Go to introduction
#2. DIVORCE AND SEXUAL IMMORALITY UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES
This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and a Hebrew Unicode font, and is printable.
- Sexual Immorality Law of Mose Index
- Introduction 2
- #2.1 REASONS WHY A MAN COULD PUT AWAY HIS WIFE
- #2.11 Adultery of wife with witnesses
- #2.12 Adultery of wife without witnesses
- #2.13 Adultery of betrothed wife with witnesses
- #2.14 Adultery of betrothed wife without witnesses
- #2.15 Rape of betrothed wife without witnesses
- #2.16 If a new wife was found not to be a virgin
- #2.17 Divorce for "some uncleanness"
- #2.18 Divorce when unwilling to provide for a wife
- #2.2 UNLAWFUL SEX WITH A VIRGIN
- #2.21 Seduction of a virgin
- #2.22 Rape of a virgin
This is a bible study about Divorce and sexual immorality under the law of Moses. It is another necessary pre-requisite to looking at the New Testament teaching on divorce and remarriage. We need to remember that in the times of Jesus the Old Testament was the only scripture that was available. So whenever discussions took place between Jesus and the scribes and the Pharisees, or between Jesus and his disciples, these scriptures would be the ones upon which they would base their questions and arguments.
10 And the man who commits adultery with another man's wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death.
22 If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shall you put away evil from Israel.
Note: In almost every country today, death is not the penalty for adultery. Therefore, to put an adulterous partner to death would be an act of murder according to the secular law, and God has ordained that we should obey these:
(Romans 13:1-2) "Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority but of God: the authorities
that exist are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the authority, resists the ordinance of God: and those who resist shall receive to themselves damnation."
(1 Peter 2:13) "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake:"
Although the letter of the law did indicate death for adultery, we are called now to "serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6). An example of this was Jesus attitude of forgiveness and no condemnation of a woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:3-11).
11 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
12 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, If any man's wife goes aside, and commits a trespass against him,
13 And a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she is defiled, and there is no witness against her, neither she is taken with the manner;
14 And the spirit of Jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife, and she is defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife, and she is not defiled:
15 Then shall the man bring his wife to the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense on it; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD:
17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:
18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of the memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causes the curse:
19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say to the woman. If no man have lain with you, and if you have not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of your husband, be free from this bitter water that causes the curse:
20 But if you have gone aside to another instead of your husband, and if you are defiled, and some man have lain with you beside your husband:
21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say to the woman, The LORD make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the LORD does make your thigh to rot, and your belly to swell;
22 And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, to make your belly to swell, and your thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, Amen.
23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall blot them out with the bitter water;
24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causes the curse; and the water that causes the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.
25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand; and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar:
26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.
27 And when he has made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she is defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causes the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
28 And if the woman is not defiled, but is clean; then she shall be free, and she shall conceive seed.
29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goes aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;
30 Or when the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.
31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.
Note: This is a case of suspected adultery. As there is no proof, and no witnesses, the wife could not be put to death even if found guilty by this method of trial (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6). However, she would suffer the curse that she agreed to (v22), and this would be her punishment: "her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people." (v27). The word translated "rot" comes from the Hebrew word "naphal", which means "to fall". There is no mention of divorce here, even if found guilty.
23 If a damsel who is a virgin, is betrothed to a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 Then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she did not cry out not, being in the city; and the man because he has humbled his neighbour's wife: so you shall put away evil from among you.
