Consider Deut. 28:30, 63 -

30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. ...

63 Just as it pleased | שׂוּשׂ, (Lexicon Definitions) the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. NIV

As far as I can tell, the Greek/Hebrew word behind both instances of "delight" in v. 63 are the same, therefore, it would appear that the person who insists that God never delights in rape, is choosing to interpret this passage in the light of other passages that make god look more politically correct to modern people.

Worse, the standard lexicons neither express nor imply that the Greek or Hebrew word at issue could possibly lack the connotation of glee or jubilation. Every lexicon says the word is defined by all the synonyms for joy, delight, etc. What follows are the standard lexical entries, and I answer the question myself in the proper "answer" section.

In the Masoretic Text, this word is שׂוּשׂ (‘sus’) and the lexicons provide the following possible definitions:

Strong’s Concordance, # 07797 Meaning: to exult, rejoice Origin: a prim. root Usage: delight(1), delighted(1), exult(3), glad(5), rejoice(9), rejoice greatly(1), rejoiced(2), rejoices(3).

See Lexicon Link Above.

  • 2
    I'm not sure I understand how you are arriving at this conclusion. First, you need to quote the actual verses you reference. Second, when I look them up, I see You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. and Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. Vs. 30 refers to "delighting" but this word refers to the Vinyard, not to rape. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:45
  • I've added in the source texts (+ links) to save readers needing to look them up to make sense of the question. If you prefer a different version to the NIV, please do edit it in. Thanks.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:39
  • Kohen, I wasn't arguing off the basis of the "delight" in v. 30, I was arguing off the basis of the "delight" in v. 63, which uses "delight" to characterize how god will feel about inflicting all the contextual curses from v. 15 ff on his people. You haven't refuted my contention that v. 63 shows god taking delight to inflict on people all atrocities mentioned between 28:15 and 28:62. Finally, I'm not begging the question, the "destroy" he "delights" in v. 63 must have some contextual relation to the prior curses, and it is those curses that comprise the destruction. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 23:50
  • James, it is v. 63 that places God's "delight" onto his infliction of the preceding curses, and thus the curse of rape, v. 30. V. 30 does not have the word "delight" or any word that would be translated into English by any synonym for "delight". Regardless, the entire context makes clear that the "destruction" God will "delight" in, in v. 63, has just been described by every destructive atrocity listed between v. 15-62. If you have a contextually justified reason for saying the v., 63 delight is toward something OTHER than the preceding curses, feel free to explain why. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 0:10
  • @BarryJones - Removed the words, "watch, watching" from the question title and content. The presupposition that God is actually "watching" - in the gleeful voyeuristic sense - is not established in the question, and doesn't seem to be a valid representation of the texts. If there is a basis for this claim - based on the texts, it would be suitable as another question, and referenced here. The intent here is to focus specifically on whether there is a linguistic / textual basis that God enjoys "rape" - in general, by showing any validity to separate the context of "judgment" from the text. Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 17:49

2 Answers 2


Most Christians will say one's interpretation of a bible verse must derive from the verse's grammar and it's immediate context.

I agree. The grammar does not allow for "delight" in 28:63 to mean anything other than "joy", the immediate context specifies that it is the SAME type of delight that God takes in prospering his people, that he will also take to inflict these horrible atrocities on them, should they disobey, therefore, however joyful god is to prosper the obedient people, he is equally as joyful to inflict horrible atrocities on those who disobey.

And, of course, v. 30 indicates that rape will be one of the curses God will inflict.

The moral problem created by this exegetical reality is enormous: I can buy that an infinitely holy god will impose hardships on his people to dissuade them from disobedience. What I cannot buy is that an infinitely wise God would take "joy" at inflicting or watching disobedient women be raped.

Fundamentalists will insist that because this interpretation cannot be squared with more politically correct traits of God elsewhere in the bible, the interpretation surely must be false. But a) that hardly refutes the given grammatical and contextual justifications FOR the interpretation, and b) the reasons why we should reject bible inerrancy as a hermeneutic, will be the subject of my next question and answer.

