What's Wrong With SEX?
Is the presence of a HYMEN proof of virginity (Deut.22)? A trial by ordeal? MENTAL DIFFERENCES between men and women? Did God Give David MULTIPLE "Wives"? Was there any link between "PORNOGRAPHY" and David's ADULTERY (2 Sam. 11)? Was MASTURBATION condemned by Ezekiel? What was Christ's teaching on DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE? What was the Hillel/Shammai debate? What Is "Porneia," "Ervah," and "Zanah"? Did Paul say only DEATH can dissolve a marriage? Should a Christian divorce a NON-CHRISTIAN? Are marriage VOWS biblical? Did Paul say women should wear VEILS? What about MAKE-UP? Do one out of two marriages end in divorce?Just what is the MEANING of SEX anyway?
The Hymen -- Proof Of Virginity?
According to Deuteronomy 22:13-21, the MENSTRUAL CLOTH of a virgin and/or the HYMEN in that cloth and/or the BLOOD PATTERN on the cloth indicating the presence or absence of the HYMEN, constituted the proof of the woman's virginity.
Apparently it was saved by the parents of the bride who took it from her on the wedding night and kept it safe in case their daughter was ever accused of not being a virgin. The word "cloth" in verse 17 somehow constitutes proof of the woman's virginity.
If it was a cloth containing the elastic membrane known as "HYMEN," saved from the wedding night, it constitutes proof because most virgins have it intact. If it was a MENSTRUAL CLOTH, it is proof she wasn't pregnant at the time of the MENSTRUAL CLOTH since there is no MENSTRUATION during pregnancy. If it was the BLOOD-STAINED LINEN of this wedding bed, it would indicate whether there were a HYMEN present or not.
When the husband "came to her," he "found her not a maid" either because she didn't MENSTRUATE within the 28-day period -- indicating she was already pregnant by another man, or because she had no intact HYMEN present -- indicating she already had sexual intercourse
with another man who removed it. Both scenarios involve a "cloth" which can be used as evidence of MENSTRUATION or HYMEN (v.17). What was needed was evidence that the girl wasn't pregnant prior to marriage and was still MENSTRUATING up until the husband took her. The period after betrothal (buying) but before marriage is what is being called into question. Of course a child born before nine months had elapsed from the wedding night might make a husband suspicious, but premature births are not entirely uncommon. The MENSTRUAL CLOTH of the betrothal period constitutes a pregnancy test.
The HYMEN is a membrane which almost entirely covers the external opening of the vagina of virgins. It is also known as "maidenhead." On the upper margin or at the center of the HYMEN is an opening which permits secretions of the vagina and the blood from the uterus to come through. When a girl begins to MENSTRUATE, the blood makes its way through this small opening. The husband is to examine the night apparel of his newly acquired wife and if there are not the proper BLOOD STAINS upon her garment, he should consider her a fornicator. We know, however, that there are some women who have never had a noticeable HYMEN and others who have had the HYMEN broken by strain or while playing with themselves. Many girl babies have no HYMEN. Also, it can be destroyed by accident, by operations or by examinations when the physician did not use the greatest care. It is not an uncommon thing for a physician to find that the HYMEN is still intact when he comes to deliver the first child. There are cases of prostitutes who still have their HYMEN well preserved. (pp.137-139, Psychology Of Sex by David Bush; see also pp.27-28, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex, by David Reuben).
If a man tries to divorce his wife by falsely accusing her of not being a virgin, the man is fined one hundred shekels of silver ($12,000.00) because his intent was to get back the fifty shekels of dowry money he paid for her (Deut.22:19). Yes, thieves must "restore double" (Ex.22:4) when their theft can be restored. The case of Joseph (Matt.1:18-20) and the law of Deuteronomy 22:13-21 both occur at the beginning of a marriage. But if the husband finds his wife committing adultery later in marriage, he also has the option of having her executed (Deut.22:22). God put away his wife after hundreds of years of marriage.
A Trial By Ordeal?
If a jealous husband suspected his wife of adultery, but couldn't prove it, he might bring her to the priest, offer an offering, and have a sort of TRIAL BY ORDEAL. But instead of plunging her arm into boiling water, or giving her poison, either of which would be likely to injure her and so make everybody think she was guilty, she was merely made to say "Amen" to a solemn appeal, and to drink water containing dust from the sanctuary floor. The priest prayed that if she had indeed been unfaithful, the "water of bitterness that causeth the curse" should cause her belly to swell and her thigh to fall away. There is no medical reason why either should happen. So her innocense was much more likely to be established than her guilt, apart from some miraculous intervention (Num.5:11-31).
Of course, this ritual is now defunct because we have neither the temple nor the Levite priest. Since the priesthood has been "changed" from Levi to Melchizedek (Heb.7:12), "we have a great high priest... Jesus, the Son of God (Heb.4:14). In John 8:1-11, the "jealous HUSBANDS" ("scribes and Pharisees" -- v.3) brought their 'WIFE" ("a woman taken in adultery" -- v.3) to the PRIEST (Jesus) and "of the DUST that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take" (Jesus wrote on the GROUND inside the temple -- vv.2 & 6). And "the priest shall WRITE THESE CURSES in a book" (Did Christ WRITE THE SINS of the scribes and Pharisees on the ground after saying to them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her"?). "Then the priest shall CHARGE THE WOMAN with an oath" (Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go and SIN NO MORE" -- v.11). Yes, Christ gave the scribes and Pharisees the dust of the sanctuary floor to drink mentally.
Pentecost Symbolizes The Beginning Of Fetal Development
The Bible teaches that we must count fifty days from the "wave-sheaf Sunday" within the Feast of Unleavened Bread in order to arrive at the Feast of PENTECOST. Translated into the context of childbirth, we must count fifty days from the 17th to 19th day of the menstrual cycle when the fertilized ovum enters the uterus.
Thus we must count fifty days from the 17th to 19th day, or as the medical profession does it, we could count 53 to 55 days from conception (the first day of Unleavened Bread). This brings us to the eighth week of embryonic development or the 56th day if we use the 19th as our "wave-sheaf Sunday."
Incidentally, the Old Covenant agreement of obedience to God's law by Israel was made on PENTECOST (See Jasher 82:1-7; Ex.19:1; 24:5). Also, the New Covenant agreement of obedience to God's law in the spirit and intent by the church was also made on PENTECOST (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1). It was on this day that the Holy Spirit came as well as the Law Covenant of Exodus 24. In other words, the developing church reaches a certain form and then merely increases in size and ability from that point onward. Humans must have functioning ability. Once they reach that point, they have reached a new threshold where all that's left is to develop and grow.
Yes, "By the end of this week (8th week since conception) all organs are represented and nearly all the major structures are formed.... At this time the embryo's tail disappears.... The fingers and toes become completely separated.... A few of the embryo's features are recognizably human ... The eyelids and external ear are more completely developed. Taste buds begin ... By the end of the week, tooth buds of all twenty non-permanent teeth will be present. The heart has attained its final shape" (p.32, Your Baby Before Birth, McCubbin). "At eight weeks, the embryo is one inch long ... Its features are recognizably human at this stage. The simple beginnings of all the organs are also present, but a great deal of growth must take place in the next seven months" (p.207, art. "Embryo," World Book Encyc.). "At the eighth week, all major internal organs are present. Up to this time was the most critical stage of development.... At the end of the second month, the embryo is clearly recognizable as a human. From this point until its birth, it is called the FETUS, which means offspring" (p.700, Biology For Christian Schools). "By eight weeks the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and digits are recognizable. The FETUS has differentiated the reproductive organs into distinct male or female (p.503, Acad. Amer. Encyc.). A 'FETUS " is defined as "the unborn young from the end of the eighth week to the moment of birth" (p.486, Amer. Her. Dict.).
Yes, the knowledge of God's law and the Holy Spirit to obey that law are like having "all major internal organs" present in the spiritual Christian. At this stage, the human is recognizable as a god. This is the stage where full development is apparent but not yet a reality. From here on, the FETUS mainly just grows larger. Notice that none of the benchmark dates given so far have been subjective or arbitrary. All are recognized by doctors and nurses and gynecologists as real and significant dates. The quotations have not been taken from religious books. These are secular books and objective dates -- the FOURTEENTH, FIFTEENTH and TWENTY-FIRST of the first month and the FIFTIETH day from the eighteenth which will always fall in the third month. The only conclusion we can draw is that God designed the process of childbirth to parallel exactly the process of salvation typified by the holy festivals of Leviticus 23. Abortionists are tampering with a physical type of the salvation process.
Mental Differences Between Men And Women
When we say one sex is superior to the other in some aptitude or characteristic, we are speaking of the average -- or general rule. This doesn't mean there are not exceptions in both male and female abilities.
WOMEN tend to EXCEL in MUSIC, SPEECH and WRITING as well as the study of LIFE and PEOPLE. Articulation and fluency are greater among women. Women are usually better psychologists and counsellors (pp.41-43, Neuer's Man & Woman). "They are at an advantage in reading the emotional content of faces" (Jo Durden-Smith, "Male and Female -- Why?" Quest 80, Oct. 1980, pp.93-94). Taking care of children shouldn't be the father's job. The mother is better equipped to relate to people, show sympathy and feed the young. The tone of her voice doesn't scare the child. Increased employment of women is directly related to the increasing numbers of murders and suicieds. A child is 7.5 times more likely to become a juvenile offender if he lacked a constant maternal presence in the first year of his life than for any other reason (p.150, Neuer).
MEN are SUPERIOR in MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, ECONOMICS, POLITICAL STUDIES, GEOGRAPHY and HISTORY. They are superior in technical logic and abstract thinking (pp.41-43, Neuer). Males "are superior ... at maps and mazes and math" (Jo Durden-Smith, p.15).
The male mind is "more narrowly focused, less distractable" (Jo Durden-Smith, pp.93-94). Exceptionally high scores on intelligence and aptitude tests are reached by more men than women, while among low scorers more men are represented than women. The most brilliant achievements in the realms of philosophy, art and musical composition and the pioneering discoveries in modern science are either exclusively or overwhelmingly the work of men. This also goes for literature, though on average women have a higher linguistic aptitude. Invention is also predominantly done by men. In one period among 54,000 registered patents, only six came from women. Therefore, we can say that GENIUS and INTELLECTUAL INNOVATION are MALE CHARACTERISTICS. A man's thinking is more creative and original. Women tend to memorize, receive and reproduce what men think up. Women preserve and keep and protect what men give them whether it be culture or ideas or life (pp.44-45, Neuer).
