Hi. I’m Wes White and welcome to another program of Bible Q&A on cgi.org. We have a question from someone who says, “The 21st chapter of the book of Judges seems to condone rape. Is that the way you see it?”
Now, before we answer this, we’ve got to stress that rape is a horrible, heinous crime and sometimes people seem to minimize its damage. Even some Christians.
There are so many women out there who have been sexually abused who suffer emotional damage-- long after the actual crime was committed against them. And sometimes people say ridiculous things to a rape victim about how she should get over it or she needs to forgive or she needs to quit thinking about it.
No. This is horrible advice to give to a victim of sexual violence. But that’s another issue that we can talk about some other time. What we want to look at is Judges 21.
In this last chapter of the book of Judges, we see the anarchy that’s extant in the ancient nation of Israel. When we come on the scene, we see that the Israelites have just been involved in another bloody war. In chapter 20, the Israelites had just killed thousands of males from the small tribe of Benjamin—their own countrymen.
Then, in chapter 21--verse 1, they make this ridiculous vow about not allowing their daughters to marry anyone from that small tribe of Benjamin—putting the very existence of the tribe in danger. Three verses later, they then try to drag God into this bad situation by asking him—why is it that we are now lacking one of our tribes—the tribe of Benjamin who they just made a vow against? They brought this whole situation down on themselves thru their making of a rash vow.
So they then come up with this scheme to kidnap young women and force them into marriage in order to preserve the existence of the tribe of Benjamin.
Now, we’ve got to clearly understand that all of these actions in chapter 21 were neither done under God’s command nor were they done with God’s approval.
Judges 21 was a clear case of carnal men performing evil acts. And just because this incident was recorded in the Bible -- doesn’t mean that God wanted this done.
Did God allow this to happen? Yes, He did—just as he allows humanity to be evil today. It’s no different. Remember that every evil act done in the Bible is not because God is causing this evil—but because people are evil and they do evil things. They were evil back then and they are evil today.
All of this evil is happening because man rejected God in the beginning and rejects God to this day. As a result of man’s rejecting God, Satan is now the God of this world. It says so very clearly in II Cor 4:4.
Further, the Bible is very clear that rape is wrong. We find condemnation of rape even back in the early days of mankind in the book of Genesis. Read if for yourself in Genesis 34.
Then we have more specific condemnations of rape in Leviticus 15:16-18). And in Deuteronomy 22. Read these things for yourself.
You want more? How about duringthe time of Jesus? Remember that, whenever we look at the Bible (OT or NT), we’ve got to view it from the lens of it being an eastern Asiatic book of the Hebrew people. The Hebrew people during the time of Jesus would have considered rape as being sexually immoral. Jesus talks about sexual immorality in Matthew 5:32. The Greek word He uses in this passage is pornea which mean sexual uncleanness.
And rape is just one example of vile sexual uncleanness.
At cgi.org, we encourage you to read these Scriptures so you can see for yourself that rape is an invention of mankind. Rape is NOT something that God does not encourage.
Rape is a serious matter that is nothing to joke about. It needs to be fully understood by anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus.
Finally, evil things like rape are not going to continue in this world—this world that’s controlled by Satan. There is going to come a time when Jesus will return and set things right. He will eliminate the evil that’s in the hearts of men. There will be no more rape or other heinous crimes. Why don’t you ask us for information about the coming Kingdom of God on this earth? At cgi.org, we want to help you understand this great change that’s going to take place over the entire planet. At cgi.org, we pray for the healing of sexual abuse. And we pray for the healing of this world that will come at the return of Jesus.
We’ll see you next time on Bible Q&A at cgi.org. In the meantime, please keep reading your Bible. And please keep asking questions.