There is a destructive movement afoot within the visible evangelical church at large, and within the Southern Baptist Convention in particular, to subvert the conscience and faith of the saints and pervert the Gospel with what are properly known as neo-Marxian Critical Theories. Jemar Tisby - a false teacher endorsed and propagated by SBC elitists - name this the "woke church" movement. "Woke" is just a moniker used to describe the deliberate deconstruction of objective truth, history, and orthodox Christianity. The tenets of this "wokeness" can properly be called a neo-Marxist cultic movement. It's a heretical new Marxist religion that is forced upon us by names they claim we can trust. We are being deliberately deceived. Their judgment will be just.
One way in these false teachers and conspirators seek to tear down the faith is to deconstruct Scripture. They attack its historicity, doctrines, inspiration, infallibility, and sufficiency. They affirm the Bible, while at the same time they employ humanistic "tools" that rob it of its inherent authority and trustworthiness. It's an attack on God himself. Such individuals as Matt Chandler, David Platt, Matthew Hall, Curtis Woods, Walter Strickland, Jarvis Williams, Danny Akin, Russell Moore, Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker, Hannah Kate, Rachel Denhollander, Jemar Tisby, Dwight McKissic, Karen Swallow Prio, and others in our entities and seminaries are given prominence and a voice. They are there to destroy biblical truth and objective history either by complicity or active rebellion.
A common attack of theirs when it comes to Scripture is dismiss all of the writings of Paul [we will address that in another blog] and to find what they call "patriarchy" within its pages. Now, to be fair, patriarchy as biblically understood is an essential and noble aspect of manhood and the proper function of homes and churches. The way they interpret it however, is to read neo-Marxian Critical Social Justice constructs into the text. They claim a secret knowledge - also known as heresy of 'gnosticism' - that these theories impart to understand Scripture. Their goal is to destroy it's reliability and truth, and replace it with a narrative of their own creation. In short, it is idolatry and they want you to go along for the ride.
Another common attack they employ is to attack King David as rapist and in the process claim that Scripture -ergo God himself - condones rape. This is not only an outworking of Critical Social Justice, but also Critical Feminist Theory and Critical Gender Theory. This blog addresses that illogical, unbiblical, and dangerous movement to create a distrust in God's justice and the clear meaning of the text. This blog will not be popular with #BigEva, woke SBC elites, Critical Feminist deconstructionists, or Critical Social Justice “victim hood” class activists, but it will be biblical. That should be our goals as Christians:
The story they reference is found in 2 Samuel 11 - with the adulterous relationship of David and Bathsheba, the consequential pregnancy, and the murder of Bathsheba's husband Uriah - and the resultant rebuke of David by the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12. To understand we're going to go back to Deuteronomy 22 and look at a few other texts to help clarify how we should understand and refute their blasphemous insertions into God's word.
- Deut 22:22 sets the context for 22:23-30 for purging the evil of adultery from Israel:
“If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. “If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her. “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days. “A man shall not take his father's wife, so that he does not uncover his father's nakedness." (Deut 22:22-30)
The passage flows like this:
- 22:23-24 a betrothed virgin willingly commits adultery with a man - both are put to death. Why? The act is immoral, betrays the covenant, and is consensual.
- 22:25-27 a betrothed virgin is violently assaulted [“seized” - והחזיק ] by a man
1) he alone is guilty for the violence and the adultery: Why?
a) the violation was equal to adultery, but then magnified by the violence [והחזיק] of the act;
b) in this context, rape is considered equal to murder under the Law. Rape is one thing. Raping a betrothed woman did violence not only to her, but also to the covenant. והחזיק the only term used to describe a violent forcible act that would be considered rape. This is the ONLY word used where biblical rape is described. This is important to remember.
- 22:28-29 A single non-betrothed woman who is insistently and seductively manipulated for sex [“seized” -ותפשׂה} had no recourse for marriage in the ANE. She was considered defiled. No man would marry her. While definitely an immoral act of violating her purity - he wore her down till he got what he wanted - it is not considered an attack or act of rape by God’s Word. The choice of translators in using the same English word to translate two different terms with differing emphasis is unfortunate to say the least. ותפשׂה ׂdoes not connote the idea of physical force or assault. It is used of Potiphar’s wife [Gen 39:12] when she insistently tried to wear down Joseph’s resolve for purity. The virgin of 22:28-29 while not physically forced or assaulted, was wore down to the point that she gave an extracted consent.
