Bible Genealogies with notes
on Bible Kinship and Family Systems (Homepage)
Old Testament (Tanakh) Genealogy Diagram (only)
New Testament Genealogy Diagram (only)
Old & New Testament genealogies combined (uses Frames)
Diagram of Prohibited sex or Marriage Partners: Leviticus
Note: unless otherwise identified, scriptures quoted are from the King James Version. Other translations consulted for these pages are the New International Version (NIV), the New Living Translation (NLT), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
abortion, adoption, adultery, adultery trial by ordeal, avenger of blood, bastards, brother, captive women, circumcision and other male genital mutilation, concubine, cross-dressing, daughter sacrifice, daughter selling, deny wife, divorce, endogamy, eroticism, exogamy and incest rules, family in heaven, father, father-daughter incest, finding spouse, fornication, fratricide and other killing of kin, genealogy, genealogies:warnings against, handmaid, homosexuality--men, homosexuality--women and men, honeymoon, husband, inheritance, inheritance--Zelophehad's daughters, inheritance of responsibility for sin, levirate, male identification , marriage, marriage after sex with a maid, marriage of cousins, marriage of half-siblings, marriage of high priest, marriage of neice-uncle, marriage of nephew-aunt, obedience of children, one flesh, parents, polygamy (polygyny), primogeniture, prostitution, rape, sacrifice of children to Molech, remarriage, seduction, servants: family rights, sex and menstruation, sex roles, sex with a betrothed, unfree woman, sex with animals, son, surrogate parenthood, tarrying, traditional family values questioned, uncleanliness after sexual ejaculation/relations, uncleanliness after giving birth, uncleanliness of menstrual blood, virginity before marriage, war of murdered concubine, wife, woman, woman (a good wife), woman and violence against men
Quotes from the Old Testament (Tanakh)
Quotes from the New Testament
HEADINGS Subheadings Comments (Bible sources)
ABORTION My own limited perspective is that unlike the case for some other family issues in the Bible, there are no clear statements in the Bible prohibiting all forms of abortion--no "thou shalt not"s, no ""is an abomination," etc. It can be (and is) strongly argued that the overall message of the Bible does clearly indicate total opposition to termination of life at any stage after conception and that all lives (fetal and already born) are of generally equal worth. (And, of course, abortion can be opposed on extra-Biblical [including secular humanistic] grounds as well.) Because my intent here is not to get entangled in theological debates, and because so many far better prepared persons have dealt with the issue, and at great length, I will not do anything here except to present some of the verses which deal directly with such issues as life before birth and with miscarriage, and which are presented by various sides, and make a few relatively non-conclusive comments about them.
The verses cited in the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (1994 version, Section 2270) to oppose any form of termination of life after conception are Jeremiah 1:5, Job 10:8-12, Psalm 22:10-11, and Psalm 139:15(to which I have added the 16th verse). Here is the KJV rendition of this material.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained the a prophet unto the nations
Job 10 (8) Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. (9) Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay and wilt thou bring me into dust again? (10) Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? (11) Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. (12) Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
Psalm 22 (10) I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. (11) Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
Psalm 139 (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Here are other verses I have seen cited by those opposed to abortion:
Ecclesiastes 11:5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. The NRSV would make for a clearer statement against abortion in that it implies guilt at the moment of a being's conception (and therefore possession of a soul? and therefore the status of human?): Indeed I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
What about causing a miscarriage? (Probably because of its ambiguity, this verse is not necessarily cited by those opposed to abortion).
Exodus 21 (22) If men strive, and
hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and
yet no mischief follow he shall surely be punished, according
as the woman's husband will lay upon him; And he shall pay as
the judges determine. (23) And if
any mischief follow then shalt thou give life for life.
(24) Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand
for hand, foot for foot, (25) Burning
for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
The KJV rendition of this verse is so ambiguous it is difficult to interpret as is. Does the "fruit depart" refer to a premature birth (as translated in the New International Version) in which the child might have survived? Or to a "miscarriage" (as translated in the NRSV) in which the fetus does not survive? And to whom does the mischief occur? Is the life for life penalty exacted only in the case of the death of the woman? Or for the death of the child as well? Is there a lesser punishment for the death of the child than for the death of the wife? (and if, so, what would be the implication of that?). Etc?
The trial by ordeal (given as instructions by the LORD to Moses) to determine the guilt or innocence of a woman accused by her jealous husband of having been unfaithful, recorded in Numbers 5:11-31, may be taken to indicate that any pregnancy in progress as a result of unfaithful sex would be terminated (aborted). Some interpreters say that the implication is that the punishment of the guilty woman does not include the loss of a fetus, but, rather, the inability ever to conceive again.
Numbers 5 (27) And when he hath made
her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that
if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband,
that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and
become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall
rot; and the woman shall be a curse among her people. (28)
And if the woman be not defiled, but be
clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
[Note: The translation in NRSV does appear to suggest the loss of any fetus: ". . . the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people.]
ADOPTION Only a few Bible passages deal with adoption practices of some sort. None provide detailed information about the practices.
Moses "adopted" by daughter of pharaoh: In the first case the Hebrew child Moses is taken as son by a daughter of Pharaoh: And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water (Exodus 2:10).
Mordecai "adopts" uncle's daughter: In the second case, Mordecai "took for his own daughter" his uncle's daughter, Esther (his cousin): And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. (Esther 2:7).
Inheritance and adoption: Because inheritance is tied to parent-child relationships we may (or may not) get some hints about adoption through recorded incidents of potential passing down of inheritance to persons not in the "natural" geneological line of the giver of the inheritance--as in the following cases:
Servant could have become "adopted" heir
of Abraham (?): One such case is that of Abraham, who, at
a time late in life when he was still childless, was concerned
that his steward, Eliezer of Damascus would be his heir. The LORD
told Abraham that Eliezer would not be his heir but that Abraham
would have a child of his own: And Abram
said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless,
and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram
said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born
in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came
unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall
come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir (Genesis
15:2-4). As a potential heir, it would seem that Eliezer, the
household steward, was also a kind of last-ditch, adopted offspring.
