In my Bible study this morning, I came across…
“If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin, ‘then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate;
Deuteronomy 22: 13-15
So why am I mentioning this?
Because in the first version of Hold the Faith there was a chapter on the wedding of the young couple who again appear in book 3, which I am currently working on, and this Bible reading reminded me about it.
What happened to it?
I cut it out in the early editing stage.
Why was it cut out?
Two reasons. One it was not necessary to the flow of that first book in the series.
Second, my first beta-reader, an elderly lady, did not like it.
Why was it in there?
To demonstrate the ‘times’ and the way the Jews held the Law, delivered by Moses, as sacred.
The little bit that was the problem for my first beta-reader…
“Before Rachel could ask any more questions, a shout sounded from inside the house that the marriage had been consummated.
The friend of the bridegroom appeared displaying a length of cloth so all could see, then making his way to the main house, he handed the cloth to Aminta’s parents who folded it up.
A cheer went up from the waiting crowd.”
Rachel, who at that time would have been about five years younger than she is at the start of book 3, had been one of the attendants for her cousin Aminta, and was standing with her parents in the courtyard.
Proof of the bride’s virginity was still a necessity in the first century AD when Aminta and her second cousin Chanan were married. In some countries, though seen as outdated, it still is…
In traditional communities virginity is extremely important and proof of it is sought by the groom’s family. This proof is usually the bed linen where the marriage was consummated. An absence of blood on the linen can be cause for great shame for both families and may be reason for the bride to be sent back to her parent’s home. Let’s note, however, that this too is a very outdated procedure and not widely practiced today.
Last entry on the page.
Since Aminta and Chanan come into this third book as more than a passing reference, I am going to look at that discarded chapter, and possibly add it as a prologue to book 3 in the series.
(Book 3 no longer has a name, as it is an ‘extra’ book. Book 4 will have the name that was allocated to the third book.)
Brain ticking over