Exodus 22:16
If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged in marriage and sleeps with her, he must pay the full dowry for her to be his wife.
RestitutionJ. Orr Exodus 22:1-16
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Exodus 22:16-17
Want of WarinessScientific IllustrationsExodus 22:16-17
AbominationsJ. Orr Exodus 22:16-21
This series of precepts deals with seduction, witchcraft, bestiality, and the sin of sacrificing to other gods than Jehovah. The case of the seducer might have been brought under the laws embodying the principle of restitution. It forms a transition to the others, in which we pass from the sphere of judicial right to what is negatively and positively due from Israel as "an holy people" to Jehovah.

1. Seduction. Lewdness in every form is sternly reprobated by the law of Moses (cf. Deuteronomy 22:13-30). The man who seduced an unbetrothed maid was to be compelled to marry her; or, if her parents refused, was to pay her a dowry.

2. Witchcraft. With equal strictness was forbidden all trafficking, whether in pretence or in reality, with unholy powers. The crime - a violation of the first principles of the theocracy - was to be punished with death. There cannot be perfect love to God, and communion with him, and trafficking with the devil at the same time. The witchcraft condemned by the law was evil in itself, and was connected with foolish and wicked rites (cf. Deuteronomy 18:9-15).

3. Bestiality. This, as an inversion of the order of nature, and in itself an act of the grossest abominableness, was "surely" to be punished with death.

4. Sacrificing to other gods. Possibly this crime is mentioned here as, in a sense, the spiritual counterpart of the vices above noted, i.e., as involving

(1) Spiritual adultery,

(2) The worshipping of "devils" (Leviticus 18:7; Deuteronomy 32:17),

(3) Filthy and impure rites (cf. Deuteronomy 23:17, 18). - J.O.

If a man entice a maid.
1. Providence may suffer men through strength of lust to entice and defile virgins.

2. Such enticing and polluting is grievous sin against God and man abhorred of the Lord.

3. In case of such sin God hath judged recompense to men, as He executeth vengeance for Himself.

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

Scientific Illustrations.
Flamingoes are very shy and timid birds, and shun all attempts of man to approach them; the vicinity of animals, however, they disregard. Any one who is acquainted with this fact can take advantage of it so as to effect the slaughter of these beautiful animals by dressing himself up in the skin of a horse or an ox. Thus disguised, the sportsman may get close to them and shoot them down at his ease. So long as their enemy is invisible they still remain immovable, the noise of the gun only stupefying them, so that they refuse to leave, although their companions are dropping down dead around them. They are taken in by appearances; and so long as the man is disguised they accept him as the creature which he pretends to be, even though his actions clearly indicate that he is something else. Shy, beautiful, and harmless, the unfortunate bird meets destruction simply for want of wariness. Many a lovely human being with the like qualities has met her doom for want of that same trait.

(Scientific Illustrations.)

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