Further Topic Research:
Syntax help

Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun on "Women in the Bible - Part II"

By Abdullah Smith

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V] [Part VI]

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

Furthermore, the Holy Bible mentions women who conducted business and even provided financially for the ministries of the men of God:

"A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and SELLS THEM; she delivers girdles to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:10-31

In the above passage, the Godly woman isn’t just one who provides for her family but is also a successful businesswoman!

"Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Mag'dalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joan'na, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means." Luke 8:1-3

"One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati'ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul. And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ And she prevailed upon us." Acts 16:14-15

The foregoing shows that Numbers 30 doesn’t at all hinder a woman from engaging in business.

 

RESPONSE:

The passages quoted by Shamoun are irrelevant because the Bible clearly portrays women as evil (Zech 5:7, 1 Tim. 2:14). The Bible records many stories of woman rape and murder. [1]

The Proverbs degrades woman in the following verses:

The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. (Proverbs 9:13)

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9, NIV)

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. (KJV)

The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein. (Proverbs 22:14)

The chapters 21-22 and 31 were composed by two unknown authors who had different views of woman. Scholars agree that Proverbs 31 is a later composition not written by Solomon:

The “woman of worth” (others translate: “a capable wife” or “a perfect wife”), who balances and explicates the imagery of Woman Wisdom found in Proverbs 1-9, provides a fitting ending to the book of Proverbs. This wisdom poem is an acrostic, that is, each line begins with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This stylistic device changes the typical word order in Hebrew sentences and causes some problems in the creation of a logical development of thought. Placed after the teaching of Lemuel’s mother, this passage (10-31) could easily be taken as a further development of her instructions, but its internal structure makes clear that it was originally an independent composition. (Harper’s Bible Commentary, p. 516)

Regarding verses 28-31, Harper’s commentary says:

Her single-minded devotion to the needs of others earns her, in vv. 28-30, the praise of those for whom she lives. Verse 29 reads, literally, “many daughters” rather than the “many women” usually rendered. The selection of this language is in keeping with the “male identified” tone of the poem, although it is also possible that this term, rather than “women”, was selected because it provides a superior rhyme in Hebrew. “A woman who fears Yahweh” (v. 30) may originally have read a “woman of understanding”, as it appears in the LXX. The change may have been made by the final redactor of Proverbs to distinguish the woman of worth from Woman Wisdom, who appears as Understanding in 8:14. Within the context of this poem, the effect of such a statement is to suggest that women in the community for whom this text is “Scripture” most properly worship God through fulfillment of their domestic roles, rather than through forms of observance (such as public religious leadership) that men assign to themselves. The command to provide for the woman of worth suggests that, although she is the source of all good things, she may not automatically have shared in the profits of her own labor (31:31a)  (p. 517)

Proverbs 31 backfires against Shamoun because God did not spare women who conducted business:

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.  (Ezekiel 9:5-6) 

They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. (Joshua 6:20-21) 

Then they asked, "Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah?" They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there. So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.

"This is what you are to do," they said. "Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin." They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.  (Judges 21:8-12) regardless of whether they were “business-minded”

The Bible doesn’t care about “business-minded” women; it contains laws that are totally unjust:

If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.  If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year.  But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.  If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.  (Exodus 21:2-6) 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11)


Let us expose Shamoun for quoting the Proverbs:

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. (Proverbs 31:1)

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that Lamuel was the King of Massah, a location in Arabia; he was a descendant of Ishmael who settled there. His mother was an Ishmaelite.

Name of a king mentioned in Prov., xxxi, 1 and 4, but otherwise unknown. In the opening verse we read: "The words of king Lamuel. The vision wherewith his mother instructed him." The name occurs again in verse 4: "Give not to kings, O Lamuel, give not wine to kings . . ." The discourse which is an exhortation to chastity and temperance, is supposed to end with verse 9. Some modern scholars (see Revised Version, Prov., xxxi 1, margin) render the first passage thus: "The words of Lemuel, king of Massa, which his mother taught him." Massa is mentioned in Gen., xxv, 14 (cf. 1 Chronicles 1:30), among the sons of Ismael, and his kingdom is consequently supposed to have been in Arabia. In etymological form the name Lamuel is kindred with Jamuel (Genesis 46:10) and Namuel (1 Chronicles 4:24). In signification it is cognate with Lael (Numbers 3:24) meaning (a man consecrated) "to God". (online Source)

The reference to “good wife” is King Lamuel’s mother, she is describing the Ishmaelite women, who “make linen garments and sell them” (Prov. 31:24).

