Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Stiebert on incest in the Hebrew Bible

Incest in the Hebrew Bible

There is no persuasive reason, however, in Leviticus (or elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible) for arguing that daughters are depicted as sexually available to fathers (see Stiebert 2016: 33-44). Really, the Hebrew Bible provides us with very little to go on concerning child sexual abuse, including incestuous abuse of girls in particular, a topic so disturbing and prevalent in the clinical literature of contemporary Western contexts (Herman [1981] 2000). While violence against children is mentioned in numerous places (Michel 2003), the assumption in almost every single case in the Hebrew Bible is that sexual acts occur not with children and only between persons of marriageable and/or childbearing age (Michel 2004).

See Also: Stiebert, Johanna. First-Degree Incest and the Hebrew Bible: Sex in the Family (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016).

By Johanna Stiebert
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
University of Leeds, West Yorkshire
November 2016