Osama Abdallah’s Obsession with Pedophilia

Fantasizing Pedophilia into the Holy Bible

Sam Shamoun

After our debate regarding Muhammad’s prophetic claims (available here), Osama Abdallah, of the Answering Christianity website(*), has tried to do some post-debate damage-control. For instance, in order to justify some of the perverted and sick practices of Islam which were raised in the debate, specifically in regard to pedophilia, Osama has greatly intensified his attack on the Holy Bible for certain statements and commands relating to women. Osama has posted the following text on his entry page, and at the top of nearly every page on his site:

1-  Young girls in the Bible and Talmud, as young as 3, being married off:

Numbers 31:17-18 "Now kill all the boys [innocent kids]. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

In the Torah (In the Book of Numbers in the Bible), after the conquest of Midian and Moab, and the great venereal plague, Moses (peace be on him) ordered that all the women "who have known a man" be killed but that "all the young girls, who have not known a man by lying with him" be kept alive for the Israelites.

Since the only females left fit for marriage and wholesome relations were prepubescent virgins, a Jewish law concerning child marriage was enacted. That law is found in the Babylonian Talmud:

"Rabbi Joseph said, 'Come and hear. A maiden aged 3 years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition.'

Mishnah: A girl of the age of 3 years and a day may be betrothed, subject to her father's approval, by sexual intercourse.

Gemara: Our Rabbis taught: 'A girl of the age of 3 years may be betrothed by sexual intercourse.' "

Is the GOD of Israel a pedophile?
Quick side Note:

Numbers 31:35-40 "[From the captives of war] 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.......of which the tribute for the LORD was 32 [among them were virgin girls]."

Even though GOD Almighty's share of the 32 virgin girls is metaphoric, meaning that He didn't come down and have sex with them, but if any wants to call Prophet Muhammad a pedophile or womanizer for marrying (his best friend's daughter with both her parents' approval) a young girl and marrying multiple women throughout his life, then he should not only call his Biblical Prophets as such, but also the GOD of Israel Himself!

Anyway continuing with the above Talmudic quotes, today, the Jewish law for marriage, sets the age of consent for females at 11. (Consent is only one way of marriage) I do not know if modern Jewish law still allows (in theory) betrothal by intercourse as it was practiced in ancient times. ...

By the way, please visit: X-Rated Pornography in the Bible. The Bible literally says that women's vaginas and breasts taste like "wine".

Also visit: Fathers sticking their fingers into their daughters' vaginas before marriage in the Bible.

2-  Fathers can sell their daughters as slave girls to other men in the Bible:

Exodus 21:7-11
7. "If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do.
8. "If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her.
9. "If he designates her for his son [Note: "his son" means that the master is either her father's age or even much older!], he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters.
10. "If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights.
11. "If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

First of all, did the daughter have any choice to be sold off by her father, married off by her master to either himself or his son?  No!

Also, the fact that the master can either marry her or marry her off to his son, means that MOST LIKELY, SHE IS HIS DAUGHTER'S AGE and younger than his son!!  So he's probably at least 30+ years older than her.  Yet, he himself (her father's age or even MUCH older) can marry her.

Again, please visit: X-Rated Pornography in the Bible.  The Bible literally says that women's vaginas and breasts taste like "wine".

Also visit: Fathers sticking their fingers into their daughters' vaginas before marriage in the Bible.

Also, the fact that there is no AGE LIMIT to how girls in the Bible were sold off and married off to other men, WITHOUT ANY CHOICE, who were much much older than them as also the case with the Biblical Prophets who married 100s of wives each clearly proves the hypocrisy of some Christians who attack Islam through Aisha's very young age, while they clearly ignore the same fact in their own Bible. ...


The following biblical passage perfectly describes Osama:

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted." Titus 1:15 NIV

Since Osama has been influenced by Islam to see things in either a grossly distorted or sexually perverted manner, it is little wonder that Osama reads things that are nowhere stated, or even implied, into the texts.

Before we present a careful exegesis of the abused Biblical passages of Exodus 21 and Numbers 31, we need to make some additional observations regarding the above cited charges.

As it is his custom, Osama makes wild claims about the Bible. Let’s first turn to the last of the above quoted statements: "the fact that ... as also the case with the Biblical Prophets who married 100s of wives each ..." Really? THE Biblical prophets married HUNDREDS of wives EACH? By speaking not only of "some", but of "THE Biblical Prophets (plural and definite article!)", and adding "each", Osama tries to create the impression in the minds of the readers that most (if not all) of the prophets in the Bible had HUNDREDS (note again the plural!) of wives. Osama has apparently lost all concern for being truthful in his statements.