Shamoun does not realize that Proverbs 31 refers to Ishmaelite women. The only reason why he quotes the Proverbs is because the Torah is completely silent about woman’s role in business.

 

Here is what the Bible really says about woman:

"If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. (Exodus 21:7) 

When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. (Leviticus 15:19) 

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:19) 

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

Let us respond to the passage Luke 8:1-3:

"Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means." Luke 8:1-3

The charity practiced by these women is lawful in every religion, but the Economic System of Islam establishes the most comprehensive form of charity, and the poor and oppressed are recompensed for the suffering they endured, whereas the Secular governments today make the poor get poorer, and the rich get richer. Islam has destroyed this form of corruption.

The Bible scholar John Gill comments:

And Susannah; this also was a name for a woman with the, Jews, as appears from the history of one of this name with them, which stands among the apocryphal writings. She, as well as Joanna, and perhaps also Mary Magdalene, were rich, and persons of substance. [1]

The woman disciples were rich and wealthy, so according to Jesus they will never enter Paradise:

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

 

"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'  (Luke 16: 19-24)

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." (Mark 12:40-42)

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)


Another problem with Proverbs that it contradicts other passages:

 

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

 

Contradicted by:

"But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. (Job 28:12-14)

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. (Ecclesiastes 1:18)

The Bible contradicts itself regarding wisdom, either the woman does have wisdom, or the latter verses are correct that “wisdom cannot be found”. Yet another contradiction can be gleaned from the verse.

 

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)

 

Contradicted by:

 

I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare. (Ecclesiastes 7:26)

 

According to the Bible, woman is a snare, so how can she have kindness?

 

Modern scholars refuse to believe the Solomonic authorship of Proverbs, setting forth arguments to prove that Solomon was not the author.

 

A very different view concerning the authorship and date of the collections ascribed to Solomon by their titles is gaining favour among non-Catholic scholars. It treats the headings of these collections as no more reliable than the titles of the Psalms. It maintains that none of the collections comes from Solomon's own hand and that the general tenor of their contents bespeaks a late post-exilic date. The following are the principal arguments usually set forth in favour of this opinion. In these collections there is no challenge of idolatry, such as would naturally be expected if they were pre-exilic, and monogamy is everywhere presupposed. It is very remarkable, too, that throughout no mention is made of Israel or of any institution peculiar to Israel. Again, the subject of those collections is not the nation, which apparently no longer enjoys independence, but the individual, to whom wisdom appeals in a merely ethical, and hence very late, manner. The personification of wisdom, in particular (chap. viii), is either the direct result of the influence of Greek upon Jewish thought, or, if independent of Greek philosophy, the product of late Jewish metaphysics. (online Source)

 

The NIV commentary agrees that Solomon was not the “only” author:

 

"Although the book begins with a title ascribing the proverbs to Solomon, it is clear from later chapters that he was not the only author of the book.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 935)" 

 

The King Lamuel of Arabia is obviously the author of chapter 31; he narrated the words of his mother. The Proverbs speaks of Ishmaelite women who settled in Arabia, they belong to the tribe of Kedar (Quraysh), the second son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13). The Catholic Encyclopedia testifies to the authorship of Lamuel:

 

At the present day, most Catholic scholars feel free to treat as non-Solomonic not only the short sections which are ascribed in the Hebrew Text to Agur and Lamuel, but also the minor collections which their titles attribute to "the wise" (xxii, 16- xxiv, 22; xxiv, 23-34), and the alphabetical poem concerning the virtuous woman which is appended to the whole book.

