Previously, commenter whysoserious? made his appearance in the post “A Tired Old Argument” with this comment. I made a short response and turned my complete response into a post all it’s own, “The Necropsy Continues“. In that post as well as the comment section we went back and forth. Commenter whysoserious? made his final argument in the comments of “Black Knighting Churchian Marriage“.
It was a fascinating argument. Quite to my surprise (well, perhaps not), whysoserious? staked out an interesting position on marriage:
Marriage is merely a long term, tightly regulated form of prostitution which provides more resources to either party.
Whysoserious? initially argued in opposition to me with a technical argument over the meaning of the Greek word kollao by shifting focus to the Greek word for prostitute, “porne“. He claimed that kollao didn’t mean sex within the context of 1st Corinthians 6:15-16, it meant marriage, because porne didn’t mean prostitute, it meant something else. In his words:
Since porne can be used to describe general promiscuity or cult prostitution, this passage warns Christians that they should not be married to a promiscuous woman or cult prostitute.
Consider his argument: Paul was not forbidding sex with prostitutes, he was forbidding Christians from marrying prostitutes. The only prohibition in Scripture that forbids sex with prostitutes is in 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 and his argument removes this prohibition, so in effect whysoserious? was claiming it was perfectly acceptable for a Christian man to have sex with prostitutes as long as he didn’t marry them.
It appeared that whysoserious? had not anticipated this when he made his argument and privately I predicted to some associates that it left him with a choice: he either reversed course on the meaning of kollao or he would attack Genesis 2:24 and my money was on attacking Genesis 2:24 as the authority on marriage. Why? Because women rule the modern church and given a choice, “sex with an eligible virgin is marriage” would win out over “my husband can legitimately have sex with whores” every single time. As predicted, whysoserious? attacked the authority of Genesis 2:24.
The reader of the Bible is assumed to know what marriage is, just like he’s assumed to know what a man is, or a king, or a nation. These words, though integral to understanding the Bible, are left to the reader’s cultural knowledge of the ancient Near East. Genesis 2:24 is NOT a law or a definition; it is the conclusion to a story that explains why a man cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Twaddle. Scripture defines these terms, they are not “left to the reader’s cultural knowledge of the ancient Near East”. Consider the root of the word “culture” is cult, which presumes a common system of belief.
- Marriage: Genesis 2:24. The grant of authority for initiating marriage and the procedure for initiating marriage.
- King: 1st Samuel 8. A man who will rule over the people, followed by a long explanation of what the king will do in ruling over them.
- Nation: Genesis 10:5. A people who according to their families (generally related), share a common land and a common tongue.
Keep in mind the overriding goal of whysoserious? is preserving doctrinal continuity of the lies established by the early church. The unbiblical “requirement” of a commitment ceremony (wedding) neatly avoids the nasty problem (created by churchian lies) of the adultery epidemic caused by claiming that marriage is begun with a commitment ceremony, not sex. This is the key point and the entire churchian facade stands or falls on this point.
Regardless of what he claims, whysoserious? capitulated on the meaning of dabaq in Genesis 2:24 and kollao in 1st Corinthians 6:16 with his attack on Genesis 2:24 as the authority for marriage.
It also meant he had to have a replacement authority and he chose Ezekiel 16:8.
Ezekiel 16:8 demonstrates that an oath viewed as a necessary component of marriage. It doesn’t establish a requirement, it just demonstrates a preexisting one which elucidates the nature of marriage.
Notice that whysoserious? is claiming a preexisting requirement that does not actually exist. He claims we don’t have a definition of marriage, we simply understand it in a manner of cultural understanding.
When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house
In order to divorce a wife there first has to be a marriage that makes the woman a wife, so Jesus quoted the authority on marriage, Genesis 2:24.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Notice that Jesus did not cite Ezekiel 16:8 as the authority on marriage, rather, Genesis 2:24. The Apostle Paul quoted part of that passage in 1st Corinthians 6:16 and in Ephesians 5:31 he quoted the entire verse as the authority on marriage. Nowhere in Scripture is Ezekiel 16:8 quoted as an authority on marriage. Nowhere in the New Testament is Ezekiel 16:8 referenced or quoted.
That was where the previous discussion ended. Whysoserious? has now come back with another argument.
I suppose I must give you credit for trying.
appreciated your flexibility in accepting a new perspective on the issue of sex and marriage
This characterization is not correct. I came to the conclusion, based on the relevant text, that becoming “one flesh” was not a one-shot act but a continuous process that occurs every time sex happens. In the same way that a man automatically gives his commitment to marriage with the act of intercourse and thus renews his commitment to the marriage with every subsequent act, becoming one flesh is an ongoing process in much the same way that sanctification is an ongoing process for a Christian.