Note: There would have to be witnesses to this, otherwise there could be no death penalty (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6), and it also seems clear that it was not considered to be rape if the woman did not resist by crying out.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away1 privately.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, do not fear to take to you Mary your wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Note: This was a suspected act of infidelity in a betrothed wife. The marriage had been contracted, but was not yet complete because it had not yet been consummated. It was "before they came together," (Matthew 1:18), and so before they had become "one flesh". Joseph was faced with two feasible possibilities: either Mary had been deliberately unfaithful (See #2.13), or she had been raped, in which case she was not worthy to die (See #2.15). She would obviously deny both, and there could not possibly be any witnesses. Although seemingly certain proof of her unfaithfulness would be apparent to everyone, Joseph considered putting her away quietly, without any public fuss. The word translated to put away1 (Gr. ἀπολῦσαι, Gtr. apolusai) is the same verb that is used in other scriptures where it is obviously talking about divorce (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3, 19:7-9; Mark 10:2, 10:4, 10:11-12; Luke 16:18). We could consider that, as at this time Joseph was still under the law of Moses, he may have acted according to the Rabbinic interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 at that time (See #2.17), by which both schools of Hillel and Shammai allowed divorce for adultery. It should also be remembered that this happened at a time when the Jews were under Roman domination, and so they could not enforce the death penalty which the law demanded when proof of infidelity was discovered (See #2.16):
(John 18:31) "Then said Pilate to them, You take him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:"
Otherwise we may consider that, up to the point of becoming "one flesh", it seems possible to put away an unfaithful wife, but after the marriage is consummated, and God joins them together as "one flesh", the bond should not then be broken.
(Matthew 19:6) "Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."
An example to confirm this is God's relationship with Israel, which is a betrothal type marriage (See #1.25). Another example is Christ's relationship with the church, which is also a betrothal type marriage (See #1.26). Because a betrothal is a marriage in a legal sense, although not consummated, God could call himself a husband to Israel (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:20; 31:32), and put them away when they were unfaithful to him (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8; 31:32; Hosea 1:9). This does not therefore prove justification for divorce of any lawfully married, "one flesh" relationship.
25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:
26 But to the damsel you shall do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and slays him, even so is the matter:
27 For he found her in the field, (and) the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
Note: If there was "none to save her." (v27), then there would be no witnesses to the man's guilt except the woman. So how then could he be put to death since it required two or three witnesses (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15)? It seems that the answer is, "as when a man rises against his neighbor, and slays him, even so is the matter:" (v26). This would mean that an accused rapist could flee to a city of refuge (Numbers 35:9-29; Deuteronomy 4:41-43; 19:1-13; Joshua 20:1-9), and so may escape death by the hand of one of her family, who could be looking for revenge (See #2.22).
13 If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and hates her,
14 And gives occasion of speech against her, and brings up an evil name upon her, and says, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity to the elders of the city in the gate:
16 And the damsel's father shall say to the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her;
17 And, lo, he has given occasion of speech against her, saying, I found not your daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
18 And the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him;
19 And they shall fine him in a hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the damsel, because he has brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity are not found for the damsel:
21 And they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she dies: because she has done folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house; so shall you put evil away from among you.
Note: This is a case of a man accusing his new wife of unfaithfulness before the consummation of the marriage, that is before they became "one flesh". This may be considered the equivalent to the adultery of a betrothed wife without witnesses (See #2.14), which a just man like Joseph would put away quietly, but which an unjust man would make public, and demand the death penalty. However, because the offence took place before the consummation of the marriage, and because the penalty was death in this case, not divorce, this does not even hint at divorce being right for a lawful "one flesh" marriage relationship.
1 When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband dies, which took her to be his wife;
4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and you shall not cause the land to sin, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance.
Note 1: Reading these verses in the KJV, it seems almost as if once "some uncleanness" has been found in a wife, then to give her a bill of
divorcement, and to send her away, is almost a command. However, most modern scholars interpret these verses in such a way that the first three verses make up a conditional clause, and the fourth verse is a consequential clause. In which case it would read more like this:
"When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and ... she finds no favor in his eyes, and he writes her a bill of divorce, ... and sends her out of his house, and if she ... goes and becomes another man's wife, and the latter husband hates her, and writes her a bill of divorce, or if the latter husband ... dies,
Then her former husband ... is not to take her again to be his wife ..."
Every underlined "and" in this passage is clearly indicated in the Hebrew. Some could say then, that Moses was not commanding divorce here, as Jesus also confirmed when he said to the Pharisees, "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives:" (Matthew 19:8). But rather he was laying down some regulations concerning divorces, which were taking place anyway, and that this was simply a legislation that prevented a man from taking back a wife that he had previously divorced, if she had since married someone else. But is this the true interpretation of this scripture, or not? Let us examine the passage for ourselves before we decide.
