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Deuteronomy 22:13-29

Purity in the Marriage Relationship

22:13 Suppose a man marries a woman, has sexual relations with her, 1  and then rejects 2  her, 22:14 accusing her of impropriety 3  and defaming her reputation 4  by saying, “I married this woman but when I had sexual relations 5  with her I discovered she was not a virgin!” 22:15 Then the father and mother of the young woman must produce the evidence of virginity 6  for the elders of the city at the gate. 22:16 The young woman’s father must say to the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man and he has rejected 7  her. 22:17 Moreover, he has raised accusations of impropriety by saying, ‘I discovered your daughter was not a virgin,’ but this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!” The cloth must then be spread out 8  before the city’s elders. 22:18 The elders of that city must then seize the man and punish 9  him. 22:19 They will fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, for the man who made the accusation 10  ruined the reputation 11  of an Israelite virgin. She will then become his wife and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

22:20 But if the accusation is true and the young woman was not a virgin, 22:21 the men of her city must bring the young woman to the door of her father’s house and stone her to death, for she has done a disgraceful thing 12  in Israel by behaving like a prostitute while living in her father’s house. In this way you will purge 13  evil from among you.

22:22 If a man is caught having sexual relations with 14  a married woman 15  both the man who had relations with the woman and the woman herself must die; in this way you will purge 16  evil from Israel.

22:23 If a virgin is engaged to a man and another man meets 17  her in the city and has sexual relations with 18  her, 22:24 you must bring the two of them to the gate of that city and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry out though in the city and the man because he violated 19  his neighbor’s fiancĂ©e; 20  in this way you will purge 21  evil from among you. 22:25 But if the man came across 22  the engaged woman in the field and overpowered her and raped 23  her, then only the rapist 24  must die. 22:26 You must not do anything to the young woman – she has done nothing deserving of death. This case is the same as when someone attacks another person 25  and murders him, 22:27 for the man 26  met her in the field and the engaged woman cried out, but there was no one to rescue her.

22:28 Suppose a man comes across a virgin who is not engaged and overpowers and rapes 27  her and they are discovered. 22:29 The man who has raped her must pay her father fifty shekels of silver and she must become his wife because he has violated her; he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

1 tn Heb “goes to her,” a Hebrew euphemistic idiom for sexual relations.

2 tn Heb “hate.” See note on the word “other” in Deut 21:15. Cf. NAB “comes to dislike”; NASB “turns against”; TEV “decides he doesn’t want.”

3 tn Heb “deeds of things”; NRSV “makes up charges against her”; NIV “slanders her.”

4 tn Heb “brings against her a bad name”; NIV “gives her a bad name.”

5 tn Heb “drew near to her.” This is another Hebrew euphemism for having sexual relations.

6 sn In light of v. 17 this would evidently be blood-stained sheets indicative of the first instance of intercourse. See E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy (NAC), 302-3.

7 tn Heb “hated.” See note on the word “other” in Deut 21:15.

8 tn Heb “they will spread the garment.”

9 tn Heb “discipline.”

10 tn Heb “for he”; the referent (the man who made the accusation) has been specified in the translation to avoid confusion with the young woman’s father, the last-mentioned male.

11 tn Heb “brought forth a bad name.”

12 tn The Hebrew term נְבָלָה (nÿvalah) means more than just something stupid. It refers to a moral lapse so serious as to jeopardize the whole covenant community (cf. Gen 34:7; Judg 19:23; 20:6, 10; Jer 29:23). See C. Pan, NIDOTTE 3:11-13. Cf. NAB “she committed a crime against Israel.”

13 tn Heb “burn.” See note on Deut 21:21.

14 tn Heb “lying with” (so KJV, NASB), a Hebrew idiom for sexual relations.

15 tn Heb “a woman married to a husband.”

16 tn Heb “burn.” See note on the phrase “purge out” in Deut 21:21.

17 tn Heb “finds.”

18 tn Heb “lies with.”

19 tn Heb “humbled.”

20 tn Heb “wife.”

21 tn Heb “burn.” See note on the phrase “purge out” in Deut 21:21.

22 tn Heb “found,” also in vv. 27, 28.

23 tn Heb “lay with” here refers to a forced sexual relationship, as the accompanying verb “seized” (חָזַק, khazaq) makes clear.

24 tn Heb “the man who lay with her, only him.”

25 tn Heb “his neighbor.”

26 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man who attacked the woman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

27 tn Heb “lies with.”

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