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This is Part 5 of Part 5 of our study on The Seventh Commandment.


Seduction and Rape




16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry (marriage price) for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must [still] pay money equivalent to the dowry of virgins.

(Exodus 22:16-17, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

This passage is addressing consensual sexual participation between an unmarried man and woman. “Endow” is translated from the Hebrew mahar (Strong’s #H4117) and it is translated by Strong’s Concordance as to bargain for:

…a primitive root … to bargain (for a wife), i.e. to wed.[1]

[1] James Strong, “מָהַר,” “Dictionary of the Hebrew Bible,” The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990) page 62.

A man who seduces and lies with a virgin is required to marry the woman, provided her father sanctions the marriage. The dowry is required even if the father forbids the marriage.

Yahweh’s Law protects women from predatory men. If a man takes away a maiden’s virginity, he is to monetarily remunerate her father and, if the father agrees, he must also take her as his wife.

Furthermore, the man is never allowed to put her away:

28 If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and is intimate with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who was intimate with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the girl’s father, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he can never [Literally, all his days.] divorce her.

(Exodus 22:28-29, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

A shekel was considered equal to a day’s wage. Today if a man’s daily wage is $100 per day, the dowry would be $5,000. If his wage is $200 per day, the dowry would be $10,000. Implement these statutes and there would be far fewer unprincipled men taking advantage of unsuspecting women and, therefore, far fewer pre-marital pregnancies – many of which end in infanticide (abortion).


We are not told what is to be done with the man who refuses to pay the dowry and take the woman to be his wife. The only alternative would be to treat the seducer as a rapist:

23 If a young woman who is a virgin is engaged (legally betrothed) to a man, and another man finds her in the city and is intimate with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and stone them to death—the young woman because she did not cry out for help [though she was] in the city, and the man because he has violated his neighbor’s [promised] wife. So you shall remove the evil from among you.

25 However, if the man finds the girl who is engaged (legally betrothed) in the [open] field, and seizes her and is intimate with her [by force], then only the man who lies with her shall be put to death. 26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no sin worthy of death, for this is the same as when a man attacks his neighbor and murders him [Literally, his soul.]. 27 When he found her in the [open] field, the engaged girl [may have] cried out for help, but there was no one to [hear and] save her.

(Deuteronomy 22:23-27, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Rape is a capital crime, not only for the rapist but also for the woman if she does not cry out for help when in earshot of others. If the victim does not cry out – unless physically prevented from doing so – one could wonder if she is a willing participant in adultery and she is, therefore, subject to being punished as an adulteress.

It is extremely important that parents teach their daughters to scream and fight if accosted. This not only establishes their innocence but most rapists will desist in their attacks when confronted with such resistance. Because fathers will not always be there to protect their daughters, they should instruct their daughters in self-defense and the use of firearms.[2]


[2] For a more thorough explanation concerning what the Bible has to say about firearms and self-protection, “Firearms: Scripturally Defended” may be read at

A Transgression of the Heart

At the core of all the Seventh Commandment violations is the sin of lust. In Matthew Chapter 5, Yeshua elaborated on the spirit of the law concerning adultery:

27 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who [so much as] looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

(Matthew 5:27-28, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

Adultery is not only a violation of the flesh; it is also a transgression of the heart:

18 But whatever [word] comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders (verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming).

(Matthew 15:18-19, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Willful sin is committed in the heart, even when it is not actually carried out in the flesh. Many men who would never commit physical adultery are nonetheless guilty before Yahweh of a Seventh Commandment infraction because they have committed adultery in their hearts. This is why it is so important that we guard not only our actions but also our hearts:

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

(Proverbs 4:23, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)

Yahweh does not want us simply keeping His Laws by rote with the attitude “I will because I have to!” For obedience to be pleasing to Him, it must come from our hearts:

37 And Jesus replied to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

(Matthew 22:37-40, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Because disobedience originates in our hearts, our obedience to Yahweh must also proceed from our hearts. Otherwise, it is sin that is master of our hearts – not Yahweh:

17 But thank God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed. 18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the slaves of righteousness [of conformity to God’s will and purpose].

