Is the God of an Inerrant, Infallible Bible pro-rape and anti-infant?

This question is inspired by another question asking for some context on a few particularly harsh OT passages.

I don't really see a lot of the Old Testament as being particularly inspired, I sort of see it as a snapshot of something Holy, but someone put their finger over part of the lens, and it's pretty blurred. I read that description in a book recently and loved it. Does that make any sense?

Anyways, a lot of people after reading the passage basically gave it their stamp of approval, saying that God takes sin seriously, etc. But one of the passages in question had Isaiah's god making some pretty graphic threats against babies, and also giving rape his stamp of approval. Here is the passage in question:

16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;

their houses will be looted and their wives ravished. (Ravished meaning raped)

17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes,

who do not care for silver

and have no delight in gold.

18 Their bows will strike down the young men;

they will have no mercy on infants

nor will they look with compassion on children.

It's from Isaiah 13.

So, what I'm asking my fellow Christians is: Do you REALLY believe that rape is an appropriate punishment for sin? Because if so, I'm not sure I'm comfortable going to Evangelical Churches anymore.


One more thing: My first thought upon reading it was "Context!" because a lot of people take OT stuff out of context. But read in context this one definitely has Isaiah's god stating that he will be responsible for these actions, he will cause them to happen, and he approves of them.

Update 2:

Jason: The difference is not enough. The god of this book of the Bible is giving his stamp of approval to rape. He knows the women will be raped, he is stirring up the army's to rape the women.

Update 3:

Jason: My issue isn't that God "allows" rape, because I believe in free will. My issue is that in this passage, God is taking responsibility for the fact that the women are raped. Reading the whole of Isaiah 13, God is saying that he is responsible for all of this, he is causing all of it, because he essentially hates these people. He basically takes credit for the actions of the army.

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to Page Kelley, whose scholarship I admire greatly, the oracle in verses 1-16 is an apocalyptic vision of the Day of the Lord that had already been written, and Isaiah applies it to Israel's archenemy, Babylon. So Isaiah is quoting other scripture to say, "This is what Babylon can look forward to."

    That doesn't mean it's not Scripture, but that as you said, the context is important. The overthrow of Babylon actually did not occur this way, it was a fairly peaceful overthrow.

    As for whether God wanted it to happen that way, of course I don't think so. Prophecy in the Bible is always predicated on what could happen, but God is open to people repenting (Nineveh and Jonah) or someone interceding to change God's mind (Abraham). So it should not be read as "I, God, want this to happen" but "if you do not change, this is the natural outcome of what you can expect." And rape and killing of children are always part of war; it doesn't take a god/goddess to stir up an invading army to do that. God is saying that he will justice to come upon Babylon in the shape of the Medes, but what the Medes will do is what all humans do in war; they are not following God's commands.

    Finally, the whole point of a judgment prophecy is to give the people receiving the prophecy a chance to change the course of the future as described in the prophecy.

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  • 4 years ago

    I won't go into the age where you said that it was, there have been plenty of posts to give you the time it was constructed. What I'd like to add is that I think that it was done well. I do not think that the Letter of James is very good at all, but there is a bit of good stuff in it. It's just that James wasn't saying the samething as Paul and the rest of the Bible. What I will not agree with is that the Bible is inerrant. As you seem to have found. I don't have to, and as I have been taught by by old pastor, English itself must be looked around to get a better example of the words used. But it IS the inspired word of God. Balaam's ***, Paul, me, all of those touched by God's workings are inspired, and none are perfect. The Inerrant Word of God sat down at the right hand of the Father. So if you are looking for inerrancy, look to God only. The rest is not infallible any more than it is incorruptable.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't think it's quite that simple.

    I don't think of it so much as God "made" those women get raped, so much as God removed his supernatural protection from Israel, which of course resulted in that nation being invaded...and, obviously in the context of the historical middle east, that included the women being raped.

    The difference is subtle, but it does exist.

    In short, no I don't think God likes rape.