 

The passage is clear that Lamuel wrote the last chapter of Proverbs, the entire chapter is narrated by his mother who spoke as Lamuel composed the words.  Shamoun chose to ignore the historical background of Proverbs 31 to deceive the readers, he assumes the Proverbs is inspired, it’s merely poetry written after the Babylon exile.

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

Finally, and more importantly, it is the Quran and Islam which makes it impossible for women to work and conduct business:

O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word. AND STAY IN YOUR HOUSES and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. S. 33:32-33 Shakir

The above texts have been used to force Muslim women to stay home! Ibn Kathir commented:

<And stay in your houses> means, stay in your houses and do not come out except for a purpose. One of the purposes mentioned in Shari‘ah is prayer in the Masjid, so long as the conditions are fulfilled, as the Messenger of Allah … said…

((Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the Masjids of Allah, but have them go out without wearing fragrance.))

According to another report…

((EVEN THOUGH THEIR HOUSES ARE BETTER FOR THEM)) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat An-Nur to Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 50), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri (First Edition: August 2000), Volume 7, p. 679; bold, underline and capital emphasis ours)

Now how, pray tell, can Muslim women conduct business if they are forced to stay home and can only go out by permission of their husbands?

 

RESPONSE:

 

Shamoun has seriously misunderstood the Quran and Hadith. First, the passage 33:32-33 is only addressing the Prophet’s wives. The reason is based on logic, the woman is required to stay at home and raise children. The wives of the Prophet were teachers of thousands of men; Aisha taught the Quran to the Prophet’s companions at home, she was a great scholar of Islam.

Secondly, yes the woman needs permission from her husband to leave the house as he has authority over her. So before she marries him she should inform him that she is a woman that wants to work. Women are allowed to work in Islam and have an education. 

The law of asking permission is to keep the woman safe from harm. The Bible allows the husband to cancel his wife’s oath (Num. 30), so why does Shamoun have a problem with women asking their husbands?

Shamoun misunderstands the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir; the houses are the best places for woman because they are protected. Most women are raped by leaving the house for unnecessary purpose, (especially by walking alone).

Zakir Naik sheds a little light on this issue in his lecture, "WOMENS’ RIGHTS IN ISLAM – MODERNISING OR OUTDATED?"

Taken from http://www.irf.net/womens_right_in_islam_I.doc

A women in Islam, if she wishes to work she can work - There is no text in the Qur’an or the authentic Hadith which prevents or makes it prohibited for a woman to do any work, as long as it is not unlawful, as long as it is within the preview of the Islamic Shariah, as long as she maintains her Islamic dress code

But natural, she cannot take up jobs, which exhibit her beauty and body - Like for example, modeling and film acting, and such kind of jobs. 

Many of the professions and  jobs which are prohibited for the woman are also prohibited for the man, for example serving liquor.  

For example working in gambling dens - For example doing any unethical or dishonest business - All these jobs are prohibited for both men and women.  

A true Islamic society requires women to take up profession such as doctors. 

We do require female Gynecologists - We do require female nurses - We do require female teachers 

But, a woman in Islam has got no financial obligations - The financial obligation is laid on the shoulders of the man in the family - Therefore she need not work for her livelihood.    

But in genuine cases, where there are financial crisis in which both the ends do not meet, she has the option of working

Here too, no one can force her to work - She works out of her own, absolute free will.

Besides the professions I mentioned, she can work in the house and take up tailoring, she can take up embroidery, she can do pottery, she can make baskets etc 

She is  also allowed to work in factories and small scale industries in which, which has been designed exclusively for the ladies. 

