If you are familiar with islamic polemics, you must have observed a predictable pattern Muslims follow. They project all the evils of Islam onto the beliefs of their opponents. For example, when a Christian points out Muhammad’s paedophilia with a child of 9, a common response you will get from a Muslim is a quote from the book of Numbers 31:17-18.
This method of response is called tu quoque or “you too” fallacy. Islam can only build itself by attacking others, it can neither prove its virtues nor disprove its vices. A Muslim is necessitated by his blind loyalty to Muhammad to justify his sexual sins.
Some of them get their kicks from one vile Islamist named, Osama Abdullah and his Answering Christianity website. I call it the Antichrist centre website. Here is his quote from Numbers 31:7, 17-18:
“They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses and killed every man … Now kill all the boys [innocent boys]. And kill every woman who has slept with a man”
This chapter records the destruction of the Midianites by the nation of Israel. It was a backlash of their leading of the Israelites into sexual immorality and demon worship previously (see Num. 25:1-9). When Israel followed the Midianites into this sin, God Himself punished them for it and 24,000 of them died. Thus, the men killed in that battle were enemies of God. He does not destroy the just with the wicked. (“Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and wicked alike…” Gen. 18:25)
Osama wants his Muslim readers to think the Midianites were innocent, so he inserts the words “innocent boys” in parenthesis to appeal to the emotions of his readers. He claims Moses and his men spared the virgins in order to have sex with them, so they quickly enacted a law to justify their actions. As “evidence”, he quotes from the Jewish Talmuds:
“Come and take note. A girl of three years old and are one day old is bethroted by intercourse…” (Mishnah 5:4 Sanhedrin 7/55B)
“Therefore a gentile girl who is three years and one day old, she is then suitable to have sexual relations, also imparts uncleanness of flux variety” (Abodah Sarah 36B-37A)
He also quotes the comments of a Jewish rabbi on Numbers 31:17 from the Tannaitic Midrash that a proselyte girl who became a proselyte in the age of less than 3 years and one day is fit to marry into the priesthood. Osama then concludes that in the Bible, Moses ordered the Israelites to kill all women older than 3 years and a day and take the rest to their beds! What a tortured path.
First of all, I want us to understand that Osama is just like many other Muslims who have been affected by Islam in such a way that they see issues either in a grossly distorted or a sexually perverse manner. Therefore, when they approach the Bible, they project into it things that are nowhere stated in the text. The Bible is right when it says “unto the pure, all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure…” (Titus 1:15).
Osama quoted from the Talmuds to cement his claim that the Bible endorses paedophilia, but this is a fallacy of wrong parallel. The Bible and the Talmuds do not stand or fall together. Osama obviously thinks the Talmuds are to the Bible what the Hadiths are to his Quran, but this only shows his ignorance.
It’s in fact, deception to claim the Bible says a thing and then “prove” it from another book written centuries after it. Interesting note: an online article written by Gil Student has shown that the muslim citations from the Talmuds (discussing dowry for virgins and non-virgins) have been twisted and misused by Muslim polemicists. Read it here
According to a reference work, “The Talmuds are systematic commentaries on the Mishnah, the law code of Judaism formulated in the late second century [A.D.]” (Metzger and Coogan, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Oxford University Press, 1993, 730). There is no way that Talmudic laws formulated 200 years after Christ would be used to affirm an action that (allegedly) took place 15 centuries before, in the time of Moses.
The Talmuds are not part of the Bible and have never been. They are writings of rabbis and not the inspired Word of God, thus carry no authority and must even be rejected where they contradict the Bible.
Reading from vs 25-54 of this Numbers 31, one sees that these virgin girls were given to the priests/ministers as wives. This is why they were said to be “set apart for the Lord” (v. 47). These laws were actually for the benefit and protection of women’s honour and dignity. This event utterly fails to justify Muhammad’s sexual depravity.