What's Wrong With SEX?

(part two)

Is ABORTION murder (Ex. 21:22-25)? What are the PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES between men and women? Is marriage a contract of OBEDIENCE and protection? Which precautions did Moses take against VENEREAL disease (Lev.13-15)? Why did God DIVORCE Israel? What were Israel's crimes? Why are there penalties "to the third and fourth generation" (Ex. 20:5)? Why avoid sexual intercourse during MENSTRUATION (Lev.18:19)? Is the presence of a HYMEN proof of virginity (Deut.22)? Are incest and inbreeding forbidden? Which is more biblical -- alimony payments or dowry? Under what conditions did Christ allow DIVORCE (Matt.19) and REMARRIAGE? Just what is the MEANING of SEX anyway?

Abortion Symbolizes Excommunication

This brings us to the subject of ABORTION. Is ABORTION murder? What does the Bible say?

Christians are now called "sons of God" (Rom.8:14-17; 1 John 3:1-2). Therefore, the unborn embryo or fetus must also be a son of his human father while still an embryo or fetus, because that is what Christians are now in essence. The father's life was already given to it at conception. From that point on, all it does is grow and develop -- just as Christians do from the point of conversion. The questions of when both human and spiritual life begin are answered by the Bible. It is at CONCEPTION or CONVERSION when the SPERM or HOLY SPIRIT from the HUMAN or DIVINE FATHER unites with the OVUM or HUMAN inside the MOTHER or CHURCH. Thus an ABORTION can be likened to SPIRITUAL DEATH and DISFELLOWSHIPPING by Christ from Christ's body. Since the church of God transcends any single, physical, church organization and instead is a spiritual organism, no human can EXCOMMUNICATE or SPIRITUALLY TERMINATE a Christian. Only Christ has the power (Rev.1:18). However, just as some women ABORT innocent fetuses, so too some "Christian" churches

DISFELLOWSHIP true Christians. Both have the power to physically cut the life off from a source of nourishment, but neither can prevent
God from resurrecting the fetus or providing another source of nourishment and protection in the case of Christians wrongly DISFELLOWSHIPPED (3 John 10).

Just what is murder? It is the ending of an INNOCENT human life prior to its natural ending -- whether that be three months after conception or thirty years after conception. This is murder. The Old Testament requires the death penalty for certain crimes. The murderer forfeits his right to live by his own commandment-breaking. To execute a murderer is not murder. He has NO RIGHT to live. But an embryo or fetus is an INNOCENT life. The sixth commandment against murder only guarantees the INNOCENT the right to life.

Furthermore, the Bible languages make no distinction between unborn children and children already born. Terms like "fetus" (which is merely Latin for "little child") simply are not found in the Bible. For example, the Greek word "brephos" refers to both the UNBORN and the BORN child. In Luke 1:44, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, says "the babe (Gr. "brephos") leaped in my womb for joy." Yet in Luke 2:12 the angel says to the shepherds, "Ye shall find the babe (Gr. "brephos") wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

Another New Testament Greek word is "huios," meaning "son." In Luke 1:36 the angel told Mary, "And, behold, thy cousin, Elizabeth, she hath already CONCEIVED a son" (Gr. "huios") -- not embryo. In Luke 1:31 the angel told Mary, "Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and BRING FORTH a son" (Gr. "huios"). Notice that the verbs "CONCEIVED" and "BRING FORTH" have the same direct object -- a son or "huios." And in Luke 3:22, when Jesus was an adult, God the father said at his baptism, "Thou art my beloved Son" -- or "huios." The same Greek word is used repeatedly in the parable of the prodigal son (Matt.15).

Now let's look at Old Testament Hebrew. The word "ben" can refer to a son IN HIS MOTHER'S WOMB or to one ALREADY BORN. For instance, Genesis 25:21-24 describes Jacob and Esau inside their mother Rebekah's womb: "And the children struggled within her" -- the word for children being 'ben." Yet in Genesis 7:13 we read that Shem, Ham and Japheth, "the sons of Noah" entered into the ark. The word for "sons" here is also "ben."

Another Hebrew word is "gehver" which simply means "man." In Job 3:3 we read, "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in

which it was said, There is a man child (Heb. "gehver") CONCEIVED." This is not the word "fetus" or "embryo," but "man." Read also Job 3:11-13 which says that unborn babies are "at rest" awaiting a resurrection. We also read, "Happy is the man (Heb. "gehver") who has his quiver full of arrows" or children (Ps.127:5). This is obviously a man OUTSIDE his mother's womb. The lack of distinction between BORN and UNBORN children in the languages of the Bible indicates that the UNBORN child is just as much a human as the BORN child in the abortion context.

In fact, in Psalm 139:13 David said, "Thou hast covered ME in my mother's womb." He didn't say "the fetus that became me." In Jeremiah 1:5 God said to Jeremiah, "BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Again, God identifies the UNBORN child as a person while still in the womb. David says in Psalm 51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother CONCEIVE ME." Yes, from the time of his conception, he had a sinful nature which means he was a person (see Psalm 139:13-16; Eccl. 11:5 & Isa. 49:1).

In Exodus 21:22-25 we read, "If men strive, and hurt a woman WITH CHILD, so that her fruit DEPART from her, and yet no mischief follows; he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follows, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, stripe for stripe" (KJV)..

The important phrase is in verse 22: "so her fruit DEPART from her." Some translations, including the New American Standard, render this passage as "miscarriage." Others render it accurately. The New International Version correctly says, "gives BIRTH PREMATURELY." John Darby's translation says, "so that she be DELIVERED." But let's look at the Hebrew.

The word translated "fruit" is "yehled." Yehled is found 89 times in the Old Testament. In every other passage it is translated as a human being -- a CHILD, CHILDREN, a BOY or a young MAN. Never is it used for anything less than human.

The word translated "DEPART" is "YATSAH." Wherever else this verb is used in connection with childbirth (except possibly Numbers 12:12, where it may refer to a stillbirth but not a miscarriage, it denotes a LIVE BIRTH (Eccl.5:14-15; Jer.20:18; Gen.25:23-26; 38:28-30). If Moses had meant miscarriage, there are at least two Hebrew words he could have used to convey that meaning: shakol, which he used for "miscarriage" in Exodus 23:26; and nephel, which is used for "miscarriage" in Job 3:16, Psalm 58:8 and Ecclesiastes 6:3. But instead, Moses chose to use terminology that denotes a LIVE BIRTH. This scripture, inspired by the Holy Spirit, denotes a PREMATURE, but LIVE, BIRTH.

The meaning of the passage, then, is that if two men fight and the pregnant wife of one is struck during the conflict and as a result gives birth prematurely, but there is no injury to the mother or child, the guilty party pays for whatever injury he has caused to the husband, the man he is fighting. But if either the wife or the child is injured or killed, the law of retaliation applies -- eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life. This passage is very significant because it gives LEGAL PROTECTION to the UNBORN child.

Those who say life begins at birth are fond of quoting Genesis 2:7 which says, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Thus they conclude that man does not truly become a living soul until he takes that first breath of air. However, Genesis 2:7 is a one-time event. Adam was never conceived in a womb; he was formed out of red mud, the dust of the ground. He is the exception, not the rule. Nowhere else do we read that God breathed into someone the breath of life and that person then became a living soul. Furthermore, even the UNBORN child uses oxygen in the womb. He simply takes it in by means of a placenta rather than through his lungs. In fact, from the moment of conception the UNBORN child uses oxygen -- even as a fertilized egg.

Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid,
In every bosom where her nest is made,
Hatched by the beams of truth, denies him rest,
And proves a raging scorpion in his breast.
-- Cowper


When Did Child-Sacrifice Begin?

Cain thought he was the "Lord " since Eve exclaimed "I have gotten a man, a lord" (Gen.4:4). The name Cain came to mean "cohen" or "priest." Cain developed his own religion after being cut off from God. He thought he was the Savior. He created a priesthood. The name "Tubal-Cain" means "a priest of Cain" so we know Tubal-Cain was a descendant of this priesthood. The name "CANNIBAL" (Cahna Baal) is another word which means "Baal Priest" and indicates that the religion of Cain had to do with CONSUMING of human flesh. Mostly LITTLE CHILDREN. When Tubal-Cain's sister/wife Naamah married Noah, this Baal religion came through the flood. She came to be known as Naamah Isis, or NEMISIS, because she betrayed Noah by getting him drunk. She is the original prototype of the harlot of Revelation sitting on Babylon holding a cup of wine for the world to get drunk. She founded the Babylonian Mystery Religion with Ham's help. Their grandson was Nimrod. "Nimrod, as the representative of the devouring fire to which human victims, and especially CHILDREN, were offered in SACRIFICE, was regarded as the great CHILD-DEVOURER ... he was, of course the actual father of all the Babylonian gods; and, therefore, in that character he was afterwards universally regarded. As the father of the gods, he was called Kronos" (Lemp. Clas. Dict., Art. "Saturn"). The literal meaning of BONFIRE is "BONE FIRE" [M.E. bonefyre, bone fire, later funeral pyre] because such a ritual fire came from the SACRIFICE of HUMANS.

It was Solomon who was the first of the kings of Israel to allow the SACRIFICE of CHILDREN. "For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammonites.... Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon" (1 Ki.11:3-7). This hill he built was in the valley of the son of Hinnom. This area lies at the entry of the east gate of Jerusalem (Jer.19:2). In Jeremiah 19:5-6 we read, "They have built also the high places of Baal, to BURN their SONS with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: Therefore ... this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter."Baal-worship is alive and well in America's ABORTION clinics. They would place their children on the arms of an idol extended over a flaming fire. The CHILDREN would ROAST to DEATH as the priests blew trumpets to mask the screams of the baby. In one such high place, an archaeologist found "great numbers of jars containing the remains of CHILDREN who had been SACRIFICED to Baal. The whole area proved to be a cemetery for new-born BABES" (p.166, Halley's Bible Handbook; cp. p.198). No wonder Elijah executed the prophets of Baal (1 Ki.18:40) and Jehu exterminated Baalism (2 Ki.10). This is one reason God commanded the nation of Israel to destroy the Canaanites (Deut.18:10-12). As Psalm 106:25 says, "They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead (CANNIBALISM). Thus they provoked him (God) to anger." "When the Eternal thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee ... and thou ... dwellest in their land, Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after they are destroyed from before thee, and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, how did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Eternal thy God; for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods. For even their sons and their daughters have they BURNED IN THE FIRE of their gods. Whatsoever thing I command you, observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it" (Deut. 12:29-32; cp. Lev.18:1-3).

Is Abortion Murder?

Life is the gift of God (Ps.127:3). Only God has the right to give or take an innocent life (Deut.32:39). He says, "Do not kill the innocent ... for I will not acquit the guilty" (Ex.23:7).

