𝐁𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐎𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐚𝐩𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
There are already articles talking about rape in the Bible. However, I wanted to look at the Biblical verses compared to the Islamic perspective.
Read on to see what I mean.
Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished (shakab).
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped (shakab). Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
The word shakab could mean…
1) to lie down
1) to lie, lie down, lie on
2) to lodge
3) to lie (of sexual relations)
4) to lie down (in death)
5) to rest, relax (fig)
b) (Niphal) to be lain with (sexually)
c) (Pual) to be lain with (sexually)
d) (Hiphil) to make to lie down
e) (Hophal) to be laid
The word is used to mean in a sexual sense in verses such as Genesis 30:16, 35:22, 39:7, Exodus 22:16,19, etc.
Obviously the most appropriate meaning for this word in this context could only mean in a sexual sense since most Bible translations have it this way…
Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Their infants will be dashed in pieces
before their eyes;
their houses will be plundered
and their wives ravished.
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
New American Standard Bible Translation
16Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces
Before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
And their wives ravished.
2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.
Amplified Bible Translation
Their infants also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
New International Reader’s Version Translation
16Their babies will be smashed to pieces
right in front of their eyes.
Their houses will be robbed.
Their wives will be raped.
2The Lord will gather all of the nations together. They will fight against Jerusalem. They’ll capture the city. Its houses will be robbed. Its women will be raped. Half of the people will be taken away as prisoners. But the rest of them won’t be taken.
Also, for those of our readers who do not know, the word “ravished” means to rape.
Bible commentator John Gill says…
Verse 16. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes,…. Upon the ground, or against the wall, as was foretold should be, Psalm 137:8 and in way of retaliation for what they did to the Jews, 2 Chronicles 36:17 and this was to be done “before their eyes,” in the sight of the inhabitants, which must make it the more distressing and afflicting; and, as Kimchi observes, this phrase is to be applied to the following clauses:
their houses shall be spoiled; plundered of the substance, wealth, and riches in them, by the Persian soldiers:
and their wives ravished; by the same, and both before their eyes, and after that slain, in like manner as they had ravished the women in Zion, Lamentations 5:11. (John Gill’s Exposition to the Bible, Commentary on Isaiah 13:16, Source)
Matthew Henry states…
dash the children to pieces, and ravish the wives. Jusque datum sceleri–Wickedness shall have free course, Isaiah 13:16. They had thus dealt with God’s people (Lamentations 5:11), and now they shall be paid in their own coin, Revelation 13:10. It was particularly foretold (Psalms 137:9) that the little ones of Babylon should be dashed against the stones. How cruel soever and unjust those were that did it, God was righteous who suffered it to be done, and to be done before their eyes, to their greater terror and vexation. It was just also that the houses which they had filled with the spoil of Israel should be spoiled and plundered. What is got by rapine is often lost in the same manner. (Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, Commentary on Isaiah 13:16, Source)
The city shall be taken by the Romans, who have nations at command; the houses shall be rifled, and all the riches of them taken away, by the enemy; and, to gratify an insatiable lust of uncleanness as well as avarice, the women shall be ravished, as if victory were a license to the worst of villanies, jusque datum sceleri–and crimes were sanctioned by law. One-half of the city shall then be carried into captivity, to be sold or enslaved, and shall not be able to help itself, such is the destruction that shall be made in the great and terrible day of the Lord. (Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, Commentary on Zecharia 14:2, Source)
So basically the rape of the women is justified because their women were raped back in Zion. So this is revenge and is justifiable according to the Bible. This is unlike Islam which would only hold the rapist accountable for his deeds:
Sunan Abu DawudBook 38, Number 4366:
Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr:
When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered (raped) her.
She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That (man) did such and such to me. And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her.
She said: Yes, this is he. Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).
When he (the Prophet) was about to pass sentence, the man who (actually) had assaulted her stood up and said: Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her.
He (the Prophet) said to her: Go away, for Allah has forgiven you. But he told the man some good words (AbuDawud said: meaning the man who was seized), and of the man who had had intercourse with her, he said: Stone him to death.
He also said: He has repented to such an extent that if the people of Medina had repented similarly, it would have been accepted from them. (Sheikh Albani declared this hadith to be “hasan” (good) in Sunan Abu Dawud no. 4379)
As we can see, the man who raped the woman was punished for his crimes. The Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t order for his daughter to be found so that the father’s victim could rape her as well.
In Islam we see justice regarding the punishment rape, unlike in the Bible.
Credit: Bassam Zawadi
Allah knows Best