Jehovah And Rape

rapeImagine that your country is invaded or taken over by a group of religious fanatics. These fanatics enter your home, and point guns at you and your family. They give you a choice. You can either accept their god-based government, or be shot. You ask for a list of their divinely-inspired laws. Your 2 young daughters tremble with fear as you carefully read through each law. You eventually come to one that says…

Any adult male who rapes a young female that is not engaged must pay the father of the girl $51, after which he must marry the girl.

Upon reading this, would you…

  1. decide that the god of these fanatics is either a lunatic or a delusion, concede that the future bodes only pain and injustice for you and your family, and ask the fanatics to kill you all?
  2. decide to attempt to survive the ordeal, and tell the fanatics that you will accept their terms, though you secretly hate or dismiss any god who would make such a law?
  3. decide that any god who would write such a law is clearly a god of mercy and justice, and fall on your knees to worship him?

This is not a silly hypothetical exercise in morality. If the Jehovah of biblical fame had been a bit more merciful in his great mercy, this might have been an actuality. If you and your family had converted to Judaism back a couple thousand years ago, the following social environment is what you could have expected.

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 (about $51). He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. (Deuteronomy 22:28)”

No joke. Look this verse up in your own bible.

However, there is no sense in sparing the life of a grumpy prospective father-in-law who is unaccepting of Jehovah’s sense of justice. Jehovah, in his mercy, had the fathers killed.

Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.” Then guess what happens. Read for yourself the rest of Judges 21:10-24.

Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.” This is found in Numbers 31:7-18.

…kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.” Read the entire passage in Deuteronomy 20:10-14.

Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.’” 2 Samuel 12:11-14.
Christians often claim that you know when you are sinning because of the guilt you feel. How many of you would feel guilty while obeying Jehovah by raping a woman while her husband looked on?

And some claim the bible is the source of morality.

While most moral intuitions run contrary to Jehovah’s, it is possible that, if Jehovah exists, he may be actually that malicious. There is nothing incoherent about the notion of a malicious and unjust god. It’s just that that bible claims Jehovah is both loving and just. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but can I suggest that raping a woman in front of her husband seems a bit of a departure from conventional definitions of justice. But who are we to question Jehovah? It’s just that you really can’t cover your ears while she is crying and he is yelling while you get on with your godly duty.

So, would any one of you claim that raping a woman in front of her husband was ever the righteous thing to do?

  • If not, Jehovah is therefore not the immutable source of morality the bible alleges he is, and the bible is therefore not the source of infallible truth christians claim it is.
  • If so, keep yourself and your god away from my daughters.


4 thoughts on “Jehovah And Rape

  1. Russ says:

    The first passage you reference is not speaking of rape. It is unfortunate that the translation you chose uses the word rape (I don’t know what translation you are using). It is obvious from the context however that this is not speaking of rape for it says “…if THEY be found out…” Obviously they were both consenting or they could not both be found out.

    The next three scriptures that you chose are all dealing with God’s judgment of evil nations. Yes, God does have the right to Judge His creation and hold men accountable for the evil they do. After hundreds of years of God’s mercy and patience toward these evil nations God used the nation of Israel to inflict His judgment – again His choice. Most likely God chose Israel to come against the evil nations (nations so evil they murdered their own children) to teach His people that He does indeed judge and punish sin. Later, when Israel has rebelled against the God that saved them from slavery in Egypt, God used the nations surrounding Israel to judge His own chosen people and to take them into captivity in Babylon.

    In the final verse you quote God is judgingthe king of Israel, David, for his sins of murder and adultery. David had secretly taken the wife of his neighbor and violated her. He then ordered that her husband be murdered and took her to be his wife. Again, God does have the right to judge sinners like you and me.

    You do believe that murders should be punished, right? Why is it moral for our society to punish murders but it is immoral for God to do the same?