Servant becomes "adopted" heir of Sheshan: Another case with similarities to this one is that of Sheshan, who having no sons, gave one of his daughters to his Egyptian servant, Jarha: Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife; and she bare him Attai. And Attai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad, And Zabad begat ... (I Chronicles 2: 34-37). The offspring of this couple continue in the Biblically listed genealogy for many more (undistinguished) generations. Given that genealogical tracking in the Bible is almost inevitably through the male line, this seems to indicate that the Eqyptian servant, was "adopted" by his father-in-law. Note that by this time, when a man had only female children, they could only inherit by marrying a member of their father's tribe (see the Old Testament Kinship diagram and INHERITANCE: THE DAUGHTERS OF ZELOPHEHAD). Perhaps this was a case of adopting a non-tribal member (Egyptian) into the kinship status of member of Sheshan's tribe (Judah). Perhaps not ...
The term "adoption" appears in the KJV only
five times, all in the New Testament, to refer to those who have
been adopted as "sons" by God, through Christ, e.g.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness
of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,
made under the law, (5) To redeem
them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption
of sons. (6) And because ye are sons,
God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying,
Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou
art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of
God through Christ.
Finally surrogate parenthood may involve a kind of adoption. In the case of the levirate, in which a man serves as surrogate father by providing offspring to his dead brother by sleeping with the dead brother's wife (see LEVIRATE and SURROGACY: SURROGATE FATHERHOOD AND THE LEVIRATE) there would be at best a kind of post-mortem adoption by which a son born through the practice of the levirate would inherit the property and genealogical transmission rights of his dead (before the son was even conceived) "legal" father.
And where a handmaid acted as surrogate mother for her mistress by conceiving through having sex with the husband of her mistress, there could be a form of adoption in the sense that the "wife" (rather than the natural mother, the handmaid) would claim at least some aspects of the role of "mother" (see SURROGACY: SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD AND THE HANDMAID'S TALE).
ADULTERY As used in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, this term appears to refer specifically to sex between a woman belonging to a man (as wife or concubine) and a man other than her "husband" (an act prohibited to both parties in the Ten Commandments). Other sexual activities were prohibited as well, but not (apparently) under the term adultery in the Old Testament.
The Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14 see also Deuteronomy 5:18).
The death penalty for adultery: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 20:10).
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel (Deuteronomy 22:22).
Adultery in the New Testament: In the New Testament, Jesus extended the meaning of the term "adultery." Lust is a form of adultery (this is the basis of Jimmy Carter's famous "confession" in Playboy): Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).
And remarriage after divorce is adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commmit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery (Matthew 5:32). And: And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery (Mark 10:11-12).
Remarriage after divorce of unbeliever not adultery
(?): However, the following verse may be taken to mean that
a believer (Christian) may remarry without engaging in adultery
if the spousal tie with an "unbeliever" she or he had
is broken: But if the unbelieving depart,
let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in
such cases: but God hath called us to peace (1 Corinthians
ADULTERY TRIAL BY ORDEAL The Lord gave Moses a method whereby the guilt or innocence of a woman, accused of adultery by her husband, could be determined. It was a trial by ordeal. No such trial by ordeal was announced for the suspected male partner of the women in the suspected act of adultery. And no recourse is announced anywhere in the Bible for a woman who suspected her husband of adultery or fornication (Numbers 5:11-32)
ALLIANCE WITH FOREIGNERS
AVENGER (REVENGER) OF BLOOD In many societies where a strong central authority is not available, members of the kin group are responsible for the enforcement of justice in a manner deemed appropriate for that society. In the case of the ancient Hebrews in the time of the judges, it was considered that the killing of one Hebrew by another, or of a Hebrew by a non-Hebrew, should be avenged by a close (paternal) kinsman of the person killed--the killer should be killed by the "avenger of blood" whether or not the killing was a deliberate murder or the result of an accident. However, if the killer could reach one of six cities appointed as "cities of refuge" he could not be executed by the avenger (or revenger) of blood unless the killer was determined to be guilty of murder. One witness was not sufficient to determine such guilt. If not guilty of murder, but only of an accidental killing, the killer had to remain in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest of that city, otherwise the avenger would be expected to kill him. The killer could not pay compensation to the victim's kin to avoid the death penalty if guilty of murder, nor could the killer pay compensation if not guilty in order to safely leave the city of refuge before the death of the high priest. (Numbers 35:9-34; see also Genesis 9:5-6 and Joshua 20:1-9) Note that human societies have devised a variety of rules for vengeance and/or compensation between kin groups where killing or other violations have occurred. In some societies the victim group may kill any member of the perpetrator group that is of equivalent status of the victim. In others, for example, there may be set, or negotiated, compensation (money, cattle, etc.) to be paid to the victim group. A feud (as in the famous American case of the Hatfields and the McCoys) occurs where vengeance is unregulated or gets out of hand--in which case kin groups may battle each other for years or even generations.
BASTARDS IN THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD: A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord (Deuteronomy 23:2).
BIRTH ORDER see PRIMOGENITURE
BRIDE SERVICE/BRIDE PRICE/DOWRY (THE COST OF A WOMAN/BRIDE)
Bride price for Isaac's marriage to Rebekah: After Abraham's servant had found a bride, Rebekah, for Isaac (Abraham's son) he gave gifts to Rebekah, and to her brother and her mother: And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things (Genesis 24:53).
Bride service for Jacob's marriages to Leah and Rachel: Jacob served his future father-in-law, Laban, seven years in order to marry his love, Rachel. After the wedding feast Jacob found he had been given the older daughter, Leah, instead (following the local custom of marriage primogeneture for women according to Laban's claim). Jacob (who himself had victimized his older brother Esau in the primogeniture game), thus served Laban another seven years in payment for the wife he really desired (Genesis 29:15-30).
Bride service for David's marriage to Michal:
King Saul's daughter, Michal loved David and a marriage was arranged,
king Saul hoping that the price he asked of David would lead to
David's death. The price was 100 Philistine foreskins (apparently
the "scalps" of the day) (I Samuel 18:20-26). Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men,
and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought
their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king,
that he might be the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him Michal
his daughter to wife (I Samuel 18:27).
BROTHER Clearly, in Old Testament times, the term "brother" was broadly applied to a number of male relatives other than the sons of one's father and/or mother. Patrilateral parallel male cousins were one obvious extension. Probably patrilaterally traced non-lineal relatives of a wide generational range could be considered brothers. But the extension of the term is not limited to patrilateral male relatives. Jacob tells Rachel, who is his mother's brother's daughter that he was her father's brother (Genesis 29:10-12) (i.e. the brother of his mother's brother--a man related to him on the matrilateral side). And in the case of Abimelech, the son of Gideon, and the killer of some seventy of his own "real" half-brothers (see FRATRICIDE... below), he was called "brother" by his mother's brothers (Judges 9:2-3).
