Women Considered Property of Men
In the Law of Moses, given by Yahweh a man may give his wife a bill of divorce if he is dissatisfied with her, but the same is NOT true if a wife finds dissatisfaction with her husband, she is bound to her husband for life since she is his property. The woman was purchased by the man from the woman’s father who owned her in the first place. There was no voice given to a woman who suffered abuse at the hands of her husband, because she had no say over her own life or body. This once again typifies the treatment of women in most patriarchal societies showing that the authors of the Bible and their god were no different. The nature of man perfectly matches the nature of god which can be seen in the Old Testament and carried over into the New Testament by the apostle Paul.
Deut. 24:1-2 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.
Rom.7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
1Cor.7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
Once again, as I have pointed out there is a double standard prevalent throughout the entire Bible with issues pertaining to women.
- Men could choose their wives/ women were sold to men for wives.
- Men could have multiple wives and concubines/ women could have one husband.
- Men could divorce their wives at will/ women were bound to their husbands for as long as their husbands lived.
- Men could marry virgins they raped/ women were sold to their abusers.
In the Bible women were considered property, which gave the man the right to buy and sell them at will. This once again confirms the fact that the “God-given” hierarchical order of the Bible is one of inequality, and bias creating a system that favors one gender over the other, thus establishing an imbalance found nowhere else in the natural animal-kingdom. The only place in all of the animal-kingdom that male suppression and oppression of the female is found is in the human species where the male dominates and subjugates the female, keeping her from realizing her full potential. The Bible actually establishes this domination of women as a “god-given” rule of the hierarchical order of the Hebrew society, proving the innate inequality, imbalance, and bias of that system.
The Bible says that its god anointed David to be king over Israel by delivering King Saul into his hands, in doing so he also gave unto David, Saul’s house and his wives. Apparently, David was not satisfied with the Lords gifts and desired the beautiful wife of Uriah who was a captain in David’s army. David sent Uriah out into the front lines assuring his death, and then took his wife Bathsheba and committed adultery with her. Well, this did not set well with Yahweh, so as punishment the Lord told David he was going to take the wives of Saul that he had previously given him and give them to his neighbor to rape.
2Sam.12:7-11 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
Talk about women being used as property, this passage takes the cake, those poor women were passed around like party treats. Not only did Yahweh consider Saul’s wives as “war booty” to be given to David, but then the same wives were used a second time by giving them to David’s neighbor to rape as punishment for his sins…yikes!
If that is not bad enough the revelation of just who David’s neighbor was will stun you…it was none other than his very own son Absalom!
2 Sam.16:21-22 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
So, not only does Yahweh cause Absalom to break the seventh commandment by committing adultery, but he also causes him to break the law of sleeping with your fathers wife, not to mention rape…triple yikes!
Lev.18:8 The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.
Not only does this story exemplify the use of women as property and pawns to be used at will, but it also reiterates the extreme male-bias of the Bible and the fact that its god is indeed a respecter of persons. Not only was David exonerated from receiving the death penalty for causing the death of Uriah, and committing adultery, but his first born son by Bathsheba bore the punishment in his place by being stricken with a sickness and dying after seven days of suffering. This truly reveals the vengeful and immoral nature of god, which only exemplifies his human qualities.
2Sam.12:13-17 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died…
This striking down of David’s son is not only immoral, but violates the commandment given by god that says the sins of the father shall not be passed down upon the son.
Ezek.18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Judah and Tamar
The story of Judah and Tamar is another example of the extreme male bias contained in the Bible. After Judah’s son is slain by God for spilling his seed on the ground, his wife Tamar is promised by Judah according to the law to marry his other son Shelah when he comes of age. So, Tamar goes to reside in her father in-laws (Judah’s) house until she can be wed. In the process of time Judah’s wife dies, so he goes up to a friend’s house to stay and be comforted. Meanwhile Tamar sees that Judah’s son Shelah is grown and she is not given to him to wed as promised, so she takes matters into her own hands; sheds her widow’s garments and goes to find Judah. On her journey to find Judah she sits herself by the road wrapped in a veil near the place where she knows Judah to be and waits for him. In time Judah walks by, but he does not recognize her because of her veil; taking her for a harlot he requests to come in unto her. She concedes under the conditions that he promises her a goat which he pledges he will by giving her his ring, bracelet and staff in earnest; then he goes into her and she conceives…Tamar leaves and again puts on her widows garments. A short while later Judah tries to find the harlot to make good on the goat he promised to give her, but she is nowhere to be found. Three months down road word gets back to Judah that the harlot he is looking for is none other than Tamar his daughter in-law and she is with child by her whoredom. In his fury, Judah demands that she be burnt for her crime of harlotry! When Tamar is brought before Judah he demands to know whose child she is carrying…she brings forth the items that were pledged, a ring, bracelet and staff. She then asks Judah to discern who these items belong to? Immediately Judah recognizes the ring, bracelet and staff as his own, thus he repents to her and says that she is more righteous than him, because he did not keep his promise to her in the marriage of his son Shelah.
Gen.38:11-26 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house. And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand: but he found her not. Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place. And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff. And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
The important point I would like to focus on in this story is the double standard we see throughout Scripture, what is a capital offense for a woman doesn’t even warrant a reprimand from God for a man. Over, and over again women are treated as nothing more than a mans property, and this is promoted as the will of Yahweh. If one views the Bible as a compilation of the ideas of men then it’s not so surprising to find male bias as a prominent theme, but if it is held to be the word of god problems become plentiful, because then the reader is given no choice but to conclude that the Biblegod intentionally planned for women to be abused by men and treated unequally. An all knowing god would have absolutely known the outcome of his decrees and would have had complete power to manipulate them in anyway whatsoever he chose, that is why it is inconceivable to believe that the god portrayed in the pages of the Bible is anything other than the fabrication of men who patterned him after themselves.
It is incomprehensible to imagine that a deity capable of creating the universe would involve himself in arbitrary and petty matters such as is found in the Bible. The untold suffering that has been caused by the skewed male bias of the Bible, imposed on women as being the authoritative divine word of god must be confronted and exposed. For far to long women have suffered in silence believing what that have been told by men, instead of using their own intelligence and realizing how illogical it would be for a truly loving god to give a male based book directed at and completely focused on men, to women. The supposed god who created both male and female would know that the women he made are not the same as men and thus should have a book that is female based and directed at and focused on women. If it talks like a male, and thinks like a male it probably is a male. Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about an omnipotent divine being, is realizing that he knows the consequences that every decree and edict will cause. A good case of a single biblical verse being the cause of tremendous suffering and death is found in Exodus.
Exo. 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
This solitary verse, consisting of eight words in English, was the cause of the deaths and torture of hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of women at the hands of men when they were accused of being witches. A true, all knowing, loving god would have never allowed such a verse to remain in a book containing his laws knowing full well the immense, needless suffering it would cause.