“If sex = marriage why does Deuteronomy 22:28-29 specifically state the virgin only becomes the wife if they are found out. In that vein why does it further state she shall be his wife because he humbled her. Why would God need to specify that if as you say she was his wife at the time of penetration? If she was already his wife God would not need to specify that she isn’t his wife until they are found out and he pays 50 shekels.”
We have three judgments that help us understand Genesis 2:24. Two of the judgments concerned the conflict of Law between Genesis 2:24 and Numbers 30:5. Does the father’s authority to forbid any agreement his daughter makes extend to her agreement to marry (have sex) which is then followed by intercourse? The answer is yes. But, what if she didn’t make any agreement? That was the point of having witnesses to the rape. As they say, “you can’t rape the willing.” This is what I wrote on Dalrock’s blog:
The eligible virgin is married when she has sex. Because that’s what Genesis 2;24 says. God provided us with three judgments that explain this.
1) The first judgement is found at Exodus 22:16-17, the case of the virgin who is not betrothed (meaning she’s eligible to be married) who is seduced (she agreed to have sex) and the question is whether her father forbids her agreement to marry the guy. According to Numbers 30, as her father he has the authority to forbid any vow or agreement she makes in the day he hears of it. In the day he hears of it he can either say nothing and she’s bound by that vow or agreement, or he can forbid it. Exodus 22:16-17 explains how it works in either case. In verse 16 the father says nothing, they are married and her husband has to pay the bride price for his wife. In verse 17, the father forbids her agreement to marry, refusing to give her to the man who seduced her. They are not married and he has to pay the price for virgins.
2) The second judgment is found in Deuteronomy 22:23-27 and it concerns the case of the betrothed virgin who has sex. Because she is not an eligible virgin (she’s betrothed), sex with her (both willing and unwilling) does not create a marriage and the man who does it gets put to death for the crime of adultery. She may or may not be put to death depending on the circumstances.
3) The third judgment, found a bit later at verses 28-29, is the case of the eligible virgin (she is not betrothed) who is raped. If the rape is discovered (meaning it really was rape), she obviously didn’t make any agreement her father can forbid so she’s married to the man who took her virginity. Even though he raped her. Because when the eligible virgin has sex, she’s married to the man who got her virginity and quite obviously, her consent is not necessary.
Therefore, the correct exegesis of Genesis 2:24 is simple: the eligible virgin is married when she has sex, with or without her consent.
“Why would God need to specify that if as you say she was his wife at the time of penetration?”
First, notice what that passage does not say, which is anything about the virgin who says she was raped but the rape was not discovered (meaning there were no witnesses). It’s a he-said she-said issue. What happens then? The issue devolves to the authority of the father and it gets treated as a seduction (c.f. Exodus 22:16-17). Based on his decision she may or not be married. However, in the case of a rape that is discovered, she obviously made no agreement and there are witness to the fact she made no agreement, thus there is nothing for her father to forbid. She is married according to the standard of Genesis 2:24 because they had sex and the virgin’s consent or lack of consent is irrelevant because she has no agency.
If she was already his wife God would not need to specify that she isn’t his wife until they are found out and he pays 50 shekels.
The text does not say she is not his wife until he pays the 50 shekels, it says he must pay the fixed price of 50 shekels of silver AND she shall be his wife. They are married and that is the amount he owes her father. Look at the example of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob had to work for 7 years to marry Rachel. Did he have to wait for 7 years? No, he married Rachel and then he had to work for Laban for another 7 years. He was obligated to pay the bride price and he was married.
You also asked:
“why does it further state she shall be his wife because he humbled her?”
Actually, the original text does not say that. Look at the verse from the NASB:
then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
Now, let’s just change the punctuation (which isn’t in the original text) and see what happens.
then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver and she shall become his wife. Because he has violated her, he cannot divorce her all his days.
There is no punctuation in the original text. The bias of the translators is at work here and that goes back all the way to Jerome, one of the men who claimed that marriage is by consent, not sex. Changing the punctuation changes the meaning completely. As is, the rape victim is being punished by being forced to marry her rapist. However, the text just as easily supports the point I have been making and the difference between the two was a decision some translators made.
Better yet, let’s remove the punctuation.
then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver and she shall become his wife because he has violated her he cannot divorce her all his days.
Where do you put the punctuation, and why? Do you want this to read that God requires rape victims be punished by being forced to marry their rapist? Hopefully not.
They are married because they met the requirements of Genesis 2:24. The man has to pay a high bride price and she shall be his wife (imperative- meaning she is his wife and nothing changes that). Because he has humbled her, he has his right to divorce her permanently taken away. Which means that regardless of her behavior, he can never divorce her, because he violated her, taking her against her will in front of witnesses.
Consider Exodus 21:22-25, which contains the concept of just punishment: “Let the punishment fit the crime.”
“you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
He wanted her so bad that he raped her into marriage, violating her in front of witnesses, humiliating her, humbling her? How does the punishment fit the crime? First of all he’s going to pay more than double the Temple redemption price for her (the price for virgins) and second, he’s stuck with her all the days of his life no matter what she does. He wanted her? He’s got her now. For all his days. That’s letting the punishment fit the crime.
