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Does Deuteronomy 22:28-29 command a rape victim to marry her rapist?



      

Deuteronomy 22:28 - 29

ESV - 28 If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found. 29 Then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is often pointed to by atheists, skeptics, and other Bible attackers as evidence that the Bible is backwards, cruel, and misogynist, and therefore, not the Word of God. At firs...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Gregory Tomlinson Minister, husband,father,grandfather,vet., college graduate
It is important to note the customs of society at this time. The scripture outlines the humane treatment of cultural norms at the time. These cultural views were held by the world as a whole. The Hebrew law was one of the first recorded laws to manage wide spread practices, sadly rape was common and not viewed by any culture as a crime at the time this law was given, slavery was viewed similarly. 

Most women were betrothed at early ages in arrangements between families. The penalty for raping one that was betrothed or promised was death for the perpetrator. This is the first law of its kind, it was important that they not do as the nations around them. The nations around them routinely sold them for sex slaves and prostitutes.

Both posts previous to this, did excellent jobs pointing out the facts. New testament believers do not condone, promote or engage in the bias treatment of women. If poled most would call for much stiffer penalties for offenders of rape and slavery. The New covenant recognizes that there is neither male or female bias in Gods eyes and Jesus broke cultural norms and valued the lives and souls of all people especially intentional offenders. 

He did not cast stones at the adulteress or condemn the Samaritan lady at the well, and He positively would not punish or force a rape victim to do anything against their will.

He hold's out arms of compassion and offers healing for their spirit mind and body. Christian was and is a description to be Christ like. There are many sects and cults who try and disguise themselves as believers but Gods children are known by there fruits of love, compassion, meekness, temperance, gentleness, patience, peace, faith and self control. 

These people can be found in every denomination and so can pretenders who's work is to disrupt, dishonor and destroy the faith of His followers and those that seek Him. A tree is indeed known by its fruit.

February 11 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Image David Sutton
Things that were of the old law must not be mixed in to the new covenant. Unless it is brought over and clearly defined in the new to be followed. At lot of problems will come up if your not real careful trying to apply the old to the new. 
The Ten Commandments are one of those that you can see some that are laws today and one that is not 
The sabbath being one, it's the seventh day of the week. Our worship today is done on the first day.

February 11 2014 7 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Stringio Gary Patton People Development Coach to Christians
Michael Houdmann's answer to this question above, typically, is an excellent one!

In my opinion, however, he would have been wisest to point out that the Hebrew Law no longer applies to a true Follower of Jesus (Romans 10:8-12). This reality is confirmed for those of us who are in Romans 7:4-6 plus many similar passages throughout the New Covenant.

Pre-Christians, however, are wise to live by the Old Covenant's non-ceremonial dictates for the reasons outlined in Romans 2:13-15.

Blessings all!

February 11 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Billy P Eldred
Even my opinion about this verse might cause outrage in today's world because the culture that we live in is so drastically different than the one we are discussing. 

This law was one more of compassion than punishment. The woman or girl here would have been viewed as "damaged" goods and therefore her prospects for a good marriage would have been greatly reduced. The "value" to her family for a proper bride price would also have suffered. This law was to insure that that did not happen. We must remember that in this culture, rarely did young women marry for love or even someone of their choosing but rather an arranged marriage. This is also why there were laws of kinsman redeemer.

November 15 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Data Myrtle Linder I am 86 years old and retired but not from workning for GOD!
This crime was not considered the same as it is today, because at the time women were almost like slaves. At that time marriage was honoring the woman that had been grievously wronged. This was the way, to right this horrible crime, or she would be an outcast because of this evil act done against her; leaving her with little chance of marrying another man, she would be considered unclean, forever.

February 05 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Data RIE TAYLOR
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is under the old law (Moses's Law), but when Jesus came He did away with the old law, therefore since we are living under grace, I don't believe that we are obligated to marry the person who raped us. Because now days older men are raping under age children, and I'm sure these yound children do not want to marry a man that violated their body. Back in the Old Testament time it was not considered a crime, because the man had to marry the woman and never divorce her, it did not say anything about love. These are my thoughts and answers only.

