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Numbers 31: Rape Or Slavery?


h3lix
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I've looked through some teen-bibles and paraphrased bibles to see what they had to say about Numbers 31.

 

The first paraphrased the slaughter of Midian this way (not exact words):

The Isrealites killed the Midianites, including the women because they were also evil. But they did not kill the virgin girls or children.

 

The passage clearly states that they did in fact kill the male children (because they were going to grow up and be evil?)

 

Another teen paraphrase had this terrifying sidebar:

"God often used the Isrealites to carry out his vengeance, but that doesn't mean He is going to ask you to strap on kevlar and take some hand grenades to do his justice, even though that might sound cool."

 

I googled around and found this article, which says that the claim that the Isrealites "kept for themselves" the virgin women to rape them was baseless. The article also said that they kept the virgin women alive so they could be servants/slaves.

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/586

 

Why did they not keep the male children to also use as servants? If the non-virgin women were so evil, being responsible for their corruption, why were they prejudiced against the male children, who never had a chance to grow up to be good or bad, and not the females?

 

Complaining about Jehovah’s order to destroy innocent children is a vain gesture when one realizes that the children were spared an even worse fate of being reared as slaves under the domination of sin. Instead of having to endure the scourge of a life of immorality and wickedness, these innocents were ushered early into the bliss of Paradise. If the male children had been allowed to mature, they most likely would have followed the pagan ways of their forefathers, and eventually would have taken vengeance on the Israelites. Killing the males not only prevented them from falling into the same abominable sins as their parents, but also kept Israel from having to battle them later.

 

That last statement shows severe cowardice on the side of the Isrealites. So they wouldn't have to battle them later?

 

 

What do you think?

Did they really keep the virgin children for sexual purposes?

 

Edit: now that I think about it, I should have probably posted this in the colosseum.

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Before we get into rape vs slavery, let's mention the G-word: GENOCIDE.

 

Ok, now that that's out of the way, what were slaves often used for? I think the kind term is "house slave"...

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Before we get into rape vs slavery, let's mention the G-word: GENOCIDE.

 

That's true. Many times throughout the bible, God decides to kill an entire race of people he doesn't like.

 

Whether it was rape or slavery, it was something God wanted to happen. Many times throughout the OT, God punished the Isrealites for actions he didn't like and blessed them for actions he did like. The rest of this chapter shows them counting the spoils of war, and since all good things come from God, this was a blessing.

 

So what did God want, rape or slavery of virgin girls?

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That's a good question. Who exactly ordered this to happen? A prophet or whatever? How did they know what God wanted?

 

 

You guys are walking on glass shards here, because verse like this are used in muslim proproganda to say that Israelites (Israelis) still believe and practice this. So be warned, the past isn't the present, and this happened thousands of years ago.

 

Now look at the islamic terrorists who claim to be killing in the name of God. Do you see similiarites between the savage and barbariac practices of thousands of years ago and the slaughter of women and children today on there part?

 

Just food for thought.

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Moses ordered this to happen when the LORD told him to do it, so yes and yes.

 

The LORD said to Moses, "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people."

Numbers 31:1-2

 

I've never seen any muslim propaganda, so I wouldn't know.

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Guest Shiva H. Vishnu
You guys are walking on glass shards here, because verse like this are used in muslim proproganda to say that Israelites (Israelis) still believe and practice this. So be warned, the past isn't the present, and this happened thousands of years ago.

 

What? Glass shards? We should be careful because muslims use OT scriptures in their propaganda? What are you trying to say? Could you please elaborate?

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Guest Shiva H. Vishnu

It's just something Muslims use to paint a bad picture of Jews. They use the OT sometimes to say "This is what Jews believe"

 

 

You gave us a warning that the past isn't the present. Do you think anyone here doesn't know that? You remind us that the scripture in question represents something that happened thousands of years ago. Exactly who is it that you think didn't know that? You say that muslims use it to paint a bad picture of Jews. Exactly who here do you believe is influenced by muslim propaganda? Exactly who here do you think brings up OT scriptures to make the jews look bad? Why did you feel the need to step in and warn us off behavior that you obviously, fearfully and unnecessarily feel could possibly be harmful to the jews?

 

Take the day off, man. The jews are doing just fine without you.

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i think in thier culture it was common when conquering a nation to totally destroy its network to prevent them from regrouping and attacking again. hence kill the little boys so they don't grow up. kill the breeding women so they don't reproduce and brainwash thier children to hate them. save the virgins because they can be best assimilated into the society.

