What happens if a slave girl is seduced? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
As we go through Leviticus, we come across this law in chapter 19.
“‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.
So what is going on here?
First off, nothing is said here about how the sleeping together came about. Most likely, it is not rape, but seduction. It also says nothing about who it is that has slept with the girl. It could actually be the master himself. It could be just a way of saying anyone who does this, including the master.
Why is the death penalty not put in place here? It is not because the girl is a servant, but it is because she is not married. She was to be redeemed and to be a wife and she hasn’t been and when men wanted to redeem wives, they generally wanted to redeem virgins.
When it comes to the money that is paid, it is not clear who it is that gets the money. Is it the master or is it the husband-to-be? I also think it’s worthwhile to point out the woman doesn’t have to have any penalty on her. Instead, it is the man who is to take responsibility. Even if this is seduction and it take two to tango, the man is seen as the one who has done the seduction.
Also, if the marriage was called off because of this, what happens to the girl? She remains in the household of the master and likely he has to keep providing for her. This would mean a master better think twice if he wants to be the one who is sleeping with the slave girl.
Also, how is all of this information coming about? We can seem to gloss over that idea, but if we are talking about finding out who did what and making proper restitution, what does that entail? That’s right. An investigation. This would be a matter that would be looked into.
Why is that important? Because this is nothing silent, but it is something that is public and the man would have been seen as having done a shameful thing. If the woman let herself be seduced, this would ultimately be her own punishment as everyone would know about what she did. If a man doesn’t want to see his love life come under scrutiny like this, it would be wise for him to just avoid interacting with the girl altogether. (For an idea of what that could be like, think back to any major affair that has happened whether it be Ravi Zacharias or Bill Clinton.)
Again, all this shows that the Bible treats sex and marriage seriously. We would be wise to do the same even if our laws are different.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)