The behavior and habits of the mother have a great effect upon an UNBORN baby. If the mother SMOKES, the fetus won't grow as large or get as much nourishment and will be more likely to have congenital malformations. If the mother DRINKS alcohol during pregnancy, the fetus has a greater risk of of having fetal alcohol syndrome which can lead to mental and physical abnormalities. If the mother TAKES DRUGS, the baby's development will be affected. No drug of any kind,
including aspirin and over-the-counter remedies, should be taken during pregnancy unless a doctor approves. Drugs can cause addiction, malformation, etc.

The "CHOICE" is whether to conceive or not. In this sense a Christian is "pro-choice." After conception a Christian should be "pro-life." Only God has the right to give or take life (Deut.32:39). Abortion is not a safe procedure. Women who have abortions risk their physical, mental and reproductive health because of the complications. Yes, "abortion is already the FIFTH leading CAUSE of maternal DEATH in the United States." "If legalization makes abortion twice as safe, but causes a ten-fold increase in total abortions, there is still a five-times increase in women suffering and dying from complications."

Death, infection, sterility, excessive bleeding, miscarriage in future pregnancies, depression and suicide are some of the complications to the mothers who are led to believe abortion is a safe procedure (Aborted Women: Silent No More by David Reardon). After a legal abortion, a woman faces the increased possibility of severe and long-lasting emotional disturbances, tubal pregnancies, premature births, sterility and future miscarriages (Handbook On Abortion by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke). According to one former abortion-clinic operator, gross malpractice occurs at many clinics. She says, "We were maiming or killing one woman in every 500." (p.19, New American, Jan.18, 1988). Since 1973, abortion has claimed more than 20 million mute and innocent victims.

Genetic defects are the result of broken laws of health. As Deuteronomy 28:18 says, "Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body" if you refuse to obey God's laws (28:15). But if we obey God, we will not have to worry about our children being born with birth defects (Deut.28:1-4). Even though the parents may not be the guilty ones (e.g. Thalidamide babies), they have no right to terminate the pregnancy. Even in cases of incest and rape, the unborn child is still an innocent third party -- a bystander. Paul said that in the last days women would be "without natural affection" (2 Tim.3:3). Abortionists argue that the baby cannot live an independent life until the last trimester and so is merely an appendage of the woman's body for the first six months. However, if we used this same criterion of self-sufficiency and independence on other segments of society, why not exterminate the elderly and handicapped? Even the young and healthy would find it very difficult to go off by themselves and survive in the wilderness with no help from society.
A Chinese person born 30 years ago will today celebrate his 31st
birthday. This is because, by ancient tradition, the Chinese believe that life starts with conception. Thus, in determining age, they add one year to the interval since birth.

When the mother's ovum is fertilized by the father's sperm, the resulting cell has all the genetic information necessary for a unique new individual. When the 23 chromosomes from each parent unite, life has begun. Nothing will be added except time and nutrition. Within HOURS, the single cell divides in two. After just FOUR days, special microscopic techniques can determine the sex of the new person. During the first WEEK of life, this cluster of cells is a biologically distinct human being with a different blood type from the mother's. It is not a part of the mother's body as test-tube babies prove. It has been medically proven that the baby's heart starts beating from 14 to 28 DAYS after conception (usually before the mother even knows she's pregnant), and by the30th DAY almost every organ has started to form. The baby's brain waves can be recorded by the 43rd DAY of life. By EIGHT WEEKS the baby can feel pain. It actually looks like a miniature baby with eyes, ears, nose, lips and tongue; arms and legs; hands and feet. It even has fingerprints and footprints and all the internal organs such as heart, liver, stomach, kidneys and intestines.

Four centuries before Christ, a Greek physician named Hippocrates created the famous oath which doctors have taken for centuries as the moral standard governing their work as physicians. The Hippocratic Oath reads in part, "I will follow that method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce ABORTION." But in all too many cases this becomes a HYPOCRITICAL oath.

Pro-choice advocates insist on the woman's "right" to choose. Pro-life advocates insist on the rights of UNBORN women (and men) to life. A Christian should be pro-choice before conception, pro-life after. A woman has the right to choose not to have sex. But ABORTION is MURDER.

Fertilization Typifies The First Day Of Unleavened Bread

God began to lead the Israelites out of Egypt on the FIFTEENTH day of the first month. He is typified by the SPERM uniting with the ovum to prevent it from dying in the land of Egypt so to speak. He leads the egg out of the fallopian tube. The same is true of humans in sin. When they are CONVERTED and given the Holy Spirit, they come out of their sinful lifestyles. This is known as FERTILIZATION or CONCEPTION which is actually CONVERSION. It is made possible by God the Father who sends his Holy Spirit or sperm into the church or woman -- "the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26). Yes, "out of his BELLY shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER" (John 7:38) -- the SEMEN. It is living water that comes out of a father's belly. We are BEGOTTEN when we become IMPREGNATED with eternal life (Isa.44:3). Newly converted Christians start out with only a small portion of God's Holy Spirit (2 Cor.1:22; Eph.1:14), just as the human sperm is very small, about one fiftieth the size of the ovum. Most new Christians are still 99% carnal. Those at Corinth were (1 Cor.3:1-3). There wasn't much spiritual knowledge or character yet.

Just as the sperm unites with the nucleus of the egg, so also the Holy Spirit unites with the human mind. Then we no longer have only human nature. We have Divine nature to a degree. God's spirit unites with, and witnesses with, our spirit that we are now the children of God (Rom.8:16). Now we can understand and appreciate spiritual knowledge (1 Cor.2:11). At the resurrection, God will "quicken" or enliven our mortal bodies to immortality by his Spirit that "dwelleth in us" (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor.15:49-53).

Instead of the Holy Spirit (sperm) coming inside of each of the firstborn Israelites (ova), we find that "on the FIFTEENTH day of the first month" (Num.33:3), "the Eternal did bring (lit. "begin bringing") the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt ... And the Eternal spoke unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the first-born, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel ... it is mine" (Ex.12:51 & 13:1-2). Yes, FERTILIZATION takes place on the FIFTEENTH day of the mother's first month. If it doesn't occur, the egg dies in Egypt figuratively.

Yes, "after ovulation, the egg is available for FERTILIZATION for approximately twelve to twenty-four hours" (p.93, Conception, Birth And Contraception). "The process of FERTILIZATION probably takes a little more than twenty-four hours" (p.3, Pictorial Human Embryo-logy). "FERTILIZATION usually takes place within 24 hours of ovulation" (p.301, art. "Menstruation" Acad. Amer. Encyc.). "The period during which the egg can be FERTILIZED is less than twenty-four hours -- a very short time in a twenty-eight day reproductive cycle" (p.45, Conception, Birth And Contraception). Also, "Since sperm can survive for several days within the female reproductive tract and can also move rapidly from cervix to midpoint in the tube, FERTILIZATION can take place if coitus occurs anytime from several days prior to ovulation to twenty-four or more hours after ovulation" (p.46, ibid.) (11th to 15th day).

These references show that the FIFTEENTH day of the mother's month is the day of FERTILIZATION by the Father. Human life is given to the egg by the sperm of a human father. But it isn't yet fully human until after human birth. In the same way, Divine life is given to the human by the Holy Spirit of God the Father. But the Christian is not yet Divine to the fullest extent until after the resurrection. Yet Christians are in their human state called "gods" (John 10:34-35; Ps.82:6).

Implantation Typifies The Last Day Of Unleavened Bread

If the fallopian-tube travel and the free travel in the uterus represent the land of Egypt, then the embryo attaching to the uterine lining must represent entering Israel. The time sequence is the same in both sets of events. Just as the Israelites left Egypt completely on the TWENTY-FIRST day of the month, so also the embryo implants in the uterus on the TWENTY-FIRST day of the menstrual cycle.

After Israel had taken "three days' journey into the wilderness" (Ex.3:18; 5:23; 8:27) on foot, and had begun sacrificing to the Eternal, Pharaoh felt he had done his duty (Ant.2:15:3) and heard that Israel was "entangled in the land" (Ex.14:3-5) and pursued with "six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt" (14:7) as well as "two hundred thousand footmen" (Ant.2:15:3). This point in time parallels that instant when the EMBRYO LEAVES the FALLOPIAN TUBE -- day 19 -- and enters the larger and more accommodating uterus. Pharaoh then took two days -- Abib 19 and 20 -- to catch up. This represents the FREE TRAVEL IN the UTERUS by the embryo. Then all night long the Eternal kept the two camps apart (14:20) while the Israelites passed through the sea (14:21-22). The morning of the twenty-first of Abib witnessed the destruction of the Egyptian army. Then Moses and Miriam sang a song (Ex.15) and held a worship service to God (Ex.15:1-22) showing this day was one of the holy convocations. The EMBRYO also REACHES "SAFETY ON SHORE" on the twenty-first day when it implants.

Yes, "Fertilization usually takes place within 24 hours of ovulation, and the embryo is IMPLANTED in the uterus 6 to 7 days after ovulation" (p.301, art. "Menstruation," Acad. Amer. Encyc.). "Seven days following fertilization, these cells, now called the blastocyst, or conceptus, IMPLANT inside the lining of the uterus" (p.502, art. "pregnancy and birth" vol.15, Acad Amer. Encyc.). "About six days after fertilization the zona pellucida degenerates and the blastocyst becomes attached to and embedded in the endometrium" (p.4, Pictorial Human Embryology). "The former ovum, changing all the time, moves into the uterus. It EMBEDS itself in the wall of the uterus about 7 days after fertilization occurs" (p.25, How We Are Born). "At the end of the first week of life it has burrowed deep into the lining -- this is called IMPLANTATION -- where it is continuously bathed in a lake of its mother's blood" (p.31, Stoppard's Pregnancy and Birth Book). (The Red Sea) "The three to five days the egg takes to reach the uterus (wavesheaf) after being released by the ovary is known as the woman's fertile period" (p.180, "Menstruation," Funk And Wagnalls). On page 55 of Conception, Birth And Contraception we see a chart showing ovulation on the 14th, fertilization on the 15th, entrance into the uterus on the 19th (wave-sheaf), and IMPLANTATION on the 21st. "About seven days after ovulation, the amount of progesterone is at its peak (p.697, Biology For Christian Schools). "It takes about three days for the young embryo to reach the uterus (wave-sheaf), and by then the embryo consists of a solid mass of about sixteen cells. Once inside the uterus, the embryo remains free within the uterine cavity for about three additional days. Before the tiny embryo ATTACHES to the mother's uterus, the energy needed for growth is supplied by its own cytoplasm and nutrients secreted by the uterus" (p.698, ibid.). In other words, the wave-sheaf is the eighteenth and that is the same Abib 18 when Christ was accepted by the Father in anti-type (John 20:17; Matt.28:9; Lev.23:11). Christ ARRIVED in heaven on Abib 18. The embryo ARRIVES at the uterus on Abib 18 and Israel ARRIVED at the Red Sea after "three days' journey into the wilderness" on Abib 18 (Num.33:7; Ex.14:9,2; 3:18; 5:3; 8:27) and sacrificed to the Eternal.