WOMEN are more INVOLVED IN LIFE than men. Women's thinking is concrete and experience-related, visible and particular. The man's thinking is more conceptual and general. Men tend to cut themselves off from the real world. Men tend to be eccentric and abstract (p.46, Neuer). "Men tend to be objective and abstract. Women subjective and concrete.... (Men) interpret their world in an impersonal manner.... women often take things more personally than men" (C.W. Shedd, Letters to Karen, pp.98-99). Men are more rational.
The woman's emotions play a greater part in her life than they do in men. WOMEN RATE FEELINGS HIGHLY but MEN tend to WRITE THEM OFF altogether. Women are more sensitive to other people's needs and character. Women feel and guess right about people. They have a "woman's intuition." Women have a greater ability to sympathize with people. Women are more sociable -- they seek the company of others and are more willing to serve. They are more caring. Women are more adaptable and more willing to submit to leadership. They adopt interests pursued by loved ones (pp.46-51, Neuer).
MEN tend to want to LEAD and DOMINATE. Men are more AGGRESSIVE. Crimes of violence are almost exclusively male offenses. Men have a closer relationship with the world of things. Women have a closer relationship with the world of people. Men are less bending. They hold more rigidly to their principles and are less willing to "cave in" to pressure. Throughout the world, there has never existed a society in which the overwhelming majority of key positions in state, industry and society were not occupied by men. There has never been a matriarchal society. The fact that men have always been the leaders in public affairs and the final authorities in the home is due to the hormonal tendency of men toward direction and leadership (pp.54-55, Neuer).
Statistics from 1983 in America show that six times more men than women were arrested for drug abuse. Ten times more men than women were arrested for drunkenness. Eighty-three percent of serious crimes in America were committed by men. Twenty-five times more men than women are in jail. Virtually all rape is committed by men (Missing From Action, pp.9-10, by Hardenbrook). Women tend to express their hostility verbally while men tend to express their hostility physically (Smalley's If Only He Knew, p.9).
MEN derive SELF-ESTEEM by being RESPECTED and ADMIRED. WOMEN feel WORTHY when they are shown AFFECTION. Women need more than a surface relationship or business relationship. But men just need RESPECT. Women must have something more meaningful in the relationship -- romance, appreciation and love. Women hate the quiet, silent type. Women want to build intimate, loving, personal relationships with their husbands. Most women are love-starved. Their husbands drive them crazy by treating them merely as business partners and nothing more. Women become isolated and depressed. The husband must become romantic and let his wife know she is his sweetheart. The husband has a responsibility to take time out to "cheer up his wife which he hath taken" (Deut.24:5). Men must make their wives feel needed and important. This is the man's responsibility as the head of the house (pp.64-65, Dobson's What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women). Yes, "a man must love his wife as a part of himself; and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband, obeying, praising and honoring him" (Eph.5:33). The wife must respect her husband for what he is right now -- not for what she wants him to become. Too many wives try to pressure their husbands to greater achievements rather than respecting what they already are. Honest admiration is a great motivator for most men. When a woman tells a man she thinks he's wonderful, that inspires him to achieve more. A man expects -- and needs -- his wife to be his most enthusiastic fan. She must follow him, obey him, honor and respect him. She must LET HIM BE HER TEACHER AND GUIDE -- even if he is wrong (1 Pet.3:1-7); but not if he disobeys God (Acts 5:29). Administrative, not doctrinal, errors. Wives must at all costs AVOID EMBARRASSING their husbands. Rather than trying to outdo them, smart women show respect by ACTING IGNORANT AND HELPLESS so the man can take the lead and control. Wives who support and encourage their husbands will bring out the best potential in them and spark their genius. "Behind every great man is a great woman." A man thrives on a woman's admiration. It builds his confidence. Overflowing respect for him that HIDES HIS MISTAKES is ideal. An environment of nagging and criticism is dangerous to his mental health (pp.150-160, His Needs, Her Needs by Harley).
A woman's self-esteem is directly related to her estrogen levels; hence, it fluctuates predictably through the 28-day cycle. Estrogen peaks at midcycle (ovulation) and bottoms out at menstruation. Women therefore feel the GREATEST SELF-ESTEEM at MIDCYCLE and the most HOSTILITY and ANXIETY at MENSTRUATION (p.151, Dobson). "Furthermore, female sexual desire tends to be somewhat cyclical correlated with the menstrual calendar whereas males are acyclical" (Dobson, p.114). Men's self-esteem is also acyclical. Just as the sun is always bright and the moon is sometimes bright and other times bloody (Gen.37:9-10; Rev.6:12). The bulk of women's crimes (63% in an English study; 84% in a French) are not distributed evenly over time, but clustered in the premenstrual period along with suicides, accidents, a decline in the quality of schoolwork, decline in intelligence test scores, visual accuity and response speed (p.131, Dobson).
Did God Give David Multiple "Wives"?
Let's examine David's case in detail. What about David's wives? Is POLYGAMY biblical? Referring to King David, 2 Samuel 12:7-8 reads, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and THY MASTER'S WIVES INTO THY BOSOM, and gave thee the house of Israel and Judah...."
Did God give to David all of Saul's wives in order for him to have sexual intercourse with them? Of course not. Regarding a king, Deuteronomy 17:17 says, "Neither shall he MULTIPLY WIVES to himself, that his heart turn not away." God doesn't change (Mal.3:6). He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb.13:8). Therefore, if God's law forbids kings from having more than one wife, why did God give David all of Saul's wives into his "bosom"?
God gave all of Saul's possessions to David -- the kingdom, his servants ("thy master's house") and even Saul's wives, who were the personal betrothed or bought property of King Saul (now dead). Saul had bought them. The phrase "into thy bosom" doesn't always mean intercourse. Verse three refers to a lamb which "lay in his bosom." Sexual relations with a lamb are wrong (Lev.18:23). In Isaiah 40:11 we find that God will carry Christians "in his bosom" like a shepherd does with lambs. Christ was "in the bosom" of the Father (John 1:18). Thus the Bible defines "into thy bosom" as into a close loving and protecting relationship -- NOT ALWAYS SEXUAL in nature. Perhaps God gave David these women so he could select a wife from among them.
Michal, apparently David's true legal wife, died or was divorced (2 Sam.6:23). So then David took "concubines and wives" (2 Sam.5:13) from among Saul's widows which God had given him, instead of just choosing one (2 Sam. 12:7-8). These were the "exceeding many flocks and herds" (2 Sam.12:2), but David then added Bathsheba by committing adultery. After that, Absalom raped ten of his wives (2 Sam.12:11 & 15:16) and so David had to put them away (20:3). But Bathsheba became the mother of Solomon and the legal wife of David in the final analysis.
As we have seen, "multiple sex partners" is the cause of venereal disease. Furthermore, the Bible condemns POLYGAMY (Lev.18:18; Matt.6:24; 12:25). Solomon had "seven hundred wives ... and three hundred concubines" (1 Ki. 11:3). Was the fruit good? Solomon's wives "turned away his heart after other gods" (1 Ki.11:4), and "Solomon did evil in the sight of the Eternal" (1 Ki. 11:6). Favorable trade status and peace were established by these alliances. Next, let us turn to 1 Timothy 3:2 and 12 which say, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of ONE WIFE.... Let the deacons be the husbands of ONE WIFE" (see also Titus 1:6). Here we find a New Testament prohibition of POLYGAMY. However, the primary purpose of these scriptures is to prohibit those who were wrongly divorcing and remarrying from becoming bishops and deacons.This is because 1 Timothy 5:9 says, "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the WIFE of ONE MAN (The Greek word "aner" is the same word translated "husband" in 1 Timothy 3:2,12 and Titus 1:6). Each widow in this class was to have been "the WIFE of ONE HUSBAND" in the same way that each "bishop" or "deacon" was to be "the HUSBAND of ONE WIFE."
Now if 1 Timothy 3:2 refers primarily to POLYGAMY, then 1 Timothy 5:9 must refer to POLYANDRY primarily (one wife with several husbands at once). But only in the Arctic regions has POLYANDRY ever been practiced. POLYANDRY was virtually unknown in the Hellenistic world (see Pat Edwin Harrel, Divorce And Remarriage in the Early Church). Therefore, 1 Timothy 3:2 does not refer primarily to POLYGAMY.
Nor does 1 Timothy 3:2 and 5:9 prohibit remarriage after the death of the spouse. This is clearly allowed (Rom.7:2-3; 1 Cor.7:39-40).
The only other meaning Paul could have had in mind was unlawful divorce and remarriage. A "bishop" or "deacon" must rule "well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity" (1 Tim. 3:4). Having children of different marriages in one house is chaotic.
Those who argue in favor of POLYGAMY say that when one wife was barren, the husband had a right to take another second wife in order to have a male heir to carry on the name and to inherit the estate. Also, if the male population of a society has been decimated in a war or by some other means (Ex.1:16), the primary concern would be to restore proper family life as quickly as possible. In order to avoid prostitution and lesbianism, POLYGAMY is the lesser of the evils. The Thirty Years' War killed so many men, and because so many women were left unprotected, the Japanese Diet legalized POLYGAMY for a short time.
But in normal times, POLYGAMY should be avoided. The first wife expects 100% of her husband's spare time and instead must settle for 50% or 33% or less. She feels defrauded.
Bathsheba's "Pornography" Linked To David's Adultery
PORNOGRAPHY is both addictive and progressive. The direct relationship between PORNOGRAPHY and sex crimes is clearly revealed in the Bible. For instance, we read that "it came to pass at eventide, that David arose from his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a (naked) woman washing herself, and the (naked) woman was very beautiful to look upon.... And David ... took her. And she came in unto him, and he lay with her" (2 Sam. 11:2,4). He first SAW this naked, beautiful, married woman. Then he committed ADULTERY with her. Here is the link between PORNOGRAPHY and IMMORALITY that so many liberals say does not exist. Suggestive women are not entirely innocent. Bathsheba knew David had a good vantage point to see her, because she was perfectly willing to come to him. We know that Ahithophel was the father of Eliam (2 Sam.23:34) and Eliam was the father of Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:3). Ahithophel was therefore the grandfather of Bathsheba. As a type of Judas, he tried to betray the King of Israel using his grandaughter first and then siding with Absalom second (2 Sam. 15:31). Just like Judas, he hanged himself later (2 Sam.17:23).
