If any man take a wife, and go in to her, and hate her,…
No blame can lie against the Scriptures because they legislate on such detestable matters. The blame must lie at the door of depraved humanity, which perpetrates such deeds and makes Divine legislation necessary. The obscenity appertains to the vices, only praise belongs to the remedy.
I. A WOMAN'S CHASTITY IS HER MAIN DOWRY FOR LIFE. If she possess not this virtue, she is worse than worthless; she is a plague and a pest - a moral dunghill. Apart from chastity, she can fill no proper place in society. Her true function is ended. She is only a discredit to the human name. Her light is dense darkness. The streams of life are polluted. The fountain of bliss is corrupted at its source. Rottenness is at the core of society. No language can exaggerate the evil.
II. SLANDER AGAINST A WIFE'S CHASTITY IS THE BLACKEST OF SINS. In proportion to the vileness of the sin and the severity of the penalty, is the baseness and guilt of the man who makes the accusation falsely. This is a climax of sins of speech, which nothing can surpass. Slander of any sort is heinous sin, and slander against an intimate friend is more heinous yet; but slander against one's wife - and against her chastity - is most heinous of all. Fines and scourging are lenient punishment for such a monster.
III. THE PENALTIES OF SIN ARE IN PROPORTION TO INJURY DONE. On the principle laid down in a previous law, the penalty for false accusation was fixed according to the nature of the deed falsely alleged to be done. In this case, the slanderer well deserved such a result. But then the injured wife would be injured all the more. In the dread penalty imposed on him, she would have to share. Hence, for her sake, the husband's life is spared. To calculate all the effects produced by one act of sin is impossible to the finite mind of man; yet (unless pardon, full and complete, be enjoyed) in proportion to these perpetuated effects will be the penalty meted out to the sinner. We may well "stand in awe." - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,