OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?

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Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence.      DEUTERONOMY 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;

29. Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty she’-kels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. 

HOLMAN ILLUSTRATED BIBLE COMMENTARY

If an engaged. . . virgin had sex with a man in the city, it was presumed that she had done so willing since no one heard her cry out in protest. The community must stone him for adultery and her for complicity. If the act took place in the open country, however, the presumption was that the young woman screamed but there was no one to rescue her. She must be exonerated in such a case.

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