@Unreal7Reality made a comment to me about Deuteronomy 22:13-21
Quote "A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed" Deuteronomy 22:13-21. Do you believe in this statement? I was under the impression that the sacred Bible was the word of God, who would never approve of killing. End Quote
To answer Unreal7Reality’s question about if I believe in this statement, my answer is, no, I don’t believe in the statement Unreal7Reality wrote as it is by far nowhere near being in context to the actual verses of Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
To correct the impression Unreal7Reality is under about God never approving of killing; God does at times approve killing yet murder is never approved of by God. Killing is approved by God in self-defense/protection of individual and of nations. In Deuteronomy 22:13-21 stoning the offenders of the laws is an approved killing because it is both protection of individuals and of the nation of Israel.
Now to set those who want to really know what Deuteronomy 22:13-21 really says, please stay with me and we’ll go through it now. To you others, you can stay in ignorance about it if you want as it is your God given few will choice to do so if you so please. I suggest however, that you stay and actually learn what Deuteronomy 22:13-21 actually says.
Deuteronomy 22:13-21 (Holman Christian Standard)
Violations of Proper Sexual Conduct
13 "If a man marries a woman,
has sexual relations with her, and comes to hate her, 14 and accuses [her] of shameful conduct, and gives her a bad name, saying, 'I married this woman and was intimate with her, but I didn't find [any] evidence of her virginity,'
15 the young woman's father and mother will take the evidence of her virginity and bring [it] to the city elders at the gate.
16 The young woman's father will say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, but he hates her.
17 He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying: 'I didn't find [any] evidence of your daughter's virginity, but here is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.' They will spread out the cloth before the city elders.
18 Then the elders of that city will take the man and punish him.
19 They will also fine him 100 silver [shekels] and give [them] to the young woman's father, because that man gave an Israelite virgin a bad name. She will remain his wife; he cannot divorce her as long as he lives.
20 But if this accusation is true and no evidence of the young woman's virginity is found,
21 they will bring the woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city will stone her to death. For she has committed an outrage in Israel by being promiscuous in her father's house. You must purge the evil from you.”
First, what is the book of Deuteronomy all about?
The book of Deuteronomy is in the Old Testament and is God reminding the Israelite people of what He had done and encouragement for them to rededicate their lives to Him. God reviewed His laws for the people and outlined how the legal contract between God and His people (the Israelites) had to be renewed by each generation and each person responding to God’s call for obedience. In God’s plan, the Israelites were the people whom He had made a promise of a Messiah to save them from their sins against God. Also, the Messiah would be a descendant from the Israelites. In the New Testament we learn that Christ Jesus is the Messiah whom within the Old Testament was prophesized would come and take upon Himself everyone’s sins thus giving to everyone who repents of their sins and believes in Him as fully paying for their sins everlasting life with God.
God desires love from the heart, not merely legalistically keeping the law and God reminded His people that in order to ratify His agreement that they much choose the path of obedience. A personal decision to obey would bring benefits to their lives; rebellion would bring severe calamity. We see this every day in the way someone’s choices impact the lives of not only themselves but of those around them. Take a drunkard who drives a car while drunk and then crashing into someone else’s car head-on killing everyone in the other car.
Or better yet seeing that we are talking about Deuteronomy 22:13-23:2 and its laws of proper sexual conduct; take a person who is infatuated with sexual pleasures who indulges into sexual promiscuity, getting sexually transmitted diseases, and continues to indulge with multiple sex partners transmitting sexual transmitted diseases to others and then to someone who goes home to a faithful spouse who now gets a sexually transmitted disease. Take too those who indulge into sexual promiscuity who then abort the unborn child. Each of these personal decisions to rebel brings severe calamity to each one involved and others who are not.
Deuteronomy 22:13—23:2 deals with the Laws of Proper Sexual Conduct
There are six laws of chastity given to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 22:13—23:2 which are basic to family integrity. Violations were punishable by stoning the violators (man and woman) to death.
To my knowledge only one encounter of someone breaking one of these six laws given in Deuteronomy was given in the Bible and it wasn’t told in the Old Testament, it was told in the New Testament when the Pharisees (the Jewish extreme religious leaders) brought only the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and not the man who was committing adultery with her. If you care to know the outcome of this, you can find it in the New Testament book of John 8:1-11.
Loss of virginity was tantamount to adultery in the case of betrothal, implied here in Deuteronomy 22:21. It was considered nothing short of harlotry, a sin that brought disrepute upon the whole community. Physical whoredom was analogous to spiritual unfaithfulness to the Lord, and was therefore deemed deserving of death – as severe as this sanction may appear by today’s “standards.”
Today’s “standards” allow for anything goes before marriage because marriage is taken by more and more people as nothing special at all. More and more marriages are about convince rather than about a man and woman choosing to love one another through good and bad times; and more like mere selfish sexual relations instead of a man and woman making a lifelong commitment to each other working together through the tough times and becoming closer to each other; desiring to give pleasure to the other and unselfishly enjoying each other’s presence.
