[b-hebrew] virginity

Tory Thorpe torythrp at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 22 20:39:48 EDT 2007

Dear Shoshanna,

I'm in agreement with you that pre-marital sex was per se no capital  
offense, illicit sex could be. But if a woman claims -- after the  
wedding night -- that her hymen was broken through no fault of her  
own before the wedding night but subsequent to the bretrothal, the  
husband can dispute her testimony. Bed-linen from the wedding night  
wont help her case because of her admission and because the unstained  
linen is the husband's evidence against her: "I did not find BTWLYM  
in her" (Dt. xxii 14). But then, if no BTWLYM are produced, she is  
stoned to death (vv. 20-21), and in this case she is stoned precisely  
for having sex before the betrothal. Lying is not a capital offense.  
The big question, however, is what kind of BTWLYM could she then  
possibly be expected to submit in refutation of the husband's claim?  
What are BTWLYM?

Tory Thorpe

On Jul 22, 2007, at 5:03 PM, Shoshanna Walker wrote:

> Because only a woman who has committed adultery, not sex without
> marriage/betrothal, is subject to the death penalty.  "Played the
> whore" refers to that, not to modern day ideas of what promiscuity
> consists of.
> Shoshanna

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