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If A Man Has Sex With A Virgin, He Must Marry Her (?)
Following the general principle of "Payment For Harm Done"

        DEUTERONOMY 22:28-29 (KJV)
       
       
        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;
        29
               Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the
               damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be
               his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her
               away all his days.
 

This law was given during the time when men were allowed to have multiple wives and when a virgin's father was considered to be her owner. Her virginity was very valuable and important to her and her family at that time and in that place. If you took her virginity, you made her less desirable and less valuable as a wife.

This specific command is part of the Old Covenant Law, given to the people of Israel in ancient times. We today are not required to follow this specific command, but we are required to follow the spirit of it - the general principle which underlies the specific command. The exact details of God's Old Testament Biblical commands frequently do not apply to us today, but the General Principles - the Spirit of His laws - usually do apply to us. Great error and much confusion have been caused by people failing to distinguish between the General Principles and the Specific Commands.

In this case, the Specific Commmand is: "If you have sex with a virgin woman, you must marry her." The General Principle here, as I see it, is: "If anyone causes unjustified harm, he must somehow pay the price for it." The name of this General Principle could be, "Payment For Harm Done." This payment may be financial compensation to the person(s) harmed, or in punishment to yourself, or both. By marrying the former virgin, an Old Testament man took on the legal obligation of becoming her husband and providing support for her. This was his just payment for taking away her virginity and thus lowering her value and desirability as a wife to someone else.

Today in the USA, this specific command certainly does not apply to us. Virginity today is of minor economic importance, and men are not generally allowed to marry more than one woman at a time. So no economic harm is done, and the man might not be legally able to marry the woman anyway, even if she wanted to marry him, which she might very well not want to do. So all of the circumstances are different today, and to apply the Old Testament specific command would do far more harm than good.

The General Principle still applies to us: "If anyone causes unjustified harm, he must somehow pay the price for it." But the specific command does not apply to us.

                                           <><
     Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     http://www.loveallpeople.org/chapel.html
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Bill McGinnis Ministries

May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.

     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

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     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

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