This is the third post of a weekly series on immoral passages of the Bible. You can find the collection page here, with links to every post in the series.
Over the last couple of weeks we have looked at many examples of God, or his representatives, endorsing slavery and murder in the Bible. This week we look at God’s fondness for rape. Because the authors of the many books of the Bible did not want to leave rape out of the horrifically detestable list of God’s favorite things. Once again, the Bible is NOT a source of morality.
So what do we learn about rape in the Bible? Well, in the book of Deuteronomy, we are given what constitutes God’s law regarding the rape of women.
“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 her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NIV)
So God is totally fine with men raping virgin women, as long as the man then buys her from her father afterwards. What the hell, God?!
Earlier in Deuteronomy, we learn about what to do with women who are raped:
“If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NIV)
Ah, now we learn that if you rape a woman who is already pledged to be married, now you have done something wrong. But more importantly, you have to stone the victim to death because she did not cry out for help! And notice the command to “purge the evil from you.” So there is some recognition of the fact that rape is wrong, but in the warped sense of the author it is only wrong because the rapist is ruining another man’s property.
Moving on from Deuteronomy, we have the first verses of Zechariah 14, in which God states:
“A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.” (Zechariah 14:1-2 NIV)
God is really looking forward to the day where he gets to make sure the women of Jerusalem will all be raped (along with all the other mayhem mentioned). Because God is a psychopath.
In the book of Numbers, Moses commands his men to kill all the Midianite women who had slept with a man, but to keep the virgin girls alive for the men to do with as they please. (Numbers 31:7-18 NIV)
In the book of Judges, again the Jews are commanded to destroy and plunder a village, this time it is Jabesh Gilead. And they are again told to take the virgin girls for themselves. But this time there are not enough virgin girls for all of the men. There are only 400 women and 12,000 men. So the remaining men are told to hide on the roadside and wait for women who will be traveling on the road for an upcoming festival. They are to take those women so that they, too, get their own virgin girls. (Judges 21:10-24 NIV)
To recap, we have God, and his prophets, endorsing the rape (as well as murder, plunder, and destruction) of thousands of innocent people. Young women are to be grabbed off the road or taken from their destroyed villages to satisfy the lust of these men. BUT, do not forget to stone to death women who do not cry out for help when they are raped.
Welcome to the bat-shit crazy morality of the Bible.