(Romans 6:17-18, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

not in the way of eye-service [working only when someone is watching you and only] to please men, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart;

(Ephesians 6:6, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

Under the New Covenant, obedience or disobedience to the Commandments is a matter of love or hate for Yahweh and our fellow man, which is principally an issue of the heart. Therefore, guard your hearts as it pertains to the Seventh Commandment and if you cannot look upon a woman without lusting after her, make a covenant with your eyes as did Job:

I have made a covenant (agreement) with my eyes; How then could I gaze [lustfully] at a virgin?

(Job 31:1, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Matthew 5:28 settles any questions about pornography. Pornography comes in many forms – magazines, movies, and websites. There are also dial-a-porn telephone services, porn talk shows and pornographic lyrics.

Even if they don’t sell Playboy, Penthouse or Hustler, the newsstands in nearly every grocery store in America still displays pornography on dozens of magazine covers such as Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Elle. These magazines do not pose women nude – but how much skin can be shown before Yahweh considers it pornography?

The American society is at a point where women and men alike cannot take much more off without being completely exposed. Christians’ ethics have been dulled to where there is little difference between the world’s morals and the average Christian’s. Consider today’s swimwear. What most women would never consider wearing in public or in mixed company becomes perfectly acceptable provided it has stripes, polka dots, or some other design and is worn at the beach or pool. It is ludicrous to think that men do not lust after these near-naked women. Yet, in such places, it has become “socially acceptable” for women to tempt men to lust after them and for men to look on women in ways that otherwise would be considered lewd and immoral.

Simply put, Christian women do not parade around in their underwear, polka dotted or otherwise and Christian men do not frequent places where they will be tempted to commit fornication with women who do not have enough sense to keep their bodies covered.

11 Prostitution, wine, and new wine take away the mind and the [spiritual] understanding. 12 My [Yahweh] people consult their [lifeless] wooden idol, and their [diviner’s] wand gives them oracles. For a spirit of prostitution has led them astray [morally and spiritually], And they have played the prostitute, withdrawing themselves from their God.

(Hosea 4:11-12, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


This decadent behavior has been deliberately fostered by enemies of Christianity:

Behold the alcoholized animals, bemused with drink, the right to an immoderate use of which comes along with freedom. It is not for us and ours to walk that road. The peoples of the goyim [non-Jews] are bemused with alcoholic liquors; their youth has grown stupid on classicism and from early immorality, into which it has been inducted by our special agents – by tutors, lackeys, governesses in the houses of the wealthy, by clerks and others, by our women in the places of dissipation frequented by the goyim.[3]

[3] Protocol 1, Article 22, Sentences 1-3, Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, translated from Russian by Victor Emile Marsden, 1905, and subsequent editions, reprinted (Boring, OR: CPA Books) page 50. According to Marsden, the Protocols give the substance of the addresses delivered at the First Zionist Congress held in Basel, Switzerland in 1897 under its president and the father of modern Jewish Zionism, the late Theodor Herzl (Binyamin Ye’ev).

In countries known as progressive and enlightened we have created a senseless, filthy, abominable literature. For some time after our entrance to power we shall continue to encourage its existence … which will be distributed from exalted quarters of ours.[4]

[4] Protocol 14, Article 5, Sentences 1-2.

Pornography is almost always addictive and progressive in nature – it is spiritual slavery. It can get hold of you, never let go and eventually destroy your marriage and your life. Ted Bundy, America’s number one serial sexual murderer, testified that pornography was at the root of the perverse and wicked lifestyle that eventually led him to rape and murder twenty-three women.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18 the Apostle Paul instructs us to flee fornication. The Greek word translated “fornication” is, once again, porneia (Strong’s #G4202), from which our English word “pornography” is derived. The man who would flee fornication must flee pornography.

