Deuteronomy 21: 10-14 - The Beautiful Captive Woman

Pearl Elman

Abstract


Anti-rape legislation is a pressing issue. Deuteronomy 21:10-14 contains what appears to be an ancient form of anti-rape legislation. The author examines the way in which the biblical provision was interpreted by post-biblical commentaries and halakhic sources. The Talmud Yerushalmi and the Talmud Bavli disagree on various issues concerning the captive woman, including the timing and the location of intercourse between the captor and the captive. The Yerushalmi clearly was against the rape of a captive woman at war, while the Bavli was primarily concerned with the threat of theological pollution posed by a foreign woman.

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