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Why did they not keep the male children to also use as servants? If the non-virgin women were so evil, being responsible for their corruption, why were they prejudiced against the male children, who never had a chance to grow up to be good or bad, and not the females?

They wanted them dead so they couldn't fight. But you're right. A slave population of strong males would be good workers if you ask me.

 

The following quote really gets me:

Complaining about Jehovah’s order to destroy innocent children is a vain gesture when one realizes that the children were spared an even worse fate of being reared as slaves under the domination of sin. Instead of having to endure the scourge of a life of immorality and wickedness, these innocents were ushered early into the bliss of Paradise. If the male children had been allowed to mature, they most likely would have followed the pagan ways of their forefathers, and eventually would have taken vengeance on the Israelites. Killing the males not only prevented them from falling into the same abominable sins as their parents, but also kept Israel from having to battle them later.

So it's better to just kill them and let them go to "Paradise" then let them live here in "sin." So why is it that xians just refuse to drink the damn kool-aid and go to heaven? Kill those babies and yourselves and go? You're justifying it when you send others off to see jesus but not yourself? It's just so sickenly hypocritical. It makes me want to puke. Especially that last line. Not only won't they sin again (praise god!)...oh but Israel won't have to fight them later either. Argh! Barf!

 

The Midians show up again later in the bible (in Judges?) so the genocide tactic obviously didn't work out.

 

What do you think?

Did they really keep the virgin children for sexual purposes?

Well, someone was going to have to eventually have sex with them I would think. I guess they figured they'd just fall in love and marry? Not likely in this time period. So it was sex (polygamy was okay depending on the time period) or sell them off. So I'm sure some got raped (it also depends on how you define rape...is marrying an 11 or 12 year old if she doesn't want to and having sex with her rape? Not by their standards).

 

mwc

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Hey, freeday, do you think genocide is wrong?

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i think in thier culture it was common when conquering a nation to totally destroy its network to prevent them from regrouping and attacking again. hence kill the little boys so they don't grow up. kill the breeding women so they don't reproduce and brainwash thier children to hate them. save the virgins because they can be best assimilated into the society.

 

 

Why can't you just admit that the israelites left the virgins alive so they could force them to be concubines. This was a common practice in this day. Besides, it seems weird for you to justify the genocide and THEN try to pretend the rape never happened. Like somehow the genocide was OK in context but rape still wouldn't be. If your contention is that rape is worse than destroying an entire nation. then you have some freaky screwed up morals

 

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard the old statement "the victors write the history books"? Your wanted to claim the bible is perfect, but when I read passages like this I just see propaganda and retoric. We don't hear from the loosers because they are all dead, but if we did hear from them I bet they had a very different take on the destruction of their society.

 

The isrealites destory a enitre civilazation and then say "hey these people were evil they deserved it" Admit it, if this was any other document you would call these people on this. These people were likely not NEARLY as evil as the bible portrays them. This kind of stuff is no better than the propaganda the Nazis spewed at the jews durring WW2

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i think in thier culture it was common when conquering a nation to totally destroy its network to prevent them from regrouping and attacking again. hence kill the little boys so they don't grow up. kill the breeding women so they don't reproduce and brainwash thier children to hate them. save the virgins because they can be best assimilated into the society.

 

So...wait. They were worried the little boys would grow up and regroup so they killed them. :Hmm:

 

Get real. If they were truly worried about "regrouping at a later date" they would have killed the little girls too.

 

Oh? What's that? The little girls wouldn't have done such a thing? Why? Because they are girls? By having them as slaves and servants for menial work around their houses, these girls would grow up in the perfect place to exact cruel revenge on their conquerers by killing the household while they slept.

 

You want to tell me that these households of israelites had NOTHING to worry about from the conquered and enslaved women conspiring around the public well to kill the members of the houses they were enslaved to on the same night and then escape together into the dark?

 

This is exactly the kind of gender bias that could have gotten the israelites wiped out. But then....if the girls were just kept for extensive rape, and then killed either from exhaustion or because her holder has tired of her, that significantly reduces the number of allies and conspirators the tiny handful of scattered survivors would have....and then these few girls could be forced into concubine-hood and slavery in a few homes.

 

The idea that all the little virgin girls were kept to just be little doorway sweeping happy little slaves with the admiration and respect of their masters who would come to love them so much as to effectively adopt them and provide a dowery for their marriage.....take off the Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood glasses! If that happened, it was the exception, not the rule. Read some real history to get an idea of what happened to people captured as spoils of war.

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i think in thier culture it was common when conquering a nation to totally destroy its network to prevent them from regrouping and attacking again. hence kill the little boys so they don't grow up. kill the breeding women so they don't reproduce and brainwash thier children to hate them. save the virgins because they can be best assimilated into the society.

