Pericope: Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Earlier I had journaled that I did not understand some of the weird laws that were written in the Torah. In today’s passage, I came across a couple of verses which have been the subject of much criticism from those who reject Scripture. I can definitely see what they would be so upset about. Why would someone who rapes a woman pay her father money and then be forced to marry her? On face value it certainly does not make sense.
Back in ancient times when Scritpure was written, women had little use in a puplic society dominated by men. It was not like they could go out and get a job and be independent like they can now. A woman’s ability to be provided for rested completely on her father if she was not married and on her husband if she were married. If a woman were raped, she would certainly have not been the choice candidate for marriage to another man. Her chances of ever marrying would be slim to none. She likely would not have been able to return home to her family either. So that is why the man who raped her would be forced to marry her and there was absolutely no provision for divorce. This law does not condone such evil, but it does provide protection for a vulnerabe woman who would have otherwise become an outcast impoverished in society. She absolutely would have had no hope. The big problem is that Scripture is dealing with issues in culture which already existed. The culture which existed in not a culture which God had intended. These laws were ways to protect the vulnerable in a culture where evil was so prevalent. The bottom line is that as we view things from our contemporary culture, this law seems screwy. But the main point is that God does want us to protect the vulnerable and weak!