The only example he could validly give is Solomon, and even here his example backfires against him:

"Now King Solomon loved many foreign women: the daughter of Pharaoh, and Moabite, Ammonite, E'domite, Sido'nian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, ‘You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods’; Solomon clung to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ash'toreth the goddess of the Sido'nians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon DID WHAT WAS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, ‘Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.’" 1 Kings 11:1-13 RSV

God was very angry that Solomon had married many foreign wives, which caused him to turn away from the pure worship of the true God. Now, since this is the only Biblical example of a person marrying hundreds of wives, and since these wives led the heart of the king away from his pure devotion to Yahweh, does Osama really feel comfortable in appealing to this event as a comparison with Muhammad’s marriages, specifically sex with a minor? Does Osama really want to accept the implications of this passage upon his own prophet, that since God was angry with Solomon for violating his explicit command not to marry multiple foreign wives, since they would lead him away from the fear of Yahweh, this means that Allah was also displeased with Muhammad for marrying so many wives, since it caused him to be more preoccupied with his carnal pleasures than with the worship of Allah?

In fact, Muhammad’s marriages to multiple women, although not being a direct violation of the OT commandment, does violate Muhammad’s own standards:

And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice. S. 4:3 Pickthall

Allah, Muhammad’s god, permitted Muslims to marry up to four wives. And yet Muhammad, according to the traditions, had 11 wives at one time:

Narrated Qatada:
Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268)

Thus, Muhammad was inconsistent since he failed to live up to his own moral standards, which he claimed were given to him by his god. Either that is the case, or Allah exists to please Muhammad, since he allows the latter to satisfy his carnal cravings, even if it means breaking an express command. It is little wonder that Aisha could say:

Narrated Aisha:
I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah's Apostle and I used to say, "Can a lady give herself (to a man)?" But when Allah revealed: "You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily)." (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

Osama’s claim is formulated so that the reader gets the impression that all the prophets in the Bible married hundreds of wives. Clearly, this polemical formulation is chosen to deceive, and so we challenge Osama:

Please produce the biblical references showing that the prophets of God had hundreds of wives.

Osama’s title (1-  Young girls in the Bible and Talmud, as young as 3, being married off) claims that, IN THE BIBLE, girls of age three are married off. This is false. He has not given ANY supporting evidence for this claim. He quotes from the Talmud, but the Talmud is not part of the Holy Bible, and it never was. Osama’s attack on the Holy Bible is slander, false testimony, and a plain lie. At this point, we have no intention or interest in discussing the Talmud, but suffice it to say, it is not the inspired Word of God, and simply doesn’t establish morality or ethics for Christian believers. The Talmud is a collection of opinions of Jewish rabbis, and is useful in helping us to understand the historical situation of the Jews after the NT era, and some of the practices that were being observed during the time of Christ, but its teachings and standards are subject to the written Word of God. Therefore, when the Talmud clearly contradicts or misinterprets an express biblical command, it is to be rejected by all Bible-believing Christians.

Again, in order to attack the Bible, Osama presents a statement taken from the Talmud, and then claims that this is what the Bible says. To do this even once is a very bad error. However, Osama uses this particular deception systematically. Twice in the above quoted piece (and in many other places as well), he urges people to visit his earlier article, Fathers sticking their fingers into their daughters' vaginas before marriage in the Bible. However, in the article itself, there is not even one reference to the Bible that supports this claim.

In his first section quoted above, Osama makes a further unsupported and unproven assumption:

Since the only females left fit for marriage and wholesome relations were prepubescent virgins, a Jewish law concerning child marriage was enacted. That law is found in the Babylonian Talmud:

He assumes that every girl had intercourse immediately after reaching puberty, i.e. there did not exist any mature virgins. This is hardly a reasonable assumption. Further, he assumes that the Israelites were supposed to have sex with all of those women and girls immediately. Nothing in the text even remotely suggests this erroneous interpretation. It is more likely that those girls were given time to grow up until they reached normal marriage age. Finally, without giving any evidence, Osama connects this particular statement of the Talmud with the relevant biblical passage. Is this really the proper context? Is that the reason for the Talmudic statement?

In the second section there is yet another paragraph of unwarranted assumptions:

Also, the fact that the master can either marry her or marry her off to his son, means that MOST LIKELY, SHE IS HIS DAUGHTER'S AGE and younger than his son!! So he's probably at least 30+ years older than her.  Yet, he himself (her father's age or even MUCH older) can marry her.