    The good news however is that though sinners like you and me deserve God’s wrath, God punished His own Son in our place so that we might be forgiven. Jesus took the punishment that you and I deserve when He willingly died on the cross. Because the penalty for your sin has been paid, you can receive forgiveness and eternal life by repenting and by asking Jesus to be your Savior.

    • Very creative hermeneutics, but wrong. Read carefully all the translations listed here for the truth on Deuteronomy 22:28.

      My point is not whether a god of the universe has the right to judge. The following are my points.

      1. Euthyphro’s Dilemma -> “Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral, or is it moral because it is commanded by God?”
      If it is commanded because it is moral, then Jehovah is constrained by some standard of morality. He cannot act out of emotion.
      However, if something is moral because Jehovah commanded it, than there is no need to call it morality. It is the emotional demands of a tyrant, nothing more.
      It appears that, according to the bible, Jehovah is nearly always responding out of emotion. This does not invalidate his right to be god, but it does invalidate his definition as a god of objective justice, and based on these verses, it also invalidates his right to be called a loving god.

      Now, let’s take a look at what you call punishment. Is it punishment when a father tortures a son he claims to love in the basement indefinitely? No. Presumably, fathers who love their sons are not applying punishment under the influence of wrath, but have some objective standard such as inflicting enough pain for the boy to learn-some standard that matches an infraction with an appropriate punishment. What is that standard for Jehovah? It appears he has none, and is indeed acting from very negative emotions.

      The following is not an example. It is what most christians believe.
      The wrath of Jehovah for a single sin is sufficient for him to punish the guilty party with eternal torture.
      Somehow the concept of matching an infraction with an appropriate punishment is out the window.
      You have something finite (sin) being matched with something infinite (hell).
      This is incoherent by any standard.

      2. A husband who reassures his wive that he truly loves her while he is beating the pulp out of her should not be believed. Wives sometimes do twist their brains in such a way that they redefine “love” in a way that lessens the cognitive dissonance, but it is certainly not love as we know it.

      So is this what god would like us to do? Shall we redefine love in such a way that a man who is watching his wife being raped by another man who has been commanded to do so by Jehovah can look at Jehovah and say “you do truly love me”?

      3. The wages of sin is eternal torture for all mankind. Jesus was dead for 3 days. He paid for 3 days for one person, not an infinity for billions. The math is wrong.
      So we have christianity suggesting the absurdity that we deserve eternal torture from an immensely loving god for sinning. This “wage” of eternal torture for sin can then be inexplicably paid by another man’s mere 3 days of death. Things don’t add up.

      4. What is the purpose of Jehovah’s punishment?
      -Emotional revenge? Possibly.
      -Matching some objective standard for punishment? Then you can’t match the finite (sin) with the infinite (hell).
      -Instruction? No. Instruction implies that there will be a time when the punishment is over.
      So it is quite clear that the only possible source for Jehovah’s punishment is his wrath. And his wrath for a single sin such as lying is eternal torture. And you want to call this Jehovah “loving”? Are you not a battered wife thinking she loves her abusive and “compassionate” husband who reassures her of his boundless love after each blow?

      5. Punishing a woman with rape for a man’s sin is incoherent unless you are simply an emotional and demented individual. Think about it.

      So what is it? Is there an objective moral standard? Or is Jehovah acting on irrational emotions as his actions would suggest?


      Now, I’d like to ask you a rather personal question. If you had been living in the days of the Old Testament, and Jehovah asked you rape a “bad” man’s wife in front of him, would you do it?

      While you were doing it, could you still be thinking Jehovah loved any of you?

      This is not a hypothetical. This is actually in the bible. Let’s read it again.

      “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.’” 2 Samuel 12:11-14.

  2. Mike Antonelli says:

    Sad . . .

    PS: I don’t think this is true . ( ie ‘ what most christians believe ‘

    ” The following is not an example. It is what most christians believe.

    The wrath of Jehovah for a single sin is sufficient for him to punish the guilty party with eternal torture. Somehow the concept of matching an infraction with an appropriate punishment is out the window. ”

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