christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 21:10-23:14, do not commit adultery

Read Deuteronomy 21:10-23:14 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 19:1-21:9, sixth commandment chiastic structure

(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic.)

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We are studying the roadmap to national restoration, and so, we are studying the Ten Commandments, the summary of God’s definition of righteousness and wickedness. By studying the Ten, we are learning what God considers wicked ways, that He is asking His people to turn from. (Here is the summary.)

The Ten Commandments are given in Deu 5. The First Commandment, Have no other gods before YHVH, is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25these are our detailed study notes. The Second Commandment, You shall not make idols to worship, is explained in Deu 11:26-14:29these are our detailed study notes. The Third Commandment, You shall not profane YHVH’s name, is explained in Deu 11:26-14:29these are the detailed study notes. The Fourth Commandment, Honor the Sabbath day, is explained in Deu 15:1-16:17these are the detailed study notes. The Fifth Commandment, Honor your father and mother, is explained in Deu 16:18-18:22these are the detailed study notes. The Sixth Commandment, Do not commit murder, is explained in Deu 19:1-21:9; these are the detailed study notes.

The Seventh Commandment, Do not commit adultery, is explained in Deu 21:10-23:14. These are the Hebrew paragraph divisions:

Deu 21:10-14 {s} Treatment of the captive woman
Deu 21:15-17 {s} Do not reject the legitimate firstborn
Deu 21:18-21 {s} Treatment of the rebellious son
Deu 21:22-23 {s} Treatment of the executed criminal
Deu 22:1-3 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s lost animals
Deu 22:4 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s burdened animals
Deu 22:5 {s} Sanctity of gender distinction
Deu 22:6-7 {s} Treatment of a mother bird
Deu 22:8-9 {s} Preventing bloodguilt and defilement
Deu 22:10-11 {s} Prohibition of unlike mixtures
Deu 22:12 {s} You shall wear tzitzit on the four corners of your clothing
Deu 22:13-19 {s} Justice for the pure bride
Deu 22:20-21 {s} Justice for the impure bride
Deu 22:22 {s} Justice for the adulterous wife
Deu 22:23-24 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin in the city
Deu 22:25-27 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin in the country
Deu 22:28-29 {s} Justice for the unbetrothed virgin
Deu 22:30 {s} Unlawful unions prohibited
Deu 23:1 {s} Assembly membership prohibited (inability to produce seed)
Deu 23:2 {s} Assembly membership prohibited to 10th generation (seed of unlawful unions)
Deu 23:3-6 {s} Assembly membership prohibited to 10th generation (Ammon + Moab)
Deu 23:7-8 {s} Assembly membership allowed in 3rd generation (Edom + Egypt)
Deu 23:9-14 {s} Holiness in the army camp

We can see that some of these paragraphs have to do with marriage and intimacy, but we will see coming up that they all contain wisdom to be applied to Do not commit adultery. In the Hebrew, this word is Strong’s H5003, na’aph, and is used to mean intercourse outside of the marriage covenant. Therefore a prohibition of premarital intercourse is also included in this command.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” Mat 5:27-32

This is one of the hard sayings of Jesus. By it we learn that just as the act of murder is a fruit that first must come from a seed of hatred in the heart, the act of adultery is a fruit that first must come from a seed of lust in the heart. In fact the ancient Hebrew pictograph for adultery is interesting: na’aph, the nun + aleph + pey. The seed of strong lust or craving (pey as the ravenous open mouth that is not satisfied). Wisdom says:

Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love. Pro 5:18-19

Be satisfied and enraptured with your own wife (and women, be satisfied and enraptured with your own husband)! Satisfaction is a choice we make in the heart!

Continued: deuteronomy 21:10-22:7, kind treatment of captives

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