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God's Law; Your daughters

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posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 01:11 PM

where is the justice, mercy and equality in them? ...women were suddenly garbage, controlled, degraded, even stoned to death, as opposed to being shunned or punished in another way? Why does God not begin teaching right there to correct that?

I think these laws are beginning that process. But you can't expect change suddenly, overnight. Cultural change doesn't happen like that. You don't expect the infants' class to grasp the equations of Einstein. It should not be a surprise that the people of four thousand years ago do not quickly learn to think like people of the twenty-first century.

Displaying a young girl's underwear for all to see? How totally controlling, degrading and humiliating no matter at what historic period it happened

Only in theory, because it would only happen if a man was insane enough to make a false charge and take the vicious penalties which would be applied when he was proved wrong. In practice, I argued in the OP, as long as the evidence was known to exist, it would never need to be used.

And you are in danger of looking at this with modern sensibilities. In some societies which the world has known, women would be shocked at the idea of allowing a photograoh to be taken. What? Allow some stranger to capture your soul and imprison it on paper so that a magician can use it against you? Yet you probably accept the need to have Photo ID without feeling any qualms at all. Modern women often expose their breasts, older generations of women would have been horrified. If the taking of this "evidence" was the standard custom, the young women of the time would have thought nothing of it.

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 01:23 PM

Hey, are you gonna write a thread called "God's Law; Your Husband" or "God's Law; Your Sons"?

Yes, I have written a thread under the title of "God's Law; Your Sons"; it is on my hard drive now ready for publication as the next in the series. I have already put up another thread on the relation between husbands and wives, but chose to call it "Your Wife". I am trying to cover all the various social/criminal laws as topics which can be squeezed within a 7500 character limit.

Or do Christians harbour misogynist fantasies about the "good old days"

You are missing the point about the argument in the OP.
My case was not that society ought to be patriarchal.
My case was that Israelite society began as patriarchal, because that's what people were in those days, but that these laws are beginning the process of moving away from that.
I pointed out various areas in which women were being offered protection by these laws, in ways which were at least an improvement on what would have existed without them.

Sure, nobody has to read it but even the title is an endless reminder of the inequality.

Is this giving away the fact that you did not read the OP beyond the title?
That would explain why you missed the point of the argument.

edit on 1-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 01:26 PM

Nothing to do with murder, stoning, even slavery or control of another person depicts God, just some very bad intentioned evil people who wrote that, and I'm not even going into texts of that nature to see what the metaphors might be. Evil wrote that.

Instead of going for the stark choice of "either good or evil wrote it", consider the possibilty that this material has a mixed source; partly the "hardness of heart" of human thoughts, and partly the "leaven" of the way God was trying to change them.

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 01:44 PM

Wait a minute! The Israelites came out of Egypt. They weren't stoning people in ancient Egypt!

" Methods of execution included beheading, sacrifice, and drowning in the Nile in a closed sack."

It seems to me that the Israelite culture went backwards for the worse, not forward for the better.

In all these threads, I've been looking up the comparable laws in the Code of Hammurabi.
For whatever reason, it looks as though the cultural affinities of ancient Israel are more with Mesopotamia than with Egypt.

On husbands and wives, for example, i found these;

129. If a man's wife be surprised (in flagrante delicto) with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the water, but the husband may pardon his wife and the king his slave.
131. If a man bring a charge against one's wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an oath and then may return to her house.
132. If the "finger is pointed" at a man's wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband.

Code of Hammurabi

Their chosen method is throwing people into the river rather than stoning, but surely that's just a question of which method is more convenient under local circumstances. The Israelites did not have the luxury of being able to deal with people by throwing them into huge rivers.
edit on 1-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 09:04 PM
reply to post by Holographicmeat

Nobody put a gun to my head.

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 09:26 PM


Chance? Seems like God could have come up with a better idea than that.

It's not just a question of what God could "come up with", but also of what ideas the people of the time could be willing and able to take on board.
And even an escape route dependant upon tossing a coin gives a woman better chances than having no escape route at all.
These laws don't have to be perfect to be an improvement on what would have been there otherwise.

I thought God was supposed to protect the innocent. Being God, he should have been able to make perfect laws and enforce them.

posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by Pauligirl

I addressed this line of argument in the second post of the thread, because I knew somebody would be falling back on it sooner or later.
I can refer you back to that second post, but I suppose I had better re-post a condensed version.