Osama assumes that the girl is sold into some kind of ‘black box’ without a clue whom she will end up with, as if the father would give his daughter away, not knowing whom she is going to be married to. This is very unlikely, as we will see below. We agree that the text does not explicitly preclude that the husband may be substantially older than the new wife, but we never made an argument against a young woman marrying an older man per se. There is a huge difference between a 60-year old man marrying a 20-year old woman, and a 50-year old man marrying a 10-year old girl, even though the age difference between them is the same in both examples. Given Osama's emphasis on "three year old girls", and that these passages, according to Osama, are supposed to offset the problem of 53-year old Muhammad marrying 9-year old Aisha, he seems to assume that (a) the girl is very young, and (b) the marriage (and subsequently sexual relations) will take place immediately. In all of this, Osama argues essentially from silence. He merely displays his vivid imaginations, but does not present what the text actually says. More will be said about Osama's above argument later in this rebuttal.

Christian writer, philosopher, and apologist, Glenn Miller, has written two superb articles dispelling the gross myths and misrepresentations of what Exodus 21:7-11 and Numbers 31 actually imply. So instead of reinventing the wheel, we will simply quote the relevant parts of the paper to dispel Osama’s misreading and distortion of the texts.

Regarding Exodus 21:7-11, Miller writes:

[ ... ]

Pushback: "Whoa, whoa! Can we not gloss/skip over that last point! I am reeeely bothered by that 'your wife stays here' clause…Can you explain how the various exit scenarios looked, in the case of a Hebrew debt-slave's going free? And is it true that a man could sell his daughter into slavery without any HOPE of freedom for her????

Sure, pal--I'll be glad to (but you'll regret asking me to interrupt the flow of this, with my typically verbose response ... smile)

Here are the two passages, both in Exodus 21 (translation from the Jewish Publication Society version):

"When you acquire a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years; in the seventh year he shall go free, without payment. If he came single, he shall leave single; if he had a wife, his wife shall leave with him. If his master gave him a wife, and she has borne him children, the wife and her children shall belong to the master, and he shall leave alone." (21.2-4)

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not be freed as male slaves are. If she proves to be displeasing to her master, who designated her for himself, he must let her be redeemed; he shall not have the right to sell her to outsiders, since he broke faith with her. And if he designated her for his son, he shall deal with her as is the practice with free maidens. If he marries another, he must not withhold from this one her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. If he fails her in these three ways, she shall go free, without payment." (21.7-11)

The way I want to approach this is to sketch out the marriage process background (rel. to OT and some ANE aspects), and map these scenarios onto them.

First, the process of getting married (for normal folks).

1. The parents of two families (or head-of-household, often the father, but not exclusively--Hagar 'took a wife for Ishmael out of Egypt', Gen 21,21) discuss and agree on a marriage/union between their respective son/daughter, in the context of a union of families--not of individuals. (The daughter, depending on her age, might have been a participant in these discussions, of course):

"Customs varied over time and place, but the process of marriage included at least four stages: (1) the engagement, (2) payments by the families of both the bride (dowry) and the groom (bride-price), (3) the bride's move to her father-in-law's house, and (4) sexual intercourse." [OT:DLAM, 133]

"Second, a father arranged for the marriage of his daughter by finding a suitable husband for her and negotiating the terms of the marriage." [HI:MFBW, 55]

"When parents deemed their child to be approaching marriageable age, the father of the groom would contact the parents of the potential spouse and negotiate the terms of the marriage, specifically the nature and size of the mohar, "marriage present" ..." [HI:MFBW, 57]

"If the groom died or had a change of heart, his father could insist that the bride be given to one of the groom's brothers if one were available and of age. That is, the bride married into her husband's family--she did not marry an individual." [OT:DLAM, 134f]

"The control of marriages and offspring was also patriarchal. A woman’s father decided whom she could marry (Exod 22:17), although there is evidence that daughters were consulted (cf. Gen 24:55-58)." ["Patriarchy As An Evil That God Tolerated: Analysis And Implications For The Authority Of Scripture", Guenther Haas, Jnl of the Evangelical Theological Society 38:3, Sept 1995]

2. This mohar was once thought of (and still called in the literature) as a 'bride price', but more recently it is understood as a 'bride-present' (since sometimes the bride got to keep it herself). It is a payment made by the father of the groom, to the father of the bride:

"The contract described in the Laws of Eshnunna was between the two families, commonly represented by the fathers. For the groom's family, the contract concerned payment of the bride-price, which was a considerable sum of silver in the Old Babylonian period. The bride-price was an act of good faith, insuring the grooms' right to the bride." [OT:DLAM, 133]

"While some have interpreted the mohar as a purchase price, it is preferable to see it as a deposit delivered to the parents of the bride to promote the stability of the marriage and to strengthen the links between the families of those being married." [HI:MFBW, 57]

"The father of the girl negotiated a bride-price with the groom or groom's father, with an expected amount the baseline, the mohar habbetulot, set at fifty shekels, but with no upper limit." [HI:HALOT,:2:1007; Note: this amount in the ANE at that time would have been the value of 5 years of a hired person's labor.]