She can work in places which have got separate sections- gents and ladies, because Islam does not agree with intermingling of the sex

She can also do business, and where it comes to doing transactions, where it involves interaction with a foreign male, with a Na-Mehram, she should do it through a father or a brother or husband or a son

And the best example I can give you is of Bibi Khatija (may Allah be pleased with her) who was the wife of our beloved Prophet (may peace be upon him)


We have quoted several passages to show that the Bible degrades woman. It’s actually the Bible that forces women to stay at home:

If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:35)

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy AT HOME, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:4-6)

If anyone is hungry, he (or she) should eat AT HOME, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions. (1 Corinthians 11:34, brackets are mine)

All of this evidence disproves Shamoun’s argument, which backfires against him; both Scriptures prefer that women should stay at home for their own protection. The Bible agrees that home is the best place for woman (1 Cor. 14:35), she is obliged to raise children (Titus 2:4-6) while the husband provides for the family.

A woman is the guardian of her home; she is responsible for the comfort of her husband and children. It is her responsibility to keep the house in order. She should spend wisely. She must ensure that an atmosphere of piety prevails at home to help the moral growth and upbringing of her children. Likewise, she should see to it that no other man enters her home in the absence of her husband. She should guard her chastity. (Muhammad Imran, Ideal Woman in Islam, 1991, p. 21)

Islam allows the woman to work outside the home, when it’s absolutely necessary. She is also given the right of ownership:

Islam decreed a right of which woman was deprived both before Islam and after it (even as late as this century), the right of independent ownership. According to Islamic Law, woman's right to her money, real estate, or other properties is fully acknowledged. This right undergoes no change whether she is single or married. She retains her full rights to buy, sell, mortgage or lease any or all her properties. It is nowhere suggested in the Law that a woman is a minor simply because she is a female. It is also noteworthy that such right applies to her properties before marriage as well as to whatever she acquires thereafter. (online Source)

 

Islam gives the woman personal inheritance:

 

However, there is no decree in Islam which forbids woman from seeking employment whenever there is a necessity for it, especially in positions which fit her nature and in which society needs her most. Examples of these professions are nursing, teaching (especially for children), and medicine. Moreover, there is no restriction on benefiting from woman's exceptional talent in any field. Even for the position of a judge, where there may be a tendency to doubt the woman's fitness for the post due to her more emotional nature, we find early Muslim scholars such as Abu-Hanifa and Al-Tabary holding there is nothing wrong with it. In addition, Islam restored to woman the right of inheritance, after she herself was an object of inheritance in some cultures. Her share is completely hers and no one can make any claim on it, including her father and her husband. (ibid)

Among the pagan Arabs before Islam, inheritance rights were confined exclusively to the male relatives. The Quran abolished all these unjust customs and gave all the female relatives inheritance shares:

"From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large --a determinate share" (Quran 4:7). [1]


The Bible forces the women to marry their brother-in-laws!

"If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.  (From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 25:5)"

The Law of Islam does not force a woman against her will:

Narrated Ibn Abbas:  "Regarding the Divine Verse: "O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness that you may take back part of the (Mahr) dower you have given them." (4:19) (Before this revelation) if a man died, his relatives used to have the right to inherit his wife, and one of them could marry her if he would, or they would give her in marriage if they wished, or, if they wished, they would not give her in marriage at all, and they would be more entitled to dispose her, than her own relatives. So the above Verse was revealed in this connection.  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an (Tafseer of the Prophet (pbuh)), Volume 6, Book 60, Number 103)"

So as we clearly see, Islam in Noble Verse 4:19, clearly prevents the in-laws from trying to control and abuse the widows.  Before Islam, widows were basically enslaved to their in-laws.  They had no control over any of their inheritance, and they were in many times married off to their former husband's brothers or relatives.  Islam came and ended all of that, and lifted the status of women and gave them liberty and rights.

Let us continue with Shamoun’s pathetic attempts to defend the Bible, which glorifies sex and adultery.