God told the Israelites to destroy the CANAANITE PICTURES and IMAGES (Num.33:52). In some cases these were pictures of sexual vice, perversion and images of idols. Jehu "brought forth the IMAGES out of the house of Baal, and burned them" (2 Ki.10:26). Josiah "took away all of the ABOMINATIONS" (2 Chr.34:33). The graven IMAGES of their gods were the ABOMINATIONS (Deut.7:25). He also "broke down" the ALTARS (2 Ki.23:12-15; Deut.7:5). Why altars? "The ALTARS of approximately 90% of English churches built before 1348 have hidden STONE PHALLI" (p.796, Walker's Woman's Encyc.) Our hearts follow our eyes (Job 31:7). David said, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" (Ps.101:3). The Devil made Eve see that the tree of forbidden fruit was "pleasant to the eyes" (Gen.3:6). This "lust of the eyes" is of the world (1 John 2:16).
In one of the "high places" of Baal, Macalister "found enormous quantities of IMAGES and PLAQUES of Ashtoreth with rudely exaggerated sex organs, designed to foster SENSUAL FEELINGS. This led to prostitution, sodomy and abortion (pp.166-167, Halley's Bible Handbook). The Canaanite religion was very much like the multi-million dollar PORNOGRAPHY industry in America once we understand its connection to FORNICATION and ABORTION.
PORNOGRAPHY is nakedness. Nakedness is a type of sin (Gen.3:21; Rev.3:17; 16:15). For a woman to uncover her "locks" (KJV) or remove her "veil" (ASV) and "make bare the leg" and "uncover the thigh" and uncover her "nakedness" is a sign of "shame" (Isa.47:2-3). When the maniac of Gadara, who had been roaming the cemetery (tombs) and "wore no clothes" (Luke 8:27), was converted, he was found "sitting, and CLOTHED, and in his right mind" (Mark 5:15). If we are in our right
minds, we will never appear naked in public. The altar had to be without steps (Ex.20:21) so the priest would not EXPOSE his GENITALS when he approached. Later when an altar with steps was constructed, the priest had to wear linen breeches to preserve his modesty (Ex.28:42). However, on the other side of the coin, Isaiah walked NAKED for three years with his "buttocks uncovered" (Isa.20:1-6). So did Micah (Micah 1:8). So did King Saul while under the influence of the Spirit of God (1 Sam.19:22-24). David "UNCOVERED" himself while dancing in public (2 Sam.6:20). There are numerous figures of gods and kings, on the walls of the temple at Thebes, depicted with the male genital erect. The great temple at Karnak is, in particular, full of such figures, and the temple of Danclesa likewise, though that is of a much later date, and built merely in imitation of old Egyptian art. The same erotic bas-reliefs are pointed out by Ezekiel 23:14,16 which says, "And that she increased her whoredoms; for when she SAW men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermillion ... she DOTED upon (excessively loved) them."
Whenever the police arrest sex offenders after some terrible crime, they almost always find dirty, vulgar pictures or rooms full of PORNOGRAPHY. There is a relationship between savage sex crimes and PORNOGRAPHY. The Davis-Braucht research came to the conclusion that "In case of sexual deviance, positive relationships between amount of exposure to PORNOGRAPHY and deviance were found for all age of exposure subgroups."
In October of 1989, a Florida jury acquitted a rape defendant because the victim -- a 22-year-old woman -- had worn a white lace miniskirt without underwear and a green tank top at the time of the incident. "We felt she asked for it for the way she was dressed," Explained jury foreman Roy Diamond (Time, Oct.16, 1989, p.37). According to the February 19, 1990 issue of Time magazine, page 67, the performances of pompon cheerleaders at the University of Illinois contributes to sexual assault against women because these performances are one of the "activities that project women as sexual objects." These cheerleaders wear "snug aerobic leotards" without dresses.
"Viewers of violent PORNOGRAPHY -- rape and sadomasochism --tend to exhibit aggressive behavior after exposure, say psychologists Edward Donnerstein and Neil Malamuth, authors of Pornography and Sexual Aggression (Academic Press). More problematic than hard-core PORNOGRAPHY is the eroticized violence of R-rated "slasher" movies, such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Friday the 13th, which depict women being killed in ways that carry sexual overtones to the violence" (p.98, McCall's, May 1990).
Psychologist Edward Donnerstein (Univ. of Wisc.) also found that brief exposure to violent forms of PORNOGRAPHY can lead to anti-social attitudes and behavior. Male viewers tend to be more aggressive toward women, less responsive to pain and suffering of rape victims, and more willing to accept various myths about rape (Pornography and Violence Against Women, 1980).
Dr. Dolf Zimmerman and Dr. Jennings Bryant showed that continued exposure to PORNOGRAPHY had serious adverse effects on beliefs about sexuality in general and on attitudes toward women in particular. They also found that PORNOGRAPHY desensitizes people to rape as a criminal offense ("Pornography, Sexual Callousness, and the Trivialization of Rape," Journal of Communication, 1982). These researchers also found that massive exposure to PORNOGRAPHY encourages a desire for increasingly deviant materials which involve violence like sadomasochism and rape ("The Effect of Erotica Featuring Sadomasochism and Bestiality of Motivated Inter-Male Aggressions," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1981).
Feminist Author Diana Russell notes in her book Rape and Marriage the correlation between deviant behavior (including abuse) and PORNOGRAPHY. She also found that PORNOGRAPHY leads men and women to experience conflict, suffering, and sexual dissatisfaction (Rape and Marriage, 1982).
Researcher Victor Cline (Univ. of Utah) has documented in his research how men become addicted to PORNOGRAPHIC materials, begin to desire more explicit or deviant material, and end up acting out what they have seen (Where Do You Draw The Line?, 1974). According to Charles Keating (Citizens for Decency Through Law), research reveals that 77 percent of child molesters of boys and 87 percent of child molesters of girls admitted imitating the sexual behavior they had seen modeled in PORNOGRAPHY. Sociologists Murray Straus and Larry Baron (Univ. of New Hampshire) found that rape rates are highest in states which have high sales of sex magazines and lax enforcement of PORNOGRAPHY laws ("Legitimate Violence and Rape: A Test of the Cultural Spillover Theory," 1985) Michigan State police detective Darrell Pope found that of the 38,000 sexual assault cases in Michigan (1956-1979) in 41 percent of the cases PORNOGRAPHIC material was viewed just prior to or during the crime. This agrees with research done by psychotherapist David Scott who found that "half the rapists studied used PORNOGRAPHY to arouse themselves immediately prior to seeking out a victim."
The Final Report of the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on
Pornography lists a full chapter of testimony (pp.197-223) from victims whose assailants had previously viewed PORNOGRAPHIC materials. The adverse effects range from physical harm (rape, torture, murder, sexually transmitted diseases) to psychological harm (suicidal thoughts, fear, shame, nightmares).
According to Fr. Marx, publisher of Human Life Int'l. Reports, PORNOGRAPHY is one of the major factors contributing to the moral decay of Austria. The sexual permissiveness and perversion that PORNOGRAPHY encourages have debilitating effects upon the viewer: "A sex-abusing person loses the ability to enter into personal commitments, becomes unfit for a stable and loving marriage, to say nothing of destroying the basis of constructive citizenship." (p.43, New American, Jan 16, 1989).
As Job said, "I made a covenant with mine eyes. Why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1). Job said, If "mine heart walked after mine eyes ... Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down unto her" (Job 31:7,10). Job knew the direct relationship between looking at a naked woman and committing adultery with her. "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee" (Pr.4:25). "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" (1 John 2:15). And "abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Pet.2:11). Lust, when it is finished, "bringeth forth sin" (James 1:15). But most of the world has "eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way" (2 Pet. 2:14,15).
Masturbation Condemned By Ezekiel
"A DILDOE is an artificial penis. The earliest known DILDOES have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs; they were made of clay. Since the Egyptian nobility only had buried with them things of great value that they planned to use in the next world, the DILDOE must have been very important to Egyptian ladies" (p.157, Reuben).
The Israelite women apparently had these devices too. Ezekiel 16:17 says, "Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself IMAGES OF MEN, and didst commit whoredom with them" (cp. Ez.23:14). The reference to "images of men" refers to the PENIS. Israelite women committed "whoredom" with these dildoes. "Being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Eph.4:19). "Mortify (do not excite), therefore, your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry)" Col.3:5). In the last days, "men shall be lovers of their own selves" (2 Tim.3:2).
