If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shall you put away evil from Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If a man be found; if he be convicted of this fault, though not taken in the very act. Leviticus 20:10.
then they shall both of them die; with the strangling of a napkin, as the Targum of Jonathan, which is the death such persons were put to; and is always meant when death is simply spoken of, and it is not specified what death; See Gill on Leviticus 20:10,
both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; they were both to die, and to die the same death:
so shalt thou put away evil from Israel; such that do it, as the above Targum; See Gill on Deuteronomy 22:21.If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. Of Adultery. Both guilty parties shall die; so H, Leviticus 20:10. By inference from Deuteronomy 22:21; Deuteronomy 22:24 the death was by stoning; so Ezekiel 16:38-40, John 8:5.
So in Arabia to this day; Burton, Pilgr. to Mecca, ii. 19, Musil, Ethn. Ber. 210; among the Arabs of Sinai the man alone is killed, the woman may be divorced and pays the bride-price. (Jennings-Bramley, PEFQ, 1905, 214, 216). By § 129 of Ḫammurabi both parties were strangled and cast into the water, but the wife’s husband might save her and the king his servant (?); by § 131 a wife accused by her husband but not caught in a guilty act might swear her innocence and return to her house; but by § 132 if suspicion was raised against her, though not caught in the act, she should plunge into the sacred river (ordeal by water). Other cases deal with the wife’s resorting to another husband in consequence of her husband’s captivity, §§ 133–135. In Israel, as at the present day in Syria, cases of adultery were often due to the absence of husbands on a journey, Proverbs 7:19. The whole subject is discussed in several artt. in Hastings’ Dictionary of Religion and Philosophy, Vol. 1.
married to an husband] Heb. be‘ulath-ba‘al, only here, Deuteronomy 21:13, and Genesis 20:3. But cp. Hosea 2:16.Verses 22-29. - Four cases are here distinguished.
1. That of a married woman who has been unfaithful; in this case both the woman and her paramour are, when detected, to be put to death (ver. 22).
2. That of a virgin betrothed who is assailed in a town, where she might have cried for protection, but did not; in this case also both were to be punished with death as adulterers (vers. 23, 24).
3. That of a virgin betrothed who has been forcibly violated in the field, where, if she cried for help, her cry was in vain; in this case only the man should be liable to be put to death, whilst the woman was to be held innocent (vers. 25-27).
4. That of a virgin not betrothed with whom a man has had carnal intercourse; in this case the man should be required to pay a fine of fifty shekels of silver to the damsel's father, and to take her to be his wife, from whom he could not be separated during life (vers. 28, 29). Genesis 24:14, Genesis 24:28, according to the earliest usage of the books of Moses, a virgin, then also a young woman, e.g., Ruth 2:6; Ruth 4:12) were to bring the matter before the elders of the town into the gate (the judicial forum; see Deuteronomy 21:19), and establish the chastity and innocence of their daughter by spreading the bed-clothes before them. It was not necessary to this end that the parents should have taken possession of the spotted bed-clothes directly after the marriage night, as in customarily done by the Bedouins and the lower classes of the Moslem in Egypt and Syria (cf. Niebuhr, Beschr. v. Arab. pp. 35ff.; Arvieux, merkw. Nachr. iii. p. 258; Burckhardt, Beduinen, p. 214, etc.). It was sufficient that the cloth should be kept, in case such a proof might be required.
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