 

HE WROTE:

Muslims often point to Numbers 31:17-18 to show how the Holy Bible permits the raping of young girls. Here are the verses but with added context so as to help the readers see what exactly is going on:

"The LORD said to Moses, ‘Avenge the people of Israel on the Mid'ianites; afterward you shall be gathered to your people.’ And Moses said to the people, ‘Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Mid'ian, to execute the LORD's vengeance on Mid'ian. You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war.’ So there were provided, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand from each tribe, together with Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. They warred against Mid'ian, as the LORD commanded Moses, and slew every male. They slew the kings of Mid'ian with the rest of their slain, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Mid'ian; and they also slew Balaam the son of Be'or with the sword. And the people of Israel took captive the women of Mid'ian and their little ones; and they took as booty all their cattle, their flocks, and all their goods. All their cities in the places where they dwelt, and all their encampments, they burned with fire, and took all the spoil and all the booty, both of man and of beast. Then they brought the captives and the booty and the spoil to Moses, and to Elea'zar the priest, and to the congregation of the people of Israel, at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. Moses, and Elea'zar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation, went forth to meet them outside the camp. And Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. Moses said to them, ‘Have you let all the women live? Behold, these caused the people of Israel, by the counsel of Balaam, to act treacherously against the LORD in the matter of Pe'or, and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Encamp outside the camp seven days; whoever of you has killed any person, and whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day. You shall purify every garment, every article of skin, all work of goats' hair, and every article of wood.’" Numbers 31:1-20

God commanded the Israelites to take vengeance on the Midianites, as well as the Moabites, for leading Israel into committing idolatry and sexual immorality:

"While Israel dwelt in Shittim the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Ba'al of Pe'or. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel; and the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.’ And Moses said to the judges of Israel, ‘Every one of you slay his men who have yoked themselves to Ba'al of Pe'or.’ And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Mid'ianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. When Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation, and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the inner room, and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body. Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel. Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. Therefore say, "Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace; and it shall be to him, and to his descendants after him, the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the people of Israel."’ The name of the slain man of Israel, who was slain with the Mid'ianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, head of a fathers' house belonging to the Simeonites. And the name of the Mid'ianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was the head of the people of a fathers' house in Mid'ian. And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Harass the Mid'ianites, and smite them; for they have harassed you with their wiles, with which they beguiled you in the matter of Pe'or, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Mid'ian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague on account of Pe'or.’ Numbers 25:1-18

God spared the young girls as an act of mercy since they didn’t partake of the sins of the other women who lured the Israelites into committing sexual immorality, thereby angering God. Yet the Lord didn’t have to spare them and could have easily demanded that they too be destroyed with the rest. After all, from God’s perspective all flesh is born sinful which means that it is inevitable that all humans turn out to be rebel sinners who will grow up to defy God:

 

RESPONSE:

 

These young girls were Gentiles; they were spared by God because they were purely innocent, yet God approved the rape of Gentile women!

The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse."

Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'"  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.  So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes. (Judges 21:10-24)

Why did God leave a gap in the tribes of Israel? The rape could have been avoided, the woman were forced to get married to the rapists (Deut. 22:28-29). They were raped as the result of God’s carelessness which forced the men to kidnap the women.

The Bible commentator Matthew Henry states

The elders of Israel gave authority to the Benjamites to do this, to lie in wait in the vineyards which surrounded the green they used to dance on, and, when they were in the midst of their sport, to come upon them, and catch every man a wife for himself, and carry them straight away to their own country, v. 20, 21. [1]

Amazingly, the “elders of Israel” are responsible for allowing the raping and forced marriages.

Matthew Henry comments on verses 1:1-15

An expedient is hence formed for providing the Benjamites with wives. When Moses sent the same number of men to avenge the Lord on Midian, the same orders were given as here, that all married women should be slain with their husbands, as one with them, but that the virgins should be saved alive, Num. 31:17, 18. That precedent was sufficient to support the distinction here made between a wife and a virgin, v. 11, 12. 400 virgins that were marriageable were found in Jabesh-Gilead, and these were married to so many of the surviving Benjamites, v. 14. Their fathers were not present when the vow was made not to marry with Benjamites, so that they were not under any colour of obligation by it: and besides, being a prey taken in war, they were at the disposal of the conquerors. Perhaps the alliance now contracted between Benjamin and Jabesh-Gilead made Saul, who was a Benjamite, the more concerned for that place (1 Sa. 11:4), though then inhabited by new families.