3. However, depending on the circumstances of the families, this bride-price (and counterpart, the dowry of the girl) could be paid in installments, in non-cash items such as clothing (Judg 14:8-20), and/or in services:

"Normally, the bride-price consisted of sliver or goods, but it could be services ... Jacob worked seven years for Rachel and Leah respectively." [HI:HALOT,:2:1007]

"A fiancé could compound for the payment of the mohar by service, as Jacob did for both his marriages (Gn 29:15-30), or by accomplishing an appointed task, as David did for Mikal (1 S 18.25-27) and Othniel for Calab's daughter (Jos 15:16 = Jg 1:12)." [AI:1, 26f]

"Both the bride-price and the dowry could be paid in installments until the first child was born, at which time the balance of both payments was due. The marriage was legally finalized, and the mother assumed the legal rights of 'wife'." [OT:DLAM, 133]

Now, let's turn to the Exodus 21.7-11 passage, dealing with a father 'selling' his daughter ....

1. The first thing to note is that commentators do not see this as a 'despicable', 'mercenary' act on the part of a cold-hearted father. Rather, it was an exigency taken by a dad in protection and provision for his daughter (generally thought to be under extreme duress):

2. Secondly, commentators are quick to point out that this 'selling' isn’t real slavery--its very, very different from 'regular' slavery transactions. [This case is different than the debt-slave situation, in that (1) it is done by the father for a dependent daughter, rather than an independent self-selling female; (2) it is about marriage and childbearing, instead of simple domestic service labor, and is therefore exempt from the must-wait-six-years provision--indeed release would not have to wait nearly that long at all [the 'master' would know very soon if he was not pleased with the bride-to-be]; (3) has multiple exit conditions; and (4) has additional protections and guarantees in it]:

3. The odd mixture of 'slave' words and 'marriage' words designate this individual as a 'concubine'. Concubines in the ancient world were essentially wives whose offspring were not automatically in the inheritance/succession line. They had all the legal rights of wives, but they had typically originated in a state of slavery. They were subordinate to freeborn-wives (if there were any in the household), and their offspring could be successors ONLY IF the offspring were legally 'adopted' or publicly acclaimed by the owner. They could be legally 'promoted' to full wife status (in the ANE).

[Note: one of the two main purposes of concubinage (the other being to provide an heir in a barren marriage)--an economically very expensive expedient in the ancient world--was to keep the family from falling below 'critical mass'. The mortality rate was so high ("as many as one in two children did not survive to the age of five" [OT:FAI:19]), and the labor demand was so high, that additional means of renewal (other than just the single-wife of the ideal) were sometimes necessary:

4. This focus on the wife-aspect of this process leads commentators to understand this passage to be about protections for the woman, over and above the protections afforded a male slave, and there were many 'exit clauses' for the woman--to full family membership, or to freedom:

So, this passage is hardly 'negative': it provides an escape from poverty for a young woman, security and protection (and upward social mobility) in the house of a better place, and all the basic legal rights of a wife. (Source: www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html; see also www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslavent.html)

After seeing that this transaction is properly understood as one of a poor father’s care for the future of his daughter, seeking to find for her security and protection, we are ready to come back to Osama's argument:

Also, the fact that the master can either marry her or marry her off to his son, means that MOST LIKELY, SHE IS HIS DAUGHTER'S AGE and younger than his son!! So he's probably at least 30+ years older than her.  Yet, he himself (her father's age or even MUCH older) can marry her.

This argument is misguided for several reasons. The father is NOT selling his daughter on a slave market to the highest bidder, whom he does not know anything about, and who is then taking her away into foreign lands and to an uncertain future. This is about a contract between two families, who may know each other, and who would typically live in the same area (same town, neighboring village, or similar). The contract is negotiated/decided on by the two heads of household, the father and the future master. The point is: The father would know in advance who will become the husband of his daughter. That is not an open question.

Let's look again at the text of Exodus 21:7-11:

  1. If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do.
  2. If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed.
        He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her.
  3. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters.
  4. If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights.
  5. If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

This is obviously a legal text, and each verse is one paragraph of law, i.e. giving instructions/conditions for various distinct cases. Osama's fundamental error is that he mixes two cases, and then derives a faulty conclusion from that combination.

Verse 8 indicates that there may be months, or even years, that the girl lives and works in the new household before she marries the master. At the time the contract is made, he obviously liked her. She is designated to become his wife. However, as the time for marriage approaches, he may - for whatever reason - develop a dislike for her, and does not want to marry her any longer. He then must allow her family to redeem her (i.e., buy her back). This shows that, even if the girl is sold at a very young age, the wedding and sexual relations will not take place immediately. Rather, she is given the time to mature until an appropriate age for marriage.

