Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This book is the result of many years of labor and could not have reached this point without the support of many colleagues, friends, and family. It began one random weekday after a graduate seminar on Women in Genesis, when I declared to my advisor, “Tammi, God’s not there when the women are raped!” I owe a debt of gratitude to Tammi Schneider and Karen Torjesen at Claremont Graduate University, and Marvin Sweeney at Claremont School of Theology, for their guidance and skilled evaluation of my manuscript....

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1 Defining Rape

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pp. 1-32

There is no biblical Hebrew word for “rape.” The absence of God in the narrative rape scenes in Genesis 34, Judges 19, and 2 Samuel 13 combined with the lack of a definition for biblical rape inspired the genesis of this study. Rape scenes or imagery are present in several biblical books, and yet the majority of biblical scholarship does not consider them together. Some attempt to identify thematic links between two or three rape narratives, but the absence of a definition firmly rooted...

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2 The Levite’s Pîlegeš

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pp. 33-52

Toward the end of Judges, a Levite’s pîlegeš (often translated as “concubine”) is raped. In this chapter, we will unpack the text of Judges 19 first and then consider why biblical scholars overwhelmingly agree that this scene constitutes rape.
Throughout this chapter, I will avoid translating the term pîlegeš because the biblical text is unclear about what, exactly, a pîlegeš is, and so translating the term would cloud our interpretation of the rape scene.1In this story, the father of the pîlegeš is referred to as the...

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3 Tamar

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pp. 53-68

In the aftermath of the rape of the pîlegeš, we see some of the early formation of Israel in her eagerness for a king. The rape narratives of the pîlegeš and Tamar are closely connected through the monarchy; the first rape occurs before there is a king in Israel, but the second rape occurs after the monarchy has begun, which strongly suggests the new monarchical structure does not offer a solution but rather creates the same problems....

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4 The Four Elements of Biblical Rape

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pp. 69-102

In chapter 1, we asked the broad question, what isrape? After considering recent news events, popular media, ancient and modern laws, and scholarly definitions, we concluded that we do not have a consistent answer. In chapters 2 and 3, we unpacked Judges 19 and 2 Samuel 13, considering the reasons why biblical scholars unanimously agree the pîlegeš and Tamar are rape victims. As discussed in the previous two chapters, although scholars agree Judges 19 and 2 Samuel 13 constitute rape, they cannot agree on the same reason or number of reasons why....

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5 Dinah

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pp. 103-122

The Dinah narrative appears first in biblical book order of the three rape scenes, yet we are considering it last. As addressed in chapters 2 and 3, scholars unanimously agree that the Levite’s pîlegeš and Tamar are rape narratives. However, there has been some scholarly contention regarding whether Dinah’sstory isrape1or an illicit love story.2 Now that ourfour-part definition for biblicalrape hasreconfirmed that both the Levite’s pîlegeš and Tamar are raped, the following chapter...

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6 Bathsheba

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pp. 123-140

Now that we have established the pîlegeš, Tamar, and Dinah are raped, we can turn to the story of Bathsheba as a test case for the fourpart definition of biblical rape. The other three characters were indeed raped because of four elements in each pericope: the presence of at least one foreigner or outsider, the absence of the Israelite deity, and a persistent problem throughout each book that is resolved incorrectly. As we will see with the Bathsheba narrative, all four elements are...

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7 Implications for Biblical Rape

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pp. 141-152

To conclude this study, we will review how each of the three rape narratives fits the four-part definition of biblical rape and consider implications and future directions for biblical rape.
The first element of biblicalrape concernsthe presence of foreigners or outsiders. The presence of those outside Israel’s covenant with the Israelite deity underscores the poor choices the Israelites make repeatedly, as they turn to treaties, marriages, or worship of foreign idols...

Bibliography

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pp. 153-162

Index

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pp. 163-166