Further points to consider:
- Like 22:23-24, but unlike 25:25-27, 22:28-29 “they are found”.
- Unlike 22:23-24 and 22:25-27, 22:28-29 the language of ‘shrieking’ or ‘cried for help’ is not used.
- This Law reflected God’s concern for single women who would get pressured for the selfish sexual pleasure of men, then get discarded pregnant or not. That concern was just as much a part of life then as it is today. The difference is that there were consequences for such behavior then, and up to a few decades ago, that in large part have been intentionally deteriorated in our culture today.
- Men were less likely to commit such behavior if they knew they would have to marry. To protect her and any resulting children, the man is forced to pay a fine to the father and marry her. He is not permitted to divorce her all the days of her life. The expectation was that he would treat her mercifully and provide for her. Any man who did not take this seriously was considered unclean and his worship not acceptable to God. Note: Scripture only applies this if both individuals were in the covenant.
- The irresponsible man-child’s and hook-up culture of our day leaves women alone with the burden of being devalued and dehumanized, and with children. Into this void in our day, steps the Malthusian eugenics of Planned Parenthood to further victimize them and make them culpable of murder.
- Henceforth, the assertion that the bible made raped women marry their rapists is categorically false. It is a flat out lie, and it's proponents know it. They just don't care because it's not a part of their agenda to subvert the truth.
Now, this brings up an interesting question from the text: how is rape like murder and should the death penalty still apply? There are two requirements - both of which deserve the death penalty - in Deut 22:25-27:
- 1st, the rapist committed adultery by sexually assaulting a betrothed woman.
- 2nd, the act of והחזיק itself is compared to an act of murdering one’s neighbor. The violence act itself is considered to be morally on par with murder.
Let’s consider Scriptures' use of the term for actual rape that I noted earlier with two other texts - Genesis 34:1-7 and 2 Samuel 13:10-22. Both of these use והחזיק to describe the forcible assault of Dinah and Tamar. Death in both instances is the consequence for the offender:
- Gen 34:1-7 with Dinah it was her brothers who exacted justice. Dinah was raped by Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite [not a Jew]. He found her pleasing after the rape, and wanted to marry her. His motivation we find in the text was to rape her, marry her, and then acquire Jacob's wealth through the marriage. Very wicked and cynical. He wanted to pay a huge sum to make it happen.
- What does this have to do with the deconstruction of David and Bathsheba? In Gen 34:24-29, after tricking Hamor [Shechem’s father], Shechem, and the whole city of males, Jacob's sons and servants killed every man in the city in retribution for the rape of their sister. After this occurred, the Brothers were asked question, "Why did you do this?" Their answer is simple in 34:31, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?” Paying a price for a woman who is raped to marry her is considered an act of prostitution. This means that in 2 Samuel 22:28-29, Bathsheba was not raped. The language was not the same, the term והחזיק is not used, and the consequence of death for the sin was not called for. Instead, we find Nathan explicitly condemning David for adultery and murder, telling him death was the judgment, David repenting, his life being spared, but his house being taken from him for a time and bloodshed plaguing his rule. God is just.
-Now, a passage just after David's sin with Bathsheba may help to solidify והחזיק even further as the only term used for actual rape. In 2 Samuel 13 we find David's daughter Tamar raped [ והחזיק ] by her brother Amnon, Amnon loathing her and rejecting her out of disgust for what he just did [but no repentance], and then Absalom and his brothers execute Amnon for that sin. The death penalty is applied here and Gen 34 as proscribed in Deut 22:25-26. Such cannot be said of 2 Samuel 11-12 because rape did not occur. Just a note, Bathsheba does sorrow over the consequences of her sin: in 2 Samuel 11:5 she tells David she's pregnant from their adultery, then in 11:26-27 she mourns the death of her husband. Given the context, she was mourning Uriah and the consequence of her sin. How do I know? There is no record of her being called to repent. This doesn't she's innocent. It alludes to the fact that she had already done it.
With all of these things being clearly understand by the actual Hebrew syntax and the context of the same word and it's specific application, we can conclude that Scripture is consistent with God’s moral nature, that rape is punishable by death, and that it is explicitly labeled as such when it does occur. Therefore, David did not rape Bathsheba.
Soli Deo Gloria,