What was the punishment for rape according to the Mosaic Law?

Please explain according to Scripture what the laws were to the Israelites.

Your thoughts...


You notice it says in Deut. 22:24..."for the reason that she did NOT SCREAM"...Explain that please...

11 Answers

  • Elijah
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Bible offers counsel on what one should do when threatened with rape. What the Law says on the matter is found at Deuteronomy 22:23-27. This covers two situations. In the first case, a man found a young woman in a city and lay down with her. Even so, the woman did not scream or cry for help. Consequently, it was determined that she was guilty “for the reason that she did not scream in the city.” If she had cried out, people nearby might have been able to come to her rescue. In the second instance, a man found a young woman in the countryside, where he “grabbed hold of her and lay down with her.” In defense, the woman “screamed, but there was no one to rescue her.” Unlike the woman in the first instance, this woman clearly did not give in to the actions of the attacker. She actively resisted him, crying for help, but she was overpowered. Her screaming proved that she was an unwilling victim; she was not guilty of wrongdoing.

    Although Christians today are no longer under the Mosaic Law, the principles that are mentioned provide them with guidance. The above account underscores the importance of resisting and screaming for help. Screaming when threatened with rape is still viewed as a practical course. As one expert on crime prevention stated: “If a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her lungs.”

    Even in the sad case where a woman is overpowered and raped, her struggle and screaming for help is not in vain. On the contrary, it establishes that she did all she possibly could to resist her attacker. (Deuteronomy 22:26) Despite going through this ordeal, she can still have an undefiled conscience, self-respect, and the assurance that she is clean in God’s eyes. The horrifying experience might leave her with emotional wounds, but knowing that she did all she could to resist the attack will greatly contribute to her gradual healing.

    In understanding the application of Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we must realize that this brief account does not cover all possible situations. For example, it does not comment on the situation where the attacked woman cannot scream because she is mute, unconscious, or paralyzed with fear or is forcibly prevented from screaming by a hand or tape over her mouth. However, since Jehovah God is able to weigh all factors, including motives, He deals with understanding and justice in such cases, for “all his ways are justice.” (Deuteronomy 32:4) He is aware of what actually took place and of the efforts the victim put forth to fight off her attacker. Therefore, a victim who was unable to scream but otherwise did all she could under the circumstances can leave matters in Jehovah God's hands.—Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7.

    Source(s): 2/1/03 Watchtower
  • 9 years ago

    See Deuteronomy 22:22-29. Basically, it depends on whether the woman who was raped was married (or engaged), or not, because this determines whose property she is. If she was married then the man is put to death. Though if the incident took place with a town, so that she could have screamed for help (the author seems to be unaware that rapists sometimes terrorise their victims into silence) she was also put to death. In the case of a virgin who was not betrothed, then the rape effectively means that the woman was no longer marriageable, so the rapist paid the father 50 shekels in compensation and had to marry the woman. Clearly the woman's feelings in this matter were of no consequence, as she was only a woman. (Not my view, obviously, just that of the people at the time.)

  • 9 years ago

    Deuteronomy chapter 22. There it states: “In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die.” Why would the girl have died under that Law covenant? The scripture continues: “The girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city.” If she did not make the effort to scream, she was viewed as consenting to fornication. But if the woman screamed and resisted and nonetheless was overpowered, then she was not guilty of complicity: “The girl . . . screamed, but there was no one to rescue her.”—Deut. 22:23-27.

  • Linda
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Deut 22:23-29 the Mosaic Law penalty was death according to Gods Words, if a man found a women and laid down with both were to be taken outside the gates of the city and pelted to death with stones, and if engaged to a women and another man laid down with then also put to death, so today it also is not good in Gods eyesight.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • J
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The rape of a Married woman:

    --- If the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. You shall do nothing to the young woman;

    The rape of an unmarried virgin:

    --- If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are caught in the act, the man who lay with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the young woman's father, and she shall become his wife. Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

    In the case of the married woman, nothing can be done for the woman, however the man is punished.

    In the case of the unmarried virgin, since she has been made undesirable for marriage (which effectively means she loses her societal value), the rapist is forced to marry her, and provide for her, making sure she does not become destitute, and that she retains her dignity and respect in the community.