  • A.) Suppose that theists are not as bad as you think, and actually agree with you that, "What I cannot buy is that an infinitely wise God would take "joy" at inflicting or watching disobedient women be raped." B.) But regardless, what we should be answering here, is: "what does the text actually say?". Your answer is "conclusary", not sharing the evidences that led to your conclusion - making the answer unhelpful. So, regardless of the conclusion's validity - there should be some valid "syllogism" - even if not "formal" - that shows how you got there - based on the text. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:34
  • 1
    A) you are wrong, I've debated plenty of Christians who assert God takes joy in watching people suffer such things. B) You aren't taking issue with the fact that God is "delighting", so the only question left is what actions is God taking "delight" in? Easy, their destruction, v. 63. And in what does their destruction consist? By contextual necessity, all the preceding curses from 28:15-62, of which one is rape, v. 30. You aren't arguing those curses are disconnected from the context, indeed no scholar ever did, so I don't see the point of your trifle, except of course perhaps to trifle? Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 0:02
  • Barry - A.) Attacking someone, insulting them, minimalizing them, etc... is not appropriate for this site - or anywhere, and is hardly constructive. Please reframe that - without the toxicity, so I can understand the substance of your objection. B.) Taking delight in the destruction of those that take delight in the destruction of others, is hardly immoral, but consistent with, "I will judge you according to your own judgments", (Ezekiel 7:27). C.) Before more hasty generalizations, band-wagon fallacies, etc - remember, this is an examination of texts, not "Shlomo Dolevy's faith". Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 0:06
  • Your answer at B) makes no sense, there are children who are suffering these horrific atrocities too, see context. Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 23:49
  • Barry - Yes, "B" makes absolutely sense, since people have historically define "Morality", based on an intellectualized perception of "equanimity". Don't get me wrong, pretty much every rational measuring-stick for morality is ludicrous, so there is that. Again, "Morally Speaking" ... Isn't it considered "equanimity" / "balanced" / "equal scales", for a parent to have justice against those that abuse/abduct/assault their children? What other "balanced" justice is there - but that the offender experience that same heart-ache? "Morality" and "Wisdom" are two very different things. Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 5:21

Deuteronomy 28 is a record of what will happen, not what has happened. Why OP didn't point this out is known only to him, but since he didn't preface his question with the information, there must be a reason. It seems to me there are only three options:

  1. he doesn't know

  2. he doesn't care

  3. he is trying to perpetrate deception

I will give OP the benefit of the doubt and suggest the second option, "he doesn't care". But, I care. So, I'll fill in the stuff that he doesn't care about.

Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy starts:

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
-- Deuteronomy 28:1 KJV

In other words, if Israel behaves differently to the nations they were going in to displace (pssst, they hadn't done it yet), then God will bless them and make them the premier nation on the planet.

As I pointed out in an answer to another question by OP, the nations that Israel were being brought in by God to displace, perpetrated great wickedness upon their women (Deuteronomy 18):

  • men having sex with their mother and aunts, sisters and daughters;

  • men having sex with a women during menstruation;

  • men causing women/daughters to have sex with animals;

  • men sacrificing their daughters to the gods of the land;

This behaviour made the people of the land a pestilence, and the land spewed them out, i.e. they made the Earth sick.

Deuteronomy 28:2-14 then goes on to detail the blessings that Israel would enjoy if it held to the principles of life God had given to the people. Deuteronomy 28:15-68 is the other side of the coin, and details the curses, three times the number of verses given to the blessings, such was God's concern that they fully understood what would befall them if they were to discard his principles of life. So, instead of being set "on high above all nations of the earth" (Deuteronomy 28:1), they would become "an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations" (Deuteronomy 28:37).

The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
-- Deuteronomy 28:20 KJV

If Israel were to become a pestilence on the Earth, like the nations they were to displace, like the people on the Earth prior to the Flood, like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, why should they not expect to be destroyed? God, being the loving deity that he is, was making it known to his people that they had a choice in whether or not their destruction would be necessary. As Adam and Eve were put in control of their continued existence in Eden, so too would Israel be put in control of their continued existence in Canaan.

Now, as to God rejoicing/being pleased/delighting in watching rape, no such thing is being said in the text. It says:

And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
-- Deuteronomy 28:63 KJV

God will delight in wickedness being removed from the Earth, in the same way modern moralists delight in pedophiles, especially priests or ministers of religion, being cut off (sic) from among the people (incarcerated, that is). No one delights in the knowledge that the wicked should prosper, except the wicked. And portraying God's delight in the removal of wickedness as delight in watching rape, is an argument in support of wickedness.

The writer to the Hebrews says this about the word of God:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
-- Hebrews 4:12 KJV

One can come to the text of the Bible with the same Spirit that moved its authors to write, or with a spirit that is opposed to such. The things a person takes time to publish in regard to what they have discovered in the Bible, is the evidence of which Spirit/spirit is moving their hearts and minds.

  • But the delight God will have to destroy them, is said in v. 63 to be the same as the delight he will have to prosper them. And you haven't answered the lexical entries which somebody deleted from my question, all of which indicate the emotion of delight, joy, exuberance. You insist this is comparable to today's moralists rejoice in the jailing of a pedophile. No: God's delight is not toward mere justice, but toward the acts that supposedly mete out the justice. He is delighting to watch the curses take place. Finally, your heavy dependence on inerrancy as hermeneuetic is unconvincing Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 23:47
  • @BarryJones Here it is.
    – enegue
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 4:56

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