CAPTIVE WOMEN Some protection is given to "beautiful" captive women of a deafeated enemy group who are taken as "wives" (=women = concubines = sex partners?).
Laws concerning captive women taken as sexual consorts: Deuteronomy 21:10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, (11) And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; (12) Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; (13) And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. (14) And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled [dishonored/humiliated] her.
There seems to be a loose use of the term "wife" here. There is no betrothal, no marriage ceremony, no bill of divorcement required to terminate the relationship, etc. Also, in this case, no mention of the rights of her children. Probably what we have here is a "concubine"--a kind of lower-level, secondary sort of wife--a woman with whom it is legitimate (as indicated here) to have sex (and, no doubt, children).
(For an example of taking captives specifically as wives,
see FINDING A SPOUSE: THE BENJAMINITE SURVIVORS OF THE WAR
OF THE MURDERED CONCUBINE)
CIRCUMCISION AND OTHER MALE GENITAL MUTILATION
Removal of the foreskin as a sign of the covenant with God: And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you(Genesis 17:10-14).
The time for circumcision: And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. (Genesis 17:12).
Abraham and all males of his household circumcised: And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin (Genesis 17:23-24).
Men of Shechem circumcised, then killed while still in pain: And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city. And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males (Genesis 34:24-25).
Zipporah circumcises her son: In a curiouis
incident, Zipporah took a sharp stone, and
cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and
said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me (Exodus 4:25).
Circumcision of "immigrants": And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof (Exodus 12:48).
Circumcision done (the second time) with flint knives: At that time Jehovah said unto Joshua, Make thee knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. And Joshua made him knives of flint, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins (Joshua 5:2-3 [ASV]).
Exclusion from the congregation of men with OTHER male genital mutilation or removal: He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD (Deuteronomy 23:1).
Jesus circumcised on his eighth day: And when eight days were accomplished for the
circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was
so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb (Luke
With Christ, circumcision is no longer necessary: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love(Galatians 5:6).
CONCUBINE A woman in a possibly permanent sexual and perhaps (but not always) domestic relationship with a man that is considered legitimate in their society, but at a lower level than a marriage relationship. Could be considered a secondary wife of inferior rank.
Concubines of prominent men of the Bible: Concubines are mentioned for many prominent men of the Bible. Among them are: Abraham (Genesis 25:26; 1 Chronicles 1:32), Gideon (Judges 8:30-31), Saul (II Samuel 3:7), Caleb (I Chronicles 2:46), David (II Samuel 5:13; II Samuel 20:3), and Solomon (I Kings 11:2)
Jacob can also be added to this list: And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: (Genesis 35:22)--note that elsewhere Bilah is listed as the handmaid of Rachel--given to her by her father, Laban (Genesis 29:29).
War of the murdered concubine: One of the bloodiest wars among the Israelites themselves occured as a consequence of the murder of a concubine (Judges 19:29-30; 20:1-28).
See also, CAPTIVE WOMEN
CROSS DRESSING The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God (Deuteronomy 22:5).
DAUGHTER IN LAW:
"Whither thou goest" goes with the daughter
in law and mother in law relationship: After her husband
and her father in law had died, Ruth, a Moabitess, decided to
stay with her widowed mother in law, Naomi, rather than return
to her own people and her own family of birth: And
Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following
after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou
lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy
God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be
buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death
part thee and me (Ruth 1:16-17). Note that parts of this passage,
reflecting the love of a daughter in law for her mother in law,
is often used in wedding ceremonies to reflect the love of bride
Daughter in law becomes part of household of her husband's birth family: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law (Matthew 10:34-35). Note that the son in law and father in law are not mentioned here. In the society of the time the wife became part of the household her husband's family (i.e. including HIS parents), thus the importance of the daughter in law / mother in law relationship relative to that of the son in law / father in law relationship. The same household composition is reflected in the following passage: For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house (Micah 7:6).
But man leaves his father and mother at marriage?
DAUGHTER SACRIFICE The first two cases are offers by men to give their daughters (as "sacrifices"), rather than their male guests, to a number of men who are demanding sexual access to the guests. In neither case is the offer accepted. In the last case a daughter IS sacrificed (killed) so that a man could keep vow to God, not knowing in advance that the sacrifice would be his daughter.
Lot's daughters: (Genesis 19:1-11) While
Lot is hosting two angels in Sodom, the men of Sodom come to Lot's
house, demanding to "know" the visitors. Lot offers
his daughters to the men instead: Behold
now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I
pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is
good in your eyes; only unto these men do nothing; for therefore
came they under the shadow of my roof (Genesis 19:8). The
offer is refused, the men of Sodom continue their efforts to get
at the visitors; the visitors smite the attacking men of Sodom
with blindness. See FATHER DAUGHTER
INCEST: LOT AND HIS DAUGHTERS for other relations between
Lot and his daughters.
Daughters of an old man living in Gibea: (Judges 19:1-30) A Levite from Mount Ephraim had a concubine who ran away back to her father's house. The Levite journeyed far to get her back, stayed a while at her father's house and then was returning home when he was given hospitality by an old man (also from Mt. Ephraim, but) living in Gibea. While the Levite was being entertained in the old man's house, some men of Gibea came by and demanded the Levite be brought forth so that they could "know" (have sex with?) him. Instead, the old man said: Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing" (Judges 19:23). Eventually the concubine is sent out, and the men knew and abused her until morning. Her master found her at the door in the morning, apparently dead. For what follows, see WAR OF THE MURDERED CONCUBINE.
Jephthah's vow and the sacrifice of his daughter: (Judges 11:29-40) In one of the most terribly poignant stories of the bible, Jephthah, who was a mighty warrior and the son of a harlot (Judges 11:1), and a judge over Israel for six years(Judges 12:17), must kill his beloved only child, a daughter: (30) And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, (31) Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. (32) So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. ... (34) And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. (35) And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. (36) And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
(37) And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows (38) And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. (39) And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, (40) That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
Note that Jephthah (as Jephthae) is listed as
among the great faithful of the past in Hebrews 11:32.
DAUGHTER SELLING A man could sell his daughter to another to be a "maidservant" (concubine? wife?). Though there was apparently a kind of "property" transfer involved in the transaction, the "property" (the daughter) did have some rights (as in the case of a captive woman taken as a sexual partner).
