May 23, 2012

The View of Women in the Bible: She Was Never Considered

In the news lately, there has been a lot of talk about rapist marrying their victims.  I wondered where ideas such as this one originated from.  After doing a little research, and not having to look far, I found my answer.  It is from the Bible.  Yep, that is what I said, the Bible.  Millions of people the world over read this book and many read it daily. To a lot of Christians it is viewed as the literal word of God.  Now, before I give the scriptures, I am going to say that many people will come back to me and say that the scriptures are from the Old Testament not the new, we are no longer under that covenant. Ok. The Bible was written thousands of years before the Qu'ran and the New Testament. The poor women who lived back in those times.  For some women life is still the same today as when it was then.

Exodus 21: 7-11  This passage talks about a man selling his daughter, but he cannot sell her to a foreigner. Really?

Deuteronomy 20: 10-14  If a man takes plunder from a city after it has been attacked, women, children, livestock and everything else may be used however he likes.  Hmm, women and children in the same category as livestock.

Deuteronomy 21: 10-14  If a man notices a beautiful woman among his captives, he may marry her. What if she didn't want to marry the man?  He cannot sell her as a slave because he has humiliated her.

Deuteronomy 22: 13-30  A man has married a virgin, but after sleeping with her feels that she isn't.  Her parents have to prove that she is by bringing the cloth with the blood on it to the elders. (they still do this in Morocco) If she was a virgin, then the man will be punished for trying to tarnish her good name. We are not done yet.  If she is found not to be a virgin, then she shall be stoned to death. Evil must be purged from among the people.  Oh, there is still more.  If a man rapes a girl who is engaged to be married and she lives in a city and she doesn't cry out then she shall be stoned because she didn't call for help. But if she lives in the countryside, then she shall not be punished because if she cried for help, no one could hear her cries.  However, if the girl was not engaged to someone, the rapist must marry the girl and the man can never divorce her as long as he lives. (this, too, is still done in Morocco)

Deuteronomy 25: 11-12  This is a good one.  If two men are fighting and the wife of one of the men comes to help rescue her husband and grabs the other man's private area, her hand will be cut off.  She is not to be shown an pity.  Do you think that the woman really wanted to touch the other man? Probably not.

 Judges 19-16-30  This story is very gruesome and I cannot understand why it is in the Bible.  A man's concubine ran back home.  He went to get her.  On their way back, they stopped for the night in a small city. They settled in the city square and hoped someone would invite them to stay for the evening. A man came along and he invited them to his home.  He wined and dined the couple.  Some men from the city saw the traveler and thought that he looked good to them. So, they beat on the man's door demanding that the guy be sent out. Instead, the concubine was sent out and the men raped her all night long.  She made her way back from the vile men and died on the doorstep the next morning.  She was never considered as valuable, after all she was a concubine.

I would like to see the mindset about women in general changed.  She brings children into this world for the man that she loves. She is the foundation of the home.  She loves the man who is in her life and a woman tries her very best to show her love. The Bible says that a woman who has a noble character, her price is far above rubies.  She is half of the population and without her there wouldn't be any children or families.  Yet she continues to be downtrodden by archaic thinking.  She needs to be seen for what she is. She is the opposite of man but quite his equal and many times she is smarter than he is, but she keeps that bit of knowledge to herself.