    And he has to pay her father a set dowry.

  • 4 years ago

    Do you people even comprehend the regulation approximately rape in the Jewish lifestyle? whilst they talk of "cry out" in the city, they do no longer advise she has to yell out loud the entire time. If a guy have been retaining a knife to her throat telling her to close up, needless to say she is going to no longer yell. What they advise is that if she would not checklist it appropriate away, would not say something to all and sundry till lo and behold 5 months later the female gets a abdomen packed with infant ... after which says "oh nicely, some guy raped me". all of us comprehend that that is probable no longer real, she's responsible of being a slut.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Well, stoning to death for both the victim and the perpetrator if it happens in the city:

    Deu 22:23 If a damsel [that is] a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

    Deu 22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, [being] in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

    Justice shall prevail!


    @J How convenient to omit the little tidbit above.

  • 9 years ago

    Rape is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse without the woman’s consent, effected by force, duress, intimidation, or deception as to the nature of the act.

    God warned of the consequences that would come upon Israel if the people disobeyed his law. He foretold that, besides suffering sicknesses and calamities, they would fall into the hands of their enemies, and he said: “You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape [form of sha‧ghal′] her.” (De 28:30) This took place when, because of their disobedience, God removed his protection from the nation, and the pagan enemies overran their cities. (Compare Zec 14:2.) Babylon was also foretold to suffer such treatment, which occurred when it fell to the Medes and Persians. (Isa 13:1, 16) According to the Law, such would not happen to nations subjugated by Israel, for the soldiers were forbidden to have sexual relations during a military campaign.—1Sa 21:5; 2Sa 11:6-11.

    A case of multiple rape in the city of Gibeah of Benjamin in the days of the Judges set off a chain of events in retribution, which resulted in nearly wiping out the tribe of Benjamin. Good-for-nothing men in the city, perverted in sex desires, demanded to have sex relations with a Levite visitor. Instead of submitting, he gave them his concubine who had previously committed fornication against him. The men abused her all night until she died. The Hebrew term ʽa‧nah′, rendered “rape” in this account, also has the meanings “afflict,” “humiliate,” and “oppress.”—Jg chaps 19, 20.

    King David’s son Amnon forcibly violated his half sister Tamar, for which Tamar’s brother Absalom brought about his death. (2Sa 13:1-18) When the scheming Haman the Agagite was exposed before the Persian king Ahasuerus for his treachery against the Jews, and especially against Ahasuerus’ queen, Esther, the king was enraged. Knowing that he could expect no mercy from the king, Haman in desperation fell down upon the couch where Esther was lying, pleading with her. When the king reentered the room, he saw Haman there and cried out: “Is there also to be a raping of the queen, with me in the house?” Immediately he sentenced Haman to death. The sentence was carried out, and evidently afterward Haman was hanged on the stake that had been erected by Haman for the hanging of Esther’s cousin Mordecai. (Es 7:1-10) In the record of the king’s statement (Es 7:8) the Hebrew word ka‧vash′ is used; it means “subdue, subject” (Ge 1:28; Jer 34:16) but can also mean “rape.”

    Under the Law, if an engaged girl committed fornication with another man, both she and the man were to be put to death. But if the girl screamed for help, this was taken as proof of her innocence. The man was put to death for his sin in which he forced her, and the girl was exonerated.—De 22:23-27.

    Source(s): insight on the scriptures
  • CJlove
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    If she was a virgin, the man was stoned, If she was not betrothed, she had to marry him, usually the fathers gave them to the first man who wanted the daughter. If they didn't marry soon and had a child they were still considered a prostitute, even tho the laws said they were innocent. Society made the girls outcasts.

    Africa still follows these laws and many of the young girls, are forced into marriages if they are lucky, even tho they don't want to marry their rapist, this is girls as young as 3, if they don't marry their rapist they usually end up as prostitutes. The same as in ancient Isreal.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I believe women who were raped had to marry their rapists. Actually, it seems like ancient laws punished rape victims, not rapists.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.