Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
Anthony Rogers has attempted to justify the law of marriage to your rapist in the Bible, by contending that the law in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 does not mean that the girl was raped. Let’s examine this verse:
“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. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” – Deuteronomy 22:28, 29.*
At first glance, it’s pretty clear that no amount of pussyfooting around will be able to denounce that this verse does refer to rape, but this is Anthony Rogers we’re dealing with, the lengths at which he goes to deny what his own scripture says is very detailed and usually ridiculous. Anthony begins his diatribe by shooting himself in his foot, he says and I quote:
The Bible does not say that “the rapist must now marry the virgin victim,” for obviously at this point the victim is no longer a virgin. If she were still a virgin, then she would not be a victim of rape; if she were a victim of rape, then she would not be a virgin.*
Reading may not be his strong point, but he begins by saying the Bible does not say that the rapist must marry the victim, that’s a problem as the verse above specifically mentions rape, and a victim. Maybe it is I’ve read it wrong, or perhaps the translators have rendered “forced sex” wrong (a term which I cover further down in this post), but according to the Bible I have, the verse explicitly, distinctively and most clearly has been rendered with the word, “rape“. Just to be sure, I’ve given the link to the verse via Bible.CC, a popular Bible translation website, one can even use Biblegateway.com to verify, if such a need be. Having said this, somethings now need to be noted:
- Why does Anthony refer to the girl as a victim, if she was not raped?
- Following from (1), does Anthony consider a woman as a victim, after consensual sex? Would this mean he considers his wife to be a victim (after all, consensual sex with one’s wife to the rational is not rape, however to Anthony this definition may differ)?
- Anthony accepts that the girl is no longer a virgin.
- Anthony states that the girl can no longer be a virgin if she was raped, I quote, “if she were a victim of rape, then she would not be a virgin“. Since in (3) he said, “the victim is no longer a virgin“, he explicitly accepts that she was raped.
His opening statement, clearly demonstrates that he accepts that this verse refers to rape, yet you’ll find in his article that he weasels around this declaration and tries to minimize the reality of the law as given in the Bible. I did find it most entertaining to say the least. For example, he jumps from Deuteronomy 22:28-29 to Exodus 22:16-17, which states:
“If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.”
Anthony confuses himself because a few Bible cross references, do reference the earlier law in Exodus 22:16-17 when the later law Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is mentioned. The problem however is that these two verses, while declaring the same or similar punishment, actually refer to two completely different things. To understand this, we must look at the Hebrew used in the verses, lest we become arrogant and assume our own interpretations are superior, which Anthony has done.
The verse in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is distinguished from Exodus 22:16-17 by the use of a specific term, פּתה – pathah*, a term which is not found in Deuteronomy 22:28-29. The term pathah as used in the verse from Exodus refers solely to sexual seduction, that is according to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon. Therefore the verse is rendered as:
If a man SEDUCES (פּתה) a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins. (Exodus 22:16-17)
This however is not the case for the later law in Deuteronomy 22:28-29, the term פּתה – pathah, is not used, rather two specific terms are used, those of תּפשׂ – taphas*, and שׁכב – Shakab*. According to Strong’s Lexicon, which I have linked to, the word Taphas translates to, “seized, arrested, taken, captured, grasped”, i.e. all these verbs are describing the action of being held beyond one’s will. If I were to capture you, or seize you, or arrest you, this involves some aspect of being restrained. Whereas Shakab translates to, “lay with sexually“. Therefore the verse is rendered as:
כִּֽי־יִמְצָ֣א אִ֗ישׁ בְתוּלָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־אֹרָ֔שָׂה וּתְפָשָׂ֖הּ וְשָׁכַ֣ב (*) עִמָּ֑הּ וְנִמְצָֽאוּ
* – taphas shakab, “grasped and had sex with”, “captured and had sex with”, “taken and had sex with”, seized and had sex with”, “arrested and had sex with”. This verse does not mention or use the word “seduce – (פּתה – pathah), but it uses the term, “forced sex (taphas shakab)“. Therefore the use of the term, “rape” is not only justified here but it is tantamount to dishonesty and deviant sexual perversion to claim that arresting a girl and then having sex with her is not rape, wherein you even announce the girl to be a victim as Mr. Rogers has done previously.
What puzzles me next is Anthony’s reference to fornication as, “humbling a girl“. The verse in Exodus 22:16 refers to fornication, Anthony in his commentary on this verse says the following:
“According to the following verses, we are told that a father may refuse to give his daughter to the man who humbles her even though the man still has to pay the bride-price as a punishment”.
