One of the difficult things for Christians to understand is the context of Jewish culture and some of the equitable solutions proposed. This is true with both marriage and divorce.
We discussed this some in the comments of Divorce Part 7 Final.
Deuteronomy 24:1 “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, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife,
4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.
The key to verse 4 of this passage is understanding inheritance. The wife is ‘defiled’ because of inheritance issues, not because going back to the former husband makes her defiled. If a wife went back to her former husband and then had a kid 9 months later, you couldn’t tell whose kid it was.
Inheritance is clearly important in ancient Israel that God had Levirate marriage (brother to deceased brother married his widow to produce an heir), Ezra had the Israelites put away their foreign brides, Samaritans were looked down upon because of their mixing with the surrounding cultures (cut off from the inheritance of Israel), and things like these.
The equitable solution in this instance is making sure she does not remarry the first husband. She is defiled as her womb (which produces sons for inheritance) has been defiled by the second husband having sex with her. Not having clear heirs brings sin on the land through lack of clear inheritance.
Similarly, the sex = marriage proponents also take the Law out of context.
Deuteronomy 22:28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
It’s important to acknowledge the Law was written not as a “perfect guide” but aims to show what it means to Love God and Love your Neighbor. If you broke the Law, it imposes equitable punishments. The perfect guide is the example of Jesus Christ.
In Israel, women who were not virgins had virtually no marriage prospects anymore, so marriage to a man who was interested in her but did wrong was likely better than being shunned for the rest of her life.
The Amnon and Tamar story confirms this.
2 Samuel 13:10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11 When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! 13 As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.
Incest + seized and violated her. Continuing on in the story…
2 Samuel 13:15 Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!” 16 But she said to him, No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her.”
The Law is interested in protecting the woman in this instance, which means making her the seizing man’s wife AND he cannot divorce her all his days.
We live in a different culture makes it odd to us that it was an equitable solution for the violated woman to be with her rapist, but women in that culture would rather be the wife of their rapist rather than live in shame the rest of her days.
In the case of the sex = marriage proponents, the case that would “most apply to today” — which it doesn’t but let’s say it did — is the passage from Exodus.
Exodus 22:16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.
A man who seduces (not seizes) a virgin would have to give a dowry to the father and get his permission for her to be his wife.
It’s unlikely that men having sex with a woman would go get permission from her father AND offer a dowry for marriage. Most will try to keep the sex a secret from the father much less offer a dowry for her. They are obviously not married.
These are some of the many problems of trying to apply the Law that was written for the Jewish nation to non-Christians and Christians alike that are not under the Law. Christian who try to live under the Law but not under grace are making grave errors in their application of the Scripture.