Deuteronomy 22:23

23 "If there is a 1betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,

Deuteronomy 22:23 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 22:23

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband,
&c.] But not married, not as yet brought home to her husband's house, and the marriage consummated; for the Jews distinguish between being betrothed or espoused, and married; and generally there was some time between the one and the other. And a wife was obtained in this way by three things; by money, which was the most usual; and by writing, which was to be done before witnesses, and with her consent; and by copulation, which, though valid, was not so much approved of F1. There is a whole treatise in the Misnah, called Kiddushin, or Espousals, which largely treats of this matter:

and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
with her consent, as might be presumed by her not crying out, when, had she, she might have been heard, being in a city; and her being there also makes against her, since, being betrothed to a man, she ought to have abode in her father's house till her husband fetched her home, and not to have gadded abroad in the city, where she was exposed to temptation.


F1 Misn. Kiddushin, c. 1. sect. 1.

Deuteronomy 22:23 In-Context

21 then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father's house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
22 "If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
23 "If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,
24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
25 "But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.

Cross References 1

  • 1. [Matthew 1:18, 19]
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