    This scenario hearkens back to another verse:

    "If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife."
    ~ Exodus 22:16

    The 50 shekels is a bride-price, not a fine. The scenario may imply rape, but it more strongly suggests pre-marital sex of any kind. It is assumed that the woman should be defending her honor, but plenty of young jewish women no doubt gave in willingly.

    Because of the harsh stigma against this practice, it may be best to denote rape rather than judge the girl a whore (Leviticus 21:9). Furthermore, a man who dishonors a woman in this way would not be seen fit to divorce because a non-vigrin bride is quite undesirable in Jewish culture.

    Mohammed was no doubt heavily influenced by Khadijah, his first wife (15 years his senior).

  3. Oh, what a beautiful quote! :/


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