Exodus 21: (7) And if a man
sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as
the menservants do. (8) If
she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself,
then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange
nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully
with her. (9 ) And if he have betrothed
her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
(10) If he take him another wife ["wife"
not in original]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage
[cohabitation, conjugal rights], shall he not diminish.
(11) And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
DENY WIFE FOR FEAR OF DEATH
Abraham--the first time:
Abraham--the second time:
Isaac also: Genesis 26: (8) And
it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech
king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and,
behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife (9)
And Abimelech called Isaac and said, Behold,
of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is
my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die
for her. (10) And Abimelech said,
What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people
might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have
brought guiltiness upon us. (11) And
Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth
this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
Bill of divorcement: When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house (Deuteronomy 24:1).
Remarriage permitted for divorced wife: And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife (Deuteronomy 24:2).
Divorced woman not to remarry original husband if
meanwhile she had married another: And
if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement,
and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or
if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her
former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to
be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination
before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which
the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance (Deuteronomy
The word of Jesus on marriage and divorce: But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery (Mark 10: 6-12).
Note that the rules on the remarriage of a woman after
divorce in the NT have changed from those in the OT.
ENDOGAMY Rules of endogamy are social rules requiring that persons marry someone within the boundaries of a group or category of persons (e.g. within a kinship or tribal or ethnic group, a caste or class grouping, etc.) to which that individual belongs.
(An allied sociological term, homogamy, refers to the likelihood that one will marry within the boundaries of one's own group whether or not there are explicit rules requiring it.)
A major theme in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah is the condemnation of marriages between the children of Israel and women who are not of the children of Israel and of the need to dissolve these marriages that have already taken place (Ezra 9:1-3, 14; 10:1-44 and Nehemiah 13:23-31). This was an attempt to enforce a kind of religious/ethnic endogamy.
In the New Testament, the statement, Be
ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ...
(2 Corinthians 6:14), is taken by some to prohibit marriages
of believers (Cristians) with non-believers. This would constitite
a rule of religious endogamy.
EROTICISM: The Bible is full of a variety of restrictions on sexual expression. However it is not an anti-sex document. Obviously, for example, sexual intercourse is necessary for the reproduction of humankind--although in and of itself that doesn't prove anything since that could be (and has been) taken as an unfortunate necessity. However, some passages of the Bible may be taken to glorify the power and love of an appropriate erotic/sexual relationship between a man and a woman--that is not dominated by the goal of reproduction.
The Song of Solomon: The Song of Solomon is a prime example of this. Even if the writings therein are taken as a metaphor or parable of God's love for humanity (as some do), they nevertheless, do express a positive view of "pure" and passionate love between a man and a woman. The writings are presented from the point of view of King Solomon, on the one hand, and his lover, the "Shulamite" woman, on the other--thus we hear the expression of love and attraction from both sexes. Below is a small sample of these writings
From Solomon--The Song
4:1 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
4:2 Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.
4:3 Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
4:5 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
4:7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.
4:9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.
4:10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
6:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
7:2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
7:8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
From the Shulamite--The Song of Solomon:
1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
1:5 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
1:13 A bundle of myrrh is my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
8:1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.
5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
5:8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
5:10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
5:11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
5:12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
5:13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
5:14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
5:15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
5:16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
7:12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
Other positive expressions of erotic passion:
Proverbs 5:18-19 Let thy fountain be blessed; and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love .
Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun .
EXOGAMY AND INCEST Rules of exogamy are social rules requiring that persons marry someone outside the boundaries (usually of kinship or residence) of a group to which that individual belongs (or prohibiting marriage with those who are considered to be too closely related).
Incest rules (or the "incest taboo") refer to social rules prohibiting persons from having sex with persons too closely related to them.
Social rules prohibiting sex between persons considered too closely related and prohibiting marriage between persons considered too closely related are not identical in all societies--thus the use of two distinct terms. However, the Bible does not clearly indicate any distinction between rules of incest and rules of exogamy.
Incest and Exogamy rules are found in all known human
societies. However, there is great variation in these rules through
time and space. Leviticus 18 and 20 present what are taken to
be the main Old Testament rules relating to ineligible sexual
and marriage partners (primarily, but not only, those who are
considered to be too closely related). These are the relevant
verses from Leviticus 18:
(7) The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
(8) The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.
(9)The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.
(10) The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.
(11) The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
(12) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister: she is thy father's near kinswoman.
(13) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister: for she is thy mother's near kinswoman.
(14) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.
(15) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
(16) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.
(17) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
(18) Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.
(19) Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
(20) Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.
(22) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
(23) Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Click HERE to view a diagram of sex and marriage prohibitions as dilineated in Leviticus 18 and 20.
FAMILY IN HEAVEN
The Sadducees, the seven brothers, the woman they all married, and heaven: As recounted in Mathew 22:23-30, The Saducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, asked Jesus a question related to the levirate in which seven brothers end up marrying a women sequentially--who will she be married to in heaven? (23) The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, (24) Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. (25) Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: (26) Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. (27) And last of all the woman died also. (28) Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. (29) Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (30) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. The same account is given in Mark 12:18-25.
Most Christian theologians interpret this to mean that
in heaven there are no kinship statuses--no continuation of the
family system and relationships. Thus, people who were married
on earth may recognize and know each other in heaven, but not
as husband and wife (thus the common phrase in many Christian
marriage vows, "'Til death do up part"). Nor will parents
and children on earth be parents and children in heaven.
Lawrence Foster, in RELIGION AND SEXUALITY: THE SHAKERS, THE MORMONS AND THE ONEIDA COMMUNITY, Urbana: University of Illinois, 1981, presents alternative interpretations of these verses by three religious groups. These interpretations are:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) interprets this to mean only that marriage ceremonies cannot take place in heaven. Because marriage in the temple is essential for the ultimate exaltation of the Latter Day Saint, ceremonies of marriage may be performed on earth, by surrogates, for the already dead. The collection and storage of vast amounts of genealogical data from all over the world by the Later Day Saints is in part due to the obligation of the living to help out the dead by performing celestial marriages on earth.
The Shakers believed that we should model our life on earth on life in heaven. Therefore, if there were no marriage in heaven, there should be no marriage on earth--and no sex. Shakers thus attempted to live celebate lives, albiet in relatively egalitarian, sexually mixed communities.