Note 2: Here we have a case where Moses permitted divorce for "some uncleanness", but what was it? Whatever it was, it seems to have been permanent, not one that could be cleansed by a ceremonial washing as some other uncleanness' were (Leviticus 11:25, 27, 31 etc.). Nor would it be one that occurred on a temporary basis, such as the uncleanness of a woman during menstruation (Leviticus 15:19-33), although if this was a permanent condition, such as the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20; Mark 5:25-26), we might consider an exception. Up until the time of Jesus, various Rabbis had interpreted this passage in such a way that some would allow divorce for almost anything, but there are some cases under the law which we may wish to exclude:
(1) Divorce was not the sentence for adultery, because that was punishable by death (See #2.1 Death for adultery). This was confirmed by the scribes and the Pharisees in Jesus' time, when they brought to him a woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:2-5). They did not say that Moses commanded for her to be divorced, but said, "Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned:" (v5).
(2) Neither was divorce granted to a man who defiled his wife before marriage (See #2.21 Defiled before marriage),
(3) Nor was divorce the sentence for some of the forbidden relationships which were punishable by death (Leviticus 18:6-22; 20:11-14), and if Jesus meant, "the hardness of their hearts in putting away their wives" (Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:5), then this would be against it also.
(4) Nor was divorce the sentence for an unfaithful betrothed wife, because that was punishable by death if witnessed (See #2.13 Adultery with witnesses), or if discovered on the wedding night (See #2.16 Not a virgin). It must be remembered that the example of Joseph and Mary (See #2.14) was at a time when the Jews were under Roman domination, and so the death penalty could not be carried out by the Jews (John 18:31).
(5) Nor was divorce granted for any reason after a man had falsely accused his new wife of not being a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:19; See #2.16 Not a virgin). Compare:
|Deuteronomy 22||Deuteronomy 24|
|Taken a wife (v13)||Taken a wife (v1)|
|Go in to her (v13)||Married her (v1)|
|Hate her (v13)||She find no favor in his eyes (v1)|
|Found her not a maid (v14)||Found some uncleanness in her (v1)|
|Stone her with stones (v21)||Write her a bill of divorcement (v1)|
So we may conclude that "some uncleanness" refers to something other than these.
Note 3: The words translated "some uncleanness" (Hb. עֶרְוַת דָּבָר , Htr. ’ervat davar) occur together in only one other place (Deuteronomy 23:14), where they are translated, "unclean thing". The word " ’ervat " is the construct form of " ’erva ", and is variously translated "nakedness" (48x), "unclean" (1x), "uncleanness" (1x), and "shame" (1x). The word "davar" occurs 1446 times, and is most often translated "word/s" (808x), "thing/s" (240x), "acts" (51x), "matter" (48x) etc. It occurs 242 times in the common expression, "the word of the LORD", and almost everywhere refers to spoken, commanded, or written words. It is translated "commandment/s" 20 times, including:
(Exodus 34:28) "the words of the covenant, the ten commandments."
(Deuteronomy 4:13) "ten commandments;"
(Deuteronomy 10:4) "the ten commandments,"
The most obvious literal translation of " ’ervat davar" would be, "nakedness of a word", and an obvious meaning would be, "the nakedness (shame or dishonour) of one of God's words (commandments)". In the case of the "unclean thing" (Deuteronomy 23:14), it would refer to the "disobedience" to God's command to cover the excrement from their body (v13). This disobedience was said to be "in you" (v14) (Hb. בְךָ, Htr. beākh), which could also mean "by you". In the case of the wife about to be divorced for "some uncleanness in her" (Deuteronomy 24:1), it would mean that the husband had found "nakedness of a word in (or by/with) her": something about her that was contrary to what God had spoken or commanded. This could refer to any of the forbidden marriage relationships (Leviticus 18:6-18; 20:11-14; 20:19-21; Deuteronomy 7:1-3), some of which were not directly punishable by death, but would bring other devastating consequences because of God's judgment upon their disobedience (Leviticus 18:26-29; 20:19-21; Deuteronomy 7:4; Joshua 23:11-13; Malachi 2:11-12). There were times when the people gathered together to hear the words of the law read to them (Deuteronomy 31:11; Joshua 8:34-35; 2 Kings 23:2; 2 Chronicles 34:30; Nehemiah 8:8; 8:18; 9:3; 13:1), and at such times, when the people realized their errors, they would cleanse themselves. When the men of Israel knew that they had transgressed against God by marrying foreign wives (Ezra 10:2-3), they agreed to put them away, "according to the law" (v3). The only provision in the law for putting away such a wife is the one we are examining here (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), so this was one case where this provision was used. In the days of Nehemiah, they read in the law and discovered the very same thing again (Nehemiah 13:1-2; 13:23-29), after which, either the wives were put away, or the husbands cast out, because Nehemiah said, "Thus cleansed I them from all strangers," (Nehemiah 13:30). People who had forbidden sexual relationships were abhorred by God (Leviticus 20:23), so this was God's provision to allow repentance, which includes both turning from the sin (2 Chronicles 7:14; Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 1:16-18; 55:7), and destroying all past association with it (Deuteronomy 9:21; Joshua 7:11-12; Isaiah 27:9; Acts 19:18-19).
