“Rape” In Ezekiel 22:11 And Deuteronomy 21:14?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
We look yet again at the Hebrew word ‘anah’ (inna) in relation to Deuteronomy 21:14,
Deuteronomy 21:10-14 Good News Translation (GNT)
“10 When the Lord your God gives you victory in battle and you take prisoners, 11 you may see among them a beautiful woman that you like and want to marry. 12 TAKE HER to your home, where she will shave her head, cut her fingernails, 13 and change her clothes.
She is to stay in your home and mourn for her parents for a month; after that, you may marry her. 14 Later, if you no longer want her, you are to let her go free. Since you FORCED HER TO HAVE INTERCOURSE (ANAH) WITH YOU, you cannot treat her as a slave and sell her.”
The different translations for Deuteronomy 21:14 do not give an accurate portrayal of what happened to the slave-women. The only accurate translation for the verse is from the GNT translation. Nearly every other translation make it out that the slave-women captured in warfare were happily jumping into another man’s bed. Same men (soldiers) who murdered her husband, father, and brothers.
With that being said, in this piece, we will focus on Ezekiel 22:11, where the Hebrew word ‘anah’ (inna) has been used.
Before we get to read the translations, please check the following link – word for word English and Hebrew text for Ezekiel 22:11, where the word ‘anah’ (inna) is used: BlueletterBible.org
Some context in relation to Ezekiel 22:11. According to Matthew Henry commentary, Jerusalem was full of murder, idolatry, people disobeying their parents, oppression and extortion, profanation of the Sabbath, and lewdness and adultery.
Translations for Ezekiel 22:11
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
“11 One man commits a terrible sin against his own neighbor’s wife. Another man has sex with his daughter-in-law and makes her unclean. Another man RAPES his father’s daughter—his very own sister.” – Ezekiel 22:11
International Children’s Bible (ICB)
“11 One person in you does a hated act with his neighbor’s wife. Another has shamefully violated his daughter-in-law. And another RAPES his half sister.” – Ezekiel 22:11
New Living Translation (NLT)
“11 Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who RAPE their own sisters.” – Ezekiel 22:11
Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
“11 And ish hath committed to’evah with his neighbor’s isha; and another hath lewdly made tameh his kallah (daughter-in-law); and another in thee hath RAPED his achot, his bat aviv.” – Ezekiel 22:11
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
“11 There are those in you who do abominable things with their neighbors’ wives, men who defile their daughters-in-law by incest, men who COERCE THEIR SISTERS TO INTERCOURSE, the daughters of their own fathers.” – Ezekiel 22:11
New Century Version (NCV)
“11 One man in you does a hateful act with his neighbor’s wife, while another has shamefully made his daughter-in-law unclean sexually. And another FORCES HIS HALF SISTER TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS with him.” – Ezekiel 22:11
Expanded Bible (EXB)
“11 One man in you does a ·hateful [detestable; abominable] act with his neighbor’s wife, while another has shamefully ·made his daughter-in-law unclean sexually [L defiled his daughter-in-law; C ritually]. And another FORCES HIS HALF SISTER TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS [L violates his father’s daughter] with him [C all forbidden in the Law; Lev. 18:9, 15, 20].” – Ezekiel 22:11
We now turn to the exegesis of John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible, for Ezekiel 22:11:
And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour’s wife,…. The sin of adultery, which is an abominable sin; it is so to God, and it should be so to man: or, “a man hath committed”F3; some man of note, a great man; for this sin prevailed among the princes and nobles: or “everyone”; it being a general vice, which obtained among all ranks, high and low, rich and poor: and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; his wife’s daughter,
or his son’s wife, contrary to Leviticus 18:15, and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father’s daughter: his own sister, begotten of the same father, though it may be not born of the same mother; yet the relation is too near for marriage; and besides, it is a RAPE that is here intended; and the uncovering of the nakedness of a sister, whether by father or mother’s side, whether born at home or abroad, is prohibited, Leviticus 18:9, and some have thought that all these acts of uncleanness were committed in honour of their idols, and when they worshipped them on the mountains, Ezekiel 22:9.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Ezekiel 22:11 – online source)
Throughout the translations and John Gill’s commentary, the Hebrew word ‘annah’ (‘inna’) used for Ezekiel 22:11 carries the meaning of “rape”.
With this, we can see that the GNT translation was correct in translating Deuteronomy 21:14, that rape did take place in connection with slave-women captured in war.