Marriage and sex in the Torah

30 June 2020
Series: Bible study
Topic: marriage , sex , Torah

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

The Torah says, in Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5, we are not allowed to have sex outside of marriage. And when we do marry Deut 24:5, says we are to devote ourselves to our spouse for a year. For one whole year, we are to build our marriage and focus 100% on our spouse. In Ex 21:10, 1.Cor 7, spouses are reminded they share a mutual responsibility to meet each other’s sexual, emotional, and physical needs.

This is how much the Torah values marriage; we are to devote ourselves to each other. We have a mutual responsibility for each other’s needs, and sex is only permitted within the bonds of marriage. But what about divorce, does the Torah say anything about divorce?

In Matt 5:32, Yeshua says we can only divorce on account of adultery. Paul agrees to this in 1.Cor 7:10-11 when he says we can never divorce. So why this apparent contradiction between Yeshua’s and Paul’s statements?

To understand why there is no contradiction, we must understand the difference between Jewish marriages and our understanding of marriages. In Biblical times, an engaged couple was considered married, even though nobody had officiated the wedding yet. So what Yeshua is saying is that you can only break off the engagement on account of adultery while Paul is speaking to those who have already gone through with the ceremony. This shows us we can never divorce our spouse, not even on account of adultery. But it also shows us we can only break the engagement on account of adultery.

Paul warns us in 1. Cor 7, it is a sin to divorce your spouse. Yeshua says, in Matt 5, if we break off the engagement on any other grounds but adultery, we are sinning. But if we break off the engagement on adultery, we have to have a formal written document (Deut 24:1)

The Torah says, in Deut 24:4, if you break off the engagement on adultery and your spouse gets engaged to someone else, it is a sin for you to take him/her back. In Deut 22:19, we are warned not to tell lies about our future spouse. If you slander your future spouse during the engagement and tell lies about him/her, you can never divorce them. You are obligated to marry and go through with the ceremony. In Deut 25:5, we learn that if a widow has no children, her brother-in-law is obligated to marry her and have children. This is to ensure his brother’s family line continues. In Deut 25:7-9, we are told that if he refuses, the widow must formally release him from his obligations.

But what happens if one of the spouses commits adultery after the marriage ceremony? In Numbers 5:30, we see a ritual we are to do in such cases, but this is something we can not do right now because we dont have access to the temple in Jerusalem.

In our day and age, it seems as if everything is permitted when it comes to sex. Does the Torah agree with our sexual morals?

We are not to be sexually inappropriate with relatives (Lev 18:6), So we are not to have sex with our parents (Lev 18:7,) with our step-mother/step-father (Lev 18:8.) We are not to have sex with siblings (Lev 18:9) or with step-siblings (Lev 18:11.) Sex with grandchildren is forbidden (Lev 18:10), and sex with aunts and uncles is prohibited (Lev 18:12-13.) We are not to have sex with any spouse married to our aunts and uncles (Lev 18:14) or with our children’s spouses (Lev 18:15.) Lev 18:16 says we are not to have sex with our siblings’ spouses or step-children or step-grandchildren (Lev 18:17.) Sex with our spouse’s siblings is forbidden (Lev 18:18) and sex with menstruating women (Lev 18:19.) We are not to have sex with another man’s wife or another woman’s husband and not even think about it (Lev 18:20, Matt 5:28.) Homosexual acts are strictly forbidden (Lev 18:22, 1.Cor 6:9) and the same with bestiality (Lev 18:23) or castration of men, animal, and fowl (Lev 22:24.)

To answer our question, the Torah does not agree with sexual morals.

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