Physical Differences Between Men And Women

If the body and mind are just two aspects of the same person, then a study of the PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES between men and women should tell us something about the MENTAL DIFFERENCES which are harder to observe. By studying the PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES between men and women, we can determine the INTENDED FUNCTION of both men and women also. We are what we think. As a man "thinks within himself, so he is"(Pr.23:7); NASB). Yes, "the tree is known by its fruit" (Matt.12:33). The function and purpose of men and women can be known by their physical differences.

First, the MALE SKELETON IS STRONGER than the female. Male bones are thicker and heavier. The man is therefore better equipped to carry loads and do hard work. A man's bones are more angular, more rugged in shape, while the woman's have rounder forms and blunter corners. The male body is therefore better for pushing and resistance than the female body. Man's hand is stronger, bigger and bonier than the woman's. Women's hands are daintier. Men are therefore intended to do the more rugged and basic, raw work while women are intended to work with the finished product of man's labor (pp.33-34, Neuer's Man & Woman). "Women have a shorter head, broader face, less protruding chin, shorter legs and longer trunk. The first finger of a woman's hand is usually longer than the third; this is reversed in men. Boy's teeth last longer than do those of girls" (p.132, Dobson's What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women).

The STRIATED MUSCLES in men are MORE STRONGLY DEVELOPED and CONSTRUCTED than in women. Apparently women are not intended to reshape the external environment, but to care for and nurse along what is already there. The men subdue nature and the women take the end product and preserve it (p.34, Neuer). "Man possesses fifty percent more brute strength than woman on average (40 percent of a man's body weight is muscle; 23 percent of a woman's body weight is muscle.)" (p.10, Gary Smalley's If Only He Knew). The woman is the "weaker vessel" (1 Pet.3:7). The relative lack of muscle in women is compensated for by more fat. As a result of this, and the shape of the bones already mentioned, the woman's body is rounder and the man's more angular. Men should honor their wives. As Paul said, "those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those ... we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor" (1 Cor.12:22-23).

The WOMAN'S SKIN is much SOFTER, more TENDER and SMOOTHER than a man's. She has a relatively hairless body and thin layer of subcutaneous fat associated with her greater beauty than man. Women are therefore more aware of the pleasures of touch. This greater sensitivity of the skin matches the greater sensitivity of women in the mental and emotional realm and their greater sympathy and emotional instability. Women laugh and cry more easily (p.35, Neuer; pp.132-133, Dobson). She is the "weaker vessel" (1 Pet.3:7) emotionally too.

A woman's destiny is revealed by several unique and important functions: PREGNANCY, MENSTRUATION and LACTATION. A woman's thyroid is larger and more active. It enlarges during pregnancy and menstruation; it makes women more prone to goiter; provides resistance to cold and is associated with a woman's smooth-skinned, relatively hairless body and thin layer of subcutaneous fat. All three functions influence behavior and feelings making her emotionally unstable. She also has more different hormones than man does (pp.132-133, Dobson). In addition to the woman's uterus, her breasts also point to motherhood as her purpose and destiny. Women, in contrast to all highly developed animals, have the physical appearance of motherhood without being or becoming mothers. This reflects women's mental frame of mind which is usually more sympathetic and caring of other people than men are in general. Even young girls are seen naturally playing with dolls, whereas boys prefer to play games involving competition (p.35, Neuer). Yes, women are to be "keepers at home" (Tit.2:5). Women are to "bear children, guide the house" (1 Tim.5:14) Even Genesis 3 reveals that bearing children is the woman's natural sphere.

The sex organs themselves show us that the man begets and the woman bears. The MAN is the ACTIVE, GIVING and LIFE-CREATING party, while the WOMAN is the PASSIVE, RECEIVING and LIFE-SUSTAINING party. This reflects also the mental/emotional relationship of female passivity and male activity, female letting-it-happen and male causing-it, female receiving and male giving, female being found and male seeking and acquiring. In intercourse, the man has the leading role and makes the ultimate decision if and when the union takes place. The woman offers her body. She submits. Male sperm vigorously swim around the resting female egg, until one sperm penetrates the egg and fertilizes it. Both sexes contribute equally to shaping the genetically inherited characteristics of the new life but the woman is passive and the man active. She is receptive and submissive. Men initiate and women receive (pp.36-37, Neuer).

Men have GREATER DRIVE, AGGRESSIVENESS and DESIRE FOR LEADERSHIP. Men have a particular ability to ACHIEVE CREATIVELY in all fields of intellectual life which women do not have. This would correspond to the life-giving sperm. Women have a greater ability to ADAPT and IMITATE. The man's physical role in fatherhood is very minor compared to the woman's role in motherhood. One minute to beget but nine months to bear. Even in childrearing, men spend very little time training the children compared to women. Men must earn the living and so they merely give the moral values to the wife. She then teaches and develops the children's minds. Breast-feeding may last from two to four years as can be seen from a study of primitive peoples. The female is built for conception, bearing, giving birth to, nourishing and bringing up the children. How much the woman's body is built for motherhood is seen in the fact that failure to become a mother increases the danger of physical illness and psychological depression. While the maternal role lasts only quite a short time even among the higher mammals, it comprises for women about eighteen years. Thus humans are physically premature births since they can't take care of themselves till years later. A much more intensive and lengthy upbringing is necessary for humans than for animals. Women are the main educators of their children long after pregnancy and birth (pp.37-40, Neuer).

Differences between men and women also involve CELL STRUCTURE. Male cells contain a Y-chromosome and an X-chromosome, female cells have two X-chromosomes. This difference involves all the cells of the human; probably the real personal differences between the sexes are determined by this (p.132, Dobson; p.40, Neuer).

The woman has GREATER constitutional VITALITY, perhaps because of this chromosome difference. Normally women outlive men by three or four years in the U.S. The ratio of male to female conceptions is 150 to 100, but owing to the greater mortality of male embryos the ratio of births is 106 boys to 100 girls. By the fourth year of life the surplus of boys has disappeared, and at every age more men die than women. Life expectancy is years shorter for men in industrialized nations. This difference mainly depends on the woman's inherited constitution, not environmental conditions (p.132, Dobson; p.41, Neuer).

The woman has LARGER KIDNEYS, LIVER, STOMACH and APPENDIX than man, but SMALLER LUNGS. A woman's METABOLISM is LOWER than a man's. Woman's BLOOD contains MORE WATER (20% fewer red cells). Since these supply oxygen to the body cells, she tires more easily and is more prone to faint. Her constitutional viability is therefore strictly a long-range matter (pp.132-133, Dobson; pp.9-10, Smalley).

Woman's vital capacity or BREATHING POWER is lower than man's in a 7:10 ratio. Women withstand high temperatures better than men because women's METABOLISM SLOWS DOWN LESS (p.133, Dobson).

Women's HEART BEATS MORE RAPIDLY (average 80 beats per minute versus 72 for men). Women's BLOOD PRESSURE (10 points lower than man's) varies from minute to minute, but she has LESS TENDENCY TOWARD HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE -- at least until after menopause (p.133, Dobson; p.10, Smalley).

Marriage -- A Contract Of Obedience And Protection

Marriage is an agreement between a man and a woman based on God's law. The man promises to PROTECT and PROVIDE FOR the woman. The woman promises to OBEY the man. This is the basic, written contract.

The Old Covenant was actually a marriage between the Eternal God and the nation of Israel. In this marriage agreement, the Eternal promised for his part to PROVIDE Israel with beautiful clothes, elegant jewels and delicious food (Ez.16:9-14). As her husband, he promised to PROTECT her from enemies (Ex.23:22-23,27-30), PROVIDE vast expanses of land (23:30), healthy bread and water and no sickness (23:25), no barrenness or still births (23:26), and long life (23:26). God promised to PROVIDE rain, food, wealth, victory and many other material, national benefits and blessings here and now in this life (Lev.26:1-13; cp. Deut.7:9) for his wife.

The nation of Israel -- "the church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38) -- promised for her part to OBEY her husband in the letter when she said "I do" (Ex.19:8 & 24:7). The Eternal said, "if ye will OBEY my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people" (Ex.19:5). "And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (Ex.19:8 & 24:3).

In a marriage between a man and a woman, the man must PROVIDE a substantial dowry as well as "her food, her raiment, and her lodging" (Ex.21:7-11; Deut.22:29; cp.Deut.10:18; 1 Tim.3:5). The dowry would be a written claim against the husband's property for the security of the faithful wife and children in case the husband wrongly divorced her or was disabled or died.

Jacob asked Laban, "when shall I PROVIDE for mine own house also?" (Gen.30:30) after he had PROVIDED two dowries to Laban. As 1 Timothy 5:8 says, "But if any PROVIDE not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Yes, the head "nourishes" the whole body (Col.2:19; cp.Eph.4:16) whether it be Christ or the husband.

The husband must PROTECT the wife in the same way that Christ gave his life for the church and is the "savior of the body" (Eph.5:23,25). The legal doctrine of COVERTURE used to result when a man married a woman. The wife came under the COVER of her husband. The COVERTURE of a woman disabled her from making contracts to prejudice of herself or her husband, without his allowance or permission. She was COVERED or DEFENDED by her husband because of the legal merger of identities into the status of the husband. She no longer existed as a separate entity legally. The Bible says, "they shall be one flesh" (Gen.2:24), so a wife's ability to contract was null and void by itself. As the Bible says, "Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void" (Num.30:13). According to the legal doctrine of COVERTURE, the wife could not sue or be sued in her own name. However, a man's wife and children did not become corrupted for any crime he would commit nor he for any crime they commit. The husband was vested with full possession and control of all community property in marriage from the world's viewpoint. Later, American law discarded these biblical concepts because COVERTURE also took a married woman's personal property away from her which was an unbiblical concept. "The baby was thrown out with the bathwater." Now the wife is wholly free from her husband's claims and control of her personal property but she is also free of his PROTECTION.

If the husband and wife are to live together and be as "one flesh," then one of them must have the final say in matters. Two minds are never in perfect harmony. There must be only one voice -- not two. Equal authority means chaos. Imagine an army with everyone having equal rank -- free and independent. There must be only one leader and PROTECTOR to accomplish anything. In the family setting, that person is the husband (Num.30:2-13). Abraham "will COMMAND his children and his household" (Gen.18:19). The husband in Hebrew is called "baal," the master or lord of his wife (Gen.20:3; Ex.21:3,22; Deut. 21:13; 22:22; 2 Sam.11:26; Pr.12:4; 31:11,23,28). This provides the double meaning for the prophecy in Hosea 2:16 which says, "In that day, says the Lord, you will call me 'My husband,' and no longer will you call me, 'My Baal'" (RSV). The wife's acceptance of her dependent role is illustrated in Sarah's speaking to her husband Abraham as "my lord" (adonai) (Gen.18:12; 1 Pet.3:6; see also Judges 19:26-27). The priesthood and spiritual leadership belong to men (Lev.8-9; Ex.28-29). The man is the head of the family (Ex.21:3,22; Deut.24:1-4). Apostles are representatives of God (Matt.10:40; Luke 10:16; John 13:20). Just as Jesus represents the father (John 14:9), so also the apostles represent Jesus (John 20:21). Paul urged others to follow him as he followed Christ (1 Cor.11:1; 4:16; Phil.3:17; 1 Thess. 1:6). God is depicted exclusively in male terms such as "Father," "Lord," and "King." Only a few scriptures depict him as a mother (Isa.66:13; 49:15; Ps.27:10). The man reflects God or Christ more completely while the woman reflects the creation or church assembly more completely. Christ called men exclusively to be the twelve apostles. In the Old Testament, the Levite Priesthood was all male. Romans 16:7 mentions "Junia," who was not a female apostle but instead is a short form of "Junias" which is short for "Junianus." The accentuation of "Junia" in the Greek manuscripts is masculine.

