Deuteronomy – Chapter 22: Marriage Violations

In the last chapter we learned about stoning your children, breaking a heifer’s neck, and shaving your slave’s head and making her your wife.  Wow!  Deuteronomy 22 has a tough act to follow.  Don’t rule it out, however, as part of this chapter is titled “Marriage Violations”.  I smell me some misogyny!

“If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it.” – Deuteronomy 22:1-3

This makes sense.  Every once in a while the authors of the Bible write something that isn’t insane.

“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” – Deuteronomy 22:5

Really?  God has nothing better to do than worry about what clothes someone wears?  Murder, rape, and destruction fill the land, but God demands people not wear clothes of the other gender (as if clothes are gender specific anyway).

“Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.” – Deuteronomy 22:11

God is very concerned about your clothing.  He may let you go hungry but don’t fear, for he’ll be there to punish you if you wear the wrong clothing.

“If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, ‘I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,’ then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin.” – Deuteronomy 22:13-15

There’s so much wrong with the science here, but let me ignore that.  If a man doesn’t like the sex, he can accuse the woman of not being a virgin and demand that proof be made.  Was the man a virgin?  Why is it always the women’s virginity that is important in the Bible?

“Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him.” – Deuteronomy 22:17-18

A cloth is proof of virginity?  WTF???

“She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives” – Deuteronomy 22:19

The woman was “taken” to be a wife and forced to prove her virginity (as if virginity matters).  Yet now she is forced to be this man’s wife for the rest of her life.  She is forced against her will to have sex with this man.  That’s rape…rape approved by God.

“If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.” – Deuteronomy 22:20-21

Holy shit!!!  The woman is but to death for not being a virgin!  What about the man?  Why is he not put to death for not being a virgin?  Misogyny at its finest.

“If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.” – Deuteronomy 22:22

Well, at least the man is punished too.

“If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife.” – Deuteronomy 22:23-24

Sigh.  So if the man rapes a virgin and covers her mouth so her screams cannot be heard, she is also put to death for not doing a better job of screaming for help.  Jesus fucking christ.

“But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death.” – Deuteronomy 22:25-26

This is the first instance in the Bible that I remember in which the man is punished for rape without the woman being punished too.  I’m against the death penalty, so I don’t agree with the death of the man, but do agree he should be punished.  But notice how this only applies in the country.  If the woman is raped in town and can’t scream, death to her!!!

“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 her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” – Deuteronomy 22:28-29

There’s a catch to Deuteronomy 22:25-26.  It only applies if the woman was pledged to be married.  If she wasn’t pledged to be married and is raped, she MUST marry the man who raped her.  What the fuck?  Seriously?  Please excuse me for a few minutes while I bang my head on the wall.

“A man is not to marry his father’s wife; he must not dishonor his father’s bed.” – Deuteronomy 22:30

Yeah, okay, I wouldn’t want to marry my mom either.  But what if your father’s wife is your step-mother?  Why can’t you marry her?  Men are allowed multiple wives.  Why are women not allowed multiple husbands?  Oh yeah, misogyny.

A few things make sense in this chapter but most of it is filled with crazy misogyny.  A woman who is raped is found not-guilty if she was raped in the country and already pledged to be married.  However, if she was raped in town, she is guilty.  If the woman is raped anywhere and not pledged to be married, she must marry the man who raped her.  Yes, that is actually in the bible as a command from God.  Un-fucking-believable.

Coming Soon:  Deuteronomy – Chapter 23:  Exclusion From the Assembly


2 thoughts on “Deuteronomy – Chapter 22: Marriage Violations

  1. Joan of Arc was actually burned at the stake for wearing men’s clothing. They labeled it heresy, because of that there verse you mentioned. Her reasoning? Men’s battle armor protected her from rape. But nope, let’s stick a woman in a dress with no protection and when she goes against it, kill her for heresy against Yahweh. Jesus fucking Christ indeed, the misogyny continues through the ages.


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