To claim (as does the Dalrock doctrine) that the community forced them to marry as punishment for raping her is to claim that God punishes rape victims for the “crime” of being raped. Not only does that slander the character of God, it is a direct conflict (an antinomy) with Exodus 21:22-25 and Genesis 2:24. In addition, it is a claim that the community has the authority to require a man marry a woman. No, in Genesis 2:24 the authority to marry was granted to “a man” and no-one else.
Again, this is a judgment that results from the conflict of law between Genesis 2:24 and Numbers 30:5. The question is whether the father’s authority to forbid his daughter’s marriage when she was seduced also applies when she is publicly raped. The answer is no, but there had to be witnesses that established the fact she was raped in deed rather than just in accusation. Because we all know that girls will cry “RAPE” if they find it in their best interest to do so.
The Linguistics Argument Against “Sex = Marriage”
it appears you argument hinges on cleave to the wife as the part regarding penetrative sex i am curious if u can identify why cleave = penetration especially as I don’t believe the bible requires penetrative sex with God yet asks us to cleave to him see for example Deuteronomy 13:4
4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
But I guess our definitions of kollao differ yours means penetrate mine means:
kollao, “to adhere to,” or “to join one’s self to.” This meaning is the reverse of the preceding. The Psalmist speaks of his tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth (Psalms 137:6). We are told that a man should cleave unto his wife (Genesis 2:24;Matthew 19:5). It is said that Ruth clave unto her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:14), and that certain men clave unto Paul (Acts 17:34; compare Acts 4:23; 11:23 margin).
“Cleave” is also used in this sense to describe one’s adherence to principles. Paul admonished the Romans to cleave to that which is good (Romans 12:9).
In the Hebrew Scriptures the word “dabaq” is used 54 times and when used of human relationships it generally means to cling to without letting go, to be clung to tightly, to hold fast, to be committed to. Except for Genesis 2:24 and arguably, 1st Kings 11:2, where it means sex. However, there is a duality of meaning involved in those two passages. Within the context of marriage the act it refers to is sex, the meaning of the act is commitment on the part of the man.
When used in Genesis 2:24, describing the creation of marriage, keep in mind that the act of penetrative intercourse is a man’s commitment to marriage. Every time. Imagine a word that means clinging to without letting go, being clung to tightly and the kind of sex that is epitomized by a man who had a thousand wives. That’s the picture of a couple of newlyweds on their wedding night. And as used in Genesis 2:24, the word means the act of sex because that is the God-given wedding ceremony by which a man marries a woman. By that act the man gives his commitment to the marriage.
How do we know that is what the word means as it is specifically used in Genesis 2:24?
When Genesis 2:24 got translated into Greek the word “dabaq” was translated as the Greek word “kollao” and not surprisingly, just like the word “dabaq” the word “kollao” means to glue, to unite, to join; to knit together. When used of human relationships it confers the idea of faithfulness and loyalty. Notice the similarities with the Hebrew word “dabaq” and how they both demonstrate the man’s commitment to marriage every time he has intercourse. Because the act of marriage is sexual intercourse and by that act the man signifies his commitment to marriage.
The text of 1st Corinthians 6:16 says “Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” The word “kollao” (translated as “joins”) is used in this passage within the context of Genesis 2:24 to mean sex with a woman that results in becoming one flesh. The act of becoming one body (sexual intercourse) causes God to make the two one flesh (c.f. Matthew 19:5-6).
But, how do we know that in the context of marriage it means sex and not a commitment ceremony? Perhaps God is telling us not to marry prostitutes.
Why do men visit prostitutes? The hallmark of a prostitute is (and it always has been) that at some point the prostitute spreads her legs receptively to allow the man to penetrate her. Men visit prostitutes to have sex, but not just any sex. They visit prostitutes to have sex that will not result in marriage, because the one thing prostitutes don’t do is consent to be married to their customers. By definition, what prostitutes do not provide is faithfulness or loyalty because they are mercenary. As the old saying goes, “you don’t pay a prostitute to have sex with you, you pay her to leave when you’re done with her.”
Do men visit prostitutes for commitment, or sex?
The traditional argument of the church (after they adopted the consent model of creating marriage) was that the Hebrew word “dabaq” meant commitment and that meant a man had to commit to his wife in a public ceremony, which formed the marriage, then they had sex, which they claimed was the becoming one flesh part of Genesis 2:24. Or not. The church claimed that sex was immaterial to marriage because marriage was all about consent.
When we look at a specific word, we first look at all the other uses of that word and the context that word is used in. From that we get a sense of how the word should be translated (the meaning) in the verse in question. In the case of the word “dabaq” the word is only used twice within the context of a husband-wife relationship, in Genesis 2:24 and in 1st Kings 11:2. One might argue that Solomon loved being committed to his 700 wives and 300 concubines, but any reasonable observer would reach the conclusion that a much better translation is that Solomon loved having sex with them.