The woman must "SUBMIT" (Eph. 5:22). Wives must be "OBEDIENT to their own husbands" (Tit.2:5). Women are commanded to be "under OBEDIENCE" to their husbands (1 Cor. 14:34-35). And "the head of the woman is the man" (1 Cor.11:3). A woman is not allowed to teach a man or give orders to a man (1 Tim.2:11-13). "Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man" (1 Cor.11:9). "Let the wives be (SUBJECT) to their husbands in everything" (Eph.5:24). Women are to have a "QUIET spirit" (1 Pet.3:4) and "be in SILENCE" (1 Tim.2:12) because they are deceived more easily (1 Tim.2:11-14). Yes, Aristotle quoted Sophocles by saying that "SILENCE is a woman's glory" (Politics 1:13). Neither in her origin, nor in the purpose for which she was created, can the woman claim priority or even equality. As the Eternal said, "Your desire will be (SUBJECT -- 1 Cor.14:34) to your husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen.3:16; L.T. & KJV). Wives who do not OBEY their husbands are not entitled to the husband's PROTECTION. Furthermore, the husband is not obligated to SUPPORT a rebellious wife.

Just as God rules over men (Judges 8:23), men are to lovingly rule over their wives. A wife must OBEY her husband to the same degree that the husband OBEYS God. His authority over her is in exact proportion to God's authority over him. He must OBEY God! Colossians 3:18 says, "Wives, SUBMIT yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit IN THE LORD." If the husband steps outside of God's law order, he has no authority over his wife. She is free to "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). This is the check and balance on the husband's rulership. His wife keeps him from getting corrupt. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" -- Lord Acton. Men are to be given their authority only within the context of God's law and order.

A good wife will make her husband aware of dangers and mistakes. She is his "help meet," not a silent, passive, unthinking lackey. She must warn him and then SUBMIT "in everything" (Eph.5:24) as long as he doesn't disobey God. If he disobeys God, she should disobey him. Ephesians 5:21 could therefore be paraphrased: "Be subject to eachother in the appropriate framework; children to parents; wives to husbands; servants (employees) to masters (bosses); men to God. Christian wives should even submit to non-Christian husbands (1 Pet.3:1-7). Since the man must bear the ultimate responsibility, he should always have the last say. He "must manage his own household well" (1 Tim.3:4). Women may teach other women (Titus 2:3-4); mothers are to teach children (2 Tim.1:5;3:15). The daughters of Philip were prophetesses (Acts 21:9). Priscilla and Aquila gave private instruction in the Bible to the Corinthian Jew Apollos (Acts 18:26). Proverbs 31 pictures a very able and capable wife in family business affairs. Men and women have equal rights in the Bible (Ex.21:15,17,28; 20:12; Lev.20:9; Deut.5:16) but different functions and responsibilities. Genesis 3:16 presupposes that the man's responsibility is to PROVIDE food and the woman's to be SUBJECT to the man and raise children. Sons got the inheritance rather than daughters, but daughters received a dowry, not sons. It all evens out. Feminism is a disaster for women because it teaches them to try and be like men in every way rather than to be different and opposite. A woman's feminine nature is thereby devalued. True emancipation is not from being herself, but from PORNOGRAPHY and RAPE and NO EQUAL PROTECTION under the law. This is what women's liberation should stand for. A career should not replace motherhood. A woman can't have both at the same time. Furthermore, those women who do struggle to the top and have authority over men have usually replaced gentleness and sensitivity with callous cynicism.

In a sense, women do marry men for their money. This is not wrong. She wants him to be able to SUPPORT her as well as or better than her father did when she was growing up. Married women resent having to work as a necessity if their income has to help pay for basic living expenses. Women like to choose between being a homemaker and following a career. If they choose a career, they want their money to spend as they see fit, not for HOUSING, FOOD or CLOTHING. A family can easily live on merely one salary by simply reducing its standard of living. Many couples set a standard of living for themselves far higher than they need in order to be happy. But a woman's need for financial SUPPORT is deep and serious. Most men don't have this need. In fact a husband rarely feels good when his wife financially SUPPORTS him. He usually feels quite content if she earns little or nothing. Women have a right to develop a career, but they also have a right and privilege to spend time as a home-maker and full-time mother.

However, women don't have a right to set unrealistically high standard-of-living goals for their husbands. If women are not satisfied by the basic living expenses PROVIDED by their husbands, they should use some of the money from their own career jobs to supplement it. There is no limit to wants and desires. A husband is only duty-bound to PROVIDE NEEDS. Most couples in the world live on less than five hundred dollars a month. Almost any family can live comfortably onless than they presently spend in America. But many people think they need things they really don't need. They sometimes become their own worst enemies. They set a standard of living which they cannot achieve. Men sometimes work themselves into an early grave PROVIDING a living standard their family can do without. Less money means more time with the family. More income means the husband works two jobs or both parents work and thus neither is with the other. We measure the cost of high living standards in the loss of happiness and in DIVORCE and EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS. Less money means more marriage (from His Needs, Her Needs by Harley, pp.114-124).

The Old Covenant was made with Israel before she was fully tried and tested. She didn't have the Holy Spirit (Deut.29:4;Jer.4:3-4). The law was "weak through the flesh" (Rom.8:3). The New Covenant will be made with Israel after she is resurrected to a sinless state. Bachelors should learn from this experience and always make sure their brides-to-be are tried and tested and found to be OBEDIENT Christians before marriage.

God Divorced Israel

Now the Eternal "entered into a covenant" with Israel and she became his wife (Ez.16:8). The Eternal "was an husband unto them" (Jer.31:32) and exclaimed in Jeremiah 3:14, "I am married unto you." As Isaiah 54:5 says, "thy Maker is thine husband."

We read earlier that the Eternal, for his part, had promised to provide her CLOTHING, FOOD, HEALTH, LAND and PROTECTION (Ez.16:9-14; Ex.23:25-31; Lev.26:1-13). We also read earlier that Israel, for her part, had promised to OBEY her husband when she said "I do" (Ex.19:8 & 24:7). She had promised she wouldn't commit ADULTERY with other gods (Ex.34:12-17) and ADULTERY in this case is synonymous with IDOLATRY (Ez.6:9).

But Israel played the HARLOT (Ez.16:15-63). She BROKE wedlock (v.38) and BROKE the covenant (v.59). The Eternal's wife "went after other gods to serve them" (Jer.11:10; Hos.1:2). God said she had "BROKEN my covenant" (v.10). He warned, "Turn O backsliding children ... for I am married unto you" (Jer.3:14). But Israel committed 'WHOREDOMS" with "LOVERS" and "IDOLS" plural (Ez.16:36). She formed political, military and religious alliances with gentile nations and paid them to side with her (Ez.16:26-34). She took religious practices "from the east" (Isa.2:6). She treacherously DEPARTED "from her husband" (Jer.3:20).

So the Eternal "PUT HER AWAY" and gave her "A BILL OF DIVORCE" (Jer.3:8; Isa.50:1; Hos.2:2). God exercised the mercy option of DIVORCE, not the justice option of execution, against his ADULTEROUS wife. But many national, material disasters and punishments came upon Israel as a result of her UNFAITHFULNESS (Lev.26:14-39; Deut.28). She lost her dowry. Chaldeans and Egyptians punished ADULTERY by cutting off the nose and ears of the person UNFAITHFUL to the marriage (Diod. Sic. 1:89-90). God threatened HARLOT Israel with this same punishment. He said that in his "jealousy" he would send Israel's enemies against her and "they shall take away thy nose and thine ears" (Ez.23:19-25).

Jesus Christ was this God of the Old Testament. He was the Father's "Word" or Spokesman. Jesus -- the Word -- created everything described in Genesis (John 1:3; Col.1:16). Christ created all things (Eph.3:9). He made the worlds (Heb.1:2). He revealed himself to Moses (1 Cor.10:4). Christ is the "Lord" and "messenger" in Malachi 3:1 (Mark 1:14). Since nobody has ever heard the voice of the Father or seen his shape (John 5:37; 1:18), we know that the one who spoke the ten commandments from Sinai must have been the "Word" who became Jesus Christ. Also we read that Moses did see God's back (Ex.33:23), so Moses was dealing with the one who became Jesus Christ -- not God the Father. Truly, Christ was the God of the Old Testament.

Now Christ didn't have to die in order to cancel his marriage with ancient Israel. Nor was there initial fraud in the agreement. Christ simply DIVORCED her because of her continual ADULTERY -- not fornication. God didn't merely separate. He DISSOLVED the marriage entirely. Speaking prophetically perhaps, Christ commanded his ADULTEROUS wife to return to him even though she had been DIVORCED and had become another man's (Jer.3:1). Perhaps this is because Christ knew he would have to die so she could REMARRY him at a later date because of his own law forbidding REMARRIAGE to the same wife previously DIVORCED (Deut.24:1-4). Perhaps he was calling her to return to him at a future date after his crucifixion because Israel will return again to the Lord (Hos.3:5; Rom.9-11).

She will REMARRY him, for we read in Revelation 19:7 that "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife (from his previous marriage) hath made herself ready." Isaiah 62:4-5 promises that the Eternal will rejoice over Israel "as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride." Israel will again return to the Eternal.

Divorce For Serious Crimes

God divorced his wife because she had committed ADULTERY and IDOLATRY. These crimes carry the death sentence under Moses, yet God didn't annihilate the whole nation. He just divorced her. When married people are convicted of crimes for which God ordered the death penalty, it is lawful for the innocent Christian mate to divorce thenon-Christian , guilty mate and to remarry somebody else. After all, if the guilty partner were executed, the same process would take place. The innocent Christian mate would get married to somebody else. Because our justice system is too lenient on crime, many criminals merely serve a prison term and are back out again. They return to their innocent mates and renew their "one-flesh" relationship.

The premarital-fraud teachers say that if these sins were committed before marriage, then the innocent mate could have divorced the guilty mate. But since they were committed after the marriage, the innocent must "cleave unto" the guilty mate until death. But to be "one flesh" with sex criminals is sadistic. "In the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (demons) ... Forbidding to (re) marry" (1 Tim.4:1-3). For such people, fraud before marriage and death after marriage are the only two reasons to remarry (cp. Rom.7:1-4; 1 Cor.7:39). Yet we read that God actually commanded many Jews to divorce in Ezra 10:11. It was his "pleasure." And God said, "It is not good for man to be alone" (after divorce). Remarriage is therefore "good."