Taking Ezekiel 16:17 in its national context, we have a more sinister meaning. ERECT OBELISKS were phallix symbols too. Lucian, who was an Assyrian, and visited the temple of Dea Syria, near the Euphrates, says there are two PHALLI standing in the porch with this inscription on them, "These phalli I, Bacchus, dedicate to my step-mother Juno." The Israelites erected an "image of jealousy in the entry" of the temple (Ez.8:5) and since "obelisks were ... set up ... in front of the entrance of temples" (p.945, vol.19, Encyc. Brit.), it follows that the "image of jealousy" was an obelisk. There is an obelisk at the entrance of St. Peter's Bascilica in Rome which came from Heliopolis, Egypt, in Caligula's reign (37-41 A.D.). Heliopolis is the Greek name of Beth-shemesh -- an ancient center of sun-worship. The obelisks there were called "images of Beth-shemesh" (Jer.43:13). Since the obelisk had to be ERECT in order to symbolize a PHALLUS, God foretold that these "images shall not stand up" (Isa.27:9). Obelisks became STEEPLES. It is no coincidence that BELLS are found in church STEEPLES and are called "BELLS" -- Baal's PHALLUS. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any carved IMAGE, or any likeness of anything (such as the PENIS) that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not BOW DOWN thyself to them ("BOW DOWN" is defined as SEX in Job 31:10), nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a JEALOUS God (Why jealous unless SEX is involved?) (Ex.20:4-5). ADULTERY is IDOLATRY. God is the only UPRIGHT rock (Ps.92:15) that BEGOT US (Deut.32:18), just as a penis is upright and begets children. Both a rock and a penis are HARD also. For more on phallic idols, see pages 5 - 9. Moses said, "Ye shall overthrow their altars and break their PILLARS, and burn their ASHERAH with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven IMAGES of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God" (Deut. 12:1-4; 4:15-16; Lev.26:1). Baal Peor means "My Lord the OPENER," and Peor signifies "the OPENING of the MAIDEN'S HYMEN." In Syria, says St. Jerome, the image of Baal Peor had a PHALLUS protruding from its mouth. "They went to Baal Peor, and separated (STRADDLED) themselves unto that SHAME; and their ABOMINATIONS were according as they loved" (Hos.2:16). At Roman weddings the brides DEFLOWERED themselves on the erect, stone PENIS of the god Priapus or Tutunus or Hermes so that the first-born would be considered God-begotten. The virgin also placed a WREATH of flowers on the head of the image to symbolize the FEMALE GENITAL ORGAN -- a symbolic act reminiscent of the ancient Indian svayamara ceremony. Any woman thus DEFLOWERED was described as a Virgin Bride of God. In fact, "Holy Virgin" was the title of harlot-priestesses of Ishtar and Aphrodite. The title just meant 'unmarried. ' Children born to such temple women from sex worship were called by the Greeks "parthenioi" (virgin born). Zoroaster, Sargon, Perseus, Jason, Asclepus, Zeus, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Horus, Buddha, Mithra, Osiris and many other god-heros were supposedly VIRGIN BORN. The god himself was a christos, 'anointed,' because the stone phallus was anointed with chrism or holy oil. The custom was still common in the fourth century A.D. Some of Priapus's images lasted through the middle ages, and giant PHALLI were adored up to the 17th century as saints (pp.1022, 313, 795, 816,1049, Walker). The law therefore commanded the priests to wear DRAWERS when they sacrificed, and forbade them to get up to the altar by steps, lest their nakedness be UNCOVERED. Today barren women rub against Catholic statues of saints in Belgium and France (pp.61-62, McCabe). BELLS, CROSSES, GRAVESTONES, STEEPLES, OBELISKS, SCARECROWS and MAYPOLES were all PHALLUSES.
Christ's Teaching On Divorce And Remarriage
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 says, "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. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 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."
This scripture teaches that an adulteress or lesbian or fornicator or incestuous woman is free to remarry if divorced. This was allowed for "hardness of heart" but originally it wasn't so. She was executed instead (Lev. 20:10; Deut.22:21). No need to divorce them when they killed them. In John 4:1-30 a woman had been legally married to "five husbands" but the man she was currently living with was not her husband. This was all due to Hillel's liberal interpretation of Deuteronomy 24 allowing divorce if she burned his supper or yelled at him. Multiple marriages were common in Palestine. Remarriage was allowed by both Hillel and Shammai to the guilty and innocent partner.
Matthew 5:32 says, "But I tell you that every man who puts away his wife except on the ground of unfaithfulness causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries her when so divorced commits adultery." (Weymouth's Translation)
In other words, this scripture teaches that an adulteress or lesbian or fornicator or incestuous woman is free to remarry if divorced. But if she merely burned his supper or yelled at him, she is not free to remarry.
Matthew 19:3-12 says, "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he 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. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
This scripture teaches male-female one flesh, except for "fornication." What God has joined together, man must not put asunder, except for "fornication." It is hardness of heart for a Jew to divorce his wife, except for "fornication." A Jew must not use the writing of Divorcement, except for "fornication." "Fornication" is defined as any sex sin (sodomy, incest, adultery, fornication, etc.).
Originally God "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 (two) shall be one flesh ... What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt.19:4-6). Scriptures prove that DIVORCE was not practiced at first in pre-Mosaic times (Gen. 38:24, Job 31:9-11, Nu. 5:12-31, Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:22 and Heb. 10:28).
Moses, because of the hard human hearts, "suffered you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it was not so" (Matt.19:8).
"One flesh" is defined as the physical sexual union of coitus because 1 Corinthians 6:16 says, "know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh." This is why adultery is grounds for DIVORCE. It is breaking apart that which makes the man and woman one flesh. How can "one flesh" be indissoluable when a man can be "one flesh" with a harlot?
Moses' law of DIVORCE is found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. It says that "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some UNCLEANNESS (also translated "nakedness" as in Genesis 9:22, Leviticus 18:6-19, 20:11-21 and Ezekiel 16:36-37 where the meaning is "UNLAWFUL SEX.") in her; then let him write her a bill of DIVORCEMENT, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife (a wife -- not an adulteress). 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, who took her to be his wife, Her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Eternal."
Some "UNCLEANNESS" worthy of DIVORCE is also found in Jeremiah 3:8-10 where we read that the crimes of 'ADULTERY," 'HARLOTRY" and IDOLATRY were reasons for God DIVORCING Israel. At some unspecified point in time after the marriage ceremony, the husband finds some "UNCLEANNESS." The Bible places no limit on this period of time. "It come to pass" denotes a passage of time with no limitation. For instance, Genesis 4:14 and 1 Kings 20:6 where the very same Hebrew word is used. Fraud could occur long after the marriage ceremony as well as before in the betrothal period. However, this right of DIVORCE (Deut.24:1-4) is permanently denied to any husband who accuses his wife publicly and falsely of fornication for the purpose of prosecuting her (Deut.22:13-19). This right of DIVORCE is also permanently denied to any man who was legally forced to marry his wife because of having sex with her prior to marriage when she was a virgin (Deut.22:28-29). It is known today as a "shot-gun" marriage. These two exceptions clearly show that normally DIVORCE was lawful and allowed after MARRIAGE for serious crimes. If Deuteronomy 24 were only referring to "annullment" in cases of fraud, there would be no need for a DIVORCE since there was really no MARRIAGE. Furthermore, if fornication was a legitimate ground for DIVORCE prior to MARRIAGE, why wouldn't adultery be a legitimate ground for DIVORCE after MARRIAGE? Marriage is nothing more than a conditional agreement between the man and the woman based on God's law. When the man or the woman violates the agreement, God no longer holds the other party responsible for keeping it. Clearly this scripture in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is referring to any unlawful sex as cause for DIVORCE. But some ministers give heed to seducing spirits and they "forbid (anyone) to (re)marry" (cp. 1 Tim.4:1-3).
Moses' law of DIVORCE required that WRITTEN proof of the DIVORCE be given to the wife to protect her from accusations of adultery if she MARRIED a second man. An innocent woman would not be confused with an adulteress. Also this regulation prevented the man from just abandoning or deserting his wife. Moses' DIVORCE law was far superior to Hammurabi's Code which merely required an ORAL DIVORCE. Many heathen nations only required the man to tell the woman she was DIVORCED.
A copy of an Israelite Bill of DIVORCEMENT is reproduced below from the Jewish Encyclopedia:
On ____ day of the week ____ day of the month ____ in the year ____ I who am also called son of ____ of the city of ____ by the river of ____ do hereby consent with my own will, being under no restraint, and I do hereby release, send away, and put aside thee, my wife ____ who is also called daughter of ____ who is this day in the city of ____ by the river of ____ who have been my wife for some time past! and thus I do release thee, and send thee away and put thee aside that thou mayest have permission and control over thyself to go and to be married to any man that thou mayest desire; and that no man shall hinder thee from this day forward, and thou art permitted to any man, and this shall be unto thee from me a bill of dismissal, a document of release, and a letter of freedom, according to the law of Moses and Israel.
____ the son of ____ Witness
____ the son of ____ Witness
This document clearly shows that DIVORCE was not mere separation from bed and board. Denial of REMARRIAGE after DIVORCE was unknown to the Israelites. When the pharisees asked Christ about the Bill of DIVORCE (Matt.19:7), actual marriage was the subject. A Jewish betrothal period was not the context. This bill was given to a woman who was unfaithful after MARRIAGE as Jeremiah 3:8 and Ezekiel 16:8 and 20 show. (See Tobit 7:13-15).
The Hillel/Shammai Dispute
Some Jews interpreted Deuteronomy 24 as allowing DIVORCE for "every cause" (Matt.19:3). For instance, "if she spoils a dish in cooking" or "if he finds a woman more handsome than she" (Talmud Gittin. 9:10; Ant.4:8:23; Life & Times 2:332-334). Or even "speaking to her husband so loudly that the neighbors could hear her in the adjoining house" (Chethub 7:6) (see Sketches of Jewish Social Life, pp.157-158). Thus Luke 16:18 can be translated, "who DIVORCES his wife to MARRY another" (Charles B. Williams).
A rabbi named HILLEL taught that an Israelite could DIVORCE his wife for ANY CAUSE whatever because Deuteronomy 24:1 mentions "indecency in ANYTHING" (Gittin. 9:10). A rabbi named SHAMMAI taught that an Israelite could only divorce his wife if she were UNCHASTE because Deuteronomy 24:1 mentions "INDECENCY in anything." Each school emphasized a different word in this verse. Matthew 19:9 is Jesus' restatement of Deuteronomy 24:1 with "fornication" being the only "uncleanness" or "nakedness" of anything. Jesus dropped the phrase that "she find no favor in his eyes" since men's personal views were subject to God's. This had been one of the chief arguments of the School of HILLEL in advocating the "every cause" DIVORCE (Matt.19:3; cp. pp.333-334 of Life & Times). This upset even Christ's disciples (19:10).
Incidentally, there was no need to mention REMARRIAGE in Matthew 5 or 19 for either partner because there was never any question about this. It was allowed by both HILLEL and SHAMMAI and by Moses (Deut.24:1-4) and Christ.
Of course, the command, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex.20:14) is stripped of all its meaning by the School of HILLEL. It becomes ineffectual and powerless if a man can DIVORCE his wife for any petty reason. Furthermore, the truth is that the husband had the option of DIVORCE or PROSECUTION in cases of his wife committing adultery. If she were guilty of unlawful sex, he had the choice of putting "her away privily (privately)" (Matt.1:19) as Deuteronomy 24:1 allowed (see also Mishnah Sotah 1.5), or of making "her a public example" (Matt.1:19) as Deuteronomy 22:13-14 allowed. An UNFAITHFUL wife could be stoned to death (Deut.22:21) or she could be divorced (Deut.24:1). When the wife was stoned to death, the husband was automatically free to remarry again. When divorce was substituted for death, both were free to remarry. It follows then, that crimes worthy of death would also provide sufficient grounds for divorce. Whether the death penalty was actually carried out is beside the point.
