[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Mon Jul 16 05:20:55 EDT 2007

On 16/07/2007 00:00, Harold Holmyard wrote:
> ...
>> 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.
Even today in the Middle East women are put to death for sexual sins.

But in practice brides are unlikely to have been put to death for lack 
of virginity on their weddding night. This is because Middle Eastern 
women and girls know well how to make sure there are appropriate blood 
marks on the sheet even if they are not virgins. All that is needed is a 
scratch from a sharp fingernail. I got this information from women in a 
cultural setting where this practice of examining the bedclothes is 
still well known.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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