God doesn't hate all divorce. God only hates divorce (Mal.2:16) when the men of Judah were forsaking their wives for young foreign women who were worshipping foreign gods. "Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel ... Judah hath married the daughter of a strange god" (Mal.2:11). This is the context. God's statement that he hates divorce, in the context of Malachi 2:14-16, refers to the divorcing of older, faithful wives in order to marry younger women. Thus, it cannot be automatically applied to all cases of divorce. It doesn't overrule Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

Christ didn't contradict in Matthew 5 and 19 what he stated in Deuteronomy 24. Instead, he merely repeated the same exception rule that Moses mentioned. Jesus is "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb.13:8) and God says "I change not" (Mal.3:6). Christ is the God of the Old Testament (1 Cor.10:4). He came to "Magnify the law, and make it honorable" (Isa.42:21).

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, only the innocent mate was 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.

Jesus never said anything against the Mosaic death penalty for ADULTERY. In fact, he upheld the death penalty for the crime of DISHONORING one's PARENTS (Matt.15:4), but he also acknowledged that the application of these strict penalties is in the context of God's law-and-order society. The individual cannot always be made to account for what his society ignores. Justice can only rise as high as the society dispensing it (John 8:3-7; 19:7). Responsibility is knowledge times control. God judges us all based on what we do with what we have in the time we have each been given. We don't presently live in a society of covenant-keepers.

Moses Knew How To Avoid Contagious Sexual Diseases

In addition to CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for ADULTERERS and HOMOSEXUALS (Lev.20:13), and QUARANTINE for those victims infected with communicable diseases (Lev.13:45-46), we also read about the use of a HANDKERCHIEF or wearing a MASK over mouth and nose as doctors and dentists do (Lev.13:45), the use of HYSSOP or SOAP (Lev.13:4), BATHING and IMMERSION in water (Lev.15:11), being careful NOT to TOUCH "the UNCLEAN thing" (2 Cor.6:17), and SHAVING OFF body and facial HAIR FOR more thorough CLEANING (Lev.13:33, 45-46; 14:8-9).

Leviticus 15:2-12 describes a chronic discharge from the male penis. The most likely diagnosis of the emission would be gonorrhea (cp. Lev.22:4; Num. 5:2). Many of the discharges from unclean people would not be infective, but those due to GONORRHEA would be. It requires a bacteriological or microscopic examination to distinguish between them, and since these were not available, it was safest to regard all as infective and to act accordingly. The sufferer was to be reckoned unclean, and so were his clothes, his bed, his chair, his saddle, his flesh, his spit and anything he touched without first WASHING his hands (15:11).

If the unclean person spat on someone else, that conveyed the uncleanness. Doctors attach great significance now to the sputum as a vehicle for infection. There must be a period of SEVEN DAYS after the discharge ceased before there was any question of the patient regarded as clean. These precautions were a great safeguard against passing on the disease. One danger would have been that the infection might get into the eyes, especially of children, and lead to blindness (see pp.42-43, A. Rendle Short's The Bible And Modern Medicine).

Both HERPES and GONORRHEA can be contracted from clothing and towels occasionally. "Two U.C.L.A. researchers have reported that HERPES viruses can live on towels for up to 72 hours and on toilet seats for at least four. In one test, a seat used by a woman with thigh lesions showed live HERPES viruses 90 minutes later.... Dr. Harold Kessler of Rush Presbyterian -- St. Luke's, in Chicago, says HERPETICS should use their own towels, though the chances of passing on the infection via a towel are only about 1 percent. The virus dies so fast on a toilet seat, he says, that the risk of infection from that source is very slight indeed" (p.66, Aug.2, Time 1982). The Bible says, "everything, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean" (Lev.15:4).

In addition, we find that TRICHOMONIASIS can be transmitted by "contaminated douche equipment or moist washcloths" and "LYMPHOGRANULOMA VENEREUM is caused "rarely, through nonsexual person-to-person contact or contact with contaminated objects" and SYPHILIS can bew transmitted by "kissing or close bodily contact" occasionally. Both GENITAL WARTS and CHANCROID are spread as a result of "poor hygiene" after sexual activity. The Bible instructs men to "go abroad out of the camp" (Deut.23:10) and "wash his flesh with water" (Lev.22:6) after his "seed goeth from him" (22:4). "Genital HERPES is usually transmitted through sexual contact, but contamination from infected toilet seats, towels and bathtubs also occurs." To prevent GONORRHEA, "avoid sharing washcloths or douche equipment" and when treating a patient with GONORRHEA, "Double bag all soiled dressings and contaminated instruments; wear gloves when handling contaminated material and giving patient care"(from pp.992-999 of Diseases and p.1617 of Merck Manual). Wouldn't it be simpler for these medical textbooks to merely say "Touch not the unclean thing" (2 Cor.6:17)? They are merely echoing the remarks in Leviticus 15, written about 3500 years ago.

Before the "germ theory" was discovered, we find in Leviticus 11:34-35, and 38 that water was considered a channel or vehicle for germs. Unglazed pottery, wood, cloth and hides also retain germs (Lev.11:32). UNGLAZED POTTERY must be broken (v.33) if an unclean man touches it (Pottery is porous and retains warmth for a long time, so disease germs could lodge in it and thrive. Wood is just as porous but doesn't retain heat, so isn't broken.). Chipped china and cracked ceramic dinnerware must be discarded. Any OPEN CONTAINER in the same room as a dead man is unclean (Num.9:15). Seeds can be contaminated by germs through water or some other liquid or excretion (Lev.11:37-38). Germs can be DILUTED to the point they are no longer harmful (Lev.11:36). Clothes, fur and wood can be purified of germs by water (Num.31:20-24). DISHWASHERS, CLOTHES WASHERS and BATHTUBS are all biblical. All metal objects can be purified of germs by fire (Num.31:22-24). STERILIZING is biblical. The reason objects and people were "unclean until the evening" even after being WASHED in water is that this gave enough time for the infectious organisms to dissipate with the drying process and exposure to sunlight (p.131, R.K. Harrison's Leviticus, IVP). Dunghills were forbidden and no dead body was to remain unburied overnight. EXCRETA was to be BURIED (Deut.23:12-14). Their disposal of sewage prevented it from seeping into water supplies or spreading to the food by flies. Typhoid fever and dysentery spread in this way. Since they had no refrigerators, meat that remained uneaten for more than two days was to be burned (Lev.7:17)

The ceremonial uncleanness lasted until the evening, which gave an interval of exposure to sunlight. The sun's ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT kills bacteria and germs. This principle is used even today. Fountains shoot water up into the air where it becomes tiny droplets penetrated by the sun's rays. Waterfalls also allow this penetration. This AERATION of the water also allows oxygen to attack any microorganisms present. But neither the sun nor the air can penetrate deeply into a large body of water otherwise (see Num.19). Tetanus bacteria is anaerobic (air destroys it). It is interesting that mosquitos are able to breed in STAGNANT POOLS causing Malaria and Yellow Fever

"Most STD germs are very fragile. They require warmth and moisture; when they become dry, they die quickly. They are also sensitive to temperature change, to sunlight, and to other environmental influences. Outside the body, they are very weak and short-lived" (p.21, Sexuality and Sexually Transmitted Diseases by McIlhaney, Jr., M.D.).

The purity of water supplies had to be ensured. It was not practical to boil it since fuel was scarce and metal containers were required. But if a dead animal was found in an earthen vessel, the water in that container was forbidden. But this did not apply to water from a spring or river (Lev.11:29-36). The elders at Jericho knew that their town's epidemic was somehow connected with the water from the spring (there was only one), so they asked Elisha to purify it (2 Ki. 2:19-22). Typhoid fever, cholera and bilharzia may be carried by infected water.

Paul, at Philippi, not knowing where the synagogue might be, felt pretty sure that the first place to look for it was along the river bank; the necessity for many ceremonial washings made the Jews favor riversides for their places of worship. Again and again in the law we read, "he shall wash his clothes." In this regard it is interesting that both GENITAL WARTS and CHANCROID are spread as a result of "poor hygiene" after sexual activity. Preventive measures include "regularly washing genitalia with soap and water" (p.994, Diseases).

Whoever buried a dead person became unclean for a week and lived in ISOLATION outside the camp. He was required to BATHE and WASH HIS CLOTHES before returning (Num.5:3-4; 19:11-22). If the deceased had died of smallpox, bubonic plague or some contagious sexual disease, these precautions would have been very valuable and effective. Since we can now distinguish between the dangerous and harmless diseases, these procedures are less important medically, but they could not and it was therefore safer for them to treat all alike.

Soap In The Bible

The art of SOAP-MAKING is very ancient. "Though thou wash thee with lye, and take thee much SOAP, yet thine iniquity is marked before me" (Jer.2:22). Lye (Heb. "nether," Greek "nitron," modern "natron," that is, fossil carbonate of soda) was boiled with olive oil to make SOAP, or the ash of certain plants belonging to the salt-wort and grass-wort families was used to supply the alkali" (p.39, A. Rendle Short). Adding a little wood ash and water to grease will form a crude SOAP if heated over a fire. The wood ash contains lye.

In Jeremiah 8:22 we read, "Is there no BALM in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughters of my people recovered?" There are several implications here. One is, that where there is a physician, recovery from sickness is at least to be hoped for. Another, that the treatment might very well be the application of a local remedy, perhaps something of the nature of BALSAM of Peru containing some aromatic BENZOIN derivative, which would be mildly ANTISEPTIC (pp.28-29, A. Rendle Short). "Go up into Gilead, and take BALM, O virgin the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured" (Jer. 46:11). "Babylon is fallen down and destroyed.... Take BALM for her pain, if so be, she may be healed" (Jer.51:8). This BALM may well have been of the nature of frankincense or some similar aromatic juice from a shrub, containing BENZOIN. If so, it would be pleasant-smelling, and with definite ANTISEPTIC properties, and therefore quite useful (p.72, A. Rendle Short).

In Leviticus 13:4 we read about "HYSSOP." HYSSOP OIL is an ANTISEPTIC that kills bacteria and fungi. Wet branches of HYSSOP were used to shower water on the unclean person. Most authorities believe HYSSOP is a kind of marjoram plant growing in the middle east. The sweet-smelling oil of marjoram is still used in perfumes, and it contains about 50 percent CARVACROL. CARVACROL is almost identical to THYMOL, an ANTIFUNGAL and ANTIBACTERIAL agent still used in medicine (p.26, McMillen's None Of These Diseases).