Seventh Commandment Judgment

Leviticus Chapter 20 addresses the judgment for transgressions of some of the Seventh Commandment statutes listed in chapter 18:

10 ‘The man who commits adultery with another’s wife, even his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall most certainly be put to death. 11 The man who lies [intimately] with his father’s wife has uncovered [The father’s nakedness is a reference to his wife in her role as his sexual partner, i.e. the nakedness that belongs to him alone by virtue of their marriage (cf 1 Corinthians 7:4). Otherwise, the literal meaning would refer to intimate relations with the father himself, including homosexuality. The text itself states that this is not the meaning, especially in 20:11a (The man who lies...has uncovered his father’s nakedness).] his father’s nakedness; both of them shall most certainly be put to death; their blood is on them. 12 If a man lies [intimately] with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall most certainly be put to death; they have committed incest; their blood is on them. 13 If a man lies [intimately] with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed a detestable (perverse, unnatural) act; they shall most certainly be put to death; their blood is on them. 14 It is immoral and shameful if a man marries a woman and her mother; all three shall be burned in fire, so that there will be no immorality among you. 15 If a man has intimate relations with an animal, he shall most certainly be put to death; you shall kill the animal also. 16 If a woman approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall most certainly be put to death; their blood is on them.

(Leviticus 20:10-16, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)[5]

[5] The phrase “burnt with fire” in verse 14 is probably referring to what is to be done with the corpse following stoning, as was done with Achan’s body in Joshua 7:28.

This and other Old Testament passages reveal that Yahweh’s view of adultery is so loathsome that it requires the death penalty.[6] In contrast, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia sheds light on perhaps why adultery is seldom punished any longer:

[6] Capital Punishment: Deterrent or Catalyst may be read at

Actual capital punishment for adultery ceased when the Second Temple was destroyed (70 C.E. [A.D.])…. During the Gaonic period the culprit was flogged, his head and beard were shaven, and he was excommunicated for a period…. Where Jews had a measure of autonomy in the Middle Ages the adulterer was punished by flagellation, imprisonment or exile. …the rabbis … received many requests from confessed adulterers for a suitable program of penance. The earliest and most famous of these programs are those of Eliezer of Worms and Judah of Regensburg (Sefer Hasidim, edit. Margulies, No. 167) of the 12th cent., who advised bathing in icy waters in winter time, exposure to the bites of insects, and frequent fasting. Maharam of Lublin (Responsum no. 45) went to the length of advising fasting for an entire year (eating only at night), refraining from meat and wine, sleeping on hard surfaces, and letting oneself be flogged daily. Ezekiel Landau (18th cent.) and others placed more stress on self-abasement, the study of Torah and the performance of charitable deeds (Responsa, vol. I; Orah Hayim, no. 35).[7]

[7]Adultery,” The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, NY: The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Inc., 1939) Volume 1, page 103.

As time has marched on, it has only worsened. Modern society has become so tolerant of adultery that even a misdemeanor judgment against this sin galls certain people:

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: Taylorsville, N.C. – A judge’s decision to charge an Alexander County couple with adultery under a seldom-used 1805 law could cause havoc in the courts, some lawyers say. District Court Judge Jimmy Myers of Davie County issued the charges … shocking lawyers and others in the Alexander County courtroom…. “This statute is rarely ever prosecuted by private citizens or by judges, mainly because a substantial part of our population violate it,” said Chas Coltrane, chairman of the Family Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association….

The adultery law – which prohibits a man and woman who aren’t married to each other to “lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together” – is prosecuted a few times each year in North Carolina…. Violating it is a misdemeanor; prison time is only possible if the defendant has prior criminal convictions….

“The way people are living, it is (outdated) …,” said Sen. John Garwood, R-Wilkes….[8]

[8] Hannah Mitchell, “N.C. Judge charges couple with adultery under 1805 law,” The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, August 19, 2001.