Putting it briefly, you are a zapper. Let me explain...

"This provides me with a very accessible analogy for the way God approaches the question of giving laws to the people of Israel.
He behaves like a teacher.

A good teacher is always conscious of the capabilities and limitations of his pupils, and he tries to give them teaching at the appropriate level.
He talks to them in terms which they will be able to understand, and sets out to improve their understanding in gradual ways.
If their reading abilities have taken them to the end of the first of the “Janet and John” books, then he offers them the second book.
If their mathematical skills have taken them as far as adding up and “taking away”, then he might begin showing them how to multiply and divide.
What he’s not going to do is start scribbling Einstein’s equations on the blackboard.
Teaching is not about “zapping” people with instantaneous advanced knowledge (except in science fiction stories).
It is the slow and patient work of gradual training.

We find a similar patience in the way the God of Israel deals with his people.
Thus his intention for marriage was that “a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh” (Genesis ch2 v23).
Yet in the Old Testament laws he accepts, for the time being, the practice of divorce, which Jesus blames on “the hardness of their hearts” (Matthew ch19 v8).
And why does God allow them to fall short of the intended standard?
Because their minds are not yet ready for the intended standard.
They are still in training.

He finds this people living in a very patriarchal society, like all the other societies of the time.
Whatever he thinks about this, he does not try to change it at a stroke.
He modifies their behaviour gradually, beginning with mild restraints on the husband’s power.
He finds them loving their brothers and other kinsmen and encourages them to treat the rest of the nation in the same way.
However, they are not yet ready to extend the concept of “brothers” to the world at large, so that part of the training is postponed for a later stage.

In short, what we see in the laws of the Old Testament, and in the overall history of the Old Testament, is the slow and patient work of gradual training.
God does not “zap”. He teaches.

When modern critics are assailing the laws and the culture of the Old Testament, this is precisely what they are complaining about.
They don’t think God should have been giving his people this patient teaching.
They think he should have “zapped” them , instantly, to a state of spiritual maturity comparable to their own.
If they had been in God’s place (and they would certainly have done the job better) they would have “zapped”.

The God of the Old Testament is much more patient than they are.
He finds his people at the “cuh-ah-tuh-CAT” level of spiritual education, and he lifts them gradually.
A lot of work will be required before they can reach the kind of spiritual heights from which these critics can look down haughtily at the junior versions of themselves.
The fact that God is willing to undertake this slow and patient work is very revealing.
It shows us that God is a teacher."

I just observe that he teaches rather than "zaps".
I won't try to explain or justify this approach, any more than I try to explain or justfy "the problem of evil".
I just accept that I don't have enough experience as a Creator of worlds to know how to do things better.

edit on 2-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 09:30 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

He finds this people living in a very patriarchal society, like all the other societies of the time.

And how did they get to be a very patriarchal society? Who let it happen?

posted on Mar, 3 2014 @ 12:38 PM
reply to post by Pauligirl

Societies in general had that tendancy, at the time when he picked out this one and began working with it.
Like taking an orphan out of the children's home and beginning to clean him up (this metaphor is partly borrowed from Ezekiel ch16 vv1-14).

posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 01:49 AM

reply to post by Pauligirl

Societies in general had that tendancy, at the time when he picked out this one and began working with it.

Yes, I know that societies in general had that tendency. That's why I asked the question, "Who let it happen? "

In reality, it doesn't really matter. We'll never agree, so I'll quit wasting your time.

posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 04:05 PM
reply to post by Pauligirl

No, we would not agree, because this is really an aspect of the old unresolvable "problem of evil" issue.
The Biblical answer would be that society had developed that way because of the "fallen nature" of humanity.
Your question implies the assumption that it should not have been allowed to develop in that direction, that a perfect God should not have allowed fallen human nature to exist, but should have operated by micro-management to ensure that humans never did bad things.
The answer, by observation, would be that he apparently does not work that way, and perhaps the reality of a perfect God does not actually conform to your private definition of what a perfect God ought to be doing.
And there is no way of getting beyond that.

edit on 4-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 03:55 PM
I looked in the Code of Hammurabi, as usual, and this seemed to be the only law relevant to these subjects;

Code of Hammurabi
130. If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father's house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.

