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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


KRUGER, Paul A.. Women and war brutalities in the Minor Prophets: The case of rape. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.147-176. ISSN 2312-3621.

Acts of war violence towards women and children seem to get special attention in the HB prophetic literature. This is in contrast to the historic books (the Deuteronomistic History) where such references are rare. On several occasions the prophetic books mention "dashing in pieces the little ones" (Isa 13:16; Hos 14:1; Nah 3:10). Twice the combination "dashing in pieces the little ones" appears in close connection with "ripping open pregnant women" (2 Kgs 8:12; Hos 14:1), and once in association with the "raping/ravishing" of wives (Isa 13:16). This contribution will focus only on the latter war brutality, namely the raping of women. It argues that although war accounts of rape were for one or other reason suppressed in ANE writings (Assyrian royal inscriptions) and the HB, references in curse formulae and clues in the metaphoric speech of the Minor Prophets (e.g. Nah 3:5) testify to the fact that rape was indeed practised during siege wars.

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