According to Chairman Coltrane and Senator Garwood, sin that has become trendy should be overlooked entirely. But Yahweh, His morality and therefore His Laws, including His Righteous Judgment for adultery, do not change with the trends. Adultery is still a capital crime!


The Woman Taken in Adultery

Some Christians cite John 8:1-11, in which Yeshua pardoned the woman taken in adultery, as evidence that this sin should no longer be considered a capital crime:

1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came back into the temple [court], and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began teaching them. 3 Now the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the court, 4 and they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?” 6 They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger. 7 However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. 9 They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you? 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

(John 8:1-11, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

This incident is often used by opponents to the death penalty in an attempt to do away with capital punishment altogether under the New Covenant. However, because Yeshua had not yet been crucified, this incident occurred prior to the commencement of the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15-17) and, therefore, cannot be used as a precedent for the New Covenant.

If Yeshua’s statement can be used to abolish capital punishment, He would then have been a sinner and He could not be our Savior. In order to be our Savior, He had to perfectly teach and observe all the Laws of Yahweh – which is precisely what He did in this and all other instances recorded in the New Testament.

Someone may argue that because He pardoned this woman instead of requiring her to be stoned, He did not keep the Law. But Yeshua did not repeal capital punishment; He upheld it, demonstrated in His initial ruling that this woman was to be stoned by her witnesses in compliance with Yahweh’s judgment for adultery in Leviticus Chapter 20.

At one point, Yeshua bent down and He wrote something in the dirt. Perhaps it was names, dates and transgressions of the woman’s accusers. Possibly it was the name(s) of her co-adulterer(s) standing before Him. Whatever it was, it was something that incriminated her accusers and they exited the scene, which in affect left no witnesses to the charges of adultery against the woman.

Yeshua then told her to go her way and sin no more. Yeshua followed the Law because in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15, it requires that capital punishment cannot be administered without the testimony of two or three witnesses. Yeshua referred to this very statute later in John 8:17. Moreover, the witnesses in capital cases are required to throw the first stones:

6 On [Literally, By the mouth of.] the evidence of two or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of [only] one witness. 7 The hand of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall remove the evil from among you.

(Deuteronomy 17:6-7, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Yeshua required this prerequisite when He said to the woman’s accusers, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” These men were most likely guilty of the same sin and, therefore, they could not be witnesses against this woman.

Yeshua did not change the judgment for adulterers. He upheld Yahweh’s Law perfectly as was required for Him to be our sinless sacrifice and Savior.

There is another part of the Law that Yeshua upheld and that is both parties who committed the adultery are to be brought before the people and judged according to Deuteronomy 22:22. As long as there are two or more witnesses, then and only then can both be judged and stoned to death. But if only one is brought before the people, that person cannot legally be stoned to death. In the case of the scribes and Pharisees who brought the woman before Yeshua who had been caught in adultery, they failed to also bring the man who was just as guilty as the woman was before Him.

The Incestuous Man

Some people attempt to abrogate the death penalty under the New Covenant using 1 Corinthians Chapter 5:

1 It is actually reported [everywhere] that there is sexual immorality among you, a kind of immorality that is condemned even among the [unbelieving] Gentiles: that someone has [an intimate relationship with. Some maintain that the man had married his stepmother. The marriage, if it occurred, was illegal and invalid by both Jewish and Roman law.] his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud and arrogant! You should have mourned in shame so that the man who has done this [disgraceful] thing would be removed from your fellowship!