For instance, crimes deserving capital punishment include MURDER (Ex.21:22-23,12-14; Num.35:16-21), being a WIZARD or WITCH (Ex.22:18; Lev.20:27; Deut.13:1-11), BESTIALITY (Ex.22:19; Lev.20:15-16; 18:23; Deut.27:21), practicing IDOLATRY, ASTROLOGY and other UNBIBLICAL RELIGIONS (Ex.22:20; Lev.20:2-5; Deut.13:1-16; 17:2-5; 18:20), KIDNAPPING (Ex.21:16), SABBATH-BREAKING (Num.15:32-36), BLASPHEMY (Lev.24:16), DISOBEYING a biblical JUDGE (Deut.17:12), DISHONORING PARENTS (Ex.21:15,17; Lev.20:9), ADULTERY (Deut.22:20-25; Lev.20:10), RAPE (Deut.22:25-26), INCEST (Lev.20:11-17), HOMOSEXUALITY (Lev.20:13; 18:22), etcetera.
Since Joseph was "a just man," he was not acting illegally. Notice the conditional "If" in Deuteronomy 22:13. A husband was not required to prosecute his wife. He also had a mercy option to spare the adulterous wife the shame and disgrace of a public trial and execution. This mercy option would prompt any unfaithful wife to immediately tell her husband and save him from any V.D., thereby obtaining his gratitude and mercy in a future DIVORCE. The justice option would prevent any spouse from merely committing adultery to obtain DIVORCE, or to hurt her husband. Both justice and mercy are important.
If God had originally intended Deuteronomy 24:1-4 to allow DIVORCE for "every cause" (Matt.19:3) because of the "hardness of hearts," then God would have contradicted himself since Exodus 20:14 says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Furthermore, the rabbi SHAMMAI, long before Christ came, was able to determine the correct meaning of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 which was "one cause -- sexual immorality." Those who say Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is a carnal law for carnal people, and that Christ changed this law, should realize that Christ was merely echoing and repeating the teaching of the School of SHAMMAI in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.
Jesus referred to the Jews of Palestine as an "adulterous generation" (Matt.12:39) because the opinion of HILLEL prevailed throughout Palestine at the time of Christ (cp. John 4:1-30; John 8:7). Christ merely upheld the correct interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4. He didn't change to some new DIVORCE law. The only "scriptures" that Christ or the early Christians used or knew anything about were what we call the "Old Testament" today (2 Tim.3:15-16; 1 Cor.10:11). As Christ said, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you (of sin), even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: For he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:45-47). If we don't believe the Torah, we won't believe Jesus Christ. As Stephen said, Moses "received the lively oracles (ten commandments; statutes & judgments) to give unto us" (Christians) (Acts 7:37-38). That includes the laws of DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE.
Christ said that man shall live "by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt.4:4) and the OLD TESTAMENT scriptures were the only written word of God at this time. Christ also said, "the scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35) -- meaning the OLD TESTAMENT isn't abolished. Later he said "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The apostle Paul even said he believed "all things which are written in the LAW and in the PROPHETS " (Acts 24:14). Does that remark sound like he was doing away with the laws of DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE in Deuteronomy 24:1-4?
Christ stated, "THINK NOT that I am come to DESTROY the LAW (on DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE), or the PROPHETS (who mention God DIVORCING Israel); I am NOTcome to DESTROY, but to FULFILL" (Matt.5:17). Fulfill what? Christ answers, "all things must be FULFILLED, which were written in the LAW of Moses, and in the PROPHETS, and in the PSALMS CONCERNING ME" (Luke 24:44; see also vv.25-27; Luke 18:31-34 & Acts 13:27-33).
Christ fulfilled the RITUALISTIC TYPES and SACRIFICIAL SHADOWS in the law as well as the PROPHECIES in the PROPHETS. But Christ didn't come to destroy the laws of DIVORCE. These laws serve a PRACTICAL PURPOSE and are not MERE SHADOWS or TYPES. They aren't PROPHECIES of Christ's death or types of the Holy Spirit. They are part of the MORAL LAW that reveals God's character which DOESN'T CHANGE (Mal.3:6; Heb.13:8).
It's true that Christ also FULFILLED the MORAL LAW, but in a different way. He MAGNIFIED the LAW and made it honorable (Isa.42:21) by adding the FULL SPIRIT and INTENT to the MERE LETTER of the LAW. This is proven by reading through the "Sermon on the Mount" and especially from Matthew 5:21-44. Unless God specifically abolishes an Old Testament statute, it is binding on us today whether or not the New Testament mentions it.
DIVORCE was not the result of a hard heart. Adultery was the result of a hard heart. Critics condemn DIVORCE as though it were the evil, rather than the solution for the evil of adultery. DIVORCE is the merciful option. The justice option required the adulteress to be executed. Yet critics condemn both the justice and mercy options. The Jewish Talmud says the death penalty was abolished "forty years before the destruction of the Temple" (A.D. 70).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ followed the pattern of first stating the oral interpretation ("heard that it was said") of the Old Testament law and then the spiritual intent of the written law ("But I say unto you"). The "tradition of the elders" (Mark 7:5) versus Jesus who "taught as one having authority" (Citing himself) (Matt.7:29). In none of the six examples given did Christ do away with the Old Testament law. In all six cases he actually made the law stricter than people had understood it before. The same was true with the DIVORCE law:
"It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of DIVORCEMENT; But I say unto you that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication (Gr. "porneia") causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is (thus) DIVORCED committeth adultery" (Matt.5:32). Greek scholars agree that the exception clause should be applied to both parts of the sentence -- the DIVORCE and the REMARRIAGE in both Matt.5:32 and 19:9. In other words, "Whoever marries her that is divorced for any smaller reason than sex sins causes her to commit adultery."
Again, Christ is contrasting here the popular interpretation of HILLEL which was "every cause" (Matt.19:3), with the correct minority interpretation of SHAMMAI which was "one cause -- sexual immorality." Christ made the law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 stricter than the prevailing viewpoint.
When Joseph found Mary pregnant, he thought she had been unfaithful and so he decided to give her a bill of DIVORCEMENT, and the Holy Spirit calls him a "just man" (Matt.1:19). He wasn't condemned for "hardness of heart." DIVORCE for unlawful sex is not evil. The unlawful sex is the evil. What was "just" in Matthew 1:19 would not become "unjust" in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, nor was it unjust in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Incidentally, if the husband were guilty of unlawful sex, we believe there was no mercy-divorce option. We believe he was automatically executed (Deut.22:22-27).
What Is "Porneia"?
In Matthew 19:9 Christ said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA"), and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her who is put away (for some other reason than "PORNEIA') doth commit adultery." To "put away" one's wife means to dissolve the marriage, not separate from bed and board. The same Greek word is used when Pilate "released" or "set free" Barabbas (Mark 15:6-15). The historical meaning and precedent was always to "set free."
In Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 the Greek word "PORNEIA" is translated "fornication" in the KJV. But what is the Bible definition of this "fornication?"
John 8:41 links fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA") with PREMARITAL SEX. First Corinthians 5:1 defines fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA") as having one's father's wife which is INCEST (Lev.18:7-8). Furthermore, when a man and his step-mother have sex, it is ADULTERY. Hebrews 12:16 calls Esau a fornicator (Gr. "PORNEIA"). Yet we never read about his going to a prostitute. Instead, Genesis 26:34 says Esau married Hittite wives and thus MIXED seed which was unlawful. In Jude 7, Sodom and Gomorrah committed fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA") by going after "strange flesh" which was HOMOSEXUALITY (Gen.19:4-8). In 1 Corinthians 10:8, Paul said: "Neither let us commit fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA"), as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand." Paul here referred to married and single Israelites, including the chiefs, who committed adultery with the daughters of Moab. Certainly they were not all unmarried men. So fornication clearly means ADULTERY. In Acts 15:20,29 and 21:25 the apostles wrote the gentiles to abstain from idolatrous fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA") and there were certainly married as well as unmarried gentiles. Did the apostles here allow adulterous idolaters to continue while forbidding fornicating idolaters to continue? Of course not! The meaning is again ADULTERY. Revelation 2:14 refers to the same event mentioned previously of Israelite men committing ADULTERY with the daughters of Moab and it is again called fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA"). In Revelation 2:20 we read that Jezebel caused Christ's servants to commit fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA"). Is it sensible to think that all these Christians were unmarried? Certainly not. This is ADULTERY. Fornication (Gr. "PORNEIA") may even refer to FALSE RELIGION (Rev.2:14, 20-21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2-4; 18:3; 19:2).
Romans 1:29 cannot limit "PORNEIA" to premarital sex. Otherwise this verse would not condemn ADULTERY or HOMOSEXUALITY. The same principle applies to other scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 6:13,18; 7:2; 2 Corinthians 12:21 and Ephesians 5:3.
When both terms -- "fornication" and "adultery" -- are used in the same verse (Matt.15:19; 19:9; Mark 7:21; 1 Cor.6:9; Gal.5:19,21; Rev.2:21-22), there must be a distinction in meaning between the two terms. But this distinction is not between unmarried and married. "Adultery" (Gr. "moicheia") is when one or both sex partners are married to someone else. "Fornication" (Gr. "PORNEIA") can also mean adultery, but has a much broader meaning which includes any sexual sin such as HOMOSEXUALITY, INCEST or PROSTITUTION. Never is the word "PORNEIA" limited to single people. If "PORNEIA" meant unlawful sex before marriage and "moicheia" meant unlawful sex after marriage, then the woman in Revelation 2:21-22 must have been single and married at the same time because God says, "I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her." "Fornication" (KJV) has a broader meaning than "adultery" (KJV). "Moicheia" is included in "PORNEIA," but part of "PORNEIA" is outside of "moicheia."
What Is "Ervah"?
In Deuteronomy 24:1 the Hebrew word "ERVAH" is translated "uncleanness" in the KJV. But what is the Bible definition of this "uncleanness" or "nakedness?"
Genesis 9:22-23 mentions "nakedness" (Heb.; "ERVAH") in relation to HOMOSEXUALITY or INCEST since "to uncover his nakedness" means to lie sexually with him or his wife (Lev.18:7; 20:11). We find that "nakedness" (Heb. "ERVAH") refers to INCESTUOUS relationships in Leviticus18:6-19 and 20:11-21. Furthermore, we discover that a man may divorce his wife if he finds that her MENSTRUAL PERIOD NEVER STOPS BLEEDING, or if she has SEX WITH HIM DURING HER MENSTRUATION, since these are both illegal forms of uncovering her "nakedness" (Heb. "ERVAH") (Lev.18:19). It is the "nakedness" (Heb. "ERVAH") of IDOLATROUS PROSTITUTION that we find in Ezekiel 16:36-37 and possibly Exodus 20:26 and FILTHY PERSONAL HYGIENE in Deuteronomy 23:14 as it related to a woman having sex with a man. This is an inference of 23:14 and is not explicitly stated.