 

So...wait. They were worried the little boys would grow up and regroup so they killed them. :Hmm:

 

Get real. If they were truly worried about "regrouping at a later date" they would have killed the little girls too.

 

Oh? What's that? The little girls wouldn't have done such a thing? Why? Because they are girls? By having them as slaves and servants for menial work around their houses, these girls would grow up in the perfect place to exact cruel revenge on their conquerers by killing the household while they slept.

 

You want to tell me that these households of israelites had NOTHING to worry about from the conquered and enslaved women conspiring around the public well to kill the members of the houses they were enslaved to on the same night and then escape together into the dark?

 

This is exactly the kind of gender bias that could have gotten the israelites wiped out. But then....if the girls were just kept for extensive rape, and then killed either from exhaustion or because her holder has tired of her, that significantly reduces the number of allies and conspirators the tiny handful of scattered survivors would have....and then these few girls could be forced into concubine-hood and slavery in a few homes.

 

The idea that all the little virgin girls were kept to just be little doorway sweeping happy little slaves with the admiration and respect of their masters who would come to love them so much as to effectively adopt them and provide a dowery for their marriage.....take off the Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood glasses! If that happened, it was the exception, not the rule. Read some real history to get an idea of what happened to people captured as spoils of war.

 

what this boils down to is wether or not its ok to kill people just because they are different than you. if you say that killing the midianites was justified in any way, feel free to call up one of those terrorist networks and apologize for ever doubting them. what happened on 911 is the exact same thing as this. "you dont believe in our god, therefor you are a infidel and you must die."

 

you will see people justify this in many different ways. "these people were impure because of their beliefs and evil ways." sound familiar? hitler used the same kind of reasoning in his massacre of the jews.

 

another you will hear is "the boys were uncircumcised so they were impure. anyone who had sex with an uncircumcised penis was also impure. the only pure ones were ones who wernt dirtied by the penises..."

 

again that is forcing your beleifs on another and killing them because they believe somethign different. and all you should probably ignore people who say that.

 

christians believe that god never changes because he is perfect. so god is all loving and he will kill you out of love, and send you to an eternity of firey screaming agony because he loves you.

 

"i love you... so i have to kill you"

 

suprisingly i started a topic much like this in the collisium or however you spell it.

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"i love you... so i have to kill you"

This song popped in my head when I read that:

 

Enigma

 

(Curly M.C./David Fairstein)

.

I see love, I can see passion

I feel danger, I feel obsession

Don't play games with the ones who love you

Cause I hear a voice who says:

I love you... I'll kill you...

.

Loneliness, I feel loneliness in my room...

.

Look into the mirror of your soul

Love and hate are one in all

Sacrifice turns to revenge and believe me

You'll see the face who'll say:

I love you... I'll kill you...

But I'll love you forever

.

Loneliness, I feel loneliness in my room...

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Well, someone was going to have to eventually have sex with them I would think. I guess they figured they'd just fall in love and marry? Not likely in this time period. So it was sex (polygamy was okay depending on the time period) or sell them off. So I'm sure some got raped (it also depends on how you define rape...is marrying an 11 or 12 year old if she doesn't want to and having sex with her rape? Not by their standards).

 

mwc

 

Imagine this situation: You're a virgin girl and terrorists justified by God come into your city/neighborhood and slaughter your parents, brothers (even babies) and sisters who have had sex.

Would you find yourself falling in love with these people and eventually wanting to marry them?

(BTW, in the article was a reference to the bible where it said the Isrealites weren't allowed to marry Midianites)

For what reason do you think the terrorists would have decided to keep you alive?

 

I think sexual intercourse, and due to their ages, child molestation, can be implied.

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Well, someone was going to have to eventually have sex with them I would think. I guess they figured they'd just fall in love and marry? Not likely in this time period. So it was sex (polygamy was okay depending on the time period) or sell them off. So I'm sure some got raped (it also depends on how you define rape...is marrying an 11 or 12 year old if she doesn't want to and having sex with her rape? Not by their standards).

 

mwc

 

Imagine this situation: You're a virgin girl and terrorists justified by God come into your city/neighborhood and slaughter your parents, brothers (even babies) and sisters who have had sex.

Would you find yourself falling in love with these people and eventually wanting to marry them?

(BTW, in the article was a reference to the bible where it said the Isrealites weren't allowed to marry Midianites)

Every ounce of me wants to say that they wouldn't fall in love with them. But, then again, there is what is referred to as the Stockholm Syndrome, or capture-bonding.