    Edit: I understand where you are coming from Priscilla. But to be fair, God allows a ton of stuff to happen in the Bible...and even in our world today... that he doesn't approve of. An extreme example would be Judas betraying Jesus...obviously not the right thing to do, but, it is allowed. As a Christian, I trust that God really does know what he's doing, and that justice will be done in the end.

    Maybe I'm not understanding your question...what exactly are you asking? Is the question "Why would God allow this?" or is it something else?

    Anyhow, I guarantee you that the men who raped those women were punished, rather in this life or the after.

    Edit: Can he take credit if there is free will? This question is pretty deep for YA..

    Seriously though, I think it's a matter of trusting that justice is done in the end. In the Bible, and especially the OT, God is using the bad guys all the time.

    Perhaps this is just a cop-out, but I might add that to stir up the enemy into war isn't quite the same thing as taking credit for their actions, or their specific actions (rape) for that matter.

    Honestly, like I said, this is beyond the scope of YA, and I'm no theologian. Like I said in my first cop-out, I think we just have to trust that God knows what he's doing and that justice is always done in the end.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1) Is the God of an Inerrant, Infallible Bible pro-rape and anti-infant?

    No. In at least one set of circumstances he ordered the Jews to execute men convicted of rape. He also commanded the very first humans "be fruitful and multiply", which is obviously not anti-infant.

    2) Does that make any sense?

    It makes sense, but it doesn't ring true.

    3) Isaiah 13 is a prophecy, not a threat and certainly not any sort of approval for any of these actions. If I tell you, "if you play hopscotch on the interstate, you will be run over" does that mean that I am "pro running people over?" NO - in fact, it means just the opposite.

    4) So, what I'm asking my fellow Christians is: Do you REALLY believe that rape is an appropriate punishment for sin?

    Of course not. Nor does the bible suggest that it is. The bible indicates that this will be the *consequences* of one particular sin.

    5) But read in context this one definitely has Isaiah's god stating that he will be responsible for these actions, he will cause them to happen, and he approves of them.

    Please show the context where it indicates that God approves of such actions.

    What you are trying to do is make God responsible for the actions of men. Though God might be responsible (in this instance) for the conquest of these enemies of his people, he is not responsible for the actions of the individuals in that army.

    If I manufacture firearms, and you use one that I personally assembled to serial murder 16 children, am I responsible? I am the one, after all, that enabled you to perform this dire deed. In a sense I gave you the power to do it. Who is responsible?

    If, then, God allows or even aids in the domination of one nation over another, is he responsible for all of the actions of all of the people of those nations? Is he responsible for *any* of the actions of the people of those nations?


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Caligula must not know his **** too terribly well if he judges God to be a sadistic, blood thirsty tyrant when his name sake carried out some of the most cruel and heinous acts of depravity that man can ever perform and which God speak wholly against. Still, in explaination let me say this...when God passed that judgment down on Babylon it was because of their heinous acts of sadistic and bloodthirsty tyranny. These were folks who, while the Jews were in captivity, taught them and even forced them to pass their infants through the arms of Molech. This little worship procedure entails take a large stone or bronze statue of Molech which in Hebrew means "shameful thing" but also refers to any of the Chaldean, Egyptian or middle eastern god such as Ba'al who require blood sacrifice, and place the infant, alive, onto the scalding hot arms of the pyre until the child is turned to ashes. As well, if you had no child to could offer up pig entrails that weighed as much as an infant but you had to trade an older child into temple prostitution or slavery in exchange for the pig which is no problem because folks would harvest the pig, donate its entrails to the statue and then feast on the meat. Look it up. It's grotesque.

    Jer 32:34-35

    34 But they set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 35 And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.'