It would be a wise policy to regard everyone and everything as "unclean" and then to act accordingly. We live in a society of non-Christians. Thus we should be careful to "TOUCH NOT the UNCLEAN thing" (2 Cor.6:17) and to BATHE and WASH DAILY (Num.19; Lev.11-15). We should use SOAP (Lev.13:4) and avoid sitting in PUBLIC CHAIRS or using PUBLIC TOWELS or TOILETS. WASH hands and food before EATING (Lev.22:6) and WASH after going to the BATHROOM (cp. Deut.23:12-14). WASH after touching INSECTS and SPIDERS (Lev.22:5-6) and DEAD people (Num.19:16). WASHING is a physical law of health. Paul made it clear that "divers washings" were "imposed on them until the time of reformation" (Heb.9:10) but Paul was merely referring to the ritualistic, priestly washings as in Exodus 29:4; 30:19-21; 40:12; Leviticus 16:4,24; Deuteronomy 21:6; etcetera, not to the health principles. Paul spoke of a legitimate "doctrine of BAPTISMS" (Heb.6:2) which was not abolished and Christ said that he came not "to destroy the law" (Matt.5:17). If WASHINGS were entirely abolished, why do we still use BATHTUBS and SHOWER STALLS today? Why do doctors WASH after autopsies?

Penalties To "The Third And Fourth Generation"

We read in Exodus 20:5 that God is a jealous God, "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."

The context has to do with worshipping idols and serving carved images by means of 'FORNICATION" (Acts 15:20) and "NAKED" (Ex.32:25) "DANCING" (32:19) such as a strip-tease since it was called "PLAY" (32:6). Sensual orgies accompanied idolatry (Num.25:1-9; 1 Cor.10:7-8). Both the Egyptians (Herod.2:60) and Babylonians (1:199) made immorality a part of their worship services (see Deut.23:17). Adultery and idolatry are closely connected in the Bible (Ez.6:9). No wonder idolatrous people couldn't blush (Jer. 8:12).

Actually, the only kind of dancing approved by the Bible is "young men and old (men) together" (Jer.31:13) or young and old "women ... dancing" together (1 Sam.18:6). Yes, "all the women went out after her" (Miriam) (Ex.15:20), not after men. When men and women dance together, it is sensual "hugging set to music." The children of the wicked "dance" this way (Job 21:11). Wicked renegades were "spread abroad upon the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing" (1 Sam.30). These are the "revellings" Paul spoke of (Gal.5:21). John the Baptist was beheaded after a lewd dance (Matt.14:6-10). Sensual dancing leads to fornication and adultery. But how does God cause the penalties of fornication and adultery to be passed from parents to children for three or four generations? How are the consequences of sexual immorality transferred to one's descendants?

This scripture is not saying that innocent children are RESPONSIBLE for the sins of their parents. This scripture is merely saying that they will bear the PENALTY for their parents' sins. Men have been delegated by God the RESPONSIBILITY for looking after themselves and sometimes others. Often the innocent SUFFER due to the sins of the
guilty. But God says, "fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin" (cp. 2 Ki.14:6; 2 Chr.24:24; Jer.31:29,30; Ez.18:20). God judges each man based on what he does with what he has been given, in the time he has been alotted. Handicaps are taken into account by God. To "whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48). Responsibility equals knowledge times control. God keeps hands off because character can only be developed through free moral agency. God must give men enough freedom so they can experience the consequences of their actions in a cause-and-effect lifetime.

For instance, a baby has about a 66% chance of becoming infected with CHLAMYDIA during the birth process if the mother has it. If a pregnant mother has CHLAMYDIA at the time of delivery, her baby may develop an eye infection, pneumonia, and/or a middle ear infection.

Women with HERPES have an increased risk of delivering babies with a low birth weight, and they run the risk of infecting their babies with HERPES. About 65% of HERPES-infected babies will die, and only 10% of those who survive will be normal. The rest will develop with damage to their brains and central nervous systems. Even if a baby's HERPES infection is treated with Zovirax (acyclovir), its chance of dying is decreased only slightly, and damage to the brain may still occur.

Women with GONORRHEA infect their babies' eyes as the baby passes through the birth canal at delivery and this can cause blindness in the baby if not treated. A two-percent silver nitrate solution, used to wash the newborns eyes, prevents this blindness. In many third world countries, failure to follow this simple remedy is a major cause of blindness.

If a woman with SYPHILIS has a baby before she is treated with penicillin and also for her infection, her baby can develop SYPHILIS while still in the mother's womb, and congenital SYPHILIS is a disaster. The babies that do not die are often born with such abnormalities as nose obstruction, flattening of the bridge of the nose, fractures of the bones, enlarged liver and spleen, and eye or ear damage. In one study, about 41% of pregnant women with untreated SYPHILIS gave birth to a SYPHILITIC infant. Some of these children then give birth to offspring whose bodies and minds are also damaged by SYPHILIS (p.58, McMillen).

VENEREAL WARTS (HPV Infection) is another sexually transmitted disease. It has been found that children born to women who have HPV in their genital tracts may later develop laryngeal papillomata (throat warts). Surgery is necessary to remove these warts, and that can cause permanent scarring of the baby's vocal cords.

Babies born to mothers with AIDS have about a 30% chance of being infected and very few of them live more than a few years. AZT helps prolong the lives of some AIDS patients, but is not a cure. An infected pregnant woman can transmit a HEPATITIS B infection to her baby, possibly making the child a carrier for life. Even worse, 40 to 50% of these children will develop cancer of the liver. Many of the others will have severe liver disease.

When all of these damaged babies grow up and have children of their own, some of these children will also be damaged, and this process will continue until the percentages dwindle down to nothing. Furthermore, even if a third or fourth generation offspring were totally normal, he will still grow up burdened by the inconvenience of handicapped parents. Thus we see the penalties of the fathers being transferred to the children "Unto the third and fourth generation" of those who hate God's laws (Ex.20:5).

The Cause Of Venereal Disease

When a man and a woman get married, part of the preparation for marriage involves each partner getting a blood test. With a simple blood test, venereal diseases can be detected. Blood tests for Syphilis, AIDS and Hepatitis B should be given before marriage. Also, both partners should be cultured for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia and tested for Trichomonas. Marriage is the only sensible and safe way to enjoy sex and also to avoid venereal diseases.

Colossians 3:5 mentions "evil concupiscense" (sexy lifestyle) as a part of our human nature which must be put to death. The ADULTERER "lacketh understanding" (Pr.6:32-33) for he "destroyeth his own soul." "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Pr.6:27). Don't give your honor to others (Pr.5:9-10). "Abstain from FORNICATION" (1 Thess.4:3). "How shall I pardon thee for this?... they then committed ADULTERY, and assembled themselves by troops in the HARLOT'S houses ... every one neighed after (desired) his neighbor's wife" (Jer.5:7-9). "Flee FORNICATION. Every sin that a man doeth is without (outside) the body; but he that committeth FORNICATION sinneth against his own body" (1 Cor.6:18).

While the cause is unknown for cervical cancer, one of the predisposing factors related to its development is "MULTIPLE SEXUAL PARTNERS" (p.248, Diseases).

"The surest protection against STD (sexually transmitted disease) is abstaining from any PREMARITAL (and EXTRAMARITAL) sexual activity" (p.33, McIlhaney).

"Abstinence or sexual intercourse with a mutually faithful, uninfected partner are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease infection" (OB/GYN News, 1988).

Yes, "it is the NUMBER of SEXUAL PARTNERS one has in a lifetime that affects the probability of contracting an STD, not whether each of those relationships was mutually monogamous at the time" (p.47, McIlhaney).

"To date, the population most at risk for developing AIDS consists of homosexual and bisexual men who are sexually active with MANY PARTNERS" (p.26, Diseases).

"An estimated 20 million Americans now have genital herpes.... Those remarkable numbers are ... delivering a numbing blow to the ONE-NIGHT STAND... ushering a reluctant, grudging CHASTITY back into fashion. Why the dramatic rise now in the incidence of herpes? SEXUAL FREEDOM ... Not only are more people indulging in sex, they are also MORE ACTIVE -- STARTING YOUNGER, MARRYING LATER, DIVORCING MORE OFTEN. The wider acceptance of ORAL SEX has also played a role.... a trip to a PROSTITUTE is a high-stakes gamble.... In a MONOGAMOUS relationship, the unsuspecting person who picks up herpes from a partner is hit with a double whammy: EVIDENCE OF BETRAYAL and a lifelong disease as a memento of the event. Some marriages and many relationships end in the discord and lingering suspicion caused by herpes.... But perhaps not so unhappily, it may be a prime mover in helping to bring to a close an era of mindless PROMISCUITY. The MONOGAMOUS now have one more reason to remain so" ("The New Scarlet Letter," Time, Aug.2, 1982 by Leo).

The modern concepts of DATING and "GOING STEADY" are nowhere found in the Bible "Familiarity breeds contempt" for honor and morality. Usually there is no chaperone present and the girl ends up getting RAPED. Dating only one person leads to more physical intimacy.

In marriage, the wife fails to provide her husband with enough sex and shared interests. She probably nags and belittles him. But his lover praises and honors him and shows interest in his life and gives him plenty of sex. Our society fails to train men and women in how to meet the needs of the opposite sex. This is the cause of the high divorce rate. Men and women don't realize that each has different needs and priorities from the other. God designed men and women to have opposite priorities so that there would have to be cooperation, concern and affection in order for a marriage to work.

Once a spouse has had a love affair outside the marriage, it has a permanent effect. The straying spouse can never quite fall out of love with the ex-lover. The ex-lover will always be remembered with lots of affection because she never had the opportunities to BURDEN her married lover like the real wife did. An unpleasant or painful experience doesn't happen between two lovers because there are no respon-sibilities. As a consequence, the straying husband remembers only good things about his affairs while he endures both good and bad from his responsible wife. These are the reasons why "stolen water is sweet" (Pr.9:17) and show why the couple can't stay married.

The husband must realize that having an affair with a lover will cause much grief. He'll miss his wife and children. He'll be rejected by her family and his family and friends. He'll have to spend large sums of money on lawyers, alimony and child support. He could even lose his job because of the scandal. Furthermore, divorce seriously damages children.

God asks, "Will ye steal, murder and commit ADULTERY, and swear falsely, and burn incense (pray) unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered (permitted) to do all these abominations?" (Jer.7:9-10). God says, "Thou shalt not commit ADULTERY" (Ex.20:14) and "the ADULTERER and the ADULTERESS shall surely be put to death" (Lev.20:10). "Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbor's wife, to defile thyself with her" (Lev.18:20). "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee" (Hos.4:6). But "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians" (Ex.15:26; Deut.7:15).

Why Forbid Sexual Intercourse During Menstruation?

Any contact with semen or sperm made people or clothing unclean (Ex.19:15; Lev.22:4; 15:16-18; Deut.23:10; 1 Sam.21:4-5; 2 Sam.11:11) "until the evening" (Lev.15:16-18).

MENSTRUATION made a woman unclean for seven days, and since a MENSTRUAL PERIOD usually lasts about five days, the discharge would have stopped by the end of this week (Lev.15:19). Anybody or anything touching the woman during this week would be made unclean "until the evening" (Lev.15:19-23) unless the actual blood of MENSTRUATION got on a man who lay down with her, in which case "he shall be unclean seven days" (Lev.15:24). As Isaiah 64:6 says, "all our righteousnesses are as filthy (lit. "MENSTRUOUS") rags."

