[quote=JB.]The NAB translates these verses, Deut 22:28-29:
If a man comes upon a maiden that is not betrothed, takes her and has relations with her, and their deed is discovered, the man who had relations with her shall pay the girl’s father fifty silver shekels and take her as his wife, because he has deflowered her. Moreover, he may not divorce her as long as he lives.
Rape is not specified in this translation, it would be interesting to know what the original Hebrew text says. As I read this, it is not about rape, but about a man and woman being accountable for their actions together.
the Jerusalem Bible has:
If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed and seizes her and lies with herand is caught in the act the man who has lain with her must give the girl’s father fifty silver shekels; she shall be his wife since he has violated her, and as long as he lives he may not repudiate her.
As unenlightened as this sounds to modern ears I imagine that at the time God was trying to impose some rule on a bunch of semi-barbaric tribes.
In their society, and other societies at the time, rape was a species of theft so this law actually is forcing the perp to make restitution to the father as custodian of the family’s honor and to the girl who could only have her reputation restored by marriage.
NB: unlike any other husband under the OT rules the rapist is not allowed to divorce his wife.