13 suppose a male marries a woman, has actually sexual connections with her, and then rejects her, 14 accusing her of impropriety and also defaming her call by saying, “I married this woman yet when I had sexual connections with she I uncovered she was no a virgin!”

In old Israel, a mrs was betrothed to a male some time after the start of puberty but lived in she parents’ house before the wedding. If she had sex with anyone else throughout this expression she was to it is in executed for committing adultery. Scholar disagree on whether vv. 13-21 apply only come sexual connections the woman had while betrothed or to sexual relations the woman had actually at any type of time prior to the wedding.

You are watching: Deuteronomy 22:13-21

It seems this legislation envisions the husband rejecting the wife shortly after the consummation of the marriage. One may recall Amnon’s hatred of Tamar ~ his lust was satisfied (2 Sam 13:15). The phrasing that v. 14 suggests this procedure is just invoked if the husband renders his charge public. The matter could have been taken treatment of privately (e.g., her family members refunded the bride-price).

The Hebrew literally has the guy saying, “I go not find virginity in her.” store in mind the Hebrew native betulim can signify “female adolescence” or “virginity.” What can the “evidence the virginity/adolescence” be? Possibilities encompass an undamaged hymen, bleeding throughout the an initial act the sex, or menstruation. Talmudic sources well-known that no all virgins have intact hymens or bleed the an initial time they have actually sex.

The husband’s motive is more than likely to obtain a divorce and also get the bride-price back. If he divorced her without cause he would most likely forfeit the bride-price.

15 then the father and also mother that the young woman must develop the evidence of virginity because that the elders of the city in ~ the gate.

The father and mother had given the young woman to the male for marriage. It was their obligation to protect their daughter. The evidence of virginity was conserved for simply such one eventuality and because it was a symbol of family members pride. The tradition of verifying wedding-night virginity is recognized in numerous cultures.

16 The young woman’s father have to say to the elders, “I provided my daughter to this man and also he has actually rejected her. 17 Moreover, he has raised accusations of impropriety by saying, ‘I discovered your daughter was no a virgin,’ but this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!” The towel must climate be spread out out prior to the city’s elders.

What is the cloth that serves as proof of the wife’s virginity/adolescence? the is i can not qualify to it is in the bloodstained paper from the wedding night, kept by the wife’s parents, since the husband, learning such a towel existed, would not lug charges and also face inescapable punishment. It might be an short article of garments with menstrual bloodstains ~ above it come prove she had not been pregnant prior to the wedding. Second problem, together Talmudic and medieval sources recognized, is that it would be easy for the bride or her parents to produce a fake cloth. Shadal suggests the charges room made easy to rebut in order to protect women and also to discourage husbands indigenous bringing such charges.

18 The elders of that city need to then seize the man and punish him. 19 They will certainly fine the one hundred shekels of silver and give them come the young woman’s father, because that the guy who make the accusation destroyed the reputation of an Israelite virgin. She will certainly then come to be his wife and also he might never divorce she as lengthy as the lives.

The Hebrew that v. 18 suggests the husband might have challenged some sort of corporal punishment (e.g., flogging; Josephus says the forty lashes minus one). The fine is dual the quantity assessed the seducer in v. 29.

The quantity of the good was significant relative to that economy. David, because that example, later on bought Araunah’s threshing floor and oxen for just fifty silver shekels (2 Sam 24:24). Such an huge penalty would clearly deter young husbands from such frivolous and also fallacious allegations.1

although the bride to be disgraced, the good is offered to she father because the financial loss led to by the accusation would be his, and also because the accusation disgraced him, too, because it implied that he did not raise a virtuous daughter. There would be no allude in offering the fine to the bride since, together Abravanel observes, she is under she husband’s authority and also he would be able to take the fine back from her.2

This law suggests the protection that comes with being married, even to this kind of man, is preferable to the insecurity of gift a divorce woman that nobody else is likely to marry. It additionally prevents the man from achieving the goal he had collection out to attain in the very first place (divorce or the palliation of the bride-price). Merrill marvels if the woman might initiate a divorce if she so desired, yet it is no clear whether old Israelite women might initiate a divorce.

According come Deut 19:16-21 the human being who provides a false accusation should confront the exact same punishment together would have actually been carried out had his false accusation to be believed. In this instance that would certainly be death (vv. 20-21), yet the lied husband go not challenge execution. This prompts some scholars come speculate the the penalty in vv. 20-21 is expected as a deterrent and also not to it is in literally lugged out.

20 but if the accusation is true and also the young woman was not a virgin, 21 the males of she city must carry the young mrs to the door of she father’s house and stone her come death, for she has actually done a disgraceful point in Israel through behaving like a prostitute while life in she father’s house. In this way you will purge angry from amongst you.

The execution takes place at the father’s residence to indicate the shame the rested ~ above the household (and perhaps due to the fact that it was wherein the sin occurred). The daughter to be guilty the both fornication/adultery and also misrepresenting herself as a virgin to her parents and also the groom.

This legislation does not cite the normal need of two witnesses to a crime for conviction and also execution (Deut 19:15). Jewish heritage holds that 2 witnesses must testify the they experienced the woman about to sin.

Tigay claims the usage of the ax “fornication” rather of “adultery” way this law concerns all premarital sex on the woman’s part, not simply that limited to the duration of betrothal. But Lundbom states the hatchet does not require that the sexual misconduct arisen before the engagement. If Tigay is correct then this law problems with Ex 22:15-16 and also Deut 22:23-24, i beg your pardon only speak to for execution if the woman has sex while she is betrothed. If Deut 22:13-21 is interpreted as using only come a betrothed woman the contradiction disappears.


Craigie, Peter C. The publication of Deuteronomy. 2nd Edition. The new International comment on the Old Testament. Cool Rapids, Michigan: william B. Eerdmans publishing Company, 1976.

Lundbom, Jack R. Deuteronomy: A Commentary. Cool Rapids, Michigan: william B. Eerdmans posting Company, 2013.

Merrill, Eugene H. Deuteronomy. The brand-new American comment 4. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994.

Thompson, J. A. Deuteronomy: An advent and Commentary. Tyndale Old testimony Commentaries 5. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 1974.

Tigay, Jeffrey H. Deuteronomy. The JPS Torah Commentary. Philadelphia: Jewish publishing Society, 1996.

Woods, Edward J. Deuteronomy: An introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old testimony Commentaries 5. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2011.

See more: Check Into Cash Oklahoma City Ok Lahoma City, Ok, Oklahoma Rates And Terms

Wright, Christopher J. H. Deuteronomy. Expertise the bible Commentary Series. Cool Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1996.