3 For I [Paul], though absent [from you] in body but present in spirit, have already passed judgment on him who has committed this [act], as if I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I am with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to hand [Probably a call for the man to be excommunicated and removed from the safety and blessing of the church.] over this man to Satan for the destruction of his body, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

(1 Corinthians 5:1-5, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Because the Apostle Paul recommended excommunication instead of the death penalty for this adulterer,[9] it is sometimes assumed that capital punishment is not an option under the New Covenant. However, this interpretation pits 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 against John 8:1-11, Romans 1:28-32, 13:1-4 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10, all of which advocate capital punishment. Therefore, there must be another interpretation for 1 Corinthians Chapter 5, one that harmonizes this passage with these other four New Testament passages and explains why Paul recommended what appears to be a different punishment.

[9] Paul does not address the woman’s part in this sin; therefore, she must not have been a part of the Christian community in Corinth.

We find the answer, in part, in 2 Corinthians Chapter 10:

3 For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete.

(2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

This last phrase in the New American Standard Bible is translated “…we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” Why would Paul wait until the Christians’ obedience was complete to punish disobedience? This doesn’t make sense unless he was referring to a future point in time when the church would be grown enough in size and strength to influence or even control government community as it concerns the biblical judgment for sin.

Since Paul had this in mind, it substantiates that he expected the Christian community to set up their own judicial system:

1 Does any one of you, when he has a complaint [I.e., a property or civil claim (not a criminal matter) before it goes to court.] (civil dispute) with another [believer], dare to go to law before unrighteous men (non-believers) instead of [placing the issue] before the saints (God’s people)? 2 Do [This is the first of six “Do you not know” statements in this chapter.] you not know that the saints (God’s people) will [one day] judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to [Or to form the smallest courts.] try trivial (insignificant, petty) cases? 3 Do you not know that we [believers] will judge angels? How much more then [as to] matters of this life? 4 So if you have lawsuits dealing with matters of this life, are you appointing those as judges [to hear disputes] who are of no account in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is not one wise man among you who [is governed by integrity and] will be able and competent to decide [private disputes] between his fellow believers, 6 but instead, brother goes to law against brother, and that before [judges who are] unbelievers?

(1 Corinthians 6:1-6, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Because the church in its infancy did not have the civil force to carry out capital punishment and because, according to the Law of Yahweh, capital punishment is to be executed by vigilantes only in rare and specific cases, capital punishment was not always an option for the church at that time.[10]

[10] For a more thorough explanation concerning unlawful vigilantism, The Phinehas Hoods: A Biblical Examination of Unscriptural Vigilantism may be read at

When the Christian community had grown in size and political clout – when their obedience was complete – Paul declared that they should indeed punish all disobedience, as described in Romans Chapter 13:

3 For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. 4 For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer.

(Romans 13:3-4, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)[11]

[11] Christian Duty Under Corrupt Government: A Revolutionary Commentary on Romans 13:1-7, an expository explanation of Romans 13:1-7.

Paul’s intent is also evident in his use of the Greek word ekdikeo (Strong’s #G1556), translated revenge in the KJV phrase “in readiness to revenge all disobedience” in 2 Corinthians 10:6. It is derived from the word ekdikos (Strong’s #G1558), translated revenger in the KJV phrase “the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” in Romans 13:4.

If satanos (Strong’s #G4567) had been properly translated[12] adversary instead of transliterated[13] Satan, 1 Corinthians 5:5 might be understood to say that Paul was turning this man over to the Corinthian government – which was an adversary to the Christians – to be put to death for the destruction of his flesh.

[12] Translation commutes the meaning of a word from one language to another and it should be used for words other than the names of people, places, etc.

[13] Transliteration commutes the letters of a word from one language to another and it should be used exclusively for the names of people, places, etc.

1 Corinthians Chapter 5 does not abolish capital punishment for adultery or any other capital offense any more than does John Chapter 8. To do so would be equivalent to abolishing a part of Yahweh’s morality.

Two Exceptions

There are two exceptions in Yahweh’s Law to the death penalty for adultery. The first concerns sexual relations with a slave:

20 Now if a man has intimate relations with a woman who is a slave acquired for [marriage to] another man, but who has not been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment [after an investigation]; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free; 21 but he shall bring his guilt offering to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting, a ram as a guilt offering. 22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] for his sin which he has committed; and he shall be forgiven for his sin.