Why would that word be translated as commitment instead of sex in 1st Kings 11:2? Because tradition. Keep in mind that the man who did the first official translation of the Bible was Jerome and he is famous for his hatred of sex. In fact, it was his position that sex (even within marriage) and salvation were incompatible. Bible translators are resistant to change and give a great deal of weight to how any given meaning of a word has traditionally been translated. They are reluctant to make changes, especially if changing the meaning of a word results in a major doctrinal change.
So, do we go with the most reasonable interpretation and translate the word “dabaq” as used within the context of marriage in 1st Kings 11:2 as “sex”? If we do, that lends a great deal of weight to the argument that as used in Genesis 2:24 in the context of the creation of marriage the word means the act of sexual intercourse. Obviously, anyone defending the tradcon consent model of the creation of marriage (Dalrock’s Special Sauce™ doctrine) will oppose defining “dabaq” as anything other than commitment because “commitment” supports their pre-existing beliefs.
But what happens when we see “dabaq” translated into Greek within that specific context (meaning the entire verse was translated) so we know what whatever “dabaq” means in Genesis 2:24 is exactly what “kollao” means in Genesis 2:24? Context is key when it comes to translation. Does the usage of the word “kollao” in the New Testament shed any light on the meaning of “dabaq” as it is used in Genesis 2:24? We look and again we see that within the specific context of Genesis 2:24 (Paul quoted part of the verse and kept the same structure so you can’t miss it), the word “kollao” was used to indicate sexual intercourse in such a way that it cannot be denied. There literally cannot be any confusion on this.
Do men go to prostitutes for commitment, or for sex?
Observing that, do we go with the translation by stoic hermit Jerome who hated sex and sexual pleasure, or do we go with the Apostolic translation of the word? This is an either-or choice with huge doctrinal implications because the meaning of the word “dabaq” in Genesis 2:24 has to be the same as the meaning of the word “kollao” in 1st Corinthians 6:16.
A = B and B = C, therefore A = C. It’s that simple.
That also means that the word “dabaq” certainly means “sex” as used in 1st Kings 11:2, not “commitment”.
Keep in mind that what I and others like me are able to do today in terms of Bible study was impossible just 30 years ago and at all times previous to that. I’m talking about databases that allow one to do word searches, quickly compare Scripture with Scripture, with cross references to concordances and the ability to drill down to the original languages with more cross references to lexicons and dictionaries. Perhaps nobody noticed until the last couple of years the connection between “dabaq” and “kollao” and the use of “kollao” in 1st Corinthians 6;16. Who cares? We know about it now.
The Early Church Went With Jerome’s Translation
The “Patristic Fathers” of the early church hated sex and sought to downplay any mention of sex, claiming that marriage was established by consent, not sex. The theologians who followed in their footsteps made the claim that because the other 53 times the word “dabaq” was used (and especially when used of human relationships) the word meant “commitment”, therefore it must mean “commitment” in Genesis 2:24.
The “interpretation” of that was “that’s the commitment ceremony in front of witnesses! The man and woman must consent to being married and have a ceremony first before they can have sex!” Which meant that the sex part of marriage was the “becoming one flesh” that came after the commitment ceremony.
Over the course of the next 1200 years the church developed the “teachings and traditions of the church” and claimed that their magic book of medieval opinions trumped Scripture. After all, they decided what Scripture was and only they could interpret it! The Pope is infallible!
For those who don’t care for the magic book of medieval opinions and prefer to go with what God said, the problem with Jerome’s interpretation is it won’t work for multiple reasons.
- We know that the word “dabaq” means the act of sex because of the Apostolic translation of the word in 1st Corinthians 6:16 and as it turns out, that was the perfect word to use in both Hebrew and Greek because the act of sexual intercourse is the man’s act that demonstrates his commitment to the marriage. The virgin has no agency and her commitment or lack of it is irrelevant.
- We know from Matthew 19 that Jesus said God makes the two one flesh, so the act of becoming one flesh is not something the man does, it’s something God does. Paul, in Ephesians 5:28-32 compared the one-flesh union of marriage with the one-body union of the Christian with Christ, making the point that they were both a great mystery. That means “they shall become one flesh” in Genesis 2:24 is referring to what God does as a result of the mans act of penetrating the woman, not the penetration itself.
- The “commitment” interpretation created antinomies with other portions of Scripture, which meant that the extra words “to be” had to be inserted into the text of Exodus 22:16 and the outcome of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 had to mean the rape victim was punished for being raped by being forced to marry her rapist. Which creates further antinomies with other passages.
- As we’ve seen, the meaning of the word “dabaq” as used in Genesis 2:24 is the same as the meaning of the word “kollao” as used in 1st Corinthians 6:16. Either they both mean “commitment ceremony” or they both mean “sex” but current doctrine has them defined as “commitment ceremony” in Genesis 2:24 and “sex” in 1st Corinthians 6:16. That is incorrect. Either the virgin is married when she first has sex, or there is no prohibition anywhere in Scripture that forbids Christian men from having sex with legitimate prostitutes. Which do you think the women of the church will choose?
The rest, as they say, is history.
On to the objections about polygyny in the next post.