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Topical Scripture [H22]

Scripture / Parables Section | Topical Scripture: Alphabetical | Categorized

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Topical Scripture

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The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. [GEN 3:6-7]

Then the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; On your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel." To the woman he said: "I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master." [GEN 3:14-16]

Thus, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, his wife Sarai took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his concubine. [GEN 16:3]

So Sarah laughed to herself and said, "Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?" But the LORD said to Abraham: "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?' Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son." [GEN 18:12-14]

Abraham journeyed on to the region of the Negeb, where he settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he stayed in Gerar, he said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she has a husband." Abimelech, who had not approached her, said: "O Lord, would you slay a man even though he is innocent? He himself told me, 'She is my sister,' and she herself also stated, 'He is my brother.' I did it in good faith and with clean hands." God answered him in the dream: "Yes, I know you did it in good faith. In fact, it was I who kept you from sinning against me; that is why I did not let you touch her. Therefore, return the man's wife - as a spokesman he will intercede for you - that your life may be saved. If you do not return her, you can be sure that you and all who are yours will certainly die." [GEN 20:1-7]

When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he made her fruitful, while Rachel remained barren. Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben; for she said, "It means, 'The LORD saw my misery; now my husband will love me.'" She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "It means, 'The LORD heard that I was unloved,' and therefore he has given me this one also"; so she named him Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, since I have now borne him three sons"; that is why she named him Levi. Once more she conceived and bore a son, and she said, "This time I will give grateful praise to the LORD"; therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing children. [GEN 29:31-35]

One day, during the wheat harvest, when Reuben was out in the field, he came upon some mandrakes which he brought home to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah, "Please let me have some of your son's mandrakes." Leah replied, "Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you must now take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well, then!" Rachel answered. "In exchange for your son's mandrakes, Jacob may lie with you tonight." That evening, when Jacob came home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. "You are now to come in with me," she told him, "because I have paid for you with my son's mandrakes." So that night he slept with her, and God heard her prayer; she conceived and bore a fifth son to Jacob. Leah then said, "God has given me my reward for having let my husband have my maidservant"; so she named him Issachar. Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob; and she said, "God has brought me a precious gift. This time my husband will offer me presents, now that I have borne him six sons"; so she named him Zebulun. Finally, she gave birth to a daughter, and she named her Dinah. Then God remembered Rachel; he heard her prayer and made her fruitful. She conceived and bore a son, and she said, "God has removed my disgrace." So she named him Joseph, meaning, "May the LORD add another son to this one for me!" [GEN 30:14-24]

But since the LORD was with him, Joseph got on very well and was assigned to the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and brought him success in whatever he did, he took a liking to Joseph and made him his personal attendant; he put him in charge of his household and entrusted to him all his possessions. From the moment that he put him in charge of his household and all his possessions, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; in fact, the LORD'S blessing was on everything he owned, both inside the house and out. Having left everything he owned in Joseph's charge, he gave no thought, with Joseph there, to anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was strikingly handsome in countenance and body. After a time, his master's wife began to look fondly at him and said, "Lie with me." But he refused. "As long as I am here," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, but has entrusted to me all he owns. He wields no more authority in this house than I do, and he has withheld from me nothing but yourself, since you are his wife. How, then, could I commit so great a wrong and thus stand condemned before God?" Although she tried to entice him day after day, he would not agree to lie beside her, or even stay near her. One such day, when Joseph came into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were then in the house, she laid hold of him by his cloak, saying, "Lie with me!" But leaving the cloak in her hand, he got away from her and ran outside. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand as he fled outside, she screamed for her household servants and told them, "Look! my husband has brought in a Hebrew slave to make sport of us! He came in here to lie with me, but I cried out as loud as I could. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran away outside." [GEN 39:2-15]

"A priest shall not marry a woman who has been a prostitute or has lost her honor, nor a woman who has been divorced by her husband; for the priest is sacred to his God." [LEV 21:7] [Note: Under the Old Covenant, priests were permitted to marry certain women. Religious offices indicated in the New Testament are in their infancy and can be shown to be developing even in Scripture. Within a short time, many religious offices in the Church adopted Jesus' and Paul's recommended observance of celibacy as a general rule.] 

