Tokens of Virginity

In my Bible study this morning, I came across…

Bible open at Deuteronomy

“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?

Hold the Faith cover image

 

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 In some countries, though seen as outdated, it still is…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 Let’s note, however, that this too is a very outdated procedure and not widely practiced today.
http://www.turkishculture.org/lifestyles/ceremonies-536.htm
Last entry on the page.

Conclusion…

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.)

Should get too it before it is too hot to think, here in Perth. Western Australia. beach scene in Perth WA

Brain ticking over

Susan

 

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To Pray or Not to Pray…

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matt 6: 8 NIV

PrayingDoes this mean that we do not need to pray?

First of all, not all prayer is asking for things, or for help. The context of this verse is during the ‘sermon on the mount’. So the Son of God, (who prayed Himself) thought it important enough to teach His disciples and the others listening.

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Matt 6: 6 – 8 NIV

If we deem prayer as unnecessary because He knows where He wants us to be, and in what circumstances, then we are saying that we do not have free moral agency.

drawing of puppet on string

God does not want puppets. Otherwise there would have been no sin. Everyone, from Adam and Eve onward would have done what God wanted.

No, from the scriptures, God wants US to choose.

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,  and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?
Deuteronomy 10. 12, 13 NKJ

It is true that we are not the people that God spoke to at that time, but He did speak to us.

I found this article interesting…

True Israel of God

What is the essence of being a true Israelite? It is not literal descent from Abraham, but faith in God. It’s in the Bible: “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Galatians 3:7. “For they are not all Israel which are of Israel; neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children… but the children of promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:6-8.

The children of promise are those who put their faith in Jesus. It’s in the Bible: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” Galatians 3:29.
Read the whole article here…
http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/topics/true-israel-god

Seems like the answer is that we SHOULD pray. Amongst other things…

  • Pray for help
  • Pray for guidance
  • Pray for others
  • Praise God in our prayers.

Just thinking,

Susan