So the death-penalty for the rape of a betrothed woman is common to both sets of laws.
However, I could see NO law in the Babylonian code treating the rape of an unbetrothed woman as an offence of any kind.
So the Israeilte law offers a protection to the unbetrothed woman which appears not to be available in Babylonian law.

posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 04:21 PM
My next post on this thread may be quotable when the charge that "the law provides the death-penalty for victims of rape" is being brought up.
That's how I plan to use it, anyway.

posted on Mar, 6 2014 @ 04:23 PM
I made these comments in the thread on God's law; Your daughters

"I’ve seen people on these boards claim that the laws of the O.T. applied the death penalty to the victims of rape.
That claim is simply not true, and I will demonstrate the point by a brief outline summary of what the laws do say on the subject.

Firstly, on the point of principle, the law states clearly that a woman who has been raped is to be understood as a victim of unjust violence, just like a person who has been murdered;
“For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbour” - Deuteronomy ch22 v26

The man who rapes a woman is to be penalised, according to the marital status of the woman.
If the woman is betrothed, then the act was also adultery, and he will suffer the death-penalty that goes with adultery- Deuteronomy ch22 vv22-24

If the woman was not already betrothed, then the penalty will be a financial one.
The act of rape has made her unmarriageable, since any prospective husband will be expecting a virgin.
This raises the possibility that she will be left without any means of support (unless she resorts to prostitution).
Therefore the rapist will be obliged to pay the bride-price, specified at fifty shekels of silver, and marry her himself.
Nor will he be allowed to divorce her afterwards- “He may not put her away all her days”
In other words, he will be committed to supporting her for life- Deuteronomy ch22 vv28-29

As for the woman; the woman who is not consenting to the act receives no penalty, as I’ve already observed;
“But to the young woman you shall do nothing…for this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbour”.
However, the betrothed woman who consents to the act, which means that it is not a genuine act of rape, is considered to have committed adultery, so she suffers the same death penalty which would apply if she were already married.

In these laws, therefore, there is a clear intention to penalise those women who DO consent (to what is regarded as an act of adultery) and NOT to penalise those who DON’T consent.

So criticism has to be focussed on the criteria which are being used to distinguish between consent and non-consent.
The rule of thumb is to ask if the event took place in the city or in the open country.
If the event took place in the open country, there is an automatic presumption that the woman was non-consenting- “though the young woman cried for help, there was no-one to rescue her”. Deuteronomy ch22 vv25-27

But if the couple were found in the city, then her claim to be non-consenting faces the awkward fact that she could have called for help and did not do so.
It should be remembered that these are not modern cities; with children, slaves, and neighbours all over the place, besides the young woman’s mother, it can’t have been easy to find a woman on her own unless she wanted to be found.

So the provision of the death-penalty, in the latter case, is based on the assumption that “If a woman cries for help in the city, help will always be available”.
In my opinion, this would have been a perfectly reasonable assumption in the social conditions of the time.
That is the important point.
Obviously it would not be a safe assumption to make in modern cities, but these law-makers were not legislating for modern cities.
If similar laws are applied in modern states, under different social conditions, in such a way that innocent women are penalised, that is the fault of the modern states themselves, and should not be blamed on the law-makers of the Old Testament."

posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 03:56 AM
Yeah having to marry your rapist is much better.....

....this 'god'....this 'teacher' is pretty barbaric and debased laws to barbaric and debased people......good job buddy!

posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 09:10 AM
reply to post by DISRAELI

1stly If I, for the sake of argument, take the position that the bible is an infallible text that explicitly details a set historical story, then I must concur with the OPs premise that God allows this because of "the hardness of our hearts" (read as we won't accept Gods bribes otherwise and then Satan wins therefor God is dealing with us instead of with Satan as we are the lesser of two [d]evils ... we fell remember etc and this is our chance to ARISE)!

God works in 'mysterious' ways AND they had very hard hearts back then (see costs below for conformation of just how hard)!

2ndly I was very interested what 50 shekels of silver (aka a woman's virginity) was worth back then and it seems that a single shekel of silver weighed about 11grams and 3000 Shekels equaled 1 Talent and 1 Talent of silver was equal to about 20 years wages!


The Talent of Money
In the New Testament, the term "talent" meant something very different than it does today. The talents Jesus Christ spoke of in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35) and the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) referred to the largest unit of currency at the time.
Thus, a talent represented a rather large sum of money. According to New Nave's Topical Bible, one who possessed five talents of gold or silver was a multimillionaire by today's standards. Some calculate the talent in the parables to be equivalent to 20 years of wages for the common worker. Other scholars estimate more conservatively, valuing the New Testament talent somewhere between $1,000 to $30,000 dollars today.

