Answering Christian apologists, and the punishment for virgin-rape in the Bible!
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
“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
This verse clearly speaks about the punishment for rape of a virgin girl, however not according to Sham Shamoun. This article refutes and exposes sham shamoun’s false claim that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 doesn’t talk about rape.
First let’s look at Genesis 34:1-7 , to see the similarity between these verses and deuteronomy 22:28-29.
Genesis 34:1-7 “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized (laqach) her and lay (shakab) with her and humiliated (anah) her.
And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, ‘Get me this girl for my wife.’ Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah.
But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing (n’balah) in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing must not be done.”
Genesis 34:1-7 clearly speaks about rape:
David Guzik,Study Guide for Genesis Chapter 34
Genesis 34 – Simeon and Levi Massacre Shechem
A. The rape of Dinah
- (1-4) A prince, Shechem violates Dinah; wants to marry her
So the words ‘he seized her and lay with her’ means rape in the bible.
The Hebrew word used for seized in genesis 34:1-7 is ‘laqach’
Lexicon Results for laqach (Strong’s 03947)
to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy,
bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away
to take, capture, seize
When we look at verses
Deu 22:28-29 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; 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.
The Hebrew word used for ‘lay hold on her’ is ‘taphas’
Lexicon Results for taphas (Strong’s 08610)
1) to catch, handle, lay hold, take hold of, seize, wield
1) to lay hold of, seize, arrest, catch
2) to grasp (in order to) wield, wield, use skilfully
b) (Niphal) to be seized, be arrested, be caught, be taken, captured
c) (Piel) to catch, grasp (with the hands)
The proof is sufficient to see that ‘laqach’ (gen 34:1-2) and ‘taphas’ (deu 22:28) have the same meaning. Since genesis 34:1-2 proofs that ‘seized her/lay hold on her’ means rape, it is clear that deuteronomy 22:28 also talks about rape.
Deu 22:28-29 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; 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 (anah) her, he may not put her away all his days.
Also notice that Deuteronomy verse 29 says ‘she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled (anah) her’ the hebrew word used for humbled is ‘ anah’ , which in genesis 34:1 is translated as ‘humiliated’, so the girl in deuteronomy (28-29) is humiliated by the man , the hebrew word ‘anah’ means ‘humiliated’ ! (see: http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/words/6/1131617037-4421.html )
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge ,Deuteronomy 22:29 (King James Version)
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.
(even Sham Shamoun in his own article admits that ‘seized her’ and humiliated her’ means rape)
Further notice that in deuteronomy chapter 22 the verses about adultery (not rape and sexual abuse) don’t use the words ‘seizes her/ lay hold on her’ and ‘humiliated her’
Deu 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, [both] the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
Deu 22:23 If a damsel [that is] a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
Deu 22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, [being] in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
These verses clearly don’t mention anything like ‘he seizes her/lay hold on her’ or ‘humiliated her’ .In deuteronomy 22:25-26 the verse mentions force, and in deu 22:28-29 the verse explicit mentions ‘and lay hold on her, and lie with her’ and ‘because he hath humbled (anah= humiliated) her, ,
Therefore deuteronomy 22:28-29 clearly speaks about rape / sexual abuse.
We know have exposed the deceiving lie of the christian missionary Sham Shamoun who tried to hide the fact that deuteromony 22:28-29 speaks about rape, however there are also honest christians who admit the true meaning of the verse,
See the proof for yourself below:
Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (1706) , DE U T E R O N O M Y , CHAP. XXII.
V. If a damsel not betrothed were thus abused by violence, he that abused her should be fined, the father should have the fine, and, if he and the damsel did consent, he should be bound to marry her, and never to divorce her, how much soever she was below him,
And how unpleasing soever she might afterwards be to him, as Tamar was to Amnon after he had forced her, v. 28, 29. This was to deter men from such vicious practices, which it is a shame that we are necessitated to read and write of.
COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT , Edited by Frank E Gaebelein
23-27 If the adulterous persons are a man and a woman “pledged to be married” to someone else and the act occurs in a town, without any voiced protest by the woman, stoning is required
(vv. 23-24). If rape occurs in the country, where a girl’s screams could not be heard, only the man’s life is required; the girl goes free (vv. 25-27).
28-29 The law is more lenient with a man who forces a virgin who is not pledged in marriage to another. The penalty, however, is not light. The offender must pay a fine of fifty shekels of silver, marry the girl, and keep her as his wife as long as he lives; she cannot be divorced. It was customary to pay a purchase price for a wife, but a set price is not indicated (Gen 34:12; Exod
Another trick some christians like sham shamoun use to deceive the reader is referring to Exodus , they try to deceive the reader by claiming that exodus 22;16-17 and deuteronomy 22:28-29 are the same situations , this is not true.