The regulations that prevent a man from having sex with a woman during MENSTRUATION (Lev.15:24; 18:19; 20:18; Ez.18:6) illustrate once again the medical wisdom of the Bible. Contact with MENSTRUAL blood during coitus is supposed to be a cause of non-specific URETHRITIS in the male. Furthermore, during MENSTRUATION, some women experience migraine, low backache and associated irritability, painful abdominal cramps and profuse bleeding. Many women feel inexplicably depressed during MENSTRUATION. "Most crimes of violence committed by women occur during MENSTRUAL periods" (p.32, Reuben). It is interesting that a red liquid should come from a woman when she feels her worst, while a white liquid comes from a man when he feels his best. MENSTRUATION is not a time for a woman to be around a husband or children. This humane law places the woman in a state of isolation, and some rest from her normal duties, at this critical time each month. One study indicates a greater risk for developing painful cysts on the ovaries or other pelvic organs, commonly causing INFERTILITY according to the A.M.A., by engaging in vaginal intercourse during MENSTRUATION (Journal of Reproductive Medicine, vol.34 (11), 1989). A November 1991 survey of medical hot lines by Time magazine advises women to avoid vaginal intercourse during MENSTRUATION since the AIDS virus passes more easily from the man to the woman during this time. HEPATITIS B virus could also be transmitted in this way.

Once again, the moon's original 28-day sidereal orbit would have come in handy for determining when the woman must be left alone. Just align it with the same star every 28 days.

We notice also that the hemorrhaging woman touched the border of Christ's garment secretly because of the fact that this action would make a man unclean (Mark 5:25-34). This shows how much faith and confidence she had in Christ's ability to heal. Instead of her making him unclean, he made her clean. She risked the wrath of critics because of her confidence in his contagious power to heal. Normally only unclean can "contaminate" clean (Hag.2:11-13). Her continuous bleeding perhaps resulted from a uterine fibroid of the reproductive system (Lev.15:25-27).

Incidentally, if a woman gives birth to a son, she "shall be unclean seven days" (Lev.12:1). If she gives birth to a daughter, she "shall be unclean two weeks" (Lev.12:5).

Incest And Inbreeding Forbidden

The relationships prohibited by the Bible are FATHER-DAUGHTER and MOTHER-SON (Lev.18:7-8; 20:11; Deut.27:20), SISTER-BROTHER (Lev.18:9,11; 20:17; Deut.27:22), AUNT-NEPHEW and UNCLE-NIECE (Lev.18:12-14; 20:19-20), GRANDAUGHTER-GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON-GRANDMOTHER (Lev.18:10), DAUGHTER-IN-LAW -- FATHER-IN-LAW and SON-IN-LAW--MOTHER-IN-LAW (Lev.18:15; 20:12; Deut.27:23), and also SISTER-IN-LAW--BROTHER-IN-LAW (Lev.18:16; 20:21).

An exception to the law regarding marriage and intercourse with a BROTHER'S WIFE (Lev.18:16) was made in Deuteronomy 25:5-10 where the family name of the dead husband was perpetuated by the husband's brother if he died childless. But in the case of King Herod marrying Herodias, the divorced WIFE of his BROTHER Philip who was still alive, the marriage was not proper according to John the Baptist (Matt.14:4; Mark 16:8; Luke 3:19). Herod was totally unconverted, yet even he was responsible for obeying God.

Abraham didn't marry his "half sister" (Gen.20:12). Sarah was Abraham's HALF-NIECE. A sister merely means a close relative. Abraham calls Lot his "brother" in 13:8 yet we know Lot was actually Abraham's nephew (11:31). Sarah is identified as "Yiscah" the daughter of Haran (11:29) by Josephus (Ant.1:6:5) and Rashi (Targum Yonathan). Adam's children intermarried before mutational defects had a chance to accumulate and/or they didn't have a problem with mutations then because the antediluvian canopy protected them from harmful radiation.

In 1 Corinthians 9:5 Paul asked, "Have we not power (no right) to lead about a SISTER, a WIFE, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren
of the Lord, and Cephas?" Here a wife is called a "SISTER" -- not literally -- but in the sense of one who does God's will (Matt.12:50). Also in Song of Solomon 4:9-12, 5:1-2 and 8:8 the groom refers to his bride as a SISTER. The sense of being closely related may also apply since "BROTHER" and "SISTER" are used loosely in the Bible.

Numbers 36:11 allows FIRST COUSIN marriages.

An increase in congenital malformations and perinatal mortality accompany inbreeding. When parents are SIBLINGS, or where there is a PARENT-CHILD relationship, the offspring have about a 30 percent risk of retardation or some other serious defect. But for parents who are FIRST COUSINS, there is only about a four percent chance the offspring will have a birth defect. "Already one percent of all children born will require some professional help with genetic problems, and that percentage doubles in FIRST COUSIN marriages" (p.1, The Five Worlds by Whitcomb). Marriage between a MAN and his NIECE has an eight percent risk of malformation because of the danger that the child will inherit harmful recessive genes from one of the couple's common ancestors (p.189, R.K. Harrison, Leviticus, IVP).

FIRST COUSINS have offspring with identical genes in a 1:7 ratio. UNCLES and NIECES have offspring with identical genes in a 1:3 ratio. And BROTHERS and SISTERS are 1:1. Many of these paired genes will be recessive mutants and therefore harmful (p.370, Rushdoony's The Institutes of Biblical Law).

Close inbreeding, as long as it is not too close, makes the species better by removing recessive lethal genes from the gene pool (pp.189-190, Harrison).

Leviticus 18:6 states, "No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Eternal" (NIV; cp.18:7-18 & 20:12-21). Why? "Customs and laws which forbade inbreeding (Marriage of close relatives) have existed in many countries since antiquity. Their biological justification lies in the fact that the offspring of matings of close relatives are frequently INFERIOR IN VIGOUR to crossbred individuals.... In maize no inbred lines equal crossbred strains in vigour or yield. In man, inbreeding is generally deleterious, yet marriages of BROTHERS and SISTERS practised in some royal families in Egypt and Peru allegedly led to no undesirable results" (p.921, vol.11, Encyc. Brit. 1973). As the Encyclopedia Americana states, "all crossbreeding organisms carry numerous unexpressed DELETERIOUS, or HARMFUL, genes. These genes, which are the inevitable by-product of mutation and are usually recessive, are exposed or brought to expression by inbreeding, by which the chance of two recessives appearing in a single progeny is greatly increased. The depression of vigor commonly observed in the inbred offspring of most animals and many plants is caused by the expression of the deleterious mutant genes" (p.630, vol.14, Encyc. Amer. 1980). According to Genetics: A Survey of the Principles of Heredity, 5th edition, page 176, "first cousins, however, have one chance in 16 (of having a child die of a deformity if they have a lethal gene) if both have the same grandparents" (p.237, The New Eden).

Incest "is only a criminal offense in England if there is sexual intercourse between a MAN and his MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER or GRANDDAUGHTER.... Marriage law in the United States is subject to the exclusive province of each state.... In general, a marriage is incestuous if one attempts to marry an ANCESTOR, a DESCENDANT, an AUNT (UNCLE), a SISTER (BROTHER) of the whole or the half blood or any of their respective spouses. In the early 1970s, over half the states had prohibited marriages between FIRST COUSINS, while several forbade marriage to a GRANDNIECE (GRANDNEPHEW) and to a FIRST COUSIN once removed.... In none of the states is marriage forbidden between a man and his deceased or divorced husband's brother.... In France ... Marriage is prohibited between all ASCENDANTS and DESCENDANTS in the direct line, and between persons RELATED BY MARRIAGE in the same line, between BROTHER and SISTER, between UNCLE and NIECE, AUNT and NEPHEW, between ADOPTER'S and ADOPTIVE children, between ADOPTIVE children, and between BROTHER-IN-LAW and SISTER-IN-LAW when the marriage producing the affinity has been dissolved by divorce" (pp.932-936, vol.14, Encyc. Brit. 1973).

The marriage of Amram and Jochebed (Ex.6:20) may have been a NEPHEW-AUNT marriage if she was indeed Levi's literal "daughter" (Ex.2:1). However, "daughter" might also mean granddaughter (Septuagint; Syriac) in which case Amram and Jochebed were FIRST COUSINS. Amram was the son of Kehoth, son of Levi (Ex.16:18; Num.3:18; 26:58; 1 Chr.5:29; 23:13). Jochebed was Levi's "daughter" (Ex.2:1; 6:20; Num.26:59).

Johann Sebastian Bach married his FIRST COUSIN Maria Barbara Bach. Of his four sons, two became important musicians and composers -- Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel. Charles Robert Darwin married his FIRST COUSIN Emma Wedgwood. Of his five sons, four became prominent in the scientific world -- Sir George Howard, Francis, Leonard and Horace. Just as genius and talent run in families, so also faith runs in families (2 Tim.1:5).

Alimony Payments Or Dowry?

There were two sums of money an Israelite groom payed -- a "DOWRY" and a "gift" (Gen.34:12). The DOWRY was for the daughter (Gen.31:14-16; Ex.22:17) and the gift was for her father (1 Sam.17:25; 18:25; Josh.15:16-17; Judges 1:12). This is why Leah and Rachel complained that their father had devoured THEIR money and sold them like concubines (Gen.31:14-16). Laban took their DOWRY as well as his gift.

The bride's father was compensated for his loss of a daughter since the daughter left her family and became part of the son's family. Also the bride's father was compensated for raising her in the days of farming and heavy labor when it was a liability to raise a daughter. Neither of these two reasons apply today so the "gift" has become defunct. The bride was compensated because only sons in those days received any inheritance from their parents. But the sons, in turn, were responsible for taking care of their aged parents -- not daughters. To whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:47-48). This reason doesn't apply today but never-the-less the DOWRY is still useful today.

Other reasons for the DOWRY are still valid -- child support and ensured faithfulness to the marriage contract as well as protection for the wife. Although ALIMONY has taken the place of the DOWRY system for most of society, a bridegroom still has that option. He can make out an obligation in writing before the marriage begins which entitles his wife to receive a certain sum from his estate in case he dies or wrongly divorces her or becomes injured. Or he can wait until the marriage ends in divorce and have a human courtroom decide for him the sum and conditions under which his former wife receives support and ALIMONY. ALIMONY and CHILD-SUPPORT are the faulty human substitute for God's DOWRY method because they are often paid to the guilty partner in "no-fault" divorces. Support should not be based on the ex-wife's ability to be self-sustaining, but on her faithfulness to the original marriage contract or lack thereof. God's method is for the DOWRY to be paid only if the wife was innocent or widowed. The DOWRY assures the bride of a secure future for herself and her children as long as she fulfills her terms of the marriage contract. Her husband shows her parents that he is responsible by furnishing this pledge or claim to his property as security up front in trust. Many divorced husbands escape ALIMONY payments today. They move from job to job to avoid garnishment. But this mortgaged property provides incentive for both parties to remain faithful to their terms of the marriage. Otherwise the DOWRY is forfeited. This "prenuptial agreement would take the place of ALIMONY and all other divorce settlements. ALIMONY is nowhere found in the Bible. It provides incentive for a woman to get divorced at the least sign of trouble.

