A seducer that marries the maiden he seduces is never allowed to divorce her

The Literal Commandment

If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days. (Deuteronomy 22:28)

 

The literal commandment is that a man who seizes and lies with a virgin must cannot divorce her if they marry.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment is a reflection of the protection G-d provides to the small and the weak. If a virgin is seduced by a man then he has stolen something of great value that can never be replaced: her virginity on her wedding night. G-d provides a protective statute for these women. The additional protection of a divorce-proof marriage (should the woman desire marriage to the man) prevents the man from abandoning the women in an environment where the woman would not be able to provide for herself.

In a similar way, G-d provided protection for all of us who have been seduced into sin by the lies of the adversary. In this situation, however, the adversary cannot pay the price of his deception. Instead, G-d Himself paid the price by expressing Himself into this world in the form of a man (John 1:14) who humbled Himself to the point of death (Php 2:8)... for us.

Paul uses this imagery:

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39)

 

So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:3-4)

 

The seducing husband is dead and we are now free to be joined with our Redeemer and Savior... Messiah.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

No evidence is given in Scripture that Messiah literally fulfilled this command: He never sexually seduced a maiden.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally observed in that a Jewish court (a beit din) evaluates the circumstances and makes an appropriate determination about fines and the requirement for the man to marry the woman (if she chooses).

A number of situations were described biblically which deal with the seduction or the rape of a virgin who is either unattached or betrothed. Consensual sexual intercourse of the betrothed or married woman with someone other than her husband would put both the woman and her paramour in the category of adulterers. Seduction is considered to be consensual but the cases discussed in the Bible according to rabbinic interpretation were dealing with minor girls who did not have the legal right of consent.1

Although the seducer can never divorce the woman, she is permitted to divorce him.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and if the maiden marries the seducer then he cannot divorce her. We lack the civil or religious courts to enforce such laws, however.

 

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Footnotes

1. "Legal-Religious Status of the Virgin", A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, taken from Jewish Women's Archive at http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/legal-religious-status-of-virgin on 4/7/2012 [back]


Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 133
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 4
  • Mishneh Torah Book Women
  • Mishneh Torah Category 23- Virgin Maiden
  • Reference Deuteronomy 22:29
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 22
  • Verse 29
  • English then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
  • Hebrew כט וְנָתַן הָאִישׁ הַשֹּׁכֵב עִמָּהּ, לַאֲבִי הַנַּעֲרָ--חֲמִשִּׁים כָּסֶף; וְלוֹ-תִהְיֶה לְאִשָּׁה, תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר עִנָּהּ--לֹא-יוּכַל שַׁלְּחָהּ, כָּל-יָמָיו. {ס}
  • Greek 29 δώσει ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ κοιμηθεὶς μετ᾿ αὐτῆς τῷ πατρὶ τῆς νεάνιδος πεντήκοντα δίδραχμα ἀργυρίου, καὶ αὐτοῦ ἔσται γυνή, ἀνθ᾿ ὧν ἐταπείνωσεν αὐτήν· οὐ δυνήσεται ἐξαποστεῖλαι αὐτὴν τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον.
  • Parashah 49- Ki Tetze
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 558
  • Sef. Hach. Command That a rapist is not ever to divorce his victim
  • Category Marriage and Family
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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