The Oneida Community Perfectionists, like the
Shakers tried to model life on earth on life in heaven--thus no
marriage should take place on earth if it were prohibited in heaven.
Marriage, they figured, did not exist in heaven, in part because
it tended to engender jealousy and possessiveness. However, unlike
the Shakers, they accepted the basic goodness of sex. Both males
and females were allowed multiple sex partners, under an interesting
system of controls. Though the Onieda Community went out of existence
as a religious sect in the late 1800s, its former members continued
for many years to be heavily involved in the businesses their
group had begun--first making traps for fur trappers, and expanding
denotes not just the immediate male ancestor of an individual,
but may also denote any direct lineal, male ancestor (legal or
biological) of an individual--i.e. may include what would be called
in English a great, great, great, great grandfather.
FATHER/DAUGHTER INCEST: LOT AND HIS DAUGHTERS Genesis 19:3 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father [* Lot*] is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. (32) Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him that we may preserve seed of our father (33) And they made their father drink wine that night: and the first born went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. (34) And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. (35) And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. (36) Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. (37) And the firstborn bare a son and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites [*and therefore an ancestor of Ruth*] unto this day. (38) And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
FINDING A SPOUSE
A woman's choice--Rebekah agrees to marry Isaac: Genesis 24: (57) And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. (58) And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
Father's guidance: Genesis 28: (1) And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. (2) Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
Having sex with an unbetrothed young woman should lead to marriage: And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins (Exodus 22:16-17).
Finding wives for the Benjaminite survivors
of the war of the murdered concubine: (Judges
21:1-23) See DAUGHTER SACRIFICE: Daughers
of an old man living in Gibea and WAR OF
THE MURDERED CONCUBINE for antecedents to this situation.
At the end of the war of the murdered concubine there were only
600 men of the tribe of Benjamin left alive (and apparently no
women or children). PROBLEM:
The other Israelites were now concerned that the tribe might die
out since they had no access to Israelite women, for the anti-Benjaminite
Israelites had sworn, during the war, that: There
shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife
(Judges 21:1) and thus: How shall
we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by
the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?
Solution, Part 1: Find out which of the Israelites had not come up to the Lord, to Mizpeh as ordered, on penalty of death. None had come from Jabeshgilead to the assembly. And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins that had known no man by lying with any male; and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan (Judges 21:10-12). Give the four hundred young women who survived to the surviving Banjaminites as wives.
Solution, Part 2: There are still 200 Benjaminites who are without wives. No one can give a daughter as wife to them. However, if they capture a wife from among the daughters of the other Israelites that would be acceptable. So the Benjaminites are sent to the feast of the Lord in Shiloh where the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance. Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; And see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin (Judges 21:20-22). And thus wives from among other Israelites were found for the surviving men of the tribe of Benjamin and the tribe of Benjamin was preserved.
(See CAPTIVE WOMEN, )
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Corinthians 6:18-20).
FRATRICIDE AND OTHER KILLING OF KIN Sibling rivalry, particular among brothers, was a common problem among the people of the Old Testament--beginning very early with the murder of Abel by Cain.
Cain kills his brother Abel: (Genesis 4:3-8)
Abimelech kills 70 half brothers: (Judges 8:29-9:6) Abimelech was a son of Gideon (Jerubabbel) by a concubine from Sechem. Gideon had seventy other sons by his "many wives." After the death of Gideon, Abimelech, with the aid of his "brothers" (mother's male relatives) killed the seventy other sons (his half-brothers), except for Jotham, who managed to escape. Abimelech was then made "king" by the men of Shechem. (Apparently he was a kind of "king" over Israel as well; Judges 9:22 says, When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel.)
Absalom has his half-brother, Amnon, killed for the rape of a sister: (II Samuel 13:22-29).
Solomon has his half-brother, Adonijah, killed:
Adonijah had been in competition for the kingship. After Solomon
took the position, Adonijah asked that he might have the woman,
Abishag, who had been selected to keep Kind David warm in his
old age. Solomon had him killed for his presumption(I Kings
King Jehoram kills his brothers: Jehoram (Joram) a king of Judah, killed all his brothers in order to strengthen his position (II Chronicles 21:1-4).
GENEALOGY The Bible contains numerous genealogical reckonings, for example: the descendants of Cain (Genesis 4:17-22); the descendants of Adam to Noah (Genesis 5:1-32); the descendants of the sons of Noah (Genesis 10:1-32); the descendants of Levi (Exodus 6:16-25); and, among many others, an extended genealogy leading from Adam through king Saul and his descendants (I Chronicles 1:1-9:44). These, and other genealogical reckonings given in the Old Testament (Tanakh) are the basis for the genealogical diagram included on this site. Click HERE to view it. The New Testament provides two genealogies of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-17; and Luke 3:23-38). Click HERE to see a diagram of these genealogies.
Legal descent, and the associated rights, privileges and duties (e.g. inheritance of land, kingship, the Levitical priesthood, membership in a tribal or ethnic group), and sometimes, punishments (click HERE to see some examples) enduring several generations, were reckoned patrilineally (through the male line)--although females were sometimes mentioned. In at least one genealogy it appears that a man was adopted into a family without a son, married the daughter, and, through having children with her, enabled the patrilineal genealogical reckoning of his wife's father to continue for many more generations. Click HERE to view that case.
The main line of genealogical reckoning generally went through first-born sons (Click HERE for rights of the first-born ["primogeniture"]). In cases where the first born son died before producing a son with his wife, a brother was supposed to continue the dead brother's line by marrying the widow, in which case their first-born would continue the line of the dead brother. (Click HERE for the Law of the Levirate).
In both genealogies of Jesus, his ancestry appears to be tracked through his LEGAL father, Joseph--even though in both books providing the genealogies claim that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin (Matthew 1:18-21; Luke 1:27-35). This is generally interpreted as being a consequence of the prevailing perception in the social systems of the time and place that the LEGALITY of the of the ancestral line conferred whatever legitimacy the genealogical reckoning required (note that some interpreters claim that Luke's genealogy actually tracks through Mary).
Genealogical reckoning switched from the firstborn: Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright (1 Chronicles 5:1).
Right to priesthood determined by genealogical reckoning:
Both to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their charges by their courses; (II Chronicles 31:17).
And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood (Ezrah 2:61-62; see also, Nehemiah 7:63-64).
Neither give heed to fables and endless
genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying
which is in faith: so do (I Timothy 1:4) .
