Question:

So in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 it says "If a man finds a girl, a virgin not engaged, and lays hold on her, and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife. Because he has humbled her, he may not put her away all his Days" That verse doesn't make sense, is God saying that if a girl gets raped then she should she marry the rapist? Please explain.


Answer:

There are two passages that need to be considered together in order to get a compete picture of what the Old Law taught.

"If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins" (Exodus 22:16-17).

"If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days" (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).

Neither passage deals directly with rape. A situation is described where a man has sex with a woman who is unmarried, not engaged, and has not engaged in sex with anyone else. The act of sex between the couple could have been willingly done or unwillingly done. Willingly done, it would have been an act of fornication. Unwillingly done, it would have been an act of rape. In either case, the man must pay the woman's father a dowry of 50 shekels of silver. A dowry is money or things given to the woman's parents for the privilege of marrying their daughter. The man was expected to marry the woman, unless the woman's father absolutely refused. One would assume that in the case of rape, the father of the woman would rather throw the the man out on his ear than to let him marry his daughter. But if his daughter was committing fornication with a man because she thought she was "in love" with him, then he might agree to the marriage and force the couple to do what was right. In addition to the required marriage, the man lost any rights to divorce his wife. Even if the father refused to allow his daughter to marry the man, the man still had to pay the dowry.

Thank you for clearing that up for me.