Therefor, taking those figures at face value (i.e. 11g of silver per Shekel and 1 Talent of silver [3000 shekels] per 20 years average wages) means 1 years wages = 150 shekels of silver and at 11grams per shekel that equals 1650 grams [1.65kg] of silver ... of which 1/3rd [0.55kg] goes to the victim/wife family patriarch ... and then he must further support her as he would his normal wife.

Weights and Measures

To relate that to something we can understand I shall be using the median average income for males in the USA for the year 2007 ($45,113 rounded down to $45,000 for convenience).

Household income in the United States

The real median earnings of men who worked full-time, year-round climbed between 2006 and 2007, from $43,460 to $45,113 (about 3.6 times minimum wage in 2006 to 3.7 times minimum wage in 2007).

So 1/3rd [50/150 shekels of silver] is comparatively worth $15,000 and that is what the victims virginity is worth to her family.

This is NOT small change and shows the true, if but morally objectionable, financial value of her tragic deflowering.

$15,000 in today's silver at 70c per gram rounded up for convenience from today's spot price of 69c in USD is equal to just shy of 21.5kg of silver [21,428.5g].

Note: The above back of the envelope equation doesn't take into consideration her upkeep cost for the rest of her life (presumably 50% of creepy rapist husbands income for the rest of his life).

Deeply note also ... that he can not put her away (aka divorce her) for any reason and this subtly implies that she can take a lover of her own choosing and he can't do squat about that because the community knows he is creepy rapey bastard husband and they would simply allow it in her favor.

Basically the schmuck who sins with his schmeckle will get fined 50 silver shekels!

God works in mysterious ways and he has a very hard heart when it comes to some things [look what he did to Pharoh]!

Obviously it would not be a safe assumption to make in modern cities, but these law-makers were not legislating for modern cities.
If similar laws are applied in modern states, under different social conditions, in such a way that innocent women are penalized, that is the fault of the modern states themselves, and should not be blamed on the law-makers of the Old Testament."

Now God entrusts nations to be governed correctly by the kings, who are divinely appointed but can go astray as the following parable [plus the examples of the sins of Saul, David and Solomon] shows ...

Matthew 25:14-30 (New International Version)

Matthew 25:14-30
New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Bags of Gold 14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
a.Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.

So when the rulers of the state enact sinful oppressive laws that devalue women from their full fertility and marriage rights, God will exact justice upon those wayward servants ... may mercy hold her tongue when the day of judgement comes upon such sinners.

Modern Kings like Putin and Obama are not exempt from these rules IF the Apocalypse happens!

It is hard to have faith that God installed these ahem fine examples of demons as our divinely appointed leaders but IT behooves us to look at ourselves! Let he who is WITHOUT sin cast the first stone!

I am not a Christian but I do have faith in God and the Grace of God!

May the Grace of God be with everybody in this thread, Amen!

posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by ZonedOut

Thank you for those comments.
I don't think, though, that my premise needs to depend on the assumption that the Bible is an infallible text. In fact one of the merits of my approach, I believe, is that it's workable even if the text contains elements of human fallibility, might even help to account for the mixture of elements.

Those calculations about the value of the shekel are interesting. It's difficult to be accurate, because there are signs of different systems of measurement (there is "a shekel of the merchants" and "a shekel of the temple"). The bride-price could not be set excessively high, or else nobody would ever have got married, but it still reflects a high valuation of the woman.

Incidentally, the assumption that "no divorce" means the woman can take lovers with complete freedom is invalid, because the penalty for adultery was death, not divorce.

edit on 7-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 12:28 PM
reply to post by Prezbo369

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 don't claim that these laws are perfect.
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".

posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 12:33 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

Thank you very much for your reply!

I also thank you for clearing up the issue [that I muddied] of adultery and divorce.

Again God works in 'mysterious' ways and its the hardness of our own hearts that holds us back from progressing towards him and his grace.

I wonder if a comparison between ancient and modern fines and penalties for rape would shed any light on how far we have risen or fallen in terms of justice since ancient times?

posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by ZonedOut

Well, since they didn't use imprisonment as a punishment, they didn't really have many options to work with.
In modern times, stories have been coming out of Muslim countries like Iran saying that victims of rape are being given the death penalty, and feminist criticism is tarring these laws with the same brush. It's a complete misinterpretation, as far as the intention of these laws is concerned.

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