[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 15 19:00:21 EDT 2007

Dear Isaac,
> We need to distinguish between physical virginity and chastity.

HH: The law is not talking about the issue you brought up. It is talking 
especially about whether the woman had sex before marriage or not. God 
is not like us. He says what he means.

> 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.

HH: This is not the subject at all. In the 1800's in the case of Beduins 
and lower classes of the Moslems in Egypt and Syria, the parents would 
take possession of the spotted bed clothes directly after the marriage 
night. They did for just this reason of being able to disprove the later 
false accusation of a malcontent husband. The issue is a moral one. The 
Deuteronomy law was a warning against bogus accusations of promiscuity 
in order to get out of a new marriage that one regretted. It was a 
warning of the dire consequences of promiscuity prior to marriage. God 
legislated these matters. The words mean what they say.

> 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. 

HH: First, it is not inconceivable, because plenty of other Mosaic laws 
threaten death or similar consequences for sexual sins. Second, the law 
codes of the ancient world could be very harsh. If you read the law 
codes of other ancient peoples like the Assyrians, you will see that it 
is not at all inconceivable.

Harold Holmyard

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