The women were probably raped before they were married. The rapist is commanded to marry the victim:

 

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. (Deuteronomy. 22:28-29)

 

What is the difference between rape and forced marriage? Rape means forced sex, so forced marriage is technically rape itself. The woman may not want to get married, but she is forced by the Law, she will be raped her whole life and cannot divorce him. There is no love, and there is no voluntary action. She is forced to stay with her rapist until she dies. And if they are not caught red-handed, the rapist gets away, and doesn’t need to pay the fifty pieces of silver.

According to Islamic Law, the woman cannot be forced to marry without her consent.

Ibn Abbas reported that a girl came to the Messenger of God, Muhammad (P), and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice . . . (between accepting the marriage or invalidating it). (Ibn Hanbal No. 2469). In another version, the girl said:

"Actually I accept this marriage but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right (to force a husband on them)" (Ibn Maja, No. 1873).

The rape victims must be stoned:

 

If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

 

Here are other passages where God approves rape:

 

As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace.  If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor.  But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town.  When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town.  But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder.  You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

Thus says the Lord: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.  I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor.  He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'

Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst.  And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.   (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

 

Here is another passage that allows rape:

They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera's spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil.   (Judges 5:30 NAB)

There is no reference to marriage! The man is allowed to rape the woman in order to forcibly marry her (Deut. 21:27-28). Each man is rewarded two damsels!

Here is a story of gang-rape:

 

"Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light. And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold. And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel." (Judges 19:24-29)

 

The Prophet Lot wanted gay men to rape his daughters:

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.  They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."  Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." (Genesis 19:4-10)

Amnon, the son of David, almost rapes his own sister:

Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare food for him." So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where he was lying down. And she took dough and kneaded it and made cakes in his sight and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send out everyone from me." So everyone went out from him. Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." (2 Samuels 13:1-11)

The daughter of Prophet Jacob raped:

 

Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. And Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as my wife." When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he kept quiet about it until they came home. (Genesis 34:1-5)

 

There are numerous stories of rape in the Bible. The logical conclusion is that God never inspired these disturbing passages. God is not interested to dictate such perverted tales. The Bible records that God changed His mind (Hosea 11:8), and allowed rape (Deut. 20:10-14).

 

We recommend the book Harlot by the Side of the Road written by Jonathan Kirsch.

 

Another great book is The X-Rated Bible : An Irreverent Survey of Sex in the Scriptures by Ben Edward Akerley.

 

 

 

HE WROTE:

Carefully pay attention to the fact that in this text we do not find the expression "young" used before woman like we do in Numbers 31. The reason why we do not is because the Holy Bible presupposes that the only time a maiden can engage in sexual activity is if she has attained womanhood, if she has reached an age past puberty:

"And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live, and grow up like a plant of the field.’ And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full maidenhood; your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare. When I passed by you again and looked upon you, behold, you were at the age for love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yea, I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord GOD, and you became mine." Ezekiel 16:6-8

 

RESPONSE:

 

The above passage is not speaking of woman; it’s referring to Israel as the “growing plant”.

 

Matthew Henry comments on Ezekiel 16:6-8

 

In there verses we have an account of the great things which God did for the Jewish NATION in raising them up by degrees to be very considerable. 1. God saved them from the ruin they were upon the brink of in Egypt (v. 6): "When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thy own blood, loathed and abandoned, and appointed to die, as sheep for the slaughter, then I said unto thee, Live. I designed thee for life when thou wast doomed to destruction, and resolved to save thee from death."[1]

 

The passage is not referring to woman. The words “sheep for the slaughter” alludes to Isaiah 53.

 

The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53

 

Notice how the passage says “I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness” (verse 7), God later contradicts himself:

 

"I am against you," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. (Nahum 3:5)

 

Read the following articles:

 

http://www.answering-islam.com/abdullah_smith/jesus_contradicts_god.htm

 

http://www.answering-islam.com/abdullah_smith/rebuttal_to_shamoun_2.htm

 

 

 

 

Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.

Women in Islam and the Bible.

Abdullah Smith's Rebuttals section.


Send your comments.

Back to Main Page.