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain (Titus 3:9).
HANDMAID A personal female servant with whom a male may have legitimate sexual access under certain circumstances. In the Bible both men and women had handmaids. In some societies (such as ancient Israel), a handmaid might legitimately serve as a reproducer for the man of the house as in the case of Bilhah and Zilpah, handmaids of Rachel and Leah, wives of Jacob (given to them by their father, Laban). Handmaids do not seem to be the same as Concubines [concubines are not necessarily personal servants]. Handmaids in the bible, in fact, sometimes served as SURROGATE MOTHERS--that is, they could give birth to children for the woman for whom they worked.
Abram (Abraham), and Sarai's (Sarah's) handmaid, Hagar:
Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children:
and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And
Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me
from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that
I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice
of Sarai. (Genesis 16:1-2)
Jacob, and Rachel's handmaid, Bilah: And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. (Genesis 30:2-3)
Thou [males] shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (Leviticus 18:22).
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Leviticus 20:13).
And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel (I Kings 14:24).
Knowing this, that the law is not
made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,
for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers
of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
For whoremongers , for them that defile themselves with mankind , for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine (I TIMOTHY 1:9-10).
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall
not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators
, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effiminate, nor abusers of
themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God
(I Corinthians 6:9-10).
HOMOSEXUALITY--WOMEN AND MEN:
For this cause God gave them up into
vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use
into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men,
leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one
toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and
receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was
meet. Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit
such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have
pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1: 26-27, 32).
HONEYMOON Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
8 And every daughter, that possesseth
an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be
wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the
children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his
9 Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.
10 Even as the Lord commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad;
11 For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Hoah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father's brothers sons
See PRIMOGENITURE and LEVIRATE
INHERITANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR SIN, ETC., WITHIN THE FAMILY:
Three or four generations of guilt: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (Exodus 20:5--see also Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9 ).
Ten generations of guilt: A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: (Deuteronomy 23:2-3)
Edomotes and Egyptians into the congregation in third
generation: Thou shalt not abhor
an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian;
because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children that are
begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD
in their third generation (Deuteronomy 23:7-8).
Father and children NOT responsible for each other's sin: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin (Deuteronomy 24:16--see also II Kings 14:6).
Because of the law, Joash does not kill the children of the men he executed for the murder of his father: And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father. But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin (II Kings 14:5-6).
Ruth and Boaz: The marriage of Ruth and Boaz required
dealing with the law of the levirate (Ruth 4).
See FAMILY IN HEAVEN for a question to Jesus from the Saducees based on this principle.
MALE IDENTIFICATION BY MANNER OF URINATION "Urinating against a wall" was a identifier for males in general in several Bible passages: And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends (I Kings 16:11). See also I Samuel 25:22, 34; I Kings 14:10; I Kings 21:21; II Kings 9:8 for similar use--in all cases, curiously, referring to males who were to be eliminated.
Note that in most English translations other than the KJV the phrase is bowdlerized and substituted with such terms as "man," "man-child" or "male."
From I Corinthians 7 (Paul):
Better not to have sex: (1) Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
But to avoid fornication, get married: (2) Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
Benevolence to each other: (3) Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
Neither spouse to withold their body from the other: (4) The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. (5) Defraud [withold sex] ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
MARRIAGE AFTER SEX WITH AN UNBETROTHED MAID: And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins (Exodus 22:16-17) and If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled [dishonored/humiliated] her, he may not put her away all his days (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).
MARRIAGE OF COUSINS
No Biblical prohibition on any cousin marriages: Neither in the laws of Leviticus (18 & 20), nor elsewhere in the Bible, are marriages with any cousins (per se) prohibited. And a number of cousin (including first cousin) marriages are recorded as indicated below.
Matrilateral cross cousin marriage (MBD=FZS): Genesis 29. Jacob marries his mother's brother's two daughters, Leah and Rachael
Patrilateral parallel cousin marriage (FBD=FBS):
Zelophehad's daughters marry the sons of Zelophehad's brothers.
The sons of Kish marry the daughters of Kish's brother, Eleazer.
Achsah, the daughter of Caleb marries Othniel, the son of Kenaz, the younger brother of Caleb (Judges 1: 12-15).
Other cousin marriages:
King Rehoiboam married Abihail, the daughter of Eliab, who was the brother of his patrilateral grandfather,
David (patrilateral parallel first cousin once removed) and he married Mahalath,the daughter of his father's half brother through King David, Jerimoth (patrilateral parallel half first cousin)(II Chronicles 11:18); and Maachah, daughter of Absolom, his father's half brother through King David (patrilateral parallel half first cousin)(II Chronicles 11: 20).
MARRIAGE OF HALF SIBLINGS: Abram (Abraham) married his half-sister, Sarai (Sarah). Although marriage of brother with sister (half or full) were later prohibited (Leviticus 18 & 20), the possibility a continued practise of such appears with two of King David's offspring. Note that among the Egyptians of the time there were marriages among half-siblings (and not only between a Pharoah and his half-sister).
Abram and Sarah: Abraham claims that his wife, Sarah, is his half sister : And moreover she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife: (Genesis 20:12)
Amnon and Tamar: II Samuel 13:1- recounts the
story of Amnon, a son of David who"loved" his sister,
raped her, and later was killed by order of Absolom, the full
brother of Tamar. Before the rape, Tamar pleaded with him not
to do so: And she answered him,
Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be
done in Israel: do not thou this folly. And I, whither shall I
cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of
the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the
king; for he will not withhold me from thee (II Samuel
13:12-13). The NIV and the NLT translate "not
withhold me from thee" as "not
keep me from being married to you," and as "let you marry me" respectively.
The obvious implication here is that, at least in the royal household,
marriage of half-siblings was permitted.
MARRIAGE OF HIGH PRIEST: And he that is the high priest among his brethren,
upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated
to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his
clothes; ... And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow,
or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he
not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife
(Leviticus 21:10, 13-14).
MARRIAGE OF NEICE/UNCLE: Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. . . . And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.... And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother,(Genesis 11:27, 29; 23:20, 32)
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place [town];
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his
rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes
Ephesians 6:1 Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise. (3) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (4) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
ONE FLESH And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:23-24).
And he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6).
But from the beginning of the creation
God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave
his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain
shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit (I Corinthians 6:16-17; see also Ephesians 5:31).
Honor parents: Honour
thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the
land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20:12).