Note 4: How does this interpretation stand up to the fact that Jesus said, that this provision was only made because of the hardness of their hearts (Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:5)? If we understand it to mean the hardness of their hearts in
putting away their wives, then it wouldn't make sense, but if we understand it to mean the hardness of their hearts in marrying them in the first place, contrary to the command of God, then it makes perfect sense.
This would also explain why the woman could go and marry another man (Deuteronomy 24:2), and why she might not be unclean to her second husband, as she was to the first. For example, she may have been a close relative to the first husband, but not to the second.
It would also explain why, if her second husband died, she could still not go back to the first husband (Deuteronomy 24:3); because she would still be unclean to him.
It would also mean that when Jesus said, "except it be for fornication" (Matthew 19:9), he was agreeing with what was written in the law (#5). This would not be unusual, since he often pointed people to the commandments (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20), and said, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, until all is fulfilled." (Matthew 5:18).
Another clause that we need to examine is, "after that she is defiled:" (Hb. אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר הֻטַּמָּאָה , Htr.’acharê ’asher huttammā’ā) (Deuteronomy 24:4). The word "’acharê" is the construct plural of the word "‘achar", which, as a substantive means "hinder part", but as a preposition means "after", or "behind", and is sometimes redundant. The word "’asher" is a particle of relation, and is variously translated "who", "which", "that", etc.. Together, the words "’acharê ’asher" form a conjunction which means "after that" (BDB p30; Deuteronomy 24:4; Joshua 23:1; 24:20), or simply "after" (Joshua 9:16) etc.. The word "huttammā’ā" is the passive form of the Hitpaʽēl stem of the verb "tāmē’", which is variously translated with the sense of "unclean" (74x), "defile/d" (69x), and "pollute/d" (14x). Whether it is translated in a future, present, or past tense, depends on the understanding of the meaning in the context where it is found, and in this particular case, whether we understand the defilement to be caused by the second marriage, or to be the "some uncleanness" which caused the first divorce. Sex outside of a lawful marriage does defile people (Genesis 34:5, 13, 27; Leviticus 18:20; Ezekiel 18:6, 11, 15; 33:26), and so does forbidden marriage relationships (Leviticus 18:24, 30; Nehemiah 13:28-29). Taking these things into consideration, let us list four obvious translations:
(1) "after that she is unclean."
(2) "after that she has become unclean."
(3) "after that she is defiled."
(4) "after that she has been defiled."
The most common understanding of this clause is that the second marriage defiles the woman, and thus prevents the first husband taking her back. The problem with this interpretation is that Moses then allowed marriages that defiled the woman, which Jesus would later refer to as adulterous (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Luke 16:18), and approved of children being born from such relationships. This inconsistency should encourage us to look to another explanation, which is that the woman was unclean to her first husband because the relationship was contrary to a commandment of God, and that when it was discovered, putting her away was the right thing to do. We would then understand the abomination to be, taking her back, "after that she is (known to be) unclean." Let me point out that in coming to this conclusion, we have not used any obscure meanings of words in our translation, but only the very obvious, or most obvious meanings, so we cannot be accused of twisting scripture to suit our own end.
