“Why does the Bible call for the stoning of non-virgins?”

The Law of God did call for the stoning of non-virgin brides, as well as rebellious, drunken youths (see 21:18–21), with the purpose that “all Israel shall hear and fear.” However, there is no recorded incident in Scripture of either happening. It seems that the Law was feared in those days. That same Law will judge all humanity (see Rom. 2:12; James 2:12), and we would be wise to heed its fearful warning.

The Scriptures are written for our instruction, so, although this was a literal command for Israel, we can understand the spiritual principle behind it. The Bible is filled with what are commonly called “antitypes,” which the dictionary defines as “one that is foreshadowed by or identified with an earlier symbol or type, such as a figure in the New Testament who has a counterpart in the Old Testament.”

Christians are what the Bible calls “chaste virgins” (2 Cor. 11:2). As the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25–32), we are waiting for the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come for us. (Every human marriage is a “type” of Christ and His Church.) However, those who are hypocrites—who profess to be chaste virgins but in truth are committing spiritual adultery by loving this sinful world—will come under the severe judgment of God. Jesus said a stone will fall on them and grind them to powder (see Matt. 21:44).

Deuteronomy 22:13 “If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, 14and 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,’ 15then 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. 16And the young woman’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as wife, and he detests her.17Now he has charged her with shameful conduct, saying, “I found your daughter was not a virgin,” and yet these are the evidences of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him; 19and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and givethem to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.

20“But if the thing is true, and evidences ofvirginity are not found for the young woman, 21then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

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