And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman
Has carnal knowledge of her: a man and woman are expressed, signifying those that are of age, Aben Ezra observes, that according to the mystical exposition of these words, this same carnally lying is as of divers kinds, of a free man with a bondwoman, and so follows upon the above law and in connection with it: the woman is described as one that [is] a bondmaid;
either meaning a Canaanitish maid, as Jarchi, or an Israelitish one, as Aben Ezra, whom her father had sold, ( Exodus 21:7 ) ; betrothed to her husband:
to an Hebrew servant, as Jarchi, or who was promised marriage, either by her master or his son, as Aben Ezra, ( Exodus 21:8 Exodus 21:9 ) ; and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her:
or redeemed and not redeemed, as Jarchi; or, as the Targum of Jonathan, not yet redeemed with an entire redemption (or wholly redeemed) with silver, nor a writing of her freedom given her, part of the redemption price being paid, but not the whole; so that she was, as Jarchi and Ben Gersom express it, half a bondmaid and half free: she shall be scourged;
and not he, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi remark, though the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "both shall be beaten"; and the original text does not clearly determine it whether one or both should be scourged, since it may be rendered, "there shall be a scourging" F15; and seeing both were guilty of sin, it is reasonable to suppose that both should be scourged, but this is contrary to the sense of the Jewish writers; so Kimchi F16 observes, the word is (hyht) in the singular number and feminine gender, and not in the plural; wherefore, according to the simple sense, she is to be beaten, and not he to be beaten; and this was done with the thong of an ox's hide, as is the sense of the word used, according to Gaon, and so some in Aben Ezra; and so it is remarked in the Misnah F17, all the uncleannesses, whether of a man or woman, are alike as to stripes and sacrifice, but with respect to a bondmaid, he (i.e. God) hath not made the man equal to the woman as to stripes, nor the woman to the man as to sacrifice: they shall not be put to death, because she was not free;
otherwise adultery was punished with death of both parties, when committed with a woman married to an husband, ( Deuteronomy 22:22 ) ; and she a free woman, but this not being so, were not guilty of death, because, as Jarchi says, her espousals were no espousals, whereas they would had she been free, and so have been guilty of death: this difference the law made between a bond and free woman, but in Christ Jesus and under the Gospel dispensation there is no difference, ( Galatians 3:28 ) .
F15 (hyht trqb) "vapulatio erit", Fagius, Vatablus, Ainsworth; "flagellatio adhibetor"; Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F16 Sepher Shorash. rad. (rqb) .
F17 Ceritot, c. 2. sect. 4.