 

According to the psychoanalytic view of the syndrome, the tendency might well be the result of employing the strategy evolved by newborn babies to form an emotional attachment to the nearest powerful adult in order to maximize the probability that this adult will enable - at the very least - the survival of the child, if not also prove to be a good parental figure. This syndrome is considered a prime example for the defense mechanism of identification.
From here.

 

What is very ironic is that when you look at people that cling to an authoritative, violent god, you can recognize this syndrome in them. Although it is not a real capturer(?), the mind doesn't know the difference between what is real and what is not. The mind and body react to thoughts and beliefs as if they were real.

 

Did these people understand this when they took these girls? Maybe not at first, but I bet they figured it out.

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these innocents were ushered early into the bliss of Paradise

Where does it say that in the Bible?

 

did they really keep the virgin children for sexual purposes?

 

If they did, it would not been unlawful to do so according to Deuteronomy 21:10-14. Rape of non-Isrealite women is justified.

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Imagine this situation: You're a virgin girl and terrorists justified by God come into your city/neighborhood and slaughter your parents, brothers (even babies) and sisters who have had sex.

Would you find yourself falling in love with these people and eventually wanting to marry them?

(BTW, in the article was a reference to the bible where it said the Isrealites weren't allowed to marry Midianites)

For what reason do you think the terrorists would have decided to keep you alive?

 

I think sexual intercourse, and due to their ages, child molestation, can be implied.

I'm sorry, I was trying to be period specific. The problem is that there is no period to tie this to so it's just a huge guess (basically what I'm saying is I don't believe that any of this happened, since the Israelites came from Canaan and not Egypt and much later, but I do believe that events like this did happen).

 

So, when one village/people took another in such a fashion, yes, I think they took and raped the women. They forcably married some. Killed others. Sold others. They killed, enslaved and sold the men as well. It was just good business/politics.

 

As for marrying Midianites, well, if Moses even existed (I don't believe he did), he was married to one since his father-in-law was Midianite (obviously the rule came later).

 

Also, the thing about child molestation doesn't really apply because people back then simply didn't see it the same way. We, of course, do but our standards don't matter do they? If they do, then you're right. However, people have done all sorts of strange things to kids that we would easily call molestation that they would not (stories of masturbating young children to climax just to watch their reactions come to mind...sort of how some people get their pets drunk). But I don't want to turn this into what really constitutes molestation or not. That could get quite twisted very quickly as you could see.

 

I really think the story came about as a way to stop people from marrying outside their own race. They show how much better they are than those around them and how much their god is than those other gods, so why would you go outside your own to one of those lesser things? Since the story gets retold so many times the Israelites apparently don't catch on very easily.

 

mwc

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However, people have done all sorts of strange things to kids that we would easily call molestation that they would not (stories of masturbating young children to climax just to watch their reactions come to mind...sort of how some people get their pets drunk). But I don't want to turn this into what really constitutes molestation or not. That could get quite twisted very quickly as you could see.

 

Is that in the bible?

 

 

If a christian didn't know you were talking about biblical history and you asked him/her if rape would have been implied if a commander told his army to kill everyone except the virgin girls, whom you will keep for yourselves, I'm pretty sure he/she would say yes.

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Is that in the bible?

No. Didn't mean to imply it was. It was something I came across a few a years back and stored in the back of my mind under the "strange/perverse" category. Don't recall exactly where I'd read it though (I want to say it was medival but I could most definately be wrong). My point was just that people have done some very strange things to kids and not seen them as wrong. Just look how Victorians used to dress up kids as little adults (and treat them that way). We see it as the wrong thing to do now but they saw no problem with it. Our culteral bias gets in the way when we look back on them.

 

If a christian didn't know you were talking about biblical history and you asked him/her if rape would have been implied if a commander told his army to kill everyone except the virgin girls, whom you will keep for yourselves, I'm pretty sure he/she would say yes.

I agree. The need to protect the personal "belief" is stronger than the need to be honest with the reality of what we personally feel is right and wrong. A culteral bias is one thing but when you have a perfect moral code from "god" then there is no question as to the answer. If it's wrong now then it was wrong then...otherwise it's still alright to do today and that's simply abhorant.

 

mwc

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Considering the kings of the day, including David (God's favorite) and Solomon had HUNDREDS of wives and sex slaves, it was probably common practice to bang away on the captured virgin daughters of your enemies as a spoil of war. Women throughout the old testament are regarded as property, so it's pretty hard to believe they wouldn't have their way with them.