Verse 9 deals with the case that the master made that contract with the intention that the girl may become (eventually) the wife of his son. This does not mean that his son is already an adult at the time of the contract. It only means that the master planned that these two will marry in the future, at a time when both have matured and are ready for marriage. In this case, the master is commanded to treat her like a daughter in his household (not like property). He cannot simply change his mind and marry her himself. This, however, is what Osama apparently assumes without any basis in the text.

Verses 8 and 9 regulate the time before the marriage in two different cases. Verses 10 and 11 are rules for certain possible situations that may arise after marriage has taken place.

Although the father is in need, and has to sell his daughter in order to ensure her survival, and perhaps the survival of his own family, he does not sell her into an unknown future. To the contrary, he knows when making the contract that she will have a future as the wife/concubine of an appropriate husband, and this includes appropriateness of ages.

Summary: In order to force this text to support his polemic, Osama apparently made several assumptions:

  1. the girl is extremly young,
  2. Verses 8 and 9 describe the same situation, although they are clearly distinct cases,
  3. the master's son mentioned in verse 9 is (already) an adult, thus making the master substantially older than the girl,
  4. it is the master's sovereign decision whether he would give the girl to his adult son or marry her himself,
  5. the marriage (and subsequently sexual relations) will take place immediately after the girl enters into the household of the master.

If all of these assumptions were true, Osama may have had a case, albeit a weak one. However, since these assumptions are mostly wrong, or at least unproven, Osama has simply no case at all.

We now turn to the second text. First, here are Miller’s comments regarding Numbers 31:

Right off the bat, though, there are several obvious historical errors in these brief statements, and several assumptions that have no warrant whatsoever in either the text itself, or in the historical background of the ANE. The passage will be difficult enough to our sensibilities as it is, but let’s first ‘weed out the chaff’ among these allegations. [These ‘easy’ errors, however, in themselves might not be enough to exonerate God, so we will to dig deep into the passage/situation to surface the actual ethical issues and dynamics.]

[ ... ]

First of all, there was no ‘test for virginity’ needed/used. In spite of the elaborate/miraculous one created by the later rabbi’s (ingenious, but altogether unnecessary) using the Urim and Thummim (!), the ‘test for virginity’ in the ANE was a simple visual one:

Because virginity was generally associated with legal proof for blood-inheritance issues in ancient cultures (e.g., land, property, kinship, relationships), virginity itself was often marked by some type of clothing (e.g., the robe of Tamar in 2 Sam 13) or by cosmetic means (cf. the Hindu ‘pre-marriage dot’); as was more typically non-virginal married status (e.g., veils, headwear, jewelry, or certain hairstyles). Of course, non-virginal unmarried status (e.g., temple prostitutes and secular prostitutes) were also indicated by special markings or adornments (e.g. jewelry, dress—cf. Proverbs 7.10; Hos 2.4-5).

For example, the erotic art of the ANE shows a consistent difference in hairstyles between women and sacred prostitutes:

"In fact, the physical characteristics of the women on the [erotic] plaques are totally different from those of other female representations in Mesopotamian and Syrian art. As with the clay figurines, they are frequently naked and their hair is loose—none of these traits is to be found in statues or seals that represent women...These groups [associations of cultic prostitutes] were defined by a generic name [the ‘separated ones’], while their specific names of individual associations hinted at their garments, which were particularly luxurious, or odd, their coiffure, or to their general appearance, which distinguished them from other women." [OT:CANE:2526]

Some of these patterns varied by culture/age:

"Once married, women were not veiled in Babylonia. Legal texts imply that married women were veiled in Assyria." [OT:DLAM:135]

"The bride was covered with a veil that the groom removed. Married women were not veiled in Babylonia but seem to have had a special headgear; legal texts, however, suggest that married women were veiled in Assyria." [OT:CANE:489]

In other words, the process of identifying the females who were (a) not married and (b) not prostitutes, either sacred or secular, would have been relatively straightforward—at the precision level required by the event.

Secondly, the accusation that these girls were for "sex slave" purposes contradicts what we know about the culture and about the event. [But at least one of the writers above—to their credit—added the word ‘presumably’, realizing that the text doesn’t actually say anything about it…]

1. Most girls were married soon/immediately after they began menstruating in the ANE (circa 12 years of age), and since infant and child mortality was so high, the average age of the girls spared would have been around 5 years of age or slightly lower (life expectancy wasn’t a straight line, with childhood risks so high). Of all the horrible things ascribed to Israel in the OT, pedophilia is the one conspicuous omission. That these little kids would have been even considered as ‘sex slaves’ seems quite incongruent with their ages.