Evidence of the woman’s virginity refer to those means by which a betrothed woman and her family proved her virginity to her husband. Failure to produce evidence (the blood stained honeymoon bed sheet for example) could lead to the woman’s execution for “playing the whore.” Seeing that the woman was to be married to the man there was a trust given by the man to the woman that the woman would stay pure and sexually untouched before their marriage. Back then, both man and woman being virgins was an important and special thing unlike today where so many men and women take instead sexual relations before marriage as something special… until the “right” spouse actually comes along.
I wish that I would have waited until after I was married yet instead, I rushed into sexual relations with a number of women instead of waiting to really get to know any of them. From one to the next it was all only about me and my sexual satisfaction and not about my giving to them the love and affection they deserved. From them too, it was about their sexual satisfaction and nothing about a lasting relationship. Overall there was nothing good about any of these sexual relations that I had and now there’s only regret that I have for how I treated those women and even more so regret for how it negatively affects my marriage today.
The Husband Lied!
Yet, if the woman was a virgin and the man was lying about her, that man would be taken out and would be punished and would also have to pay the woman’s father a fine in silver and had to remain as the woman’s husband. The punishment would include some sort of beating and a monetary fine.
Basically, the fine was such that the man lying about the woman’s virginity would become a bond slave to the woman’s father and the husband to the woman he lied about. Now you may think that the woman who was lied about is being forced to be married to the man who lied about her yet you’d be wrong. Remember that the woman and man were already both pledged to be married and were married. You may think that it be unfair to the woman who was lied about having to continue to be married to the man who lied about her however, how many of you have never lied? Also, the woman is to be supported by this man for the rest of her life. How many fathers would you think would let their daughter not be kept well by her husband especially seeing that her husband was a bond slave to him?
So you say that the woman shouldn’t have to stayed married to the man who lied about her and again I ask you how many lies do you tell each day?
Why did God include all these laws for the Israelites about sexual sins in Deuteronomy? Remember that around three million Israelites were wondering around for 40 years on an extended camping trip and thus instructions about sexual behavior would have been vital to help keep everyone healthy. Yet equally important is when they entered the promised land and settled down as a nation.
Sins involving sex are not innocent dabbling in forbidden pleasures, as is so often portrayed, but powerful destroyers of relationships. They confuse and tear down the climate of respect, trust, and credibility so essential for solid marriages and secure children. Sexually transmitted diseases were started and are spread by sins involving sexual violations and promiscuity. As does sexual promiscuity cause hundreds if not thousands of unborn babies to die each day from abortions.
Just as the choices the Israelites, our choices make a difference. Choosing to follow God benefits us and improves our relationships with others. Choosing to abandon God’s ways brings harm to ourselves and others. The more we individually and as a society belittle the call for us to not be sexually promiscuous prior to and during marriage, the more we bring harm to ourselves, others, and generations to come.
What do You Think?
So basically, these laws in Deuteronomy were given to the Israelites by God to prohibit sexual conduct outside of marriage for both men and women. The consequences of breaking these laws (stoning to death), I’m sure deterred many men and women from sexual conduct outside of marriage. Do you think any of the Israelites broke these laws? I do and I think many of them didn’t get caught. Do you think that if these laws were applicable to us today and that their consequences were carried out that would deter sexual conduct outside of marriage? I do to some degree however as we can see by how many laws we as a society have today which are broken every day there would be some who would do so anyway and as with the many other laws broken today many will get away with it here on earth. However, each one of us (me included) will face God for judgment because; “Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God.” Hebrews 9:27
I am certainly glad that these laws in Deuteronomy are applicable to only the Israelites because I if caught back when I was breaking these laws, would have been stoned a long time ago if God had them applicable during my lifetime and they were carried out against me for my breaking them. Just because these laws and their consequences do not directly apply to us today as law doesn’t mean that you and I should not choose to follow these laws instructions about proper sexual behavior today. For example if everyone had followed them in the past from Adam to today, there would be no sexually transmitted diseases and also there would be a great reduction in unborn babies being aborted. If everyone started following them today, eventually there would no longer be any sexually transmitted diseases and a great reduction in unborn babies being aborted.
It is Your Choice
It is your choice to make to read the Bible in context or not. It is your choice to make if you want to know and follow where truth leads. It is your choice to make if you want to not just take my word for truth and do your own seeking for truth. I suggest that you not take my word for anything that I’ve said. It is your life, why should you believe me? I don’t know everything however I do know where to start learning about it… the Holy Bible.
I suggest to you that you learn and follow where truth leads now rather than later. “Who are you and I but a vapor that is visible for a moment and then vanishes for you and I do not know what tomorrow brings.” James 4:14
“You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Which road are you on and which gate will you enter through?
The Apologetics Study Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible; Holman
The King James Study Bible; Nelson
Life Application Study Bible, New International Version; Zondervan