 

We had a Jewish apologist on this site once who claimed that in this passage it means the head of the household took the virgin daughters under their wing (after slaughtering their entire family) and raised them as their own daughters, lovingly. Neither slave nor concubine.

 

I had a good laugh at that one.

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Not to swerve from the discussion of morality, but I think it's a safe bet these stories amount to nothing more than bragging and exageration centuries after the fact. Possibly the Isrealites came out ahead during a raid a few generations ago and the tale grew in the telling, finally morphing into complete domination by the time they were set down.

 

The Egyptians and Assyrians are known to have done the same thing. One of the earliest non-biblical references to the Isrealites that we have is a bit of braggadocio from Egypt, reporting that they had defeated Isreal and "their seed is no more." I would suspect that these stories of the Isrealite genocides of competing tribes are nothing more than chest beating a century after the fact.

 

Of course, that's kind of sick in it's own right.

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i think in thier culture it was common when conquering a nation to totally destroy its network to prevent them from regrouping and attacking again. hence kill the little boys so they don't grow up. kill the breeding women so they don't reproduce and brainwash thier children to hate them. save the virgins because they can be best assimilated into the society.

 

So...wait. They were worried the little boys would grow up and regroup so they killed them. :Hmm:

 

Get real. If they were truly worried about "regrouping at a later date" they would have killed the little girls too.

 

Oh? What's that? The little girls wouldn't have done such a thing? Why? Because they are girls? By having them as slaves and servants for menial work around their houses, these girls would grow up in the perfect place to exact cruel revenge on their conquerers by killing the household while they slept.

 

You want to tell me that these households of israelites had NOTHING to worry about from the conquered and enslaved women conspiring around the public well to kill the members of the houses they were enslaved to on the same night and then escape together into the dark?

 

This is exactly the kind of gender bias that could have gotten the israelites wiped out. But then....if the girls were just kept for extensive rape, and then killed either from exhaustion or because her holder has tired of her, that significantly reduces the number of allies and conspirators the tiny handful of scattered survivors would have....and then these few girls could be forced into concubine-hood and slavery in a few homes.

 

The idea that all the little virgin girls were kept to just be little doorway sweeping happy little slaves with the admiration and respect of their masters who would come to love them so much as to effectively adopt them and provide a dowery for their marriage.....take off the Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood glasses! If that happened, it was the exception, not the rule. Read some real history to get an idea of what happened to people captured as spoils of war.

 

hold on now, were did the hostility come from. who knows what they did to the girls, probably raped them, treated them harshly and killed them. but in that culture, when they concured people, they would do everything possible to ensure that the nation would not reform. that was all i was trying to say.

 

 

Not to swerve from the discussion of morality, but I think it's a safe bet these stories amount to nothing more than bragging and exageration centuries after the fact. Possibly the Isrealites came out ahead during a raid a few generations ago and the tale grew in the telling, finally morphing into complete domination by the time they were set down.

 

The Egyptians and Assyrians are known to have done the same thing. One of the earliest non-biblical references to the Isrealites that we have is a bit of braggadocio from Egypt, reporting that they had defeated Isreal and "their seed is no more." I would suspect that these stories of the Isrealite genocides of competing tribes are nothing more than chest beating a century after the fact.

 

Of course, that's kind of sick in it's own right.

 

i am not sure to say that it was a tale that grew into something more. but in that culture, when nations fought, they felt it was almost a fight between the God's of the nations. so if isreal won, the win was attributed to thier God. if they lost, it was because they had displeased God. if you read the OT, this theme will arise a lot.

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hold on now, were did the hostility come from. who knows what they did to the girls, probably raped them, treated them harshly and killed them. but in that culture, when they concured people, they would do everything possible to ensure that the nation would not reform. that was all i was trying to say.

 

But this was all commanded by God! It has been shown several times throughout the Old Testament that when the Isrealites did something that God did not like, they were usually struck with famine, plague, or whatever other forms the wrath of God would take. If they raped the (most likely) pre-teen virgin girls, then God approved! In the next few chapters, God never punishes them for this; in fact, he rewards them with all of the spoils of war laid out in this chapter (since all good things come from God).

We're talking about a God who approves and even rewards rape, but kills 70,000 people because King David calls for a census!

 

i am not sure to say that it was a tale that grew into something more. but in that culture, when nations fought, they felt it was almost a fight between the God's of the nations. so if isreal won, the win was attributed to thier God. if they lost, it was because they had displeased God. if you read the OT, this theme will arise a lot.

 

When they won, God rewarded and was thanked for their genocide. To reiterate my previous point, this didn't anger God because He never punished them for it.

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