And, at this tender age, they would not have been very useful as ‘slaves’ at all! Children raised in Israelite households were ‘put to work’ around this age, sometimes doing light chores to help the mother for up to four hours per day by the age of 7 or 8 [OT:FAI:27], but 5 is still a bit young. Instead, the Israelite families would have had to feed, clothe, train, care, protect, and shelter them for several years before they could make much contribution to the family’s existence and survival. [Also note that ‘slavery’ in the ANE/OT generally means something quite different from "New World" slavery, which we normally associate with the word ‘slavery’, and most of what is called that in popular literature should not be so termed. See qnoslave.html for the discussion and documentation.]

2. Unlike the Greeks and Romans, the ANE was not very ‘into’ using slaves/captives for sexual purposes, even though scholars earlier taught this:

"During the pinnacle of Sumerian culture, female slaves outnumbered male. Their owners used them primarily for spinning and weaving. Saggs maintains that their owners also used them for sex, but there is little actual evidence to support such a claim" [OT:EML:69]

3. And the Hebrews were different in this regard ANYWAY:

"This fidelity and exclusivity [demands on the wife] did not apply to the husband. Except among the Hebrews, where a husband’s infidelity was disparaged in the centuries after 800 BC, a double standard prevailed, and husbands were routinely expected to have sex not only with their wives, but with slavewomen and prostitutes." [WS:AHTO:39; note: I would disagree with the remark about ‘after 800 bc’ because that dating presupposes a very late date for the composition of the narratives under discussion…If the narrative events occurred closer to the purposed times, then this ‘disparagement’ applied earlier in Israel as well as later.]

4. Even if we allow the age range to be older, to include girls capable of bearing children, the probability is that it was not sex-motivated, but population/economics-motivated, as Carol Meyers points out ["The Roots of Restriction: Women in Early Israel", Biblical Archaeologist, vol 41):

"Beyond this, however, the intensified need for female participation in working out the Mosaic revolution in the early Israelite period can be seen in the Bible. Looking again at Numbers 31, an exception to the total purge of the Midianite population is to be noted. In addition to the metal objects which were exempt from utter destruction, so too were the "young girls who have not known man by lying with him" (Num 31:18). These captives, however, were not immediately brought into the Israelite camp. Instead, they and their captors were kept outside the camp for seven days in a kind of quarantine period. (Note that the usual incubation period for the kinds of infectious diseases which could conceivably have existed in this situation is two or three to six days [Eickhoff 1977].) Afterward, they thoroughly washed themselves and all their clothing before they entered the camp. This incident is hardly an expression of lascivious male behavior; rather, it reflects the desperate need for women of childbearing age, a need so extreme that the utter destruction of the Midianite foes—and the prevention of death by plague—as required by the law of the herem could be waived in the interest of sparing the young women. The Israelites weighed the life-death balance, and the need for females of childbearing age took precedence."

[But note that the traditional rabbinic interpretation of the passage is that all females which were capable of bearing children were killed—not just those who actually were non-virginal. This would drive the average age quite low, although the Hebrew text offers only limited support at best for their interpretation.]

[I should also point out that the "for yourselves" phrase (31.18) is NOT actually referring to "for your pleasure", but is a reference to the opposite condition of "for YHWH" which applied to all people or property which was theoretically supposed to be destroyed in such combat situations. The herem (or ‘ban’) specifically indicated that all enemy people or property which was ‘delivered over to YHWH’ was to be killed/destroyed. By referring to ‘for yourselves’, then, in this passage, means simply ‘do not kill them’. This can also be seen in that this ‘booty’ was not ‘for themselves’ actually, but was distributed to others within the community.]

[ ... ]

5. The 32,000 girls who were absorbed/assimilated into Israel would have been actually a small number. According to the distribution of them, the 12,000 ‘soldiers’ received 16,000 (half of them), making an average 1.5 per household. The other half (16,000) was distributed throughout all of Israel, meaning that very few families would get one. This would still have been some hardship for the Israelite families, who at this time are still nomadic peoples without any material base from which to live. More than one commentator has noted that this seems to be a surprise act of mercy, and it is interesting to note that Whiston, in a footnote on his 18th-century translation of Josephus’ account of this passage [Antiq, VII] argues that this sparing of the little girls is a surprise of mercy, given the practical demands of this type of combat in the OT/ANE (which we will discuss later):

"The slaughter of all the Midianite women that had prostituted themselves to the lewd Israelites, and the preservation of those that had not been guilty therein; the last of which were no fewer than thirty-two thousand... and both by the particular command of God, are highly remarkable, and shew that, even in nations otherwise for their wickedness doomed to destruction, the innocent were sometimes providentially taken care of, and delivered from that destruction"