Exd 22:16-17 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
First of all exodus 22:16-17 talks about seducing (entice) a virgin, not rape. Now sham shamoun will scream that therefore deuteronomy doesn’t talk about rape, this is weak understanding and not correct from his site, since the word ‘entice’ in exodus can never mean ‘seizes/ lay hold on her’ like in deuteronomy 22:28-29. Even if we for the sake of argument take the impossible statement of sham shamoun that exodus 22:16-17 and deuteronomy 22:28-29 refer to the same situation,
then sham shamoun has to admit that deuteronomy 22:28-29 abrogated exodus 22:16-17, since the verses of deuteronomy were revealed later then the verses in Exodus. However the different context and meaning of the words in both verses proof that exodus 22:16-17 and deuteronomy 22:28-29 are different situations and therefore don’t represent the the same rules ! This is not just a muslim opinion, honest christians and high jewish scholars of the Torah confirm this, check below the commentary of the Torah by
Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld :
- Virginity – Naarah Besulah
If a man seduces a virgin he should marry her; if they do not want to marry he pays a fine equal to her marriage contract, as it says “And if a man seduces a virgin… he shall pay a dowry [for her] to be his wife; if her father refuses to give her to him he shall pay money equal to the dowry of virgins”.1 If a man rapes a virgin he must pay the fine in any event and must marry her (unless she does not want him) and can never divorce her (except for cause), as it says “If a man finds a virgin and seizes her and lies with her… he must give her father 50 pieces of silver and she must become his wife… he cannot send her away all his life”.2,a
If a man falsely accuses his wife of not having been a virgin he pays a double fine and can never divorce her (except for cause) [as it says “If a man marries a woman… and spreads a bad name about her and says `I took this woman and came near her
And did not find signs of virginity’… they shall fine him 100 pieces of silver and give them to the girl’s father… and she shall be his wife; he cannot send her away all his life”3].b The fines in all of these cases apply only if the girl is of a certain age.c
- Ex. 22:15-16 .- a. 1:1,3,5
- Deut. 22:28-29 b. 3:1,4
- Deut. 22:13-19 c. 1:9; 3:2
( This class presents an overview of Jewish Law based on the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, the comprehensive code of Moses Maimonides. Summaries of each section of the Mishneh Torah present the reader with a basic understanding of the topics covered. Thus the class participant acquires knowledge about the breadth of the Halachic system.
The course material is presented by Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld, who received Rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He is the Director of the Center for Automation Research at the University of Maryland in College Park and is a past president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists.
I respect the honest christians and jewish scholars who admit the true meaning of deuteronomy 22:28-29..Check aslo the jewish website below (translation of torah and commentary in one), who honestly shows us the context and meaning of these verses in deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 mentions the case if a unmarried (girl) virgin is raped, the previous verse talk about the case when a betrothed girl is raped. So clearly both verses talk about rape.
22:25 However, if the man encountered the betrothed girl in the field and raped her, then only the rapist shall be put to death.
22:26 You must not impose any penalty whatsoever upon the girl, since she has not committed a sin worthy of death. This is no different from the case where a man rises up against his neighbor and murders him.
22:27 After all, [the man] attacked her in the field, and even if the betrothed girl had screamed out, there would have been no one to come to her aid.
The Unmarried Girl
22:28 If a man encounters a virgin girl who is not betrothed and is caught raping her,
22:29 then the rapist must give the girl’s father 50 [shekels] of silver. He must then take the girl he violated as his wife, and he may not send her away as long as he lives.
The bible sadly doesn’t mention the girl’s right to deny the rapist. Even if she would have had this right, the rapist only has to pay some silver sheeks to the father to get away with his crime. This is not a just punishment for rape of a virgin, it is insulting for the virgin to let the rapist get away in such a easy way, it is even more insulting for the virgin to give a command to marry the rapist (bible commentators say the girl can deny the rapist for marry, however the bible doesn’t mention this right)
According to the Bible, seduction and rape of an unwed girl were crimes against her father, for he would not only lose the anticipated bride-price for his daughter’s virginity but also have the onus of having to marry off “damaged goods.” Bible law is concerned with giving him justice and not the virgin.
In Exodus 22:15–16 and Deuteronomy 22:28–29, we find the laws that stipulate money (a payment for damages) given to the father and the daughter married by both the seducer (Exodus) and the rapist (Deuteronomy).