Elspeth gave a party to encourage wives to be loyal to their husbands. During that, someone told a joke about loving their husband’s strength. This caused some emotional terrorists to start planting rape bombs; specifically “marital rape”. The idea of marital rape is an IED in our culture that is used to scare women into rebelling against their husbands. The impact of the charge of “marital rape” is to create a prisoner’s dilemma between a husband and wife; the exact inverse of the prescription in 1 Corinthians 7 for the husband to surrender his body to his wife’s sexuality and the wife to her husband’s.
The main bomb-maker left, but not before G.I. Evangelical Joe showed up to make the world safe from terrorists by giving into their demands.
[W]hile the Bible does not say anything directly about marital rape in the Torah, it also does not say anything about abortion, and for the same reason; they were crimes mostly unthinkable to the Hebrews.Along the same lines, few states had bans on offing people in a VW microbus until Jack Kervorkian came along. Nobody thought there was a need.
The idea that the Israelites found abortion unthinkable is to put them on an imaginary pedestal of immense proportions. These are the people who will on-again-off-again sacrifice their live-born babies on altars of Molech and other pagan gods. While we recognize that modern abortion is precisely the same in spirit, those Israelites were literally and manifestly worshipping foreign gods; sacrificing birthed, nursing, loved infants in full knowledge of their deeds. From this faulty start of romanticizing the Israelites he continues:
But it does not follow that forcing one’s wife was acceptable. It’s simply history, which is descriptive, not prescriptive–as Michigan residents who campaigned to stop assisted suicide would tell you, no?
For a place in the Torah that indicates the Hebrew attitude towards marital rape, let’s consider Deut. 21:10-14, which describes the treatment of captive women who are sexually desired by their captors.
It was, of course, the custom of invading pagans to rape all the young women when they conquered a city–she got to be a sex slave at best, a prostitute or dead if she were not as lucky. When she was no longer attractive, she would be sold into an even more humiliating slavery unless she found someone to protect her by some miracle.
Not the Israelites–a man got to provide for a pagan woman for a month, letting her mourn and getting to know her (perhaps gaining consent to the marriage) before he married her. He could not treat her as a slave, or sell her as one, and….
….even slaves were not to be treated ruthlessly. Now if a gentile woman merits this protection, what about a woman of Israel?
See what I’m getting at here? And this is why Peter (1 Peter 3:7) and Paul (Col. 3:19) tell the largely Gentile church…..more or less how to treat their wives like the Jews had been told to do.
The first error of the commenter I just quoted is that his idea of Peter’s encouragement for husband’s to be kind (1 Peter 3:7) and Paul’s warning for husbands not to be harsh (Colossians 3:19) is to base his judgment of what is kind or harsh solely on his own preferences. He doesn’t seem to take into account that he might be a bit effeminate; as we often see among modern American Evangelicals.
What follows this paragraph is most of my responding comment. This post is already long and it’s only getting started, but if are cruisin’ for a bruisin’ you can read the whole thing here.
I don’t think you’ve read that right at all. Deuteronomy 21:10-14 says:
10 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.
First of all: The whole chapter of Deut. 21 (not that it was originally in chapters) is about taking responsibility for those around you, while remaining innocent yourself. The preceding verses (v. 1-9) concern how the town nearest a found murdered body is responsible for making atonement for that murder, while also proclaiming their own innocence (if they are).
The section immediately after the captives (v. 15-17) talks about giving the firstborn his due regardless of a father’s favor for the son or the mother. Like the people in the city near the victim, the father does not get a choice about who is nearest himself (i.e., his firstborn): He must still honor him.
The next section (v. 18-21) is about how to deal with a rebellious son who refuses to repent by having all the men of the whole town take responsibility for killing the rebellious son and ridding their town of evil.
The last section (v. 22-23) about not leaving up a man hung on a tree. It puts the responsibility for a criminal to avoid God’s curse on the heads of the innocents and executioners near the dead criminal; who is responsible for his own death. It is also a foreshadowing of Christ’s crucifixion, and Joseph of Arimathea’s coming righteousness.
Keep that idea of imposed and imposing responsibility in mind. The context here (v. 10-14) of the taking of wives from female captives is: Accepting full responsibility even under duress, adverse conditions, mental anguish, and outside your control, and how to do that while maintaining innocence. So let’s look at v. 10-14 again.
10 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month.
Here’s the picture: Battle-hardened men who are sick of death, pitiless towards the enemy, unfazed by tears, away from their wives and no marital prospects from home in sight are going to be tempted to take a woman. They will justify it by
- That’s what the enemy would do.