Later, when Israel was more established and settled in the land, and had adequate economic means, they would be able to absorb all the women and children (from hostile-but-conquered foreign cities), but at this early stage this was quite an impossibility. They had no need for "slaves," nor means to support them at this time. (Source: www.christian-thinktank.com/midian.html)

One point we would like to add to Miller’s comments is regarding the statement of Numbers 31:40 that ‘32 of these virgins were given as tribute to the Lord.’ The context explains what this exactly means:

"The LORD said to Moses, ‘Take the count of the booty that was taken, both of man and of beast, you and Elea'zar the priest and the heads of the fathers' houses of the congregation; and divide the booty into two parts, between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. And levy for the LORD a tribute from the men of war who went out to battle, one out of five hundred, of the persons and of the oxen and of the asses and of the flocks; take it from their half, and give it to Elea'zar the priest as an offering to the LORD. And from the people of Israel's half you shall take one drawn out of every fifty, of the persons, of the oxen, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all the cattle, and give them to the Levites who have charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.’ And Moses and Elea'zar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses. Now the booty remaining of the spoil that the men of war took was: six hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep, seventy-two thousand cattle, sixty-one thousand asses, and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him. And the half, the portion of those who had gone out to war, was in number three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep, and the LORD's tribute of sheep was six hundred and seventy-five. The cattle were thirty-six thousand, of which the LORD's tribute was seventy-two. The asses were thirty thousand five hundred, of which the LORD's tribute was sixty-one. The persons were sixteen thousand, of which the LORD's tribute was thirty-two persons. And Moses gave the tribute, which was the offering for the LORD, to Elea'zar the priest, as the LORD commanded Moses. From the people of Israel's half, which Moses separated from that of the men who had gone to war- now the congregation's half was three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep, thirty-six thousand cattle, and thirty thousand five hundred asses, and sixteen thousand persons- from the people of Israel's half Moses took one of every fifty, both of persons and of beasts, and gave them to the Levites who had charge of the tabernacle of the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses. Then the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, came near to Moses, and said to Moses, ‘Your servants have counted the men of war who are under our command, and there is not a man missing from us. And we have brought the LORD's offering, what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and beads, to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.’ And Moses and Elea'zar the priest received from them the gold, all wrought articles. And all the gold of the offering that they offered to the LORD, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels. (The men of war had taken booty, every man for himself.) And Moses and Elea'zar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting, as a memorial for the people of Israel before the LORD." Numbers 31:25-54 RSV

Thus, the context shows that the virgins who were set apart for the Lord were to be given to God’s ministers, the priests.

As one can see from the preceding data, the laws prescribed in the Holy Bible are actually for the benefit and protection of the woman’s honor and integrity. This is unlike Islam, which permits Muslims to rape and sell slave women at will:


Thus, what Osama thought was justification for the perverted practices of his religion, actually backfires against him and shows just how vastly superior God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, truly is in comparison to the Quran.

One other point we want to briefly discuss is Osama’s claim that the Song of Songs states that women’s vaginas taste like wine:

His sister's vagina tastes like "wine":

"How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman's hands.  Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wineYour waist is a mound of wheat encircled by liliesYour breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.  Your neck is like an ivory tower.  Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbi.
I said 'I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.'  May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine.  (The NIV Bible, Song of Songs 7:1-4, 8-9)"

According to the documentary film "Sex in the Bible" on A&E TV Station, the Hebrew translation to "Your naval" is referring to the woman's VAGINA.  The English translators substituted the word "NAVEL" WITH "VAGINA."  Please rent a copy of the movie and watch it.  This was sent to me by my dear brother in Islam Mike who embraced Islam just recently; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him.

Osama has deliberately lied to his readers regarding the meaning of "navel" in this passage. Instead of doing the scholarly thing and examining the relevant commentaries and lexicons, Osama appeals to a TV program, which may or may not have said what is claimed. This kind of research is more akin to that which is found in TV tabloid magazines like The Enquirer.

In the first place, anyone remotely familiar with Hebrew literature would see that the verse is structured in a way in which the second line further explicates or explains the meaning of the first, or carries over the thought of the first sentence. Note the passage carefully:

"Your NAVEL is like a round goblet Which never lacks mixed wine;
Your BELLY is like a heap of wheat Fenced about with lilies." Song of Songs 7:2 NASB

"Your NAVEL is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine.
Your BELLY is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies." RSV

Thy NAVEL is like a round goblet, wherein no mingled wine is wanting;
thy BELLY is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies. 7:3 Jewish Publication Society (JPS)

Note the parallel here between navel and belly, which clearly shows that the text is referring to the bride’s belly, not her vagina. The mention of wine and wheat (which were associated with fertility) seems to suggest that Solomon is praising his lover’s womb, since it is the place where a child is woven and conceived.