The DOWRY was the wife's security in case the husband became injured permanently or died or wrongly divorced her. It constituted her protection and the children's inheritance. If she was at fault in any divorce, she forfeited the DOWRY as well as the children and all "visitation rights." If he was at fault, he forfeited these same rights. If the daughter's family was poor, the father might take all of her DOWRY for himself as Laban did (Gen.31:14-16). Even though Jacob earned it back, it was then Jacob's, not theirs.

A daughter whose poor parents sold her to a husband for the price of a DOWRY was known as a concubine. A concubine came into the marriage without a DOWRY (cp. Ex.21:7-11). A regular wife came in with a DOWRY, the main difference being that the free woman could survive economically on her own if the husband violated the contract. Economics didn't force her to stick around. But a concubine had no DOWRY as security if her husband violated the marriage contract. Sometimes a poor Israelite family would sell a daughter for the price of a DOWRY. Normally it would go to the girl getting married, but a poor family could survive by losing one of its members.

The Israelite family was not allowed to sell a daughter into prostitution -- only into marriage (Lev.19:29,30; Deut.23:17; Ex.21:7-11). Even a concubine had the right to a wife's portion which consisted of "her food, her raiment, and her" lodging (see Septuagint). If any of these three provisions were denied, the concubine could legally divorce her husband without the DOWRY being restored (Ex.21:10-11). Also, "she shall not go out as the menservants do" (21:7-8). In other words, as a later verse makes clear, she could not be bought and sold ("go out") in the same way as unmarried menservants. That would make her a prostitute. But her children belonged to the master if she left (21:4; cp. Gen.21:9-14). A concubine couldn't be executed for adultery -- only scourged -- because she wasn't free (Lev.19:20). To whom much is given, much is expected. But less rights means less responsibility.

Exodus 21:7-11 says, "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do (She is not to be bought and sold like menservants. She is a bought wife.) If she please not her master, who hath betrothed (or "bought" -- 2 Sam.3:14; Deut.20:7) her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed (The DOWRY is given back to him by her poor family.): to sell her unto a strange (foreign) nation he shall have no power (right), seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed (or "bought") her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he (the master) take him another wife (The word "wife" here is in italics. The word should be another "maidservant."), her FOOD, her RAIMENT, and her duty of marriage (Heb. "onah" meaning "HABITATION" -- p.277, Young's Concordance; the Septuagint properly translates this word as "and her LODGING." See also Hosea 10:10), shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money." If the woman is seduced by anyone after she is purchased but before intercourse, and before she is bought back by her family from a dissatisfied master, she is scourged if she was a consenting party (Lev.19:20-22).

Abraham gave Rebekah a DOWRY for his son Isaac (Gen.24:53). Jacob didn't bring his inheritance with him (Gen.29), so had to work for Laban to provide the DOWRY for Leah and Rachel -- seven years each (which included the "gift" for Laban). Shechem said, "Ask me never so much DOWRY and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel (Dinah) to wife" (Gen.34:12). Saul required a hundred foreskins of Philistines as his "gift" but no DOWRY for Michal his daughter (1 Sam.18:25). God provided a huge DOWRY for Israel in Ezekiel 16. Othniel paid for Caleb's daughter by conquering a city (Judges 1:12). Yes, where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also (Matt.6:21). But today in America, ALIMONY is the law of the land. Yes, "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and WOMEN RULE OVER THEM. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err" (Isa. 3:12).
The Penalty For Rape

"America has the highest rate of RAPES of any industrialized country" (p.96, McCall's, May 1990). In the United States, RAPE is the fastest growing violent crime, with one reported every seven minutes, or occurring at the rate of 200 per day, 62,500 per year. Incidence is highest in large cities ... However, possibly over 90% of assaults are never reported" (p.172, Diseases).

If a betrothed (or "bought" -- 2 Sam.3:14) virgin is found in the city by a man who then has sex with her, the man is to be stoned to death and the woman also must be stoned to death if she didn't yell for help. Her complicity is assumed if the act occurred in the city. She is guilty until proven innocent (Deut.22:23-24) because her screams would have been heard.

If a betrothed (or "bought") virgin is found in the field (country) by a man who then has sex with her, the man is to be stoned to death but the woman must not be stoned because she yelled and screamed for help but nobody heard her. Her innocense is presumed if there is no evidence to the contrary (cp. 2 Sam.13:11). She is given the benefit of the doubt if she was found in the country (Deut.22:25-27). If a virgin who is not betrothed (or "bought") is found by a man who then has sex with her, he must pay the girl's father FIFTY SHEKELS of SILVER and marry the girl with no possibility of divorce. If the father refuses to give his daughter to the man, the man must still pay the FIFTY SILVER SHEKELS (Ex.22:16-17; Deut.22:28-29).

FIFTY SHEKELS of SILVER was worth "an homer of barley seed" (Lev.27:16) or about eleven bushels of barley. Today this quantity of barley seed would be valued at about SIXTY DOLLARS. FIFTY SHEKELS of SILVER was also worth the rent of a "threshing floor" and the purchase of "oxen" (2 Sam.24:24). This purchase would amount to much more than sixty dollars today. It could easily exceed SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS. Apparently the price of a manservant (who had to be released after six years' work -- Deut.15:12) was FIFTY SILVER SHEKELS (Lev.27:3). A male employee working at minimum wage today could earn over over 40,000 dollars in six years. Subtracting food, clothing and shelter, he could save 6,000 DOLLARS net earnings. Also, we know that Laban sold both of his daughters for seven years' wages each as the "dowry and gift" price (Gen.29:20,30). If we can equate this with FIFTY SILVER SHEKELS each, then again we have about 7,000 DOLLARS net profit per bride. Saul demanded of David a HUNDRED FORESKINS of PHILISTINES for Michal (1 Sam.18:25-27) as the "gift" alone. But David decided instead to pay full dowry price as well and so brought TWO HUNDRED FORESKINS back. The dowry was half this amount (2 Sam.3:14).

All facts considered, the RAPIST was required to pay a "dowry and gift (Gen.34:12) that together amounted to about 6,000 DOLLARS -- or 3000 DOLLARS EACH separately (1 Sam.18:25-27). Laban was the type who would try to get all he could, so seven years must be the quasi-outer limit. A RAPIST must pay the "dowry and gift" (Gen.34:12) either way. But if he is required to marry the woman, he is never allowed to divorce her -- no matter how she acts. If she doesn't marry him, she will have two dowries going into her marriage with another man. (see Josephus' Ant.4:8:23).

Modern RAPE trials have difficulty determining whether the woman was a willing participant. But this difficulty vanishes with God's law
system. The guilt or innocense of the woman is determined by the location of the act. Of course, this would also become a self-fulfilling
prophecy because as women heard about this law, they would be very reluctant to visit cities alone. Only immoral women would consent to visit a city alone.

If a virgin, who is not betrothed (or "bought"), is found by a man who then has sex with her, and she doesn't tell her father so he can require the dowry and marriage, she becomes a HARLOT. She seduced the man in the city. That's why she's ashamed to tell her father and get the dowry. If she later tries to marry someone, she loses all her rights to a dowry. Otherwise she is subject to possible stoning (Deut.22:21) or is burned if she is the daughter of a priest (Lev.21:9) after she is stoned to death (Josh.7:15,25). However, Joseph was a righteous man and was not willing to make a public example of Mary but would have put her away privately. He had the option of divorce or execution (Deut.22:13-21 or 24:1-2).

As God said, "Thou shalt not commit ADULTERY" (Ex.20:14) and "the ADULTERER asnd the ADULTERESS shall surely be put to death" (Lev.20:10). "Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbor's wife, to defile thyself with her" (Lev.18:20). "If a man is caught having intercourse with another man's wife, both of them are to be put to death. In this way you will get rid of this evil" (Deut.22:22, TEV). Yes the DEATH PENALTY does "put away evil from among you" in several different ways. For instance, there is no venereal disease to spread. Also, others "shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness" (Deut.13:11). It is a deterrent. First Corinthians 6:18 says, "Flee from SEXUAL IMMORALITY. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body" (NIV).

Victims of RAPE suffer physically and mentally. "Vaginismus is involuntary spastic constriction of the lower vaginal muscles, usually from fear of vaginal penetration" and "Psychological causes may include ... fears resulting from painful or traumatic sexual experiences, such as INCEST or RAPE" (p.1006, Diseases).

When Samson gave away his secret to a foreign woman, he "knew not that the Lord was departed from him" (Judges 16:20). Those who visit PROSTITUTES today are doing the same sort of thing and with the same consequences. Don't "give thine honor unto others" (Pr.5:9).

In John 8:1-11, a woman was caught in the act of ADULTERY, but Christ didn't require her to be executed. We know Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22-24 both require ADULTERESSES to be executed. Why did Christ let her off? First of all, Roman jurisdiction didn't allow the Jews to "put any man to death" (John 18:31). This was the bated trap into which the scribes and Pharisees tried to draw Christ. But Jesus refused to be made a judge of legal disputes (cp. Luke 12:13-14). Christ didn't condemn her to death (John 8:11) but neither did Christ interfere with any civil judgment of divorce that her husband might wish to file against her. Christ realized that outside of God's covenant-keeping society, the individual cannot be held accountable for what the society ignores. And where was her male accomplice? God's statutes and penalties fit into the context of a covenant law-order society. But this society was full of legalized ADULTERY (Matt.12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38). The reason Paul said God would judge ADULTERERS and WHOREMONGERS (fornicators) (Heb.13:4) is because society at that time tolerated both. Thus, Christ was able to confidently say, "He that is without sin (worthy of the death penalty) among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). Notice that Christ didn't forbid anyone from executing her. He just wanted consistency.

Also, in 1 Corinthians 5:2 Paul describes a case of INCEST where a man took his "father's wife." We know that Leviticus 18:8 requires the DEATH penalty for INCEST. Paul agreed by ordering the congregation "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh" (1 Cor.5:5). In other words, report him to the Roman police so he can be EXECUTED.

Today women prosecute their own husbands for RAPE. But can a husband RAPE his own wife by forcing her to have sex? Only if the sex is during menstruation (about five days a month) or after childbirth. Otherwise there is no such law. However, over the past couple of decades, every state in the union has made it a crime for a husband to have sex with his wife without her consent, but the cases are hard to prove ("Prosecutors say rape of spouses difficult to prove,"Thursday, Nov.11, 1993, Seattle Times, A6). But in the same way that "ye are bought with a (dowry) price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor.6:20; 7:23), a man buys a woman when he pays the dowry price and she should glorify him in her body which is his.

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