The View of Women Found in the Deuteronomic Family Laws

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Dillard and Longman note that "In of the times the verb "give" occurs in the book, the subject of the action is Yahweh. It continues, "Thou shalt love the L ORD thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy might"; it has therefore also become identified with the central Jewish concept of the love of God, and the rewards that come as a consequence.

The earliest Christian authors interpreted Deuteronomy's prophecy of the restoration of Israel as having been fulfilled or superseded in Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Christian Church Luke 1—2, Acts 2—5 , and Jesus was interpreted to be the "one i. While the exact position of Paul the Apostle and Judaism is still debated, a common view is that in place of the elaborate code of laws mitzvah set out in Deuteronomy, Paul the Apostle , drawing on Deuteronomy —14 , claimed that the keeping of the Mosaic covenant was superseded by faith in Jesus and the gospel the New Covenant.

Deuteronomy in NIV. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fifth book of the Torah and Christian Old Testament.

Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy. For other uses, see Deuteronomy disambiguation. Main article: Deuteronomic Code. Main article: Weekly Torah portion. Main article: Christian views on the Old Covenant. Deuteronomy Bible. Books of the Bible. Catholic Orthodox. Letter of Baruch Psalms — Category Portal WikiProject Book.

The View of Women Found in the Deuteronomic Family Laws

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Since a woman who gives birth to a child is likely to be the one to raise that child, she naturally should be the one to make those decisions. Yet, some, if not many, Christians find it difficult to wholeheartedly support reproductive justice, even if they do not oppose it completely. Reproductive justice includes access to contraception and to legal abortions. There are Christians who reject both contraceptive use and abortion, by arguing that life begins with conception; consequently,they would equate some forms of artificial contraception with abortion.

There are also Christians who accept contraceptive use, but not access to abortions under any circumstances. Then, there are Christians who understand that women need to have access to contraceptives, and they feel there are circumstances when abortionshould be an option as well. How could such a range of perspectives come from people in the same Christian faith tradition?

Maybe it depends on whether they are willing to hear new voices.

Could it be that some groups are able to hear new voices with their different perspectives,but some groups are not? If there are new voices, where do they come from? I suggest that these new voices come from within the Bible itself and within our own denominations.


Christians are familiar with, for example, two biblical references that have been used by those opposed to contraception and abortion: Psalm and Jeremiah Specifically, Exodus describes a situation in which a pregnant woman who intervenes in a fight between two men is injured and suffers a miscarriage as a result. The penalty is just the payment of a fine which would not have been possible if a human life had been taken Genesis and Exodus Then, in Numbers , a husband who suspects his wife has committed adultery can take her to the priests.

The significance of Numbers 5 in this discussion is that the passage does not have qualms about inducing an abortion if the woman were pregnant. If Christiansare to make moral determinations about reproduction, they must listen to the broader biblical witness found in Exodus and Numbers. Another aspect of listening to new voices within the Bible is to read familiar passages in a new way. The most common interpretations of Judges 19, for example, are helpful illustrations of how some passages must not be read.

In that story, a Levite and his concubine are guests of a host in the town of Gibeah. Read the law in Deuteronomy by which God intended to accentuate and preserve the differences between the sexes. Look at the curses proliferating today because we ignore this law! God created male and female for a reason. Back in Leviticus 18, read verse 23 for another specific prohibition. It lowers man to the animal level and creates a perverted spiritual image. God forbids such confusion and, under that administration, commanded the death penalty.

Because God wants the sexual relationship to be shared only between husband and wife, He carefully ensures that all other family relationships remain devoid of that sexual element. So He specifically forbids incest of every type. See this in verse 6, and then read the detailed explanations in verses 7 through God wants every marriage—which means every sexual union as well—to point back in a pure, uncomplicated way to the Christ-Church relationship.

That means the husband and wife come from two different families and join to create a new family of which the husband is the head. Also to ensure that physical family points to the spiritual, God wants every couple to marry as virgins.

Sex and Morality

Preventing sex before marriage has been a challenge throughout human history, and it is important to God. His laws that address the issue provide a fascinating study. They highlight His wisdom and understanding of human nature, and how He creates motivation to do it right and strong incentives to avoid doing it wrong.

These laws are also a wonderful example of how we must join all the laws on a subject in order to get the whole picture. His various provisions complement one another, working together to produce unforeseen blessings. The more we contemplate them, the more we can recognize those hidden benefits. Now, these laws are different from those we just looked at.

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They exist to prevent people from breaking the overarching spiritual law to keep sex within marriage. They are examples of laws added to that eternal spiritual law.

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They do not define sin: They provide guidance on what to do when a sin has occurred. They do not even apply until someone commits fornication. Read Exodus for a law that would almost eliminate premarital sex in one swoop. Sex produces children, and children need to grow up in families!

The Disneyland's Toontown Park Family Fight ( The Israelite Curses Deuteronomy 28 )

God intended every child to have a father and a mother who are committed to each other and dedicated to bringing him up and preparing him for the God Family! Now: Welcome to the adult world. Now, read verse 17 to see an additional provision that gives this law even more teeth.

Both young people were held responsible, but it was the man who had to pay more dearly.


God held him accountable as the decision-maker. This law illustrates the authority a father had over his daughter. However, this is the only place God actually gives the father the right to refuse to let his daughter marry. A couple that fornicates has strong incentive to try to cover it up, committing the additional sin of deceit.

God put additional laws in place to remove that incentive. These laws are based on the fact that, biologically, premarital sex can be subsequently ascertained when a woman later marries someone else. The first law here is for a man who accuses his new wife of having already slept with someone. Such an accusation might be just. Apparently, however, some men were saying this falsely!