Furthermore, an examination of any Hebrew lexicon will show that the word for navel DOES NOT mean vagina:

shorer {sho'-rer}
navel, umbilical cord
(Source: BlueLetter Bible [using in turn The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament])

8326 ... the navel, i.q. ... Cant. 7:3; used for the part around the navel, or the belly (which is compared to a bowl). Compare on the other hand ... high place, summit; and ... navel. (Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament: A Dictionary Numerically Coded to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance with an Exhaustive English Index, H.W.F. Gesenius [Baker Book House; (June 1, 1990), paperback; ISBN: 0801037360], p. 851)

2469 … (shrr). Assumed root of the following.

2469a … (shor) umbilical cord (e.g. Ezk 16:4; Prov 3:8).
2469b … (shera) bracelet (Gen 24:22; Isa 3:19).
2469c … (sharir) sinew, muscle (Job 40:16).
2469d … (sherirut), … (sherirut) stubbornness.

(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke [Moody Publishers; 2 Volumes edition, June 1, 1980], Volume II, p. 957)

In the above, we have presented scholarly references. Those constitute evidence. If Osama is convinced that the people in the above mentioned TV broadcast did not simply make a claim but also gave proof for it, then he should transcribe it, so that everyone can examine whether Osama's alleged proof is in any way authoritative. We have presented our evidence, and cited the sources. Osama has not given any evidence. So far, he has only made a claim. It is the duty of the person who makes the claim to also present the evidence.

What makes this even more amazing is that Osama uses this very same book to prove that Muhammad was predicted in the Holy Bible! Notice what he writes here:

Once we get past the deliberate mistranslations of Deuteronomy 33:2 and Jude 1:14-15, we find that these prophecies not only refer unequivocally to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but that they are corroborative of the much-discussed prophecy in Song of Songs, 5:10-16.

According to the well-researched work of Mohd Elfi Nieshaem Juferi and Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, the original Hebrew version of SONG OF SONGS 5:16, if correctly translated, predicts the coming of Muhammad (pbuh) by name:

His mouth is most: yea, he is MUHAMMAD. This is my
(paternal) UNCLE, and this is my COMRADE, O daughters
of Jerusalem.

"Muhammad [pbuh] In the Bible," supra, http://members.xoox.com_XMCM/lordxarkun/Islam/songs5_10-16.html, emphasis in original; see also "Muhammad In World Scriptures," supra, at pp. 100-111.

Significantly, in SONG OF SONGS 5:10, this same prophet - expressly identified in the Hebrew as "Muhammad," is described as being "the chiefest among ten thousands" (ibid., emphasis added) (King James Version).

This reference to the "ten thousands" indicates that the Prophet referred to must be the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)! (Source: www.answering-christianity.com/10000.htm; bold capital emphasis ours)

If Osama is correct, this means that Muhammad must be a porn star, since he is mentioned in a book which Osama says is full of porn!

It is obvious from the preceding statements that when the Holy Bible suits his purpose, Osama has no hesitation to appeal to it as a divine revelation containing true prophecies of Muhammad. But when it no longer helps his case in promoting his false prophet and his false religion, he will then proceed to attack the Holy Bible as a "filthy and slutty book, full of porn". Such hypocrisy and inconsistency is typical of Osama and his kind.

Note the stark contrast between our appeal to the Quran and Osama’s appeal to the Holy Bible. We do not believe the Quran is an inspired revelation from God, but we do believe that it is the oldest extant record we have on Muhammad and his Companions. As such, we appeal to it to show what the views the first Muslims held regarding issues such as the integrity of the Bible, the Person of Christ etc. Osama, on the other hand, doesn’t simply appeal to the Bible as an historical record, but a divinly revealed text only when it will serve his purpose of providing supernatural verification for his prophet.

For the refutations of Osama’s lies regarding fathers’ sticking fingers in their daughters, as well as the issue of the Holy Bible and porn, please read the following articles:


For an analysis of the contents and purpose of the Song of Songs, we highly recommend the following article by Andy Bannister:


And for a look at the Quran’s and Islam’s filthy porn, please read the following articles:


Lord Jesus willing, we will soon be publishing a two-part paper on Muhammad’s marriage with Aisha, where we will address many of the responses and objections raised by Osama, and other Muslims, regarding this issue. In that paper, we will also be addressing Osama’s reference to the Talmud.

Osama gave a rather desperate answer to the above, which is examined in this paper (on a different website).

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