Bible Society of South Africa

Rape is rape – Day 2

Bible text(s)

The Sinfulness of Sodom

1When the two angels came to Sodom that evening, Lot was sitting at the city gate. As soon as he saw them, he got up and went to meet them. He bowed down before them 2and said, “Sirs, I am here to serve you. Please come to my house. You can wash your feet and stay the night. In the morning you can get up early and go on your way.”

But they answered, “No, we will spend the night here in the city square.”

3He kept on urging them, and finally they went with him to his house. Lot ordered his servants to bake some bread and prepare a fine meal for the guests. When it was ready, they ate it.

4Before the guests went to bed, the men of Sodom surrounded the house. All the men of the city, both young and old, were there. 5They called out to Lot and asked, “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us!” The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with them.

6Lot went outside and closed the door behind him. 7He said to them, “Friends, I beg you, don't do such a wicked thing! 8Look, I have two daughters who are still virgins. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want with them. But don't do anything to these men; they are guests in my house, and I must protect them.”

9But they said, “Get out of our way, you foreigner! Who are you to tell us what to do? Out of our way, or we will treat you worse than them.” They pushed Lot back and moved up to break down the door. 10But the two men inside reached out, pulled Lot back into the house, and shut the door. 11Then they struck all the men outside with blindness, so that they couldn't find the door.

Lot Leaves Sodom

12The two men said to Lot, “If you have anyone else here — sons, daughters, sons-in-law, or any other relatives living in the city — get them out of here, 13because we are going to destroy this place. The LORD has heard the terrible accusations against these people and has sent us to destroy Sodom.”

14Then Lot went to the men that his daughters were going to marry, and said, “Hurry up and get out of here; the LORD is going to destroy this place.” But they thought he was joking.

Genesis 19:1-14GNBOpen in Bible reader

15They turned off the road to go and spend the night there. They went into the city and sat down in the square, but no one offered to take them home for the night.

16While they were there, an old man came by at the end of a day's work in the fields. He was originally from the hill country of Ephraim, but he was now living in Gibeah. (The other people there were from the tribe of Benjamin.) 17The old man noticed the traveller in the city square and asked him, “Where do you come from? Where are you going?”

18The Levite answered, “We have been to Bethlehem in Judah, and now we are on our way home deep in the hill country of Ephraim. No one will put us up for the night, 19even though we have fodder and straw for our donkeys, as well as bread and wine for my concubine and me and for my servant. We have everything we need.”

20The old man said, “You are welcome in my home! I'll take care of you; you don't have to spend the night in the square.” 21So he took them home with him and fed their donkeys. His guests washed their feet and had a meal.

22They were enjoying themselves when all of a sudden some sexual perverts from the town surrounded the house and started beating on the door. They said to the old man, “Bring out that man that came home with you! We want to have sex with him!”

23But the old man went outside and said to them, “No, my friends! Please! Don't do such an evil, immoral thing! This man is my guest. 24Look! Here is his concubine and my own daughter, who is a virgin. I'll bring them out now, and you can have them. Do with them whatever you want. But don't do such an awful thing to this man!” 25But the men would not listen to him. So the Levite took his concubine and put her outside with them. They raped her and abused her all night long and didn't stop until morning.

26At dawn the woman came and fell down at the door of the old man's house, where her husband was. She was still there when daylight came. 27Her husband got up that morning, and when he opened the door to go on his way, he found his concubine lying in front of the house with her hands reaching for the door. 28He said, “Get up. Let's go.” But there was no answer. So he put her body across the donkey and started on his way home. 29When he arrived, he went into the house and got a knife. He took his concubine's body, cut it into twelve pieces, and sent one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 30Everyone who saw it said, “We have never heard of such a thing! Nothing like this has ever happened since the Israelites left Egypt! We have to do something about this! What will it be?”

Judges 19:15-30GNBOpen in Bible reader

1. What comes to mind when you hear “Sodom and Gomorrah”?

2. “Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof” (Gen 19:8)
(a) Why, do you think Lot protected the two male guests in his house from being raped (sodomised) by the men of Sodom, but was willing to give his young daughters to be raped by the mob?
(b) What about verse 8 is oppressive, abusive and degrading towards women today?

3. How, if in any way, might this reading (Gen 19:1-14) help us today to:
(a) Condemn the sexual exploitation of girl children?
(b) Stop demonizing our fellow sisters and brothers who identify as LGBTQI+?

4. Reflect on Judges 19:15-30:
(a) How the “old man” in Judges model Lot’s behaviour?
(b) The gang rape of the concubine.

5. “Such a thing has never been seen or done … Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!” This is the advice given at the close of chapter 19 where a woman was gang-raped and left to die.
(a) Has such a thing ever happened in your context?
(b) How would you implement the advice given in Judges 19: Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!?

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