Hebrew In Israel | Marriage In The ANE – Learn Torah

marriage in the bible, ancient israel, bible and marriage, biblical marriage, jewish marriage,

Hebrew In Israel | Marriage In The ANE – Learn Torah


What was the legal structure of marriage in the ancient world?  Here I discuss the basic ideas about marriage, and demonstrate from several texts what we know was done.  I go into what was probably legally considered marriage in ancient Israel.

The Nuzi documents and many others were never published in English, so I had to use online resources to get translations of these documents. The Nuzi documents are mostly in French, but some items have been translated for English books. The material on the Ketubah is found in the works of Urial Rapaport on 2nd temple Judaism.



Sarah Yocheved

November 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Please forgive my ignorance (I’ve asked this before, but haven’t received an answer); what is ANE? You have used this before.

    pedro quinones

    November 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I think it is a short way for saying marriage in the ancient world.

      pedro quinones

      November 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      or ancient near east…lol

    Yoel Halevi

    November 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    It stands for “Ancient Near East”

Karien Vosloo

November 13, 2017 at 7:40 am

Please will you give a talk on divorce soon?


November 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

Again, good job, an honest -based on Torah- perspective. Thank you!


October 19, 2018 at 3:20 am

I’m surprised that you, a man who knows how to read Biblical Hebrew, is stating that Exodus 22:15 & Deuteronomy 22:28 is about rape. It’s not rape, the man seduces the lady and she consents. Also Marriage is a covenant, the lady does not have to marry the man that seduces her but he must pay the father 50 shekels silver, if she is a virgin, which is a one time thing because if she consents again she is no longer a virgin so whoever lays with her after she is no longer a virgin does not have to pay. Deuteronomy 22:25 is about rape and that’s the death penalty.

    Yoel Halevi

    October 19, 2018 at 4:45 am

    First, thank you for the question, but I fail to see how knowing Hebrew is relevant to the argument. This is a matter of also understanding how law works, and the Hebrew is only one factor in the reading.
    It has been a long time since I did this recording, and I do not remember all the details. Hence I might contradict something I said in the recording.
    The principle of consent does not exist in biblical law, hence your assumption is not relevant in the discussion. You are supplementing modern law with aa system which does not recognise such a principle. The placing together of the different laws in Duet 22 indicated that the law does not see such a difference at all. A similar situation is with the murder cases of Numbers 35 and Duet 19. In both cases the person is considered a murderer, even though in modern law there is a difference between murder and man slaughter.
    Duet 22 is a collection of laws which are about similar cases, if not identical case laws. Hence, separating them will be incorrect. The type of reading I did on the cases is based on a research done by Dr. Cynthia Edenberg who was my professor of Biblical Studies during my B.A. In here paper on the matters she demonstrates how these laws are to be read as one unite.
    In general, the academic approach to these cases is that Exodus is a shorter version of Duet 22, and that the laws are to be read as the same type. Traditional interpretation does the same thing. The law in Exodus in regards to murder (vs.12-13) is the same. You only have a short reference to the idea of accidental murder, but no expansion of how to conduct the law. Hence we can see the expansion rule come out in two laws in the same place being expanded int the Torah later on.
    The law in regards to the 50 shekels is not relevant to the case. This is compensation when she is not married. If a married woman is seduced the out come of the law is different due to the different circumstances of status, but the laws are still presented as being under the same rule. Your assumption of “which is a one time thing because if she consents again she is no longer a virgin so whoever lays with her after she is no longer a virgin does not have to pay” is no where to be found in the text.
    When reading Exodus 22:15-16, we can see the closeness of law to Duet 22. The difference in the cases becomes moot when realising that the law in Duet says ונמצאו- and they were discovered, which raises the question of “why is it relevant if they are discovered, she was raped?”. However, this verb gives us the link to the law not just being rape, but it can also be seduction. And this is where the issue of criminal law stands; you cannot always know exactly what happened, and the wording which starts which תפס- to grab, ends with them being caught.
    Duet 22 does not give the death penalty for everything, which shows that there are different rules for the same type cases. Hence rape can still be rape if the woman is seduced.

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