Rape in the Hebrew Bible

Fortress Press has published a book by Susanne Scholz titled Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible. Rape is one of those subject that some people are reluctant to discuss in public, but rape needs to be discussed because rape is a violation of a person’s body and a violation of a person’s right.

Forced sexual intercourse happens every day in our society, and it happened also in the land of the Bible. Sexual aggression against an individual is often committed on helpless and powerless women.

In her book Scholz deals with the legacy of acquaintance rape, such as the rape of Dinah and the incestuous rape of Tamar. She also deals with the rape of enslaved women such as Hagar, Bilhah, and Zilpah. Scholz’s book studies many other cases of rape in the Hebrew Bible.

Scholz also studies Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern laws dealing with rape, with a section of the laws in Deuteronomy.

In promoting the book, Fortress Press includes a blurb for the book: “Susanne Scholz asks how we may read the wide range of rape texts in biblical literature in order to find some redemptive meaning for women, children, and men who have been injured by sexual violence and by ‘cultures of rape.’”

I have read the introduction and the first chapter of the book. I will include this book to my reading list. I will probably not be able to read the remainder of the book until this Summer. When I finish reading Scholz’s book, I will write a post on the content of the book.

Fortress Press has made portions of the book available to the public in PDF format.

Read the Table of Contents here.

Read the Introduction here.

Read Chapter 1 here.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

This entry was posted in Hebrew Bible, Rape, Tamar and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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