Deuteronomy 22:13-30

Laws on Morality

13 “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then [f]turns against her, 14 and charges her with shameful deeds and [g]publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ 15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he [h]turned against her; 17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But [i]this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. 18 So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he [j]publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot [k]divorce her all his days.

20 “But if this [l]charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her [m]to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

22 “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

23 “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them [n]to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

25 “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. 27 When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

30 [o]A man shall not take his father’s wife so that he will not uncover his father’s skirt.

We have this odd idea today that you can have sex without any commitment. And while that is legally true, it is not true in any other sense. God as very clear about it with the Israelites, that having sex was not “outside of marriage”, it IS marriage.

In those days, engagement was the promise to become married, and the act of sex was what it meant to become married. And it reflected the gravity of the act of sex. It is not a light frivolous thing to be played around with. It is very intimate, it bonds two people together, and it should not be thrown around like some play thing.

Likewise, for married folks, don’t take it lightly, but do not abuse it either. It is not a tool to be used for leverage, it is a bonding process, and should be respected and cherished (on both sides).

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