And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her,
&c.] Her beautiful garments, and gay apparel, in which she was taken captive; and which tended to stir up the stronger affection for her, and greater desire after her; and therefore, as some think, were ordered to be removed, to abate the ardour of love to her. Jarchi observes, that the daughters of the Gentiles used to adorn themselves in war, that they might cause others to commit fornication with them; and another writer before referred to says F15, the daughters of Heathens used to adorn themselves in raiment of silk, and purple, and fine linen, and needlework, to allure and entice men with them; and therefore the law obliges to put off her beautiful garments, and clothe her with old worn out ones, that she might be less agreeable to him; though the putting off her fine clothes, and being clad with sordid ones, might be only as a token of mourning; as it was customary at such times to lay aside richer clothing, and put on sackcloth, ( Jonah 3:6 )
and shall remain in thine house:
shut up there, and never stir out, as the same writer interprets it. Maimonides F16 says, that she was to be with him in the house, that going in and out he might see her, and she become abominable to him; though perhaps it was only that he might have an opportunity of observing her manners, and of conversing with her, in order to make a proselyte of her; so the Targum of Jonathan interprets it of dipping herself, and becoming a proselytess in his house; or else, as the rest, her abiding in the house, and not going out, might be on account of mourning, as follows:
and bewail her father and her mother a full month;
who were either dead in the battle, or however she had no hope of seeing them any more, being a captive, and likely to be settled in another man's house in a foreign country, and so take her farewell of her father's house in this mournful manner. The Jews are divided about the sense of these words; some take them simply to signify her parents, others her idols, according to ( Jeremiah 2:17 ) . The Targum of Jonathan is,
``and weep for the idols of the house of her father and her mother;''meaning not for the loss of them, but for the idolatry of her father's house she was now convinced of, being become a proselytess, according to the paraphrast; but the last seems only to have respect to the loss of her father and mother, which she was to bewail a whole month, or "a moon of days" F17; as many days as the moon is going its course, which it finishes in twenty seven days, seven hours, and forty three minutes, and this is called the periodical month; but is longer in passing from one conjunction of it with the sun to another, called the synodical month, and its quantity is twenty nine days, twelve hours, and forty four minutes. Maimonides F18 says, she was to stay in his house three months, one month of mourning, and two after that, and then he was to marry her. The reason of this the Targum of Jonathan explains, by paraphrasing the words thus,
``and shall stay three months, that it may be known whether she is with child;''that is, by his lying with her before when taken with her beauty, that so he might distinguish this child begotten on her in Heathenism, from what he might have by her after marriage, which is supposed to be the case of Tamar and Absalom; but as there is no foundation in the text for a permission to lie with her before marriage, so neither for these additional months; only one month was required, which was the usual time for mourning for deceased relations; see ( Numbers 20:29 ) ( Deuteronomy 34:8 )
and after that thou shalt go in unto her;
and not before:
and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife
he continuing to love her, and she having become a proselytess.
F15 R. Abraham Seba in Tzeror. Hammor, fol. 146. 2.
F16 Ut supra. (Hilchot Melachim, c. 8. sect. 2.)
F17 (Mymy xry) "luna dierum", Montanus, Piscator, Grotius.
F18 Ut supra (Hilchot Melachim, c. 8.), sect. 6.