The Old Testament has brought us many great things – most of which escape me right now, so I’ll just focus on rape. I thusly present a countdown of the five best rape scenes to feature in the Bible.
5. The Sodomites attempt to sodomise some angels
This is a great story, but I’m forced to rank it only at five as the rape is only threatened and not actually carried out. What’s so great about this scene it’s a duo of angels who are threatened with a good old-fashioned gang-rape. What makes this story even better is the way in which the hero tries to appease the attackers. Let’s just say he shouldn’t be expecting a Father of the Year mug any time soon…
We join our heroes after God has decided to destroy the city of Sodom. A pair of angels have arrived in Sodom to rescue Lot (nephew of Abraham) and his family. As the angels wait in Lot’s house, the men from the city gather outside his home…
(Oh, before reading on try to get your head around some of the language you’ll encounter in these Bible passages. Most notable is the use of ‘know’, though I’m sure you can figure that one out in the extract below. ‘Take for your own/wives’ is also an interesting euphemism I suppose. More interestingly are some of the chilling phrases used, but I’ll try to point these out.)
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. (Genesis 19:4-8)
Yep, Lot offered his two virgin daughters to the assemblage of sodomising Sodomites in an attempt to avert the buggery of the angels. I think the plea to “do ye to them as is good in your eyes” is particularly interesting given who he’s talking to. Seriously Lot, do you really need to encourage them? Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on whose side you’re on) this wasn’t enough to satiate the lustful appetite of the horny Sodomites, who were clearly hankerering for some hot angel ass. God came to the rescue however, strking the attackers blind and giving Lot, his family and the angels the chance to escape. For the record, this may be the only documented example of God averting, rather than supporting, rape.
Oh, we’ll be rejoining the dysfunctional family unit that is Lot and his daughters later in this list…
4. Moses pissed at non-raping soldiers
Moses, one of the most famous of the Old Testament prophets, was also a bit of a bastard. Well, if you take into account the extract below, he was a complete bastard. God had instructed Moses and his followers to attack and destroy Midian; which they did, killing all the men, burning all the villages, and capturing all the women and children. This wasn’t quite what Moses had in mind, however…
Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
“Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. (Numbers 31:13-18)
Ahhh, the old carrot and stick approach. That Moses knew how to lead. With one hand he chastised his men and gave them more work, with the other he gave them virgins to rape.
3. “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards”
Murder, pillage and rape seems to be a surprisingly common theme in the Old Testament – you know, the scriptures of the Lord intended to teach us the proper way to behave – but we all know how to do that! What we really need is some guidance for the difficult questions. Like, what if we were not able to capture enough women for our soldiers to have one each to rape, what would we do then? Does the Bible offer any advice? Of course it does…
The soldiers of the Lord invaded Jabesh-Gilead and did the usual thing like we’ve seen with the Midians – killing all the men, boys and women who’ve “known man”, while keeping the virgins for their “wives”. Unfortunately for the Israelites, there were only 400 young virgins in the whole of Jabesh-Gilead (which is still more than what you’ll find in my hometown) meaning some men were without wives. Solution?
Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;
And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.
And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them. (Judges 21:19-23)
Hmmm…the solution seems to be: “There’s an innocent village over there. If you hide out in the vineyard, waiting for the daughters of the villagers to come a-dancing and a-celebrating (at a feast in honour of God, I might add), you can simply take them for your own!”
What I really like about this is the response for when the fathers of the kidnapped daughters complain. It seems to be along the lines of: “Oh come on, give us a break. We promised these guys a virgin each, so just hook us up right? If you don’t, these guys won’t be getting their virgins and it’ll be all your fault. Do you want to explain that to these armed soldiers? No? Thought not…”
2. “Humble ye them”
This is strangely similar to the tale of Lot and the angels I included as number five in this list. For some reason, in this case, God choses not to intervene and the results are far, far nastier. Least of all because of the haunting phrase “humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you”.
A priest and his concubine were travelling in Gibeah where they stopped to spend the night in the house of an hospitable old man. As they were eating, drinking and making their hearts merry, the men of the city surrounded the house, beat at the door and demanded the old man release to them the priest so that they may ‘know’ him (waggle eyebrows knowingly). The hospitable old man doesn’t want anything bad to happen to his guest and so offers a (depressingly familiar) compromise…
Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.
And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.
Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.
But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. (Judges 19:22-25)
I find the euphemisms used in this passage beyond chilling. The concubine went through that hideous ordeal purely for the sake of saving the priests arse – you’d think he’d be sympathetic and grateful wouldn’t you? Nope. The story gets worse…
Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.
And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.
And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. (Judges 19:26-29)
Fucking hell. This woman was gang-raped to death over a night and then cut up into pieces by the priest. What the fuck is that all about? Why does that story tell us!? Mental. Ok, here’s a lesson you can learn from this: if you see a rape victim lying prostrate on your doorstep, try to say something more sensitive than “Up, and let us be going”.
1. Return of Lot (or: if you thought the last one was fucked-up, you aint seen nothing yet…)
Yes, Biblical rape gets even weirder as we return to Lot and his still-unspoilt daughters (no thanks to him) who are now hiding out together in a mountain. I should probably mention at this point that, shortly after the events in Sodom, God turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt. Just so you know.
And thus it is just Lot and his two daughters hiding out in the mountain with no other man or woman in sight. Now, I know what you’re thinking but this is the Bible – surely, Lot doesn’t rape his own daughters!? Well, actually no he doesn’t…
And Lot went up out of Zo’ar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zo’ar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. (Genesis 19:30-36)
And so Lot was raped by his own daughters. Deservedly number one, I think.