Since when is committing fornication with a girl, “humbling” her? I do not endorse nor share the same set of values as Mr. Rogers does, but to relate fornication with being humbled is gross and most definitely indecent. Anthony’s case only increases in embarrassment for his Christian brethren, in this case he clearly accepts that the girl was raped and that if she was, the father of the girl had the divine ordinance from YHWH (Anthony’s God) to forcibly marry off his daughter to the rapist:
So when Sami tells us that the rape victim must marry her seducer or rapist, he is simply wrong: the rapist must marry the woman as a punishment only if the father insists, and only if the young woman finds him pleasing in her eyes.*
According to Anthony, forced marriage to your rapist is okay, once your father insists. I’m not quite sure we’re on the same page here, but that sounds like exactly what Br. Sami has been saying all along. What’s worse is Anthony’s then insistence on perverting his own scripture. Now, forgive me for a moment, but I could not believe what I had read. I understand Anthony is between a rock and a hard place with defending this Biblical claim which really defames all of womankind, but the level of despicable dishonesty absolutely blew my mind. As you would have noticed, Anthony’s argument included the addendum of:
“and only if the young woman finds him pleasing in her eyes”
In reference to what he said earlier:
“we know a woman’s wishes would be taken into account and that they would not be forced to marry anyone they did not find pleasing in their own eyes (q.v. Numbers 36:6)”*
This sounds like an amazing claim, that is, until we go to the verse:
This is what the Lord commands for Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry anyone they please as long as they marry within their father’s tribal clan.
After reading this verse, Anthony’s deceit needs to be exposed:
- Since when is a command solely for one man’s daughters from the Lord, applicable to every Christian woman on the face of the earth? The same chapter in Numbers 36, in verses 10 – 11, specifies that this command was for 5 women only: “So Zelophehad’s daughters did as the Lord commanded Moses. Zelophehad’s daughters—Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milkah and Noah —married their cousins on their father’s side.”*
Have you no shame, no intellectual integrity? I’m fine with Anthony perverting Islamic scripture, I understand this is how he puts food on the table for his family, but to pervert your own scripture, so deceptively? That’s beyond shameful to say the absolute least. You sir, have my pity. Yet, Anthony’s comedical polemics knows no bounds, he further verifies Br. Sami’s argument by stating the following:
The Lord did this by imposing certain punishment(s) on anyone who would rape an unbetrothed virgin. As may be seen from the fact that,
a) Any person who imposes himself on a young woman may have marriage imposed on him, with the right of later getting a divorce taken away from him.
Yet again, for the umpteenth time, Anthony agrees with Br. Sami’s argument and admits that the punishment for raping an unbetrothed virgin is to be married to the rapists victim. Again, this is the point of Sami’s article, located here, that the Bible says it is permissible to forcibly marry the victim of a rapist to the rapist. Anthony not only verifies and validates Sami’s article, he essentially successfully and most definitely, soundly refutes himself. However, we’re not then yet, Anthony continues by stating the following:
Rather, it is like what has been called “date rape.” The young woman knows the man who forced himself on her. If the crime can be proved, she has the choice of forcing him to be hers (eye for eye justice), if she so wishes. She may also refuse, in which case the man would have to pay a heavy fine without obtaining a wife (cf. Ex. 22:16-17).
According to Anthony, a girl who has been date raped has the glorious option of forcing her rapist to marry her. Can you imagine, that a girl has the option to force her rapist to marry her? Which girl, does Anthony know, would like to marry their rapist. I’d love for him to answer this question, please Mr. Rogers, find me a girl who has been date raped that would like to marry the man who sexually abused her. In fact, Mr. Rogers continues:
“Second, if the girl does decide to marry the man, “he cannot divorce her all his days.” This is an important aspect of the punishment for the man.”
