Some Laws Regarding Marriage

Aug 23, 2015

The next group of laws Moses outlines relate to marriage. The first deals with a husband who comes to despise his wife and accuses her of not being a virgin when they married. If her parents produce signs of her virginity to the elders of the city, the husband is required to keep her as his wife and may not divorce her. If his accusations are found to be true, however, the wife is stoned.

 

If a man and woman commit adultery, both are stoned.

 

If a man lies with a betrothed woman, both are killed, but if the incident takes place outside an inhabited area, she is spared, because it is assumed she cried for help and nobody heard her to rescue her. If the woman was not betrothed, he must pay her father for his actions and marry the girl, keeping her as his wife forever.

 

Moses then lists a series of forbidden marriages: a man may not marry the wife of his father; a bastard child cannot marry a member of the congregation of Israel, nor can an Ammonite or Moabite, or a man with a crushed or severed organ; and a convert from the nation of Edom or Egypt may only marry into the nation after three generations.

 

The Israel Bible relates that despite the abuse suffered by the Israelites during the slavery in Egypt, God commands us not to treat them the same way. We must have compassion for all His children. The Torah warns us against rejoicing at the suffering of an enemy. For this reason,  every Passover, when the Jewish people celebrate their salvation from the hands of their Egyptian oppressors, they spill symbolic drops of wine from their cups to indicate that their joy is diminished due the suffering endured by their enemies.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think the Ammonites and Moabites are treated differently by the Torah than the Egyptians? Why might their offences be considered more serious than anything the Egyptians did to the Israelites?

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