February 05 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Leon Penny Minister, Retired medical practioner. Special interest in
One should note that the man is commanded to pay a dowry to the father of the woman and marry her. He has taken her virginity and she is not promised in marriage yet. She most definitely will not be a virgin again and and the chances of marriage are now slim to none. The father has lost the money and property that might have been gained by a future betrothment. The other element of the of this commandment is IF THEY ARE DISCOVERED. It would appear that not being discovered is on the virgin because she would have to reveal the the violation. Shame or disregard or her having hopes of a future engagement could influence her reaction. The fifty shekels is the bride-price that is decreed in Ex, 22. So, the man is commanded to marry with a caveat.

February 05 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Dscf1720 Myron Robertson Seeking God's heart
Jdg 17:6 and 21:25 Say, "There was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes." This discussion shows this to be a serious problem in the church today. We are using our own definitions (traditions of men is what Jesus called it) for everything and ignoring God's definitions given in his law, no matter how clearly they are given. 

The best answer given so far tells us that this law is a matter of mercy, and since that is precisely what is happening in this statute any discussion of it must include the grace and mercy factors. Contrary to most Christian teaching grace is found in the Old Testament and is required by the law God dictated to Moses. The OT term is Jubilee (Lev 26) or proclaiming freedom for captives in the year of the Lord's Favor (Is 61:1, quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18, 19 as the purpose of his ministry). The Greek word translated as grace literally means favor and specifically refers to Jubilee.

Grace cannot be separated from mercy. Mercy and grace are not the same thing but are so intertwined in God's law that they cannot be studied separately; indeed small acts of mercy can be defined as a portion of grace, where Jubilee is full grace. As we look earlier in Deuteronomy 22 we find that by the definitions given in those earlier statutes this one is purely a matter of mercy.

Marriage, adultery, fornication and rape are defined in Dt 22:13-30. It is based on these laws that Paul tells us in 1 Cor 6:16 that anytime we have sexual intercourse with someone we marry them in the eyes of God. On closer examination we find that these laws are dealing with any illicit sexual activity and not necessarily rape. There is some distinction made between consensual and non-consensual sex, but that distinction is minimal.

The one statute that clearly deals with what we consider rape is Dt 22:23-27. Here the man is killed because he committed ADULTERY, not because of the rape. The rape is defined by the woman calling for help, thus noticeably refusing consent. If she did not cry out she consented and thus is also guilty of adultery and is to die; otherwise only he deserves the death penalty. It is in this statute that we find engagement to be so akin to marriage that it required a formal writ of divorce to end this relationship and a violation of this relationship is adultery.

Dt 22:28, 29 defines the penalty for FORNICATION, not rape. Clearly there is a difference. The Hebrew word that is often translated as rape here is taphal. This word often is used for an arrest, but it simply means to take. This taking is often not at all forceful as shown in the context, so rape is not necessarily implied here but is probably not ruled out. 

Interestingly Gesenius Lexicon tells us that in Hab 2:19 this same word is used for overlay or enclose in gold. Since prophetically gold is symbolizes the character of God, and because all of Moses writings are prophecy of the plan of salvation (Jn 5:45-47) this could get us into all kinds of hidden meanings to this law, most especially concerning relations between the clergy and congregation (see Ez 34), but this is beyond our current scope.

If you define fornication to be adultery as the church generally does, this law definitely shows a level of mercy because neither party is put to death, but instead the sin-debt is monetized and paid by other means. Actually, this shows a distinct difference between fornication and adultery that is consistent throughout scripture and counter to standard Christian teaching.

Concerning marriage, there are two kinds found in the Bible, though not clearly delineated. One is the marriage of a free woman, the other of a bond woman. Even the bond woman was not to be treated as a chattel slave and this was grounds for divorce if she desired it. Even a bondwoman had more rights than was generally given. She was to be a wife or daughter of the master forever, not a slave. The law is clear on this matter.

February 18 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Bush2 EL Mohel Castorena EL Mohel
The answer is No. 
On the verses you cite, 28 & 29, it says he "seizes her" this is a nonviolent "hook up" because they both go to a place together to engage in coitus. In addition, as quiet as they are “they are caught in the act" and there was no "outcry" to draw attention that she is being victimized. This is an act of willingness of both persons. Since there was an absence of any outcry and being caught in something not permitted they must get married. The meaning here is "fornication”.

February 05 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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