    Have you ever seen the movie Apocolypto? How about the newest version of King Kong? I ask because in these movies are perfect examples of what those folks were like. They were incestous, canibalistic, orgy, filth and disease ridden people who would cosume anything and copulate with anything...including animals. Oh, yes indeed. However, God didn't punish them for that...He punished them for the way they treated their own offspring and left natural affections for unnatural ones. They had no problem raping and pillaging and murdering little children and babies. It happens all through the Bible. As a matter of fact, the only time anything major occurs with folks with turning point type of events is when a nation is in power over the Jews and took out a mass amount of kids. Eygpt, King Herod, etc. Don't kid yourself. As God stirred up the Medes He did so against a nation of people that would never feel compassion or heed warnings as the people of Ninivah did. God shows mercy upon those that mercy will work. It was predicted by Daniel and warned that the Medes and the Persians would overtake Babylon. That was on a near scale. Now see what happens on a far scale. All prophecy is given on a near far basis. So as this world grows more think people are going to act rationally with their children? Abortion, eugenics, infantcide, child prostitution, child sex trafficing, child pornography...even if we aren't directly involved and care very deeply...what are we doing to protect other innosent childrent? Think about it. This, my friend is the big picture. Choose life, Love in Christ, ~J~

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  • I believe this is a prophecy of what would happen if there was no repentance. When God gave Israel the ten commandments and entered a covenant with Him, He promised blessings if they obeyed and curses if they disobeyed. If you look at how long it took between their departure from God until the punishment was delivered, it speaks to the longsuffering nature of God.

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  • RickK
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I like how, to defend the horror of the OT God, people point to Islam and say "but that's worse!".

    You can't justify suffering in the context of the God of Abraham unless you agree that God is evil, or is not fully good.

    "Free Will" is a nonsense argument. How do you explain kids caught in a tsunami with "free will".

    In fact, the suffering of innocent children completely refutes the idea of a just, caring or even remotely interested god.

    Children suffer through no fault of man. The 2004 tsunami is a recent big example. A disproportionate number of the 300,000 people killed were children. Can you imagine the fear they felt as the waters carried them away?

    Can you imagine the fear of the children swept away in Noah's flood (if you believe it)?

    So what's the answer to this logic? (borrowed from Epicurus):

    1) If God is not able to prevent the suffering of children, then He is not all-powerful and it is pointless to worship Him; or

    2) If God is able to prevent the suffering of children, but doesn't, then he is hostile or uncaring, and it is pointless to worship Him.

    It MUST be one of the two, so which is it?

    And please don't hide behind "God's ways are a mystery, but there's always a reason." God supposedly drowned the ENTIRE population of the planet (except Noah's family) when all he needed to do was appear in the sky and say "Obey me!".

    Also, don't hide behind the "free will" argument. Where was the free will of the 150,000 infants and toddlers killed on 26-Dec-2004? Where was the free will of the millions of children killed by the Spanish flu, the plague, cholera, earthquakes and so on throughout human history?

    The Abrahamic god is exactly what you would expect humans to devise to explain seemingly random suffering, to explain natural phenomena that they don't understand, and to control others. Yahweh/Jehovah is exactly what a wandering desert tribe living a brutal life would invent.

    The Abrahamic god is completely INCONSISTENT with an all-powerful being who wishes us to behave a certain way.

    People of science drastically reduced the suffering of children from diseases. People of science will find a way to predict tsunamis. And if we can stop the religious and tribal wars, then science and technology and trade can eliminate the suffering of starvation. The power and the responsibility are ours, not God's.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The context in this case is not the verses around it. It's the culture of the times, which was not exactly...genteel, especially in times of war.

    Source(s): Liberal Christian
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Do you believe that 12 year old girls, raped by some asshole, should be stoned to death for having been raped ? Because this is actually happening in Saudi Arabia. That's the kind of **** that goes on every day there. So while you're ripping the Christians a new one because their book is effed up, the Muslims have courts of law that are dishing out execution by stoning to 12 year old rape victims. I mean, I'm no fan of Christians except when I compare them to Muslims. And since the Islamic population PERCENTAGE on Earth keeps climbing, it probably won't be long til everyone is badmouthing the bible and picking up stones to kill little girls. Percentage. Not just population. Percentage.Theirs goes up and that means everyone elses, as a single group called 'kaffir' goes down. Think about it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I am hear if you want to talk about the Book of Hosea

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