Death for those who curse parents: For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him (Leviticus 20:9).
Cursed be he that setteth light by
[dishonors] his father or his mother.
And all the people shall say, Amen (Deuteronomy 27:16).
POLYGAMY (POLYGYNY and POLYANDRY)
Polygamy technically refers to any marriage which includes more than one man at one time and/or more than one woman at one time.
Polyandry refers specifically to the marriage of one woman to more than one man at one time. It is not specifically prohibited anywhere in the Bible. However, by inference (in part) from the fact that a woman (wife) legally belonged to one man only, the possibility of a woman being married to more than one man at a time was excluded.
Polygyny is the proper technical term of a common practice of Old Testament "patriarchs." It refers to the marriage of one man to more than one woman at one time.
Sororal polygyny is the marriage of one man to sisters. Though prohibited by the laws of Leviticus, it was the marriage form engaged in by Jacob in his marriages to Leah and her sister Rachel (in a time prior to the laws of Leviticus).
God's laws concerning polygyny: Neither the Old nor the New Testament specifically prohibits polygyny for men in general. Deuteronomy 21:15-16 seems specifically to accept at least a couple of wives for a man: If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn.
Prohibition against future kings "multiplying wives": This prohibition against kings multiplying wives (or other goods) to themselves is given in Deuteronomy--well before the time of the kings: Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deuteronomy 17:17; see also verses 14-16). This does not necessarily mean that a king could not have several wives. But certainly it appears that kings David (many wives--I Samuel 25:42-43; II Samuel 5:13), Solomon (700 wives--I Kings 11:3; note that this verse confirms that his heart was turned away by his wives), Rehoboam (18 wives--II Chronicles 11:21) and Abijah (14 wives--II Chronicles 13:21) greatly exceeded the restriction laid down (note that in addition to wives, all but Abija were listed as having concubines as well--Soloman had 300).
Polygamists abound in the Old Testament record and include, in addition to the kings mentioned above, for example, Esau (4 wives--Genesis 36:2), Jacob (2 wives--Genesis 29:21-29), Moses (2 wives--Exodus 2:21, Numbers 12:1), Gideon (many wives--Judges 8:30), and Elkanah, the father of Samuel (2 wives--I Samuel 1:1-2, 20).
The New Testament specifically prohibits polygyny
only for bishops and deacons :
Bishops: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;(I Timothy 3:2).
Deacons: Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well (I Timothy 3:12).
PRIMOGENITURE Primogeniture is a form of preference (e.g. in inheritance, rights, duties) given to the first born. Several incidents in the Bible revolve around this rule.
The best known was Jacob's (and his mother's) successful use of trickery to replace Esau (his older twin) as the recipient of the blessing, and rights, of the firstborn (Genesis 25:25-34; 27:1-40). Among the rights received by Jacob was "rule" over his brother: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee (Genesis 27:29).
In an ironic twist, the primogeniture rule applied the woman he planned to marry, Rachel. Jacob was tricked by his uncle (mother's brother), Laban, into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah, first (he was later able to marry Rachel) (Genesis 29:16-27) . Laban justified his action by the claim that ... It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn (Genesis 29:26).
Here is a rule which emphasizes the formal aspect of
primogeniture (which may be contrary to a father's personal preference):
Deuteronomy 21 (15) If a man have two wives,
one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children,
both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers
that was hated: (16) Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons
to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of
the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed
the firstborn: (17) But he
shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving
him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning
of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
Prostitutes veiled: When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot;
because she had covered her face (Genesis 38:15)
Don't prostitute daughters: Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness (Leviticus 19:29).
High priest can't take prostitute as wife: A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife (Leviticus 21:14).
Rahab, a prostitute, is saved (by faith): And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. ...And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho (Joshua 6:17, 25) .
By faith the harlot Rahab perished
not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies
with peace (Hebrews 11:31).
Jephthah's mother a prostitute so when his half-brothers grow up, they throw him out and deprive him of his inheritance: Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman (Judges 11:1-2).
Samson with a prostitute: Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her (Judges 16:1).
A extended story of whordoms and a lesson to women
in Ezekiel 23:1-49: (1) The word
of the LORD came again unto me, saying, (2) Son
of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
(3) And they committed whoredoms in Egypt;
they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts
pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
(4) And the names of them were Aholah the
elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare
sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah,
and Jerusalem Aholibah. (5) And Aholah
played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers,
on the Assyrians her neighbours, (6) Which
were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable
young men, horsemen riding upon horses. (7) Thus
she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were
the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with
all their idols she defiled herself. ...
(46) For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled. (47) And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. (48) Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. (49) And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter; For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her (Deuteronomy 22: 25-27).
Permitted after death of spouse: For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (Romans 7:2-3).
Remarriage after divorce is adultery: And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery (Mark 10:11-12).
Remarriage after "divorce" of unbelieving spouse is permitted: But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15).
Family rights of a Hebrew servant/slave upon gaining freedom (Exodus 21:2-6): (2) If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. (3) If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. (4) If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. (5) And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: (6) Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
Rules concerning selling a daughter to be a maidservant Exodus 21:7-11): (7) And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. (8) If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. (9) And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. (10) If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. (11) And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money
Paul on husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:3-33:
(23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Paul on women in I Timothy 2:9-15:
(9) In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (10) But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works (11) Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection (12) But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (13) For Adam was first formed, then Eve (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (15) Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Paul on women and men in I Corinthians 11:3-15:
(3) But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (5) But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. (6) For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. (7) For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.(8) For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man (9) Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man (10) For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels (11) Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the lord (12) For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. (13) Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? (14) Doth not even nature teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (15) But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Women keep silence: Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church (I Corinthians 14:34-35).
These passages from the writings of Paul, as given in the KJV present the place of women as very subservient to that of men. See John Temple Bristow, WHAT PAUL REALLY SAID ABOUT WOMEN, San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991, for a very different view of what Paul said in terms of the place of women when the original koine Greek is consulted in its full context.
SEXUAL RELATIONS PROHIBITED DURING MENSTRUATION: Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness (Leviticus 18:19). The NIV has the following translation of this verse: Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.
And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people (Leviticus 20:18).
SURROGATE FATHERHOOD AND THE LEVIRATE If a man died without male offspring, one of his patrilateral male relatives (for example, a brother) was supposed to have sex with his widow. The first son born to this union would be legally considered the son of the dead man, not of the biological father. When, in an attempt to avoid this obligation to his dead brother, Er, Onan spilled his seed on the ground, God killed him (Genesis 38:6-10). See LEVIRATE.
SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD--THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Bilah bears a child for her mistress, Rachel: And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of thy womb? And she said, Behold my main Bilhah, go in unto her: and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan (Genesis 30:1-6).
Hagar bears a child for her mistress, Sarai: Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children:
and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And
Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me
from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that
I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice
of Sarai. ...And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and
when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised
in her eyes.... And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his
son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael (Genesis 16:1,2,4,15).
Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning. And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor (Ruth 3:13-14).
The words of Jesus:
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am
come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath
forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother,
or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive
an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
Mark 13: 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mark 13:17 But woe to them that are
with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Luke 9: 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God (see also Matthew 8:21-22). 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 14: 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (In the Billy Graham Sacramento Crusade on TV Dec. 6, 1995, Dr. Graham preached on this verse, saying, "He was teaching you that you are to love Christ more than your family. Christ is first in your life, before anything else" (audience applauds).
Matthew 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
Luke 21:21 Then let them which are
in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the
midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries
Luke 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
The words of Paul:
Marriage bond with non-believer not "sacred": 1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Marriage is permitted, but non-marriage is better: I Corinthians 7:32-38 ......32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. 37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. (38) So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
For a woman: And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in
her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever
toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing
that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every
thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.And whosoever
toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in
water, and be unclean until the even.And whosoever toucheth any
thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself
in water, and be unclean until the even.And if it be on her bed,
or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall
be unclean until the even. (Leviticus 15:19-23) . Note
that "issue" refers to menstrual flow in this case,
and is so translated in some other versions of the Bible (e.g.
Menstrual pollution as "protection": Apparently a similar rule of ritual pollution and separation applied prior to the proclamation of the laws in Leviticus. Rachel had taken an image belonging to her father, Laban, and had hidden it under where she was sitting. By claiming she was menstruating, Rachel prevented her father from searching that area: And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images (Genesis 31:35).
A just man defined, in part, by avoiding mentruating women: And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, (Ezekiel 18:6).
For a man who unintentionally (?) has sex with a menstruating woman: And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. (Leviticus 15:24). Note that "flowers" refers to monthly or menstrual flow, and is so translated in some other versions of the Bible (e.g NIV, NLT).
Prohibition and punishment of a man and woman intentionally
(?) having sex while the woman is menstruating: And if a man shall lie with a woman having her
sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered
her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood:
and both of them shall be cut off from among their people (Leviticus 20:18)
Uncleanliness of other discharges of blood: And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean (Leviticus 15:25).
VIRGINITY OF A WOMAN BEFORE MARRIAGE
When the husband claims that his bride was not a virgin (husband fined if she was, she is put to death if she wasn't): If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid [virgin]: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughters virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce [fine] him an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).
Sex with a betrothed virgin--death for both: If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled [dishonored/humiliated] his neighbor's wife; so thou shalt put away evil from among you (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).
"Shotgun" marriage: If
a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed,
and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then
the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father
fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he
hath humbled [dishonored/humiliated]
her, he may not put her away all his days (Deuteronomy
WAR OF THE MURDERED CONCUBINE Judges 19:29-30; 20:1-28. See DAUGHTER SACRIFICE: OLD MAN LIVING IN GIBEA for antecedents to the war. After his concubine is raped and killed by the men of Gibea, her master, a Levite from Mount Ephraim took her home, cut her body into twelve pieces and sent the pieces "into all the coasts of Israel" (Judges 19:30). All the "children of Israel" gathered together and demanded that the men of the tribe of Benjamin deliver to them for punishment,the guilty men of Gibea, who were of the tribe of Benjamin. They didn't and war between the children of Benjamin and the rest of the Israelites resulted. Tens of thousands of men were killed on both sides. God was on the side of the non-Benjamites and they eventually won the war, leaving only 600 surviving men who fled into the wilderness. Apparently all the rest of the people of Benjamin, men, women and children, were killed. When the war was then ended, this led to a problem in providing wives for the men of Benjamin so that their tribe would not die out. This problem and its solution is provided in FINDING A SPOUSE: THE BENJAMINITE SURVIVORS OF THE WAR OF THE MURDERED CONCUBINE.
WIFE see WOMAN
A virtuous woman is a crown to her
husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD (Proverbs 18:22).
Let thy fountain be blessed and rejoice
with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and
pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be
thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son,
be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger.
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth
all his goings (Proverbs 5: 18-21).
WOMAN In the Hebrew/Chaldean of the Old Testament there is no word for wife that distinguishes her from woman in general. Interestingly, the word used for woman also means "burnt offering." "Concubine," however, has several distinct renderings.
At any rate, the translators of the Bible into languages in which "wife" has a separate and distinct meaning have had to make choices in translation if there is no further information.
Thus, for example, in the case of Keturah, in one place (Genesis 25:1) she is called Abraham's "wife" (="woman"), in another place (I Chronicles 1:32) , "concubine." It would seem reasonable then not to ever translate "woman" in association with Keturah as "wife" which some Bible comentators do (unless we have evidence that there was a change in her kinship category).
The New Testament Greek also does not distinguish between
"wife" and "woman."
WOMEN (A GOOD WIFE)
Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (12) She shall do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (14) She is like the merchants ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (18) She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle goeth not out by night. (19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. (20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yeah, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. (21) She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. (22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. (23) Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (24) She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivers girdles [** sashes **] unto the merchants. (25) Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. (26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (27) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (28) Her children arise up, and call her blessed: her husband also, and he praiseth her. (29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. (30) Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (31) Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Obviously this ideal woman-wife-mother is a faithful, hard working, physically strong, intelligent, charitable, multiple-career person, taking care not only of the household, but also participating in the economy through making and selling things, and also through buying land and working it. In other words she seems essential to the household/family economy. It is perhaps worthy of note that there is no mention here of her taking care of animals. Note, however, that Rachel (unmarried at the time) was caring for her father's flock of sheep when Jacob first met her (Genesis 29:6, 9-10).
To suffer injury or death at the hands of a woman must
have been a terrible disgrace. When Abimelech (Guideon's son by
a concubine from Shechem) was seriously injured by a millstone
dropped upon his head by a woman he: called
hastily unto the young man his armorbearer, and said unto him,
Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew
him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died (Judges