What Is "Zanah"?
In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, we find that the Hebrew word "ZANAH" has been translated into the Greek word "porneia." This means that "ZANAH" and "porneia" are equivalents. Many of the quotes Christ used from the Old Testament were taken from the Septuagint. To that extent, Christ put his approval on the Septuagint Version. Furthermore, the Bible itself equates the two terms because whenever the incident of Israelites committing "whoredom" (Heb. "ZANAH") with the daughters of Moab (Num.25:1) is mentioned in the New Testament, the word for that "whoredom" is "porneia." Therefore, what is the Old Testament definition of this "whoredom" or "ZANAH?"Does this "whoredom" include adultery? Certainly some of the 23,000 men of Israel who committed "fornication" (1 Cor.10:8; Rev.2:14) with the daughters of Moab were married, so ADULTERY is one meaning. Other uses of the Hebrew word "ZANAH" include FORNICATION (Gen.38:24) and HARLOTRY (Lev.19:29; 21:19; Deut.22:21). ADULTERY is also included (Ez.16:8,15; 23:5; Judges 19:2; Jer.3:1) and IDOLATRY (Lev.20:5-6; Ez.6:9; Hos.1:2; 4:12; 5:4; Isa.23:17). In Hosea 2:5 we read that "their mother hath played the HARLOT" (Heb. "ZANAH").
She was Hosea's wife. In Amos 7:17 we read that "Thy wife shall be an HARLOT" (Heb. "ZANAH"). In Jeremiah 3:1 we find that God's wife "hast played the HARLOT (Heb. "ZANAH") with many lovers." In 2 Kings 9:22 we read that "the WHOREDOMS (Heb. "ZANAH") of thy mother, Jezebel ... are so many." "ZANAH" defines "porneia" as including ADULTERY -- not just FORNICATION.
In Judges 19:2, the LXX omits any reference to unfaithfulness and the Chaldee says, "she DESPISED him" (and DESERTED him for four months) rather than "played the whore against him" (KJV). If it had been whoredom, the Levite would have been reluctant to bring her back. It would have violated Leviticus 21:7 and she would have deserved death (Deut.22:22; Lev.20:10). Josephus' account shows us that the prevailing usage of the word "ZANAH" included HATRED and DESERTION (Ant.5:2:8). The Berkeley Version agrees it was mere DESERTION.
Men are held more accountable and therefore are executed for crimes that merit either divorce or execution in women. Thus, Matthew 5:32, 19:9 and Deuteronomy 24:1-4 are written for the man, not the woman. There is one case where a woman can divorce a man. If he FAILS TO PROVIDE food, clothing and shelter for his wife, he forfeits the dowry and marriage. If he FAILS TO PROVIDE food, clothing and shelter for a maidservant, she is allowed to leave (Ex.21:10-11). "Wife" is a mistranslation. "Duty of marriage" should read "and her lodging" as in the Septuagint.
Did Paul Say Only Death Can Dissolve A Marriage?
Paul wrote in Romans 7:1-4, "Know ye not, brethren ... how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman who hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband as 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. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become DEAD to the law (of adultery) by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
Obviously Paul here is laying down the general rule. Not all details are spelled out in general statements. Divorce for adultery is not the context of this scripture. Romans 7:1-4 merely states the general lawof marriage, unmodified by Christ's exception clause in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. Mark and Luke also state the general law of marriage, without stating the exception. A well-known rule of interpretation is that generalizations are interpreted by detailed accounts, and the more specific statement has authority over the vague.
Romans 7:1-4 was written about 25 years after Matthew 5:32 and Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor.11:1). No more, no less. If Paul contradicted Christ, we don't need to follow Paul. Paul didn't make Christ's exceptions defunct.
If the only way a woman can be released from marriage is through her husband's DEATH -- as some try to interpret Romans 7:1-4 -- then Israel's release from God would have required God's DEATH back then. Yet long before Christ died we read about the Eternal divorcing the Kingdom of Israel for adultery. Thus we know it was the Kingdom of Judah whose marriage was broken by Christ's death. Paul is talking to Jews -- not Israelites who had been divorced long ago.
Should A Christian Divorce A Non-Christian?
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:8-16, "I say, therefore, to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I (Remain single if you have the "gift" [v.7] or in the "present distress" [v.26] and because "time is short" [v.29]). But if they cannot contain (have self-control), let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn (with passion). And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord (in Matthew 5:32 &19:9), Let not the wife depart from her husband (thinking asceticism is pleasing to God or because she doesn't get along with him); but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried (to anybody else, since he hasn't committed "porneia"), or be reconciled to her husband; and let not the husband put away his wife (for anything but "porneia"). But to the rest speak I, not the Lord, If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman who hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.... But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage (not a slave to the preconversion marriage) in such cases; but God hath called us to peace. For after all, there is no assurance to you wives that your husbands will be saved if they stay" (KJV; Tay).
Christians shouldn't marry unbelievers (2 Cor.6:14; Deut.7:2-4). The unbelievers "will turn away thy son (or daughter) from following me, that they may serve other gods" (Deut.7:4). But Paul was encountering, in the Corinthian church, many pre-conversion marriages where two unconverted people were married and then one of the partners became a Christian. The Lord had not addressed this problem.
When Christ gave "porneia" as the only cause for divorce, he was speaking in the context of Israelite weddings, so there is no contradiction. Furthermore, the term "porneia" actually includes false religion in the sense of apostasy, so this is a second reason why divorce is not wrong in the cases Paul described. Apostasy was actually grounds for "divorce by death" also (pp.50-52). Even today, Jews and Moslems divorce their mates when they become Christians.
Exodus 34:12-16 prohibits RELIGIOUS COVENANTS with Canaanites. Alliances in antiquity were not only political and military, but RELIGIOUS. Royal families intermarried. The gods of the superior partner were recognized by the lesser. Political alliances were thus IDOLATROUS. Numbers 25:1-9 condemns sex relations with women of foreign religions and specifically a Midianitess because the rites of BAAL-PEOR were involved. When a woman accepted the covenant law of God, it could be followed by marriage within that covenant as with Rahab (Joshua 6:24-25; Matt.1:5; Heb.11:31; James 2:25) and Ruth (Ruth 1:16; 4:5-18). Nehemiah 9:2 and 13:23-27 explain that divorce was required where the marriages were clearly political and RELIGIOUS UNIONS with the ungodly heathen. Yes, Paul said "be not unequally yoked" and "come out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Cor.6:14,17). But if the marriage had taken place before the Christian became a Christian, Paul allowed it because these unbelievers weren't tied to a NATIONAL FALSE RELIGION as in the Old Testament. It was only an individual issue where the unbeliever might change. So their present state of marriage at the time of conversion was accepted. Our "conversation (Gr. "politeuma" or citizenship) is in heaven" (Phil.3:20). Our political affiliation is in heaven and "What communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor.6:14). "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3).
The word translated "depart" (Gr. "chorizo") doesn't necessarily mean divorce. It was translated "separate" in Romans 8:35 which says "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?". It is a common word used to describe Paul "departing" from Athens (Acts 18:1), Jews "departing" from Rome (Acts 18:2), and disciples "departing" from Jerusalem (Acts 1:4). The woman, being separated, was living in an "unmarried" state, but the man she had departed from was still called "her husband" (1 Cor.7:11). If she had actually divorced him, he would have been called her "former husband" (cf. Deut.24:4). The very possibility of reconciliation shows that neither party had remarried -- both were merely separated.
The Greek terms "under bondage" and "not under bondage" were established legal terms used in slave trading. If a slave was no longer under bondage, he had been set free. The slave owner had no further claim on him. Paul used the word "bound" in Romans 7:2 also, so if it means "not free from the marriage" there, it must mean "free from the marriage" in 1 Corinthians 7:15. (from pp.49-53, Ralph Woodrow's Divorce And Remarriage).
In 1 Corinthians 7:16, Paul wasn't saying a Christian should stay with an unbeliever in order to convert him or her. The previous verse gives the context and notice also the question marks following verse 16. Verse 15 says, "let him depart." Paul doesn't turn around in verse 16 and say "don't let him depart." Notice that the word "for" introduces this verse.
Even though the Living Bible is just a paraphrase, it gives the intended meaning: "For, after all, there is no assurance to you wives that your husbands will be converted if they stay; and the same may be said to you husbands concerning your wives." This is the meaning given also in the Revised Standard, Concordant, Douay, Rotherham, Williams, Weymouth, Goodspeed, Lamsa, etcetera. Yes, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). (pp.54-55, Woodrow).
First Corinthians 7:8-9 talks about "unmarried" and "widows." These "unmarried" are different from the "virgins" of verse 25 so were probably married before but now single. The term "unmarried" is used to describe a woman who left her husband in verse 11. Celibacy wasn't required of them since Paul said, "Let them marry." Also "widow" in the Bible merely means a woman who had a husband at one time but doesn't now. He may have died or deserted her. If Paul had meant only those widowed by death, it would have been unnecessary for him to explain this policy again in verse 39. Because Paul specifically allowed widows to remarry, it is important for us to show that many widows still had living "husbands." According to Strong's #490, the word translated "widow" means "discarded (as a divorced person)." See 2 Samuel 14:5, Isaiah 54:1-10 and 2 Samuel 20:3. Also in 1 Timothy 5:11-14 Paul advocates second marriages for those "widows" with living husbands. (pp.60-61, Woodrow). Now verse 27: "Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed (as some were doing without just cause in verses 10-11). Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife (in the "present distress" -- 1 Cor.7:26). This was not advice for any time and place and person, but instead was advice based on unique circumstances at Corinth at that time.
