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Yes, it was better than what would have happened otherwise.
You must be immeasurably cruel and heartless if you would have preferred the woman to experience destitution and/or prostitution, which were the most probable alternatives in the social conditions of the time.
That's why, in the OP, I listed this law as one of the laws which were contributing towards the protection of women.
I claim that they are an improvement on previous conditions.
It's just a question of having enough imagination to grasp the concept of "gradual improvement".
And you should ask a few rape victims wheres or not a forced life of marriage to your childhood rapist is preferable to a life of prostitution, destitution or even death....
What?? imperfect laws from a imperfect law giver??? blasphemy!!
Right....so slow and so gradual that it's absolutely and utterly indistinguishable to there being no 'influence' from anyone or anything whatsoever
No, I'm not convinced that many real people of that era would choose prostitution, destitution, and death, for the sake of an abstract principle based upon twenty-first century sensibilities.
Given a genuine choice, they would probably prefer to live, and they would not thank you for choosing death on their behalf.
They are imperfect because of the human element in them. I have been saying that all along. "Hardness of heart".
Anything that wards off the prospect of prostitution, destitution, and death, is a very detectable improvement over prostitution, destitution, and death.
So that's a start.
but you really should ask a rape victim...
It would have to be someone living in the circumstances of the time, in the social conditions of 1000 B.C., and facing up to the reality of choice between prostitution, destitution and death, on the one hand, or being supported for life on the other.
Anyone not facing the reality of that choice is theorising, like the rest of us.
But I credit the people of the time with normal human reactions, and the normal human reaction, when it comes to the crunch, is that very few things are genuinely judged as "worse than death".
Fortunately I wasn't setting out to prove that point.
The true objective was more modest (see opening paragraph of OP).
The premise that the laws were published in the name of the Biblical God is simply taken as the starting point for studying through what follows; "In that case, what do they say about him?"
reply to post by WarminIndy
Thank you for adding more detail to the brief observation I made in the OP on some customs being simlar to those of other peoples.
We should not be afraid to recognise early Israel as a mixed group; what it means is that even in the beginning they were really a "faith community", to an extent which gets obscured when the common descent claim is taken over-literally.
I should point out, though, that the Gileadites were technically part of the twelve tribes of Israel. Gilead was the territory occupied by the tribes on the east of Jordan, namely Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh.