Excellent! I love honesty. I get quite disgusted when folks try to "defend" the Bible by denying what it plainly states.
Originally Posted by throwback
But as for your request that we who see the biblical value of women as similar to that of livestock should "hush" - I cannot yet remain silent on this point. There seems to be plenty of evidence that suggests a strong overlap of the concepts of "women" and "property." Perhaps I am wrong and you will correct me. Consider the Tenth Commandment:
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house [property], thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife [not property?], nor his manservant [property], nor his maidservant [property], nor his ox [property], nor his ass [property], nor any thing that is thy neighbour's [property].EVERY ITEM listed in the Tenth Commandment is the "property" of the male "neighbor." This commandment doesn't even apply to women because they don't have "wives."
Likewise, consider this law which stipulates a father must be financially compensated for his "lost property" if a man rapes his daughter:
Deuteronomy 22:28 "If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, 29 "then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.But what about the woman who was forcibly "SEIZED" (raped)? How is it that she is sentenced to a life of servitude to her rapist? This law does not treat her like a human being at all. The fact that the woman is treated as property is confirmed by the fact that the penalty of rape depends upon who owns the woman!
Deut 22:23 A man who rapes a betrothed virgin would be killed.
Deut 22:28 A man who rapes an unbetrothed virgin would be fined fifty shekels.
The implications are perfectly clear. The penalty is based on who OWNS the woman! [Note: Some folks have argued that this was not a rape, but rather a seduction resulting in consensual sex. We discussed this in the thread called Are some laws of the Bible immoral?.]
Another case when women were classed along with cattle is seen when the 32,000 young virgins were listed along with all the other war "booty" (an unfortunate pun in this case):
Numbers 31:31 So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses. 32 The booty remaining from the plunder, which the men of war had taken, was six hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep, 33 seventy-two thousand cattle, 34 sixty-one thousand donkeys, 35 and thirty-two thousand persons in all, of women who had not known a man intimately. 36 And the half, the portion for those who had gone out to war, was in number three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep; 37 and the LORD's tribute of the sheep was six hundred and seventy-five. 38 The cattle were thirty-six thousand, of which the LORD's tribute was seventy-two. 39 The donkeys were thirty thousand five hundred, of which the LORD's tribute was sixty-one. So there it is - the women are listed right along with the sheep, cattle, and donkeys.
It's not for no reason that the Jewish men would pray every morning "I think thee O Lord that you have not made me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman."