Thursday, April 20, 2017

Does Sex = Marriage Biblically?

According to the law, is the act of sex inseparable from becoming married? Is engaging in sex equal to "engaging in marriage"? What do the commands say? Exodus 22:16-17 does not equate sex with marriage, but instead, sex between a man and a virgin results in an OBLIGATION to become married.

(Thumbnail graphic is public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] This is a very correct observation. My friend is absolutely right. As far as I understand, marriage according to the Torah is a voluntary contract between a man and a woman. It is literally a piece of paper that outlines conditions of a particular marriage. See Deuteronomy 24:1, 24:3. As far as terminology goes, I think such contract would be called "sefer khawthan" (scroll of marriage) as opposed to "sefer kereethooth" (scroll of divorce). Sex alone does not automatically make you husband and wife. There has to be physical written contract and at least two witnesses (i.e Deut 19:15). 

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