- By rights these women ought to be dead with their kinsmen.
God, being the creator and fan of marriage that He is, says:
“Ok, but slow your roll. You have a right to take a wife, but be sure you want to exercise your right because there’s no going back.
Here’s a good test to see if you really want her, or if you’re just trying satisfy some temporary urges: Bring her into your home–the home of her family’s slaughterers. This is going to upset her wildly. Take a good look at that. Also: Make sure you’re not beguiled by her beauty or ornamentation. Shave off her lovely hair, cut those pretty nails, and get rid of the snazzy clothes she was wearing and put on some of the clothes of her family’s killers. Take another good, long look at her now: bald and grungy; weeping so that she slobbers and snots all over her prisoner’s garb. Do this for a full month.
During that time, she’s probably not going to eat right; loose skin; bags under her eyes; maybe some sores from malnutrition or lying in one place for days on end. She’ll probably try to escape. That’s not going to endear her to your family. They’ll have to restrain her while she’s kicking and gouging and scratching (another good reason to get rid of those nails!) She’ll probably get wounded; a black eye; maybe a tooth knocked out. There’s a good chance she’ll try to hurt herself; even kill herself. If she does, those scars aren’t going to be pretty, and everyone will know how they got there. Some women will just go crazy, or she might lose the will to live and start soiling herself. Immense grief can do that.
But, at the end of that month, if you still want her then go ahead. Here’s how:
After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
You’re going to have to go in there and take her. There is a good chance some crying may be involved when you–longtime enemy and the killer of her family–try to put yourself into her. You’re gonna have to push through that. Luckily, her nails have only been growing for a month, but if she’s not too weak from poor nutrition, injuries gained while trying to escape, etc.–there’s a good chance you’re going to have to use some force. Nevertheless, if you do you can be her husband, and sheshall be your wife. You don’t have to ask her because she’s been delivered into your hand, and you’ve made a vow.
Now, I’m serious about that vow.
14 But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.
You’re going to have to see this through for the rest of your life. She’s not a slave. She’s not a commodity. She’s not a concubine. She’s your wife; the whole bald-headed, baggy-eyed, poorly-dressed, soiled, and supremely resentful shooting’ match of a woman is one flesh with you. If that isn’t what you want, then don’t go into her. You’ve already put her through the wringer. Just let her go, man.
What we have is a set of verses that says a lot about what men should expect to forbear at times within a marriage: resentment, ugliness…generally some hard times and hard feelings. Those verses also practically prescribe what modern ears will hear as “marital rape”. It wasn’t rape, though. It was a form of wedding as set down in God’s word.
My sense is that, ultimately, the commenter is experiencing the American Problem; (I say that as a fellow American.) and specifically an American Evangelical Christian problem. Our penchant is to see the Israelites, God, and life generally through the lens of recent good-old days of American culture and history instead of looking plainly at what he called the descriptive history. (Good term, by the way.) When the Israelites are obedient, to us they resemble WWII-1950s Americans as shown in American propaganda: Tough on the bad men, winsome to the bad women, and positively permissive to the good women. That wasn’t even life in WWII-1950s American…much less bronze age Canaan.
How this American Problem manifests in the current sexual and marital culture is that guys who say the things he’s said stand aside and congratulate themselves when a man is thrown in prison for what is considered “marital rape”. Those same men will merely cluck their tongues when a wife cheats or divorces; perhaps mumbling something about praying for her while they mow her yard (paging Empathologism) during the ensuing “separation to allow for prayer and healing”. If they’re really “strong Christians” maybe they pray for that man who is being divorced to be broken, to see himself as broken, and pray for his own repentance. I think we can congratulate ourselves on that brokenness: Mission accomplished! But where’s the equality, man?
That last paragraph is important because it’s true-to-form even if it’s hypothetical. It happens all the time, and much more frequently than instances of so-called “marital rape”. And the reason that frequency is important is because we can see that not only is “marital rape” a bone-headed idea in the abstract, but in the concrete…how our modern and corrupted view of marital relations actually plays out. The false idea of “marital rape” is part and parcel of a larger propaganda scheme that intends to drive wives from husbands.
Notice also that her mother is dead and will be mourned alongside the dead father; who presumably was killed by the Israelites. Despite what the commenter tried to sell: Women were not spared by default. In fact there are many places where God tells the Israelites to kill everyone. God Himself wipes out everyone in Sodom; man, woman, and child. The Flood killed everyone including babies. That doesn’t mean we can kill with impunity, but it does mean that even killing itself is not always immoral. The right and the intent matters, even when considering sexuality or killing.