Deuteronomy 22:28
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
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Deuteronomy 22:28-29.—SEDUCTION.

See Exodus 22:16-17. The sin of seduction before marriage is punished by a heavy fine. We have recently amended our own laws in the direction of this very precept. But the fact that marriage was made compulsory in these cases makes the Law stricter still. It seems, however, from Exodus 22:17, that the girl’s father might forbid the marriage, though the seducer could not escape from it in any other way.

(30) See Leviticus 18:7. A principle, not merely a precept, is implied here, as appears by the details of Leviticus 18

22:13-30 These and the like regulations might be needful then, and yet it is not necessary that we should curiously examine respecting them. The laws relate to the seventh commandment, laying a restraint upon fleshly lusts which war against the soul.The fine was to be paid to the father, because the slander was against him principally as the head of the wife's family. If the damsel were an orphan the fine reverted to herself. The fact that the penalties attached to bearing false witness against a wife are fixed and comparatively light indicates the low estimation and position of the woman at that time. 13-30. If a man take a wife, &c.—The regulations that follow might be imperatively needful in the then situation of the Israelites; and yet, it is not necessary that we should curiously and impertinently inquire into them. So far was it from being unworthy of God to leave such things upon record, that the enactments must heighten our admiration of His wisdom and goodness in the management of a people so perverse and so given to irregular passions. Nor is it a better argument that the Scriptures were not written by inspiration of God to object that this passage, and others of a like nature, tend to corrupt the imagination and will be abused by evil-disposed readers, than it is to say that the sun was not created by God, because its light may be abused by wicked men as an assistant in committing crimes which they have meditated [Horne]. i.e. An unmarried man, as appears,

1. From his obligation to marry the person he abused, which it is not probable would have been imposed upon him, had he been married.

2. Because if the man had been married, this had been adultery, and so had been punished with death. Lay hold on her; which notes some kind of force or artifice, whereby she was overpowered; whereas Exodus 22:16, she was enticed, which implies consent, and therefore the man doth here receive a greater punishment, because he used hostile violence towards her, which was the greater sin.

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed,.... That is, meets with one in a field, which is not espoused to a man; and the man is supposed to be an unmarried man, as appears by what follows:

and lay hold on her, and lie with her, she yielding to it, and so is not expressive of a rape, as Deuteronomy 22:25 where a different word from this is there used; which signifies taking strong hold of her, and ravishing her by force; yet this, though owing to his first violent seizure of her, and so different from what was obtained by enticing words, professions of love, and promises of marriage, and the like, as in Exodus 22:16 but not without her consent:

and they be found; in the field together, and in the fact; or however there are witnesses of it, or they themselves have confessed, it, and perhaps betrayed by her pregnancy.

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
28, 29. Of Intercourse with a Virgin not Betrothed. The man shall pay a bride-price (see on Deuteronomy 22:22) and marry her without power of divorce. For seduction E, Exodus 22:16 f., exacts the bride-price but the father may refuse his daughter to the man. Among the Tiyâha Arabs the seducer of a woman pays the blood-price of two men; if he will marry her he must furnish the full bride-price (Musil, Ethn. Ber. 210).

lay hold on her] Not the same vb as in Deuteronomy 22:25, usually explained as rape, but this is not certain.

and he be found] So LXX. Heb. they is due to dittography.

Deuteronomy 22:28The last case: if a virgin was not betrothed, and a man seized her and lay with her, and they were found, i.e., discovered or convicted of their deed, the man was to pay the father of the girl fifty shekels of silver, for the reproach brought upon him and his house, and to marry the girl whom he had humbled, without ever being able to divorce her. This case is similar to the one mentioned in Exodus 22:15-16. The omission to mention the possibility of the father refusing to give him his daughter for a wife, makes no essential difference. It is assumed as self-evident here, that such a right was possessed by the father.
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