Tag Archives: rape

Dinah: Don’t Hang Your Head

Dinah1

In their analysis of Genesis 34 most commentators  assume that Dinah was raped by Shechem, the local Hivite prince. Feminists use the story as the textbook example of what is wrong with patriarchy. In addition, Genesis 34 also records the massacre of the Hivite people by Dinah’s brothers in retaliation for the way in which they perceived Shechem had treated their sister. Even today, some ultra-orthodox Jews claim the brothers as heroes for cleansing the land of the Canaanites and look to the narrative as a model for “solving” the current Palestinian “problem.” Continue reading

Noah’s Wife: A Second Eve

Noah's wife jpeg

It has long been understood that God intended to begin creation again by wiping the earth clean with a flood while preserving Noah, his family and the animals to repopulate the world. Noah then become the new Adam, and his wife, the new mother of all humans. After the Flood, Noah’s wife carried on Eve’s role since it was from her that all post-Flood generations are descended. Surely, we, her descendants should learn who she was. First off, we can assume that Mrs. Noah was moral and just, otherwise she would not have been saved from the Flood. Although it is said of Noah alone: “For I have seen you before me as a righteous man in this generation” (Gen. 7:1) this in no way negates the possible righteousness of his wife. Continue reading

The Silence Itself Turns Into Speech

Women as Booty in War3
Image credit

Women as Property

As part of a whole section of rape legislation, Deut. 21 outlines the laws for taking women as booty during war. Sometimes it is difficult to read the Bible, particularly the rape texts and it’s easy to relegate the Bible to “long ago and far away.” Vastly different from our time, so the argument goes; most ancient cultures stole wives and the Israelites were just fitting in with their neighbors. “[T]he abduction of women by men for marital purposes is a familiar feature in nation-building myths of the ancient world” (Zlotnick, p.47). Furthermore, most often the rape laws and stories are classified as seduction, marriage or love. A traditional commentator “emphasizes the need for marriage as the law’s noble intention. That the marriage is coerced does not become problematic for the commentators” (Scholz, p.109). Here is a typical example of this kind of thinking:  Continue reading

Lot’s Daughters

Lot's daughters3

“Lot and his daughters” by the French painter Lubin Baugin (c. 1612-1663).

In Deuteronomy God wants to be perfectly clear with Moses that Yahweh has a covenantal relationship with Lot’s descendants and that their lands are to be respected. In other words, God condones the incestuous actions of Lot’s daughters which resulted in the two nations being given ancestral lands east of the Jordan. More than matriarchs of great nations, the daughters are also depicted as the ancestors of Ruth through whom the Davidic and Messianic line flows and Naamah, the Ammonite wife of King Solomon, mother of Rehoboam, King of Judea. Indeed, Lot and his daughters appear to hold an illustrious place in biblical history right alongside Abraham, Sarah and their descendants. As modern readers, we are challenged by this inference and must return to the story of Lot and his daughters to consider more carefully the nuances of this incestuous tale. Continue reading