Deuteronomy 22 outlines what the Law has to say about rape (not that the word existed at the time).
If a woman is engaged and someone forces himself on her, the man is to be killed–unless she didn’t cry out, in which case they both will be killed. This is considered taking another man’s wife, which is a disgrace worthy of death.
If the woman is unmarried and not betrothed and a man forces himself upon her, he must pay her father fifty shekels of silver and marry her, and he is never permitted to divorce her.
I found these laws sooooo interesting. Can you imagine being an innocent girl, raped by some stranger, and then forced to marry him? If the girl is a virgin, she basically has no right to demand justice against the man, because justice states he is her husband. Yet if she is betrothed, it is an affront against her husband, hence the punishment of death. (It should also be noted that this law protects the woman, since no other man would be expected to marry a girl who isn’t a virgin.)
This is why Andrew says he wishes they had been betrothed, because then he would have had the right to do something about Jason’s actions. But given that he is a slave and Jason his master, he also falls under the law that says a servant to raise his hand against his master shall be put to death. Hence why Abigail chose to accept the shame and not cry out, to save her friends from stumbling into such a situation.
Oh the complicated, tangled web . . . makes for a great story!
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