Castration And Celibacy
The temple at Thebes and the great temple of Karnak in Egypt are full of figures of gods and kings depicted with the male genital erect. The same is true of the temple of Danclesa. The same erotic bas-reliefs are pointed out by Ezekiel 23:14. One scene shows king Rameses II returning in triumph with captives, many of whom are undergoing the operation of CASTRATION. Second Kings 20:18 and Isaiah 39:7 mention "Thy sons that shall issue from thee ... shall be EUNUCHS in the palace of the king of Babylon." Saul demanded a hundred forekins of Philistines from David as a dowry price (1 Sam.18:25-27). CELIBACY is contrary to creation (Gen.1:28), but Jeremiah shows that it was possible to embrace CELIBACYin response to God's call (Jer.16:1). It is a gift which some men have (Matt.19:10). "All men cannot receive the saying" to remain CELIBATE (Matt.19:11). But "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it" (Matt.19:12) (CELIBACY). Daniel may have been a EUNUCH (Dan.1) and we know about an Ethiopian EUNUCH (Acts 8:27). These are examples of those "who were made EUNUCHS by men" (Matt.19:12) possibly through CASTRATION. Other men have sexual defects from birth or damage such as "Hypogonadism" (p.1009, Diseases). If the reproductive organs are damaged due to hitting or grabbing below the belt, you are to cut off the hand of the perpetrator (Deut.25:12). Apparently all the apostles were married (1 Cor.9:5). Peter was definitely married, because he had a mother-in-law (Matt.8:14). John the Baptist was single and Paul favored the single life for himself (1 Cor. 7:7) but as a one-time member of the Jewish San Hedrin (Acts 7:58; 8:1 "consenting" means more than just consenting; 26:10-12 "he gave his vote") Paul must have been married once. Yes, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled" (Heb.13:4).
The Betrothal Period
Some teach that "porneia refers only to premarital fornication of the Jewish BETROTHAL PERIOD because they believe that the actual marriage cannot be put asunder by men. The BETROTHAL PERIOD began when the groom paid the dowry price for his wife and ended when he actually took her to his bridal chamber and had sexual intercourse with her. In the interval she might get raped or be promiscuous. But the contexts of Genesis 2:24, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and Matthew 19:9 are all dealing with actual marriage -- not a Jewish BETROTHAL PERIOD. The argument is inconsistent because, on the one hand, Jewish BETROTHAL is considered dissoluable while marriage is not. Yet on the other hand, Jewish BETROTHAL is considered to be ACTUAL MARRIAGE in order to fit the context of the scriptures
mentioned above. If BETROTHAL is binding enough to be called MARRIAGE, then MARRIAGE must be as dissoluable as BETROTHAL. But this obvious conclusion is denied by those who teach premarital fraud as the only reason for divorce. They place a higher value on premarital faithfulness than on faithfulness after marriage.
Israelite BETROTHAL was more binding than our engagement (Gen.24:53-67). The men who were to marry Lot's daughters were
already considered to be Lot's sons-in-law (Gen.19:14; RSV). The scripture says Joseph was Mary's "husband" and the angel spoke of Mary as Joseph's "wife" before the actual wedding (Matt.1:19). Any violation of BETROTHAL was treated as adultery and the BETROTHAL was dissolved by divorce -- same as if the couple were married. Engagement comes before marriage today, so the BETROTHAL PERIOD is irrelevant to most couples.
Between BETROTHAL and marriage was an interval ranging from a few days (Gen.24:55) to a full year for virgins and a month for widows in later times. During this time the bride-elect lived with her friends and all communication between herself and her future husband was carried on using a friend deputized for that purpose, termed the "friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29). She was now virtually regarded as the wife of her future husband. Hence, faithlessness on her part was punishable by death (Deut.22:23-24), the husband, however, had the option of putting her away (Matt.1:19; Deut.24:1-4). No definite wedding ceremony took place but the bride was removed from her father's house to that of the bridegroom or his father (Smith's Bible Dict.).
One Out Of Two Marriages Ends In Divorce?
"I heard it again on T.V. and radio this week ... And from leaders that ought to know better. The old myth 'one out of every two marriages ends in divorce.'"
"That is not true, never has been and never will be. Yet, everyone who keeps perpetrating this falsehood is unwittingly encouraging divorce and destroying hope. Enough of this gloom, doom and negativism.
"Questions. Why should a couple work at building a great marriage when they've heard repeatedly that it doesn't work for at least half of the population? Why do we insist on painting the situation worse than it is?
"Whence the problem? The Census Bureau noted that during one year 2.4 million marriages were reported. During the same 12-month period there were 1.2 million divorces. So, presto, one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Hardly. They forgot to include the great pool of existing marriages, 54 million of them. That produces quite a different conclusion."
Pollster Louis Harris concluded, "The idea that half of American marriages are doomed is one of the most specious pieces of statistical nonsense ever perpetuated in modern times. Only one out of eight marriages will end in divorce and in any single year only about two percent of existing marriages will break up." (Quoted from Family Concern, J. Allan Petersen, Editor).
The Marriage Vows
Since the husband forfeits the dowry if he FAILS TO PROVIDE food, clothing and shelter (Ex.21:10-11; Deut.21:10-14), the marriage vow "for richer or POORER till death" is unbiblical. It is for RICHER only. The vow, "for better or WORSE, in SICKNESS and health, till death" is also unbiblical. Marriage is for BETTER only. What if she becomes WORSE to the point of IMMORALITY, or SICK to the point of INSANITY? The Jane Eyre novel portrays the result of this kind of philosophy. Even the wife's promise to "OBEY" should be qualified. Wives should OBEY husbands (Tit.2:4-5) as much as husbands OBEY God (Col.3:18). No more, no less. "Better is it that thou shouldest not vow" (Eccl.5:5). Marriage is a CONDITIONAL agreement and all the conditions should be spelled out ahead of time in a prenuptual agreement.
The Bible nowhere requires husband and wife to exchange "MARRIAGE VOWS" when they get married. Yes an oath is mentioned (Ez.16:59), but we don't know how or in what context. "Till death do us part" is unbiblical since, ADULTERY, or INCEST or DESERTION or PRISON can also "do us part." The ceremony should consist of a simple prenuptual agreement signed by both and agreed to by both verbally in the presence of at least two witnesses.
VOWS should not be broken (Num.30:2; Ps.15:1,4) even if there is undiscovered fraud (Gen.27; 25:33; Joshua 9). Such phrases as "so help you God" and "vow before God" and "in the sight of God" should all be deleted. This is one reason why Christ warned us to "Swear (an oath) not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nea, nea; for whatever is more than these cometh of evil" (Matt.5:34-37). "Better is it that thou shouldest not VOW, than that thou shouldest VOW and not pay" (Eccl.5:5).
Did Paul Say Women Should Wear Veils?
The meaning of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 seems to be that nature itself, in providing women with a natural VEIL of long hair, has taught the custom that women should be VEILED in public assemblies. The Mishnah teaches women to cover their heads (Shabbath 5:5) and "going in public with uncovered head" was a reason for divorcing one's wife according to Hillel pharisees (Life & Times, 2:334). The Koran forbids women to appear in public UNVEILED (33:55,59). Among both Greeks and Romans, reputable women wore a VEIL in public (Plutarch Quaest. Rom.14). Tarsus, Paul's home city, was especially noted for strictness in this regard (Dio of Prusa, Tarsica prior .48). In Vincent's Word Studies we read that "Among the Jews a woman convicted of adultery had her hair shorn with the formula: 'Because thou hast departed from the manner of the daughters of Israel, who go with their heads covered, therefore that has befallen thee which thou hast chosen.'" "In the sculpture of the catacombs the women have a close fitting head dress while the men have the hair short" -- Dr. Vincent.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, Paul discusses the subject of VEILS. Some people say Paul was was only referring to hair and nothing more. But if that were the case, 1 Corinthians 11:6 would have to read, "if a woman did not have any hair on her head, then her hair must be cut off." It makes no sense. If hair were the VEIL, then the chapter would be saying it is improper for men to worship with hair. They must be bald.
This also makes no sense. The truth is that Paul was referring to literal VEILS -- the social custom in his home city of Tarsus and elsewhere.
It was a sign of shame for a man to cover his head (2 Sam..15:30-32; 1 Ki.19:13; Jer.14:3). Jewish men today cover their heads with "prayer shawls" and Yarmulkes (skullcaps) to their shame when they pray as Paul said (1 Cor.11:4). Ironically, Paul himself wore long hair while at Corinth but got a haircut upon leaving (Acts 18:18). Normally his hair was short, but he had taken a Nazirite Vow (Num.6:1-21).
In 1 Corinthians 11:6-7, the Greek word for "covered" and "cover" is "katakalupto" (Strong's #2619). The prefix "kata" means "down" (#2596) and the suffix "kalupto" means "to cover up" (#2572). Thus, "katakalupto" means "to cover wholly" (#2619). The VEIL is not the same thing as a hat. It doesn't rest on top of the head, but hangs down. In its noun form, the word translated "covered" is "kalumma" (#2571). We know the "kalumma" or VEIL of Moses covered his face because Moses "put a VEIL (Gr. "kalumma") over his face" (2 Cor.3:13). The glory of his face could not be seen as a result (2 Cor.3:13-16; cp. Ex.34:32-33). Certainly this was not merely his hair. It was a literal VEIL. The hair as a "covering" comes from an entirely different Greek word meaning "something thrown around one, i.e. a mantle, veil" (#4018, "peribolaion") (1 Cor.11:15). Archaeology reveals what the woman's veil consisted of. It was like a modern hooded rain coat. Greco-Roman women did not cover their faces in Paul's day (See the sculpture of Augustus' wife Livia and a coin with her profile, both veiled; see a sculpture of the chief Vestal Virgin with a veil). The woman's face was visible, but only from the front. Her mouth, nose and eyes were unrestricted -- unlike in Moslem countries. Many women today still wear lace shawls over their heads in fulfillment of this command.
Apparently Paul is urging betrothed maidens and married wives, not single women, to use VEILS when in public places "because of the angels" (who VEILED their faces in Isaiah 6:1-2) (11:10). This would agree with the command that says, "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife" (Ex.20:17). It was the single women who wore the nose rings, jewels on the forehead, and earrings because they were not required to wear VEILS. Married women would have no need to attract men's attention and the VEIL would obscure earrings at least.