Not only does the girl have the “glorious” option to marry the man who raped her, once she marries him, he cannot divorce her. At this point, I’m not sure if Anthony is working consciously to advocate Br. Sami’s arguments or if he really does not realise that he is vindicating, promoting and accepting what Br. Sami has said. In fact, Br. Sami presents a solid argument from the Bible wherein he explains the devastating truth, the law of Deuteronomy 22:28-29, long before being revealed was already in contention but had failed miserably, ending in vast amounts of violence and bloodshed:
But here comes the most interesting part, this response is weak on so many levels, that even the VERY BIBLE REJECTS IT, namely the family of the Prophet and Patriarch Jacob. At the end of the day, if Biblical figures refute the argument, then you really have no way out. So let’s read the relevant incident that involved Jacob, an incident that directly refutes Deuteronomy’s law, and the explanation given by apologists to try and explain it off:
Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young woman as a wife. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. Now his sons were with his livestock in the field; so Jacob held his peace until they came. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, a thing which ought not to be done. But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. And make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to yourselves. So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it.” Then Shechem said to her father and her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. Ask me ever so much dowry and gift, and I will give according to what you say to me; but give me the young woman as a wife.” But the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father, and spoke deceitfully, because he had defiled Dinah their sister. And they said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a reproach to us. But on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you (Genesis 34:1-15)
So Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, is taken by a man named Shechem, who proceeds to violate her by having sexual intercourse with her. Jacob and his family are obviously angered by this, but the father of Shechem tries to reconcile with them, telling them how Shechem loves her, and wants to marry her etc. Now it seems that Jacob and his family will accept the proposition, to allow the rapist, the violater [sic], Shechem, to marry the victim, Dinah, just as Deuteronomy teaches. The only condition Jacob and his family ask for, is that Shechem becomes like one of them, i.e. getting circumcised etc and then they will allow the marriage to be done. So from all of this, it seems that the apologists are right, that this seems to be the norm of the time, for the rapist to marry the victim, not quite, as we continue to read:
Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males. And they killed Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled. They took their sheep, their oxen, and their donkeys, what was in the city and what was in the field, and all their wealth. All their little ones and their wives they took captive; and they plundered even all that was in the houses. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since I am few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I.” But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?” (Genesis 34:25-31)
So notice what happens, the whole thing was a trick by Jacob’s family, they simply wanted to kill Shechem and his people, and they wanted them to get circumcised so they would be in a weakened state. Jacob’s family never intended to marry their daughter off to her rapist; they KILLED the rapist, and his people! Not only did they kill the rapist and his family, notice what Jacob’s family say, they openly say that if they had married their daughter to Shechem, it would have been treating her like a harlot!
So in other words, according to Jacob’s family, the rape victim having to marry her aggressor is turning her into a prostitute! Yet that is what Deuteronomy commands, it commands the rapist to marry the rape victim! So therefore, according to the family of Jacob, the command in Deuteronomy is a violation of rape victims, and is turning them into prostitutes.
What was Anthony’s response to the above? Well..
But there can be no question that Jacob did not agree with them, for not only does the passage not implicate Jacob in what (two of) his sons thought and did, but Jacob himself would later decry their council and actions, even to the point of cursing them
Unfortunately for Mr. Rogers, Jacob does not curse his children for killing the rapist, he curses his children for killing the innocent people, atleast this is the reasoning founded in Adam Clarke’s commentary, which reads:
“Our margin has it, Their swords are weapons of violence, i. e., Their swords, which they should have used in defence of their persons or the honourable protection of their families, they have employed in the base and dastardly murder of an innocent people.”*
Recall that they killed the entire town of people and their livestock in vengeance, this is why they were cursed, the verses offered by Anthony as a response to Sami, never indicated that they were punished specifically for killing the rapists, but instead, for killing the entire village and their animals. An act in itself which YHWH later permits as holy and just in Deuteronomy 20:16. At this point, Anthony has been soundly refuted, but I will comment on his last point:
Unfortunately for Sami, Christians are not unbetrothed virgins, but members of the body of Christ, His betrothed. And since the punishment for seducing and raping a betrothed woman in the Old Covenant is death (Deuteronomy 22:25-27), then the punishment for seeking to spiritually seduce the bride of Christ, as Sami is ultimately trying to do in the hopes that the Christian church will embrace the Islamic Isa, is eternal death.
What amazes me is that Anthony actually believes that accepting Islam is far worse than being raped. Anthony, as a personal advice to you, do not try to become a rape counsellor, do not try to comfort a rape victim, whatever you do, avoid rape victims at all costs. Perhaps engage in some sensitivity training, but whatever you do and I do mean whatever you do, I plead with you, out of all things, do not go around telling rape victims, “well you know, it’s not as bad as being Muslim, just think, Jesus gives you the option to marry the guy! Hallelujah“.
In conclusion, not only has Anthony been soundly refuted, his inconsistency demonstrated, his morbid sense of morality exposed, his sensitivity issues made public and his sense of empathy made void, we’ve learned that in Anthony’s faith, rape earns you the right to marry your rapist, or rather if you’re raped, you get money or your father has the choice to marry you off to the rapist! I would like to thank Allaah [swt] for allowing Anthony to expose his true nature and for blessing Br. Sami with the ability to produce such arguments that make men like Anthony aide in Christians accepting Islam. Ameen.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and God knows best.
- NIV: 1984, UK and the 2011 Updated Versions, God’s Word Translation: 1995, all render the translated text as “rape”.
- “A Would-Be Seducer Gets Owned and Humbled”, by Anthony Rogers of Answering Islam.
- Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, 06601.
- Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, 08610.
- Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, 07901.
- Deuteronomy 22:28, The Westminster Leningrad Codex.
- “A Would-Be Seducer Gets Owned and Humbled”, by Anthony Rogers of Answering Islam.
- Numbers 36, NIV.
- Adam Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible, Genesis 49.