(Leviticus 19:20-22, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

This judgment may not set well with some people. But our judgment is not to conform the Bible to our morality but instead we are to conform our morality to what is written in the Absolute Written Word of Almighty Yahweh. Yahweh is God and we are but men, His creation. Yahweh always knows best, whether or not we like it or understand it.

This statute does not apply to slaves from different races or from the Canaanites, Moabites or Ammonites because such engaging would already be a transgression of Leviticus 18:21. Most, if not all, bondwomen were from nations of the same race whom the Israelites had conquered. Because they had been forced into bondage, they were not held to as severe a judgment as were the women who were free. Rousas John Rushdoony provides another possible explanation for this exception to capital punishment:

…a “bondmaid betrothed to a husband” (Leviticus 19:20), i.e., a girl who has been secured as a concubine, could not be put to death for adultery; both she and the guilty man could only be punished by scourging.[14] The reason is given: “they shall not be put to death, because she was not free” (Leviticus 19:20). A principle is clearly in evidence here: to whom much is given, from him much can be expected. But, since a concubine receives a limited status and receives less dignity in the marriage, only a limited loyalty can be expected. She was expected to be faithful, but in case of adultery her punishment was less, because her status was lower than that of the endowered wife. The wife had the security of her dowry and a status of authority; her punishment for adultery, as was the punishment for her husband for adultery, was death.[15]

[14] Although the King James Version uses the word “scourged” in Leviticus 19:20, scourging is not necessarily indicated in the Hebrew.

[15] Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1973) pages 363-364.

The second exception to the death penalty for adultery is when a man seduces a virgin:

16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry (marriage price) for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must [still] pay money equivalent to the dowry of virgins.

(Exodus 22:16-17, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

28 If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and is intimate with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who was intimate with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the girl’s father, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he can never [Literally, all his days.] divorce her.

(Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

Except in these two instances and perhaps for deliberate menstrual contamination, the Bible requires the death penalty for all unrepentant adulterers.[16] This is a sin that destroys not only marriages but it also destroys the family unit and, ultimately, society in general. History has demonstrated that the more adulterous or immoral a society becomes the closer it is to self-destructing. No wonder Yahweh deems this sin a capital crime.

[16] Rushdoony believes that Leviticus 20:19-21 provides a third exception for those who would “marry” the wife of an uncle, a blood aunt, or a brother’s wife. He interprets “die childless” to mean that they would have “no legal heir in their progeny” (Rushdoony, pages 368-369). However, a more consistent interpretation is that they are to be put to death before they bear any children.

Biblical Marriage

Incest, conjugal relations during a wife’s menstrual cycle, infidelity, forbidden lineage and interracial relationships, homosexuality, bestiality, prostitution, remarriage to a twice-divorced woman, marriage to a put-away woman and mixed-faith relationships all adulterate Yahweh’s plan for marriage and it perverts the holy and normal sexual relations intended for a man and his wife. What, then, constitutes a biblical marriage?

Sexual Relations Alone

Do sexual relations alone constitute a lawful marriage? Those who believe it does, use Isaac and Rebekah as their proof for this belief. In Genesis 24:67, when Abraham’s servant presented Rebekah to Isaac, he “Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah [in marriage], and she became his wife.” Because nothing is said in this incident about vows or a public ceremony, it is maintained that such are not necessary for a couple to be lawfully married. However, doctrine cannot be established by silence. Just because this passage does not mention vows or a public ceremony does not mean they did not occur.

The following passage alone disproves that physical relations constitute marriage:

16 Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall be one flesh. 17 But the one who is united and joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Run away from sexual immorality [in any form, whether thought or behavior, whether visual or written]. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the one who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.