The reason Sarah didn't wear a VEIL in Egypt (Gen.12:14) is because she was pretending to be unmarried. But the need for a VEIL in her case is obvious. As Abram said, "the Egyptians shall see thee, and they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me (Gen.12:11). Rachel wore no VEIL when she was single (Gen.29:10-11). When Rebekah talked to Abraham's servant, she wore no VEIL (Gen.24:65). Also as she traveled across the desert as a nomad, she wouldn't encounter men so didn't need to be VEILED. But when she came within eyesight of civilization, because she was now Isaac's betrothed wife, she "took a VEIL, and covered herself" (Gen.24:65). When Leah got married, she must have also worn a VEIL since Jacob thought she was Rachel (Gen.29:22-25). The wife would not remove her VEIL till she was alone with her husband in the darkened nuptial chamber (Gen.29:23-25). Tamar "covered her face" with a VEIL when she sat "in an open place" by a road (Gen.38:14). "When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face" (38:15). This implies that single women didn't wear VEILS. VEILS were only worn by married women and prostitutes. Since married women don't usually sit alone by the roadside, Judah concluded she was a harlot. Temple prostitutes at Corinth were required to shave their heads and hence wore VEILS to hide their baldness. Perhaps this is also the reason why prostitutes wore VEILS in Judah's day. Paul referred to this baldness of temple prostitutes in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 when he talks about women being "shaved" or "shorn." The same Greek word refers to the shearing of sheep (Acts 8:32) which certainly had all their wool removed.
In Numbers 5:18 we read that the priest was to "uncover the woman's head" which is a reference to the VEIL worn by married women (see Kethuvoth 72a). During this trial, the marks of her submission to her husband were removed (1 Cor.11:5-10). But single women didn't have any "heads" or men yet and so didn't need to show "power" or authority on their heads (v.10). As Paul said, the purpose of the VEIL is to show that the wife is under the authority of her husband. Hannah was married and she was in the temple praying, but she didn't wear a VEIL (1 Sam.1:12) because she thought she was alone in the temple. Eli was behind a post (1 Sam.1:9). Paul was talking about women praying or prophesying in a public gathering -- where men are present (1 Cor.11:5). Jewish synagogues may have been segregated into male and female sections and so this issue didn't arise till gentile Christians began meeting in other places.
Ruth was not VEILED while gleaning in Boaz's field in the presence of male reapers (Ruth 2), but she was single, not married. Later, Ruth's VEIL is mentioned (3:15), but this was more likely a large shawl since it was strong enough to hold six measures of barley. In Song of Solomon 4:1,3 and 6:7 we read about a woman's "locks" (KJV) which should be translated "VEIL" as virtually all Bible translations except the KJV render it. This woman is obviously a bride. It is interesting that the bridegroom could see the eyes and temples of his bride. Yes, when Paul speaks in this chapter about the "woman" and "man," he is actually meaning the "wife" and "husband" as the Greek allows.
There is no question that VEILS discourage adultery and rape. According to Jewish custom, when a woman was proposed to and accepted, she was required to wear a VEIL when she went outside from then on. The exclusion of women from public life went so far in Jerusalem that the upper class, pious virgins "were accustomed to stay within the house before marriage as far as possible;" while "married women left it only with their faces covered" (Jerusalem In The Time Of Jesus, Jeremias, 1969). Jesus broke with Jewish custom (m.Aboth 1:5, Danby's translation) when he had a long discussion with the Samaritan woman (John 4:27). In contrast to Jewish law teachers, he had women among his followers (Luke 10:38-42).
Men are continually bombarded every day in a co-ed workplace by women dressed in high skirts and low necklines, nylons and make-up with no VEILS. The message of sex is everywhere. It isn't wrong to talk to or be around women who dress modestly as Christ's example proves. But men should avoid women who dress to promote lust. The workplace should be segregated into male and female sections. Many men and women spend more quality time with members of the oppo-
site sex at work than they do with their spouses at home. No wonder it takes just five years on average for a newly married spouse to have an extramarital affair from the time the marriage began.
Sexual immorality begins in the mind. As a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Pr.23:7). "whatsoever things are ... pure, think on these things" (Phil.4:8). "Out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts" (Mark 7:21). God can help us "cast down imaginations ... and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor.10:5). "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Titus 1:15). If our thoughts become corrupt, we will soon progress to corrupt actions.
Women blame men for "sexual harrassment" and rape (and well they should), but many of these same women demand freedom from "oppressive, out-dated, dress codes" including VEILS. They don't understand the connection between the way they dress and the way men respond. VEILS are meant to protect them, not restrict them. Women should dress modestly. Men fall in love (or lust) through the eye. Christ said, "whosoever looketh on a woman (wife) to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt.5:28). You can't commit adultery with a single woman. In both Hebrew and Greek, there are not two separate words to distinguish between married women and unmarried women. Both are "GUNE" in Greek. Context is the only way to determine which is meant. Sex with an unmarried woman is fornication -- not adultery. It is proper and necessary for a man to lust after the woman he intends to marry -- that is the main reason most men marry (sex). Lusting in one's heart is not a sin but a necessity for any romance or marriage. The command is only "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's WIFE" (Ex.20:17). We must flee immorality (1 Cor.6:18). Christian women must "adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety" (1 Tim.2:9).
"America has the highest rate of rapes of any industrialized society" (p.96, McCalls, May 1990). In nations such as Syria or Iraq, where the women wear VEILS, the incidence of rape is far lower. (see Women In The World, Kidron, p.37)
Incidentally, Paul allows women in this chapter to "PRAY" and "PROPHESY" (11:5) as long as their heads are covered. Yet in 1 Corinthians 14:34, we read "Let your women KEEP SILENCE in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak." How can women KEEP SILENT and still PRAY and PROPHESY in church? Perhaps 1 Corinthians 14 refers to the teaching ministry while 1 Corinthians 11 refers to partici- pation by the congregation in worship with PRAYER and PROPHECY. Women have no authority to teach men (1 Tim.2:12). But women are allowed to sing (cp. Eph.5:19) which is called "PROPHECY" (1 Chr. 25:1-3). Another possibility is that 1 Corinthians 14 refers to any speaking by women in church gatherings while 1 Corinthians 11 refers to women PRAYING and PROPHESYING in small house groups where no minister is present (Acts 21:9).
What About Jewelry And Cosmetics?
There is nothing wrong with women wearing "JEWELS of silver, and JEWELS of gold" (Ex.3:22). God commanded the Israelites to wear them. In fact, God himself clothed Israel "with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin (leather shoes)" and "with fine linen" and "silk" and "ORNAMENTS' and "BRACELETS" and "a CHAIN on thy neck" and "a JEWEL on thy forehead (or "in thy nose"), and EARRINGS in thine ears" (Ez.16:10-12). In Isaiah 61:10 salvation and righteousness are compared on a spiritual level with "ORNAMENTS" and "JEWELS" on a physical level. Lucifer was created by God with great beauty and with JEWELS. "Every precious stone was thy covering" (Ez.28:11-13). In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father is pictured as saying, "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a RING on his hand, and shoes on his feet" (Luke 15:22). Jesus wears a gold girdle (Rev.1:13) and the bride adorned for her husband" (Rev.21:2) is pictured with gold, PEARLS and JEWELS (Rev.21:18-21). New Jerusalem is her name. Judah wore a "SIGNET" and "BRACELETS" (Gen.38:18). Joseph wore a "RING" and "GOLD CHAIN" (Gen.41:42). Mordecai wore a RING (Esther 8:2). Saul wore a BRACELET (2 Sam.1:10). The high priest wore twelve JEWELS (Ex.28:17-20) and Daniel wore "a CHAIN of GOLD about his neck" (Dan.5:29).
Yet Paul said, "in like manner also, the women adorn themselves in modest apparel (no bikinis, mini-skirts, leotards or nylons), with shamefacedness ("modesty" -- Con.) and sobriety ("self-restraint" -- Con.); not with broided hair, or GOLD, or PEARLS, or costly ARRAY: but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works" (1 Tim.2:9-10).
Peter agreed. "Whose adorning let it not be ("merely" --Amp.) the outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of WEARING of GOLD, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Pet.3:3-4). But most women are quite talkative.
But if Peter was teaching here that women should not WEAR any GOLD or plait their hair, then he must have also been teaching women not to put on any apparel -- to be naked -- by the same principle.
Also Peter went on to say, "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themsleves" (1 Pet.3:5). Rebekah was one of those holy women and she wore JEWELRY. She wore "a golden EARRING" and "two BRACELETS for her hands" (Gen.24:22, 29-30, 47-52) and "JEWELS of silver, and JEWELS of gold, and raiment" (24:53).
"All scripture (including Rebekah's example) is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in RIGHTEOUSNESS" (2 Tim.3:16) and the only "scripture" known to Timothy was the Old Testament. And "whatever things were written aforetime (including Rebekah's example) were written for our LEARNING" (Rom.15:4). "Now these things (Rebekah's example, etcetera) were our EXAMPLES" and "they are written for our ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor.10:6,11).
Peter and Paul were using the common idiom of the time intended to minimize the first clause and emphasize the second clause. Today we would add an "ONLY" in the first part of the sentence and an "ALSO" or "RATHER" in the second part. The second clause doesn't do away with the first. We find this same idiom in Genesis 32:28, 45:8, Exodus 16:8, 1 Samuel 8:7, Joel 2:13, Matthew 16:17, Mark 9:37, Luke 14:12-14, John 4:21-23, 6:27, 12:44, 11:4, Acts 5:4, 1 John 3:18 and 1 Corinthians 15:10 where the meanings are clearly not intended to do away with the first parts of these sentences, but merely to minimize them.
However, Christians should never wear AMULETS, TALISMANS, GOOD LUCK CHARMS or RELIGIOUS RELICS. We read in Genesis 35:4 that "they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their EARRINGS which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem." Also, Isaiah 3:20 mentions "the EARRINGS" which comes from Strong's #3908 "lachash" meaning "AMULET." This chapter condemns Zion's haughty women. Such things as rabbits' feet, crucifixes, Stars of David (Amos 5:26), hex symbols and crosses should not be worn.
God commanded the Israelites to take off their ORNAMENTS (Ex.33:4-5) because they had just finished making "gods of gold" (Ex.32:31) after breaking off the "GOLDEN EARRINGS" in their ears (Ex.32:2). Their ORNAMENTS had played a part in the idolatry.
Furthermore, PIERCED EARS imply perpetual slavery (Deut.15:17;Ex.21:5-6) and so those women who decide to wear EARRINGS should try to attach them in some other way.
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What Does It Mean To "TURN The OTHER CHEEK?"
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