Note 5: Let us now sum up this section. Divorce seems to have been common in the days of Moses, not only for "some uncleanness" (Deuteronomy 24:1), but also if the husband hated his wife (Deuteronomy 24:3), or in the case of a captive, if he found "no delight in her" (Deuteronomy 21:10-14), or in the case of a purchased slave, if he was unwilling to provide for her (Exodus 21:7-11; See #2.18). In some of these cases the divorce would be because of the hardness of men's hearts in putting away their wives, but in the case of "nakedness of a word", when the marriage was found to be contrary to the direct command of God, Moses permitted divorce with a writing of divorcement given (Deuteronomy 24:1), because of the hardness of their hearts in marrying them in the first place. He allowed the remarriage of the woman (Deuteronomy 24:2), but forbade the first husband taking her back at a later date (Deuteronomy 24:4). To marry her contrary to the command of God in ignorance was bad enough, but to take her back, "after that she is known to be unclean", would be wilful rebellion against God, and would thus be an abomination (Deuteronomy 24:1). Therefore we can say that this permission was a mercy, which allowed repentance for a genuine mistake which might take a man to hell if not put right. Nothing was said about a writing of divorce in other places, but it evidently became commonplace as the understanding of the scripture became lost with time. If this interpretation is unacceptable to anyone, then speculation as to the exact meaning of " ’ervat davar" is profitless, because when Jesus said, "except it be for fornication," (Matthew 19:9), he effectively eliminated all other excuses for divorce altogether.
7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
8 If she please not her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her to a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her.
9 And if he have her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
11 And if he do not these three to her, then shall she go out free without money.
Note: Here is a case where a man purchases the daughter of another Israelite to be betrothed to himself or his son. She is therefore a slave-wife, or a concubine. If she is not pleasing to the man she marries she can be redeemed, that is purchased back by her father, or by a near kinsman; but if a second wife is taken, he must maintain her provision of food, clothes, and marriage rights, or let her go free. The scripture does not say whether the man should give her a certificate of divorce, or not, but it does seem to be a frivolous and disgraceful way to treat the woman.
28 If a man finds a damsel who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they are found:
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give to the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he has humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
Note: There is no mention here whether this was seduction or rape, but we may presume that it was seduction because of the following marriage, which was commanded. There would be no point in the woman keeping the incident a secret anyway, because if she was later given to someone else in marriage, she could be put to death for not being found to be a virgin on the wedding night (See #2.16 Not a virgin).
1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
2 SAMUEL 13:10-14
10 And Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of your hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 And when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, Come lie with me my sister.
12 And she answered him, No, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing aught to be done in Israel: do not you this folly.
13 And I, where shall I cause my shame to go? and as for you, you shall be as one of the fools in Israel. I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.
14 However he would not hearken to her voice: but, being stronger than her, forced her, and lay with her.
Note: Here are two cases of rape, the first of which was by Shechem, the prince of the Hivites, against Dinah,
Jacob's only daughter. The young man earnestly desired to have Dinah for his wife after this (Genesis 34:4), and was
willing to pay any dowry (vv11-12). This shows that sex between two unmarried people does not constitute a marriage in the eyes of God, but as under the law later,
the right thing would then be for the couple to marry (Deuteronomy 22:28-29; See #2.21). In this case the marriage never took place,
because Shechem was deceived by Dinah's brothers (Genesis 34:13), and they killed him and his family for defiling their sister (vv25-27).
In the second case, Amnon, David's son by Ahinahoam (1 Chronicles 3:1), raped his half sister Tamar, who was the sister of Absolom (2 Samuel 13:1), and therefore daughter of Maachah (1 Chronicles 3:2). Sex between half brother and sister was forbidden under the law (Leviticus 18:9; 20:17), so this could never have resulted in a lawful marriage anyway. David failed to discipline Amnon according to the law (Leviticus 18:9 with 18:29), possibly because he was his son, but perhaps he was also lenient because he remembered his own adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-4). Amnon's fate was the same a Shechem's fate in the first case, he was later killed by the brother of the raped Girl, this time Absolom (2 Samuel 13:28-29).
If you have benefited from reading this study, then please tell your friends about this website.
If you have a website of your own, then please consider linking to this website. See the Website Links page.
Please send this link to any friends who are interested in Divorce and Remarriage under the law of Moses.