(1 Corinthians 6:16-18, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

If the “one flesh” experience alone constitutes a lawful marriage then the Apostle Paul would not have identified the relationship with such women as fornication, nor the women involved in this lifestyle as harlots – the women would have instead been wives.

In Yeshua’s encounter with the Samaritan woman, He differentiated between husbands and non-husbands:

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not get thirsty nor [have to continually] come all the way here to draw.” 16 At this, Jesus said, “Go, call your husband and come back. 17 The woman answered, “I do not have a husband. Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I do not have a husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband [God does not regard cohabitation as marriage. Marriage is a binding, legal covenant between a man and a woman.]. You have said this truthfully.

(John 4:15-18, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

This woman had had five different men whom Yeshua recognized as husbands. But the man with whom she was living at the time was not her husband. Merely living with a man does not constitute marriage. Something set the former five husbands apart from the man she was cohabiting with at the time.

Public Vows

Because we are not told what it was that caused Yeshua to identify the five men as husbands, we must look elsewhere for the answer.

A single witness shall not appear in a trial against a man for any wrong or any sin which he has committed; [only] on [Literally, in the mouth of.] the testimony or evidence of two or three witnesses shall a charge be confirmed.

(Deuteronomy 19:15, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Bible Law requires two or three witnesses to a covenant of any sort, including marriage. One of those witnesses would most likely be the bride’s father, because a daughter must have her father’s permission, for the marriage to be lawful.

A Written Covenant

What father, in his right mind, would not require a vow and perhaps a written contract from the prospective son-in-law that he will protect, provide and be true to his daughter?

The ancient Code of Hammurabi, which has many similarities to and is believed to be derived from the Laws of Yahweh, requires a written agreement for a marriage to be valid:

If a man take a wife and does not draw up a contract with her, that woman is not a wife.[16]

[16] Hammurabi 128.

That this might have been a custom with the Israelites is perhaps manifest in Deuteronomy Chapter 24 where a writ of divorce is one of three elements that constitute a lawful divorce:

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she loses [Literally, finds no favor in his eyes.] his favor because he has found something indecent or unacceptable about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house,

(Deuteronomy 24:1, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)[17]

[17] For a more thorough explanation concerning divorce and remarriage, Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage may be read at

Although a written agreement between a husband and his wife might have been a custom of the Israelites, this is not a precedent for government licenses. The State has no jurisdiction licensing what Yahweh has already instituted and sanctioned.[18] State marriage licenses are just a cunning means of collecting revenue and, more disconcerting, they make the State the controlling power in the marriage, ultimately placing any children thereof under the authority and control of the State.

[18] A license makes legal what is otherwise unlawful. The first marriage license was issued circa 1870 for the purpose of making miscegenation legal. The state has no jurisdiction licensing what Yahweh has declared unlawful.

Yeshua’s Testimony

The fact that Yeshua’s first miracle was performed at a public wedding ceremony is indicative of His tacit sanction.

Sexual intimacy does not constitute a marriage – it consummates it.

Marriage by the Bible

Any study on the Seventh Commandment would be incomplete without devoting some time to the positive side of this commandment – to fidelity within the covenant of matrimony.

Too many people view marriage as an event in their life. In fact, the wedding is the event; marriage is a lifetime accomplishment. Better put – marriage is work. But, as with any good work, the returns from this labor of love far outweigh the effort expended. The dividends are paid not only to the couple but to their children and all generations to follow.

Yahweh designed the family unit, beginning with the relationship between husbands and wives, as the very fabric of a healthy society:

Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

(Hebrews 13:4, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Any society that fails to safeguard the sanctity of marriage is its own worst enemy. A strong society is impossible to maintain without healthy families that rest upon faithful marriages.

In 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-9, Yahweh made a man’s personal life – his personal testimony – central, even essential, to being a leader in a Christian society. Any husband or wife who would themselves dishonor the sanctity of their wedding vows can hardly be trusted with any other vows, agreements, contracts, business deals or partnerships. If a man’s wife cannot trust him, why should anyone else?