Our previous discussion, while convincing neither of us of anything
Speak for yourself. I’m convinced you attacked my exegesis in order to defend a position, rather than as part of a focus on truth. You proved that when you changed your position repeatedly and finally capitulated by attacking Genesis 2:24 as the authority on marriage.
I still am of the opinion that sex with an eligible woman is not sufficient to initiate marriage.
You misstate my position. Sex with an eligible virgin initiates marriage. An eligible non-virgin such as a widow or divorced woman must consent to the marriage first before the sex will initiate the marriage. I have made this point repeatedly.
We know that a marriage ends when the husband dies (Rom. 7:1-3). However, a widow still exhibits all the genetic and physiological markers of being one flesh with the deceased. How then can a widow remarry? For she would be one flesh with both her “husbands,” dead and living – adulterating them inside her!
Absurd. If a man marries a widow he already knows he is getting used goods, so your point is ridiculous. How can she remarry? Because it is not forbidden as adultery or anything else and if a man is not forbidden to marry her, he may ( c.f. Leviticus 21:13-15). Based on that absurdity, you claim:
the proposition, “A man and a woman are married if and only if they have legitimate one-flesh/sexual relations” is false.
Non sequitur. The proposition that “A man and an eligible virgin are married when they have sexual relations” is true. While your argument indicates becoming one flesh does not consist solely of the mixing of DNA and the microbiome, you do not explain what a “legitimate” one-flesh/sexual relation is. When it comes to sex, it’s either lawful or unlawful. Moral or immoral, in other words. Legitimate? You imply that a third party other than God decides what legitimate or illegitimate is.
To summarize: marriage => sex => one flesh =>! marriage
This is the key point you are still arguing from last time and it’s still incorrect. You are still claiming that first is a commitment ceremony, then sex, which creates one flesh and that is what makes one married. Omitting the ceremony means there is no marriage. This is an argument completely unsupported by Scripture.
There is no requirement for a ceremony, unless you want to call the act of penetration a ceremony. The virgin has no agency and her consent/commitment is not required. The commitment of the man is automatic with the act of penetration. Therefore, sexual intercourse with an eligible virgin is to marry her.
Genesis 2:5-24 provides an etiology for sexuality
False characterization and completely incorrect. You are trying to support your ridiculous assertion from our last go-round that Genesis 2:24 is merely a story and the model for marriage is Ezekiel 16:8. As pointed out above, which one did Christ quote as the authority for marriage?
This, for our purposes, reduces to, “Men have sex with their wives, and they become one flesh.”
This is a lie. It is not for “OUR” purposes, but rather for your own and you intentionally misstate it. When men have sex with an eligible virgin, the virgin becomes his wife and they become one flesh. You are still attempting to make the back-handed claim that a ceremony is necessary to make the woman a “wife” before the sex occurs.
The most interesting part of this is you are no longer arguing that “dabaq” means something other than sex, rather, you’re trying to claim Ezekiel 16 as your authority for marriage in order to get support for a commitment ceremony. You say that a photo gives information about the building, but when the blueprint is available one uses the blueprint as the primary source for how the building was constructed and looks at the photo for help in visualizing the finished product.
It seems, however, that I need to address Ezekiel 16.
The prelude to verse 8 of Ezekiel 16 describes the child that was born and without cutting the cord (which means she was still attached to the placenta), the child was not washed (she was bloody) or clothed, but thrown into a field to die. God passed her by in this condition and said “Live!” and she lived.
She grew tall, and still naked, it was apparent she had reached the time for love because her breasts had formed and she had pubic hair. When God passed by again, He saw that she was ready for love. After all those years, was she still covered with blood from her birth? No, but she was naked.
God’s next act was to spread His skirt over her and cover her nakedness, a euphemism for sex. Yes, I get the reference to Ruth 3, but I’m not sure you studied Ruth’s story.
Ruth was a widow (not a virgin) who had no heir. It wasn’t just the redemption of the land at issue, there was also the near kinsman obligation of the Levirate marriage. While she obviously offered her body to him when she told him she was a near relative and he should spread his skirt over her, Boaz wasn’t eligible to marry her until after the closer relative refused and and allowed Boaz to redeem her. He made that point to her and from the text I don’t see them having sex that night, although I doubt if he’d have pursued the matter of redeeming/marrying her if she hadn’t crawled into bed with him first. In addition, Boaz was an older man of great wealth. Given the adherence to the command to be fruitful and multiply, he would certainly have already had a wife. Which would make the Levirate marriage attractive to him from the standpoint of family dynamics. Sometimes God commands that a man take another wife. His attentiveness toward her during the harvest indicates he was probably attracted to her. His comments to her indicate he had already learned who she was and her story.
