Does Bible say anywhere that if a woman was raped, she needs to marry the one who raped her? One LGBT activist just told me that.

The only verse that come to my memory is

If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife (Exo 22:16, NIV)

but "seduces" here doesn't seem to be same as "rapes".

Is there any other verse saying that if a woman was raped, she needs to marry the one who raped her?

  • I thought that was part of Hinduism and not Christianity. – Grasper Oct 26 '15 at 19:23
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    Deu. 22:28 – user900 Oct 26 '15 at 19:36
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    As per @H3br3wHamm3r81, the activist is probably referring to Deuteronomy 22:28. As such, see Is Deuteronomy 22:28 talking about rape? on BH.SE. – ThaddeusB Oct 26 '15 at 19:58
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a verse search question. – curiousdannii Oct 26 '15 at 21:31
  • hermeneutics.stackexchange.com would be a great place to ask the differences between seduce and rape in this verse. – The Freemason Oct 28 '15 at 19:44

Here is an answer extracted and expanded from my article, Is Sex Before Marriage Forbidden in the Bible?

If a man raped a woman who was pledged to be married, he was subject to the death penalty, while the woman was not to be punished at all:

But if the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. You shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has not committed an offense punishable by death, because this case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor. Since he found her in the open country, the engaged woman may have cried for help, but there was no one to rescue her. (Deuteronomy 22:25–27).

What if the woman was neither married nor pledged to be married?

In that society, it was assumed that an unmarried woman (who wasn't a prostitute) would not allow a man to have sex with her, because the consequences for her would be catastrophic. So if an unmarried man did have sex with an unmarried woman, unless there was some proof otherwise, it was considered rape, and the man was to be punished for it—but not by the death penalty:

If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are caught in the act, the man who lay with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the young woman’s father, and she shall become his wife. Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives. (Deuteronomy 22:28–29)

In other words, the man was subject to a large fine payable to the woman's father (which was basically a bride price) and to the ancient Hebrew equivalent of a shotgun wedding, from which he could not escape through divorce.

So it could be said that "the woman needs to marry the one who raped her," but that's not how it is framed in the Bible. Rather, the rapist was required to marry the woman.

This was based on a very different social order than exists in the West today. In ancient times, an unmarried woman who was not a virgin was subject to the death penalty if she married and it was discovered that she was not a virgin (see Deuteronomy 22:13-21).

The requirement that a rapist marry the woman he raped if she was not married or engaged to be married, as horrible as it seems by today's standards, was actually intended as a protection of the woman. It required the man who took her virginity to become her husband, and thus make her an honorable woman in the eyes of society, as well as requiring him to support her and her children for the rest of his life. It deprived him of the right he would otherwise have, under the law of Moses, to divorce her if he found her displeasing.

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    It also extended protection to the whole family. If a woman was ineligible to collect a dowry due to said rape this had ramifications to the entire family outside of just her individual affairs and it could prevent a sibling from being able to marry because he would then be unable to afford a dowry himself, a woman might never marry as a result of the rape and then have no children to care for her in her old age, or her fathers estate could be ruined by the financial loss. – James Shewey Oct 26 '15 at 21:04
  • There are passages that address rape, then there are passages that address consensual sex outside of marriage. The woman is not spoken of as the transgressors just as Adam was guilty off he first sin when it was actually Eve who transgressed. The passage is not saying that if a man forces himself on a women he should Marry her, it is saying that if the 2 come together I.E. If the man takes her, then he should pay the father (custom) and take her as his wife. Then as now, people coming together was not always done in a timely way but the consequences especially on the woman were greater. – Marc Oct 30 '15 at 8:19
  • @Marc The two different Hebrew words translated "seize" in Deuteronomy 22:25 and Deuteronomy 22:28 both have the sense of taking by force. The word used in Deuteronomy 22:28, where the subject is seizing and lying with a virgin, has an even stronger sense of force and violation than the word used in Deuteronomy 22:25. – Lee Woofenden Oct 30 '15 at 16:44
  • @LeeWoofenden Read the context,one is forced and one is not, one must die and one must marry.Read also Gen 34: where the actions defile the victim the context is clear. The limitations of a 4800 hebrew vocabulary is a challenge. Look at 2 sam 13, to see the difference between being forced and the request before hand, the same hebrew words are used in the request prior to the forcing and rape. How else would the writers handle a situation where concentual sex is at hand, it is the father of the bride who has the authority to arrange a more suitable partner then she might choose for herself. – Marc Oct 30 '15 at 17:11
  • @LeeWoofenden Words have different meanings – Marc Oct 30 '15 at 17:19

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