Because the destruction of the marriage covenant is ultimately the ruin of society, it is important that we rebuild the foundation of matrimony as Yahweh intends it and that we pass on the same vision to our children and grandchildren.


Fully Committed to Yahweh

A biblical relationship must begin with both the husband and wife being fully committed to Yahweh. Neither spouse will ever be what the other needs without first endeavoring to be everything that Yahweh intends them to be. Yahweh must come first, even before a spouse:

37 He [Commitment to Jesus takes precedence over all else.] who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come. The historical background behind this statement is that those who were about to be crucified had to carry the crossbeam to which they would be nailed or bound. In addition to the terrible agony that crucifixion inflicted, it was such a great indignity that some of the Roman writers used the word cross as a curse word in the expression “Go to a bad cross!” (Laterally, i in malam crucem).] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me.

(Matthew 10:37-38, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

A biblical marriage begins with husbands and wives loving Yahweh with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength. Next to Yahweh, they should love their spouses above all others:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

(Genesis 2:24, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)

This love for your spouse must exceed even that for your children. To love your children more than you do your mate is inevitably destructive to the relationship, in addition to passing on a poor legacy to your children and their future relationships.

Your children need to know that you desperately love them but even more importantly, they need to know that next to Yahweh, your spouse comes first in your life. Your spouse needs you to not only be a lover but also a best friend.


The world’s idea of a marital relationship is the antithesis of Yahweh’s idea. Yahweh calls for oneness or singularity, and therefore self-sacrifice, whereas the world touts’ individuality and therefore self-fulfillment. Yahweh’s design reaps the deepest of relationships, whereas the world’s idea provides, at the best, shallow, superficial relationships.

Our goal should be to become completely one with our spouses – physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. The physical relationship between a husband and wife alone will not make for a healthy relationship. This is not to say that it is unimportant. Women, generally speaking, are unable to find physical oneness and fulfillment without experiencing oneness in the other areas as well, whereas men, generally speaking, are unable to find oneness in other areas without experiencing oneness physically. In other words, Yahweh so designed us as men and women that we cannot experience oneness and fulfillment ourselves without seeking to please and satisfy the other:

My beloved is mine and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies.

(Song of Solomon 2:16, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)

3 The husband must fulfill his [marital] duty to his wife [with good will and kindness], and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have [exclusive] authority over her own body, but the husband shares with her; and likewise the husband does not have [exclusive] authority over his body, but the wife shares with him. 5 Do not deprive each other [of marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves [unhindered] to prayer, but come together again so that Satan will not tempt you [to sin] because of your lack of self-control.

(1 Corinthians 7:3-5, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

The Right Person

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward.” Good advice! But success in marriage depends more upon being the right person than it does upon finding the right person. Most marital problems are the consequence of a union between two people who are more in love with themselves than they are with each other. Couples would do well to remember that in the word “wedding,” “we” comes before “I.”

Taken by itself, Franklin’s advice about keeping our eyes half shut after the wedding is, likewise, not enough to maintain a happy and lasting relationship. Even with eyes half closed, plenty of faults will still need to be overlooked or forgiven. Love, as described in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, does not take into account a wrong suffered, thereby blinding us to our partner’s faults:

Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].

(1 Corinthians 7:3-5, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

Above all, have fervent [This Greek word was used to describe the taut, stretched muscles of a runner winning his race.] and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].

(1 Peter 4:8, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Happy is the marriage of two forgivers.[19]

[19] For more scriptural instruction on biblical marriage, a marriage counseling questionnaire can be found at

I hope this study on The Seventh Commandment has been helpful. Let all of His children seek Him and repent of their sins and draw close to Him because He wants a one-on-one personal relationship with all of His children.

Continue to test all things and may Almighty YHWH bless all who study His Absolute Written Word.


I am One Crying In The Wilderness!

Eddie Rogers, Minister, D.D.

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