Why would the Law of Moses require a woman to marry the man who raped her? This just seems so wrong.
This reflects a misunderstanding of Deuteronomy 22:28–29: “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” The word translated here as “rapes” could also be translated as “seizes” or “seduces.” “Seduces” best captures the meaning, for several reasons.
First, the previous paragraph describes an actual rape and uses a different Hebrew verb that means “forces” or “overpowers,” making a distinction with what is described here in verses 28 and 29. Second, in the parallel instruction found in Exodus 22:16–17, the Hebrew verb used is translated “entice,” and clearly refers to seduction and not rape. Third, the verb used in Deuteronomy 22:28–29 most literally means “captures,” but it is also used figuratively, as in “to capture one’s heart” (Ex. 14:5), which conveys the sense of seduction.
The law in Deuteronomy 22:28–29 is best understood as referring to a man who seduces a virgin so that she consents to have sex with him. This law was designed as a protection for her, so that he could not cast her aside and bring shame to her. The seducer must pay the bride price to her father and stay married to the woman.