Back to Ezekiel though. With the sex, they are married. If this were in keeping with your narrative you would need to see God swearing an oath first, which would establish that they were husband and wife, but we don’t see that. From your previous comments you admit that Ezekiel 16:8 does not have the oath as a requirement. Instead, you claim it illustrates a preexisting requirement that you cannot cite based on an amorphous “knowledge” of ancient near-East practices.
In addition, your version of marital requirements based on Ezekiel raise lots of questions.
- Is a marriage automatically a covenant?
- If it’s a covenant, does that mean God is a party to the marriage, or is this a lesser covenant between two people?
- How can there be a covenant between two people when one of them does not want to be married to the other? (Exodus 21:7-10; Deuteronomy 22:28-29; Deuteronomy 21:10-14 examples of women sold, raped and captured into marriage against their will).
- If the covenant includes God as one of the parties to the marriage, is such a covenant marriage formed with every marriage, including a marriage to widows and legitimately divorced women, or is it only formed when the blood of the virgin is shed?
- Is God’s involvement bifurcated, where God is a party to the virgin marriage covenant, but not a party to the “lesser” covenant marriage in which the woman was not a virgin?
I find that because Christ cited Genesis 2:24 as the authority on marriage, whatever authority Ezekiel 16:8 might have is decidedly inferior and the fact that nowhere else in Scripture is Ezekiel 16 cited as having anything to do with marriage means it has no authority. Oaths, celebrations, betrothal periods and all manner of other pomp and circumstance are all strictly voluntary. In the event an agreement to do such things is made, they are mandatory due to the requirements of Numbers 30:2. But these voluntary acts are not required to initiate a marriage in the absence of such agreements.
God chose to swear an oath in Ezekiel 16:8 but He was not required to. The fun part is when you do a careful search for all the covenants in which God identifies the covenant as a covenant. Where God says He made a covenant with someone. What do these covenants have in common, these agreements to which God is a party? The shedding of blood. And… look at that. Virgins come with a hymen as standard equipment, designed to bleed after being torn in the first instance of sexual intercourse.
And, of course, the only mention of a covenant marriage in Scripture between men and women is in Malachi 2, which was instructions to the priests. The context of that mention of the wife of his youth, his wife by covenant, was a direct reference to Leviticus 21, where the priests were commanded to take only a virgin for a wife, not a widow, a divorced woman or a woman profaned by harlotry. In other words, the implication is the covenant was the result of shed blood that came from marrying a virgin.
So, it’s not surprising that we find in verse 9 that immediately afterward God bathed her with water and washed off the blood. Where did the blood come from? It wasn’t from her birth so many years ago, it was from her ruptured hymen, the blood that initiated the covenant which God sealed with his oath.
if unity of flesh is permanent, how can a married pair be separated?
If they could not be separated, why was Jesus saying not to do it? The fact He did means they can be separated. To what end? Brokenness.
The only answer is that Christ is not speaking of breaking the natural, fleshly unity of married sexual partners, but rather of a rupture of their marriage as a separate entity entirely.
More non-sequitur. Your answer fails on the brokenness of your supporting argument before we get to examining it on its face.
It is clear that “one flesh” and marriage exist as two distinct creations – the former natural and the latter covenantal.
Twaddle. If marriage was bifurcated into two distinct creations (as you claim) then getting caught raping an eligible virgin would not make her married because neither the man or woman voiced commitment. Even more preposterous is the idea that a “ceremony” would be held that would make them married. Suppose they refuse to commit? Would they be coerced into voicing commitment? The technical term for that is fraud.
If you can concede that the man automatically makes a commitment to marriage with the act of penetration and admit the virgin’s consent and commitment is not required, you will be at the point of understanding that the “commitment ceremony” is the act of sexual intercourse.
Further, if marriage was bifurcated as you say, then it would be possible to “marry” someone you’d never met simply by making a commitment to them.
Somewhere off in the weeds, as indicated earlier, is this concept of a “covenental” marriage. It’s mentioned exactly one time in Malachi 2:14. Why is there no mention of a marriage covenant anywhere else in Scripture? Leviticus 21:13-15 requires the priests to marry only a virgin and they are forbidden to marry a widow, a divorced woman or a woman profaned by harlotry. Malachi 2:13-16 was instruction to the priests as well and references Leviticus 21:15 with the reference to Godly offspring.
Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24 as the authority on marriage. The Apostle Paul quoted Genesis 2:24 as the authority on marriage. No-one cites Ezekiel 16:8 for anything.
The word kollao, as used in 1st Corinthians 6:16 means sex because the word porne means prostitute. Which means that the word dabaq means sex in Genesis 2:24, which means the eligible virgin is married when she has sex.
We don’t know what a covenant marriage is or who it applies to or anything else, we can only make educated guesses.