[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Jul 15 18:24:32 EDT 2007


We need to distinguish between physical virginity and chastity.  
Deuteronomy 22:13-21 makes clear that lack of physical virginity  
means nothing, since we know, and the ancient Hebrews certainly knew  
as well, that a girl may inadvertently lose her virginity for no  
fault of her own. The threat of verses 20-21 is a theoretical one to  
impress upon the accusing husband the seriousness of his allegations.  
It is inconceivable that the ancient Hebrews would stone a woman to  
death for sheer lack of virginity.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 15, 2007, at 5:35 PM, Harold Holmyard wrote:

> Dear Isaac,
>> The whole point of Deuteronomy 22:13-21 is to calm down and shut up a
>> mad husband [as in the case of a supposedly SOTAH] who does not know
>> [or does not want to know] that some girls are born non virgins, that
>> some girls need some medical intervention to facilitate their blood
>> flow during menstruation which leads to virginity loss, and that a
>> good number of girls loose their virginity by some common non sexual
>> activities. So an old blood stained dress is produced, he is goodly
>> thrashed, goodly fined, and made to stick with his wife for the rest
>> of his miserable life for wishing her stoned. The rest of them
>> husbands will learn their lesson: You want to divorce you wife just
>> tell her to go home.
> HH: Did you read the entire passage? The woman found not to have  
> been a
> virgin at marriage was to be stoned to death. This law is dealing with
> several issues. But it shows that God puts a premium on sexual purity,
> and that he expected it of the women in Israel before marriage.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard
>>> Deut. 22:13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her,  
>>> dislikes her
>>> Deut. 22:14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I
>>> married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find  
>>> proof of
>>> her virginity,”
>>> Deut. 22:15 then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof  
>>> that she
>>> was a virgin to the town elders at the gate.
>>> Deut. 22:16 The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my
>>> daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her.
>>> Deut. 22:17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your
>>> daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s
>>> virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the  
>>> elders
>>> of the town,
>>> Deut. 22:18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him.
>>> Deut. 22:19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give
>>> them to the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite
>>> virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not
>>> divorce her as long as he lives.
>>> Deut. 22:20 ¶ If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the  
>>> girl’s
>>> virginity can be found,
>>> Deut. 22:21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s  
>>> house and
>>> there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a
>>> disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her
>>> father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
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