Deuteronomy 22:23

23 “Suppose a man meets a young woman, a virgin who is engaged to be married, and he has sexual intercourse with her. If this happens within a town,

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.


FOOTNOTES:

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

Deuteronomy 22:23 In-Context

21 The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.
22 “If a man is discovered committing adultery, both he and the woman must die. In this way, you will purge Israel of such evil.
23 “Suppose a man meets a young woman, a virgin who is engaged to be married, and he has sexual intercourse with her. If this happens within a town,
24 you must take both of them to the gates of that town and stone them to death. The woman is guilty because she did not scream for help. The man must die because he violated another man’s wife. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.
25 “But if the man meets the engaged woman out in the country, and he rapes her, then only the man must die.