From the the era Exodus God is so much concern of morality and even given the Israelites to maintain purity. God also instructed them not to take girl from other tribes or clans. If God is so much concerned for purity then why He gave advice of this to His people that "after sleeping with a virgin to make his wife and to let her go anywhere she wish, if they want her no more" (Deu 21:13-14).

(10) When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,

(11) And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

(12) Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

(13) And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

(14) And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

Deuteronomy 21: 10-14 KJV

  • I have given the text (Deuteronomy 21:10-14
    – Lark murry
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 7:00
  • In the text we see God was advising the people to bring virgin girls and to make their wife, but and to send them alway if they don't want no more. Why a holy God who gave commands not to do mix marriage is giving this instruction?
    – Lark murry
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 7:20
  • +1. To "close" voters - I believe that this question is about the dissonance between modern understandings of morality and purity versus OT understandings of these terms. That question is answerable from the research literature on ancient middle east history and culture.
    – user17080
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 19:29
  • Are you asking us why polygamy and divorce were not forbidden during Old Testament times ? If so, then why choose this passage, specifically, to illustrate this rather broad theme, which is not restricted to a master-servant relationship ? Or are you asking us, if purity of faith was the goal, then why allow them to marry members of the conquered pagan populations in the first place ?
    – Lucian
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 23:41
  • @Lucian Yes, my question is in this text why God instructed the Israelites to lie with virgin who is pagan, because in the first place God is the one who commanded to maintain purity (not to mix with pagan). Here in the text God allowed the Israelites to lie with any virgins they like. So what would be reason of this text God instructed this way?
    – Lark murry
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


I have added the full text of Deuteronomy 21 : 10-14 which indicates the privilege being offered to a woman taken in time of war (just and righteous war) when God almighty himself delivered the enemy into the hand of his own people, victoriously.

If an Hebrew man desired a woman of that captive nation then this text lays out proscribed procedures for cleanliness, for compassionate time in which she is allowed to remain separate and to mourn and grieve the loss of relatives.

Then there is the provision of a proper marriage with all of the privileges of marriage.

If, afterwards, the man does not delight in the woman whom he , at first, desired then he is to release her and not trade her as a slave. She is to go free.

Jesus makes it very clear (Matthew 19:8) that the reason Moses permitted divorce at all in Israel was because of the hardness of the human heart (of the sons of Adam) and provision had to be made for divorce since natural man in Israel could not be fully accommodated without permitting that which was not truly according to God's own heart or purpose.

There is nothing in any of this that is lacking in 'morality' or 'purity'.

When one examines the full text and sees all of the proscriptions laid out, there is no cause whatsoever for any doubt about the propriety of these measures in a time of war.

There is no suggestion in the text that the woman is bringing in any idols or is attempting to coerce the man into idolatry of any kind. The woman has been separated from her own people and from all previous influences. She is married into the tribes of Israel, as was Rahab the harlot and as was Ruth the Moabitess and as was Thamar, all of whom are part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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