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and tell them: If a man's wife goes astray and becomes unfaithful to him by having intercourse with another man, though her husband has not sufficient evidence of the fact, so that her impurity remains unproved for lack of a witness who might have caught her in the act; or if a man is overcome by a feeling of jealousy that makes him suspect his wife, whether she was actually impure or not: he shall bring his wife to the priest and shall take along as an offering for her a tenth of an ephah of barley meal. However, he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense over it, since it is a cereal offering of jealousy, a cereal offering for an appeal in a question of guilt. The priest shall first have the woman come forward and stand before the LORD. In an earthen vessel he shall meanwhile put some holy water, as well as some dust that he has taken from the floor of the Dwelling. Then, as the woman stands before the LORD, the priest shall uncover her head and place in her hands the cereal offering of her appeal, that is, the cereal offering of jealousy, while he himself shall hold the bitter water that brings a curse. Then he shall adjure the woman, saying to her, 'If no other man has had intercourse with you, and you have not gone astray by impurity while under the authority of your husband, be immune to the curse brought by this bitter water. But if you have gone astray while under the authority of your husband and have acted impurely by letting a man other than your husband have intercourse with you' - so shall the priest adjure the woman with this oath of imprecation - 'may the LORD make you an example of malediction and imprecation among your people by causing your thighs to waste away and your belly to swell! May this water, then, that brings a curse, enter your body to make your belly swell and your thighs waste away!' And the woman shall say, 'Amen, amen!' The priest shall put these imprecations in writing and shall then wash them off into the bitter water, which he is to have the woman drink, so that it may go into her with all its bitter curse. But first he shall take the cereal offering of jealousy from the woman's hand, and having waved this offering before the LORD, shall put it near the altar, where he shall take a handful of the cereal offering as its token offering and burn it on the altar. Only then shall he have the woman drink the water. Once she has done so, if she has been impure and unfaithful to her husband, this bitter water that brings a curse will go into her, and her belly will swell and her thighs will waste away, so that she will become an example of imprecation among her people. If, however, the woman has not defiled herself, but is still pure, she will be immune and will still be able to bear children. This, then, is the law for jealousy: When a woman goes astray while under the authority of her husband and acts impurely, or when such a feeling of jealousy comes over a man that he becomes suspicious of his wife, he shall have her stand before the LORD, and the priest shall apply this law in full to her. The man shall be free from guilt, but the woman shall bear such guilt as she may have." [NUM 5:11-31] [Note: Although various Old Testament practices are not binding under the New Covenant, such passages may nevertheless be useful for reference purposes.]

Moses said to the heads of the Israelite tribes, "This is what the LORD has commanded: When a man makes a vow to the LORD or binds himself under oath to a pledge of abstinence, he shall not violate his word, but must fulfill exactly the promise he has uttered. When a woman, while still a maiden in her father's house, makes a vow to the LORD, or binds herself to a pledge, if her father learns of her vow or the pledge to which she bound herself and says nothing to her about it, then any vow or any pledge she has made remains valid. But if on the day he learns of it her father expresses to her his disapproval, then any vow or any pledge she has made becomes null and void; and the LORD releases her from it, since her father has expressed to her his disapproval. If she marries while under a vow or under a rash pledge to which she bound herself, and her husband learns of it, yet says nothing to her that day about it, then the vow or pledge she had made remains valid. But if on the day he learns of it her husband expresses to her his disapproval, he thereby annuls the vow she had made or the rash pledge to which she had bound herself, and the LORD releases her from it. The vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, or any pledge to which such a woman binds herself, is valid. If it is in her husband's house that she makes a vow or binds herself under oath to a pledge, and her husband learns of it yet says nothing to express to her his disapproval, then any vow or any pledge she has made remains valid. But if on the day he learns of them her husband annuls them, then whatever she has expressly promised in her vow or in her pledge becomes null and void; since her husband has annulled them, the LORD releases her from them. Any vow or any pledge that she makes under oath to mortify herself, her husband can either allow to remain valid or render null and void. But if her husband, day after day, says nothing at all to her about them, he thereby allows as valid any vow or any pledge she has made; he has allowed them to remain valid, because on the day he learned of them he said nothing to her about them. If, however, he countermands them some time after he first learned of them, he is responsible for her guilt." These are the statutes which the LORD prescribed through Moses concerning the relationship between a husband and his wife, as well as between a father and his daughter while she is still a maiden in her father's house. [NUM 30:2-17]

After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. [Taken from DEUT 21:13]

"When a man, after marrying a woman and having relations with her, is later displeased with her because he finds in her something indecent, and therefore he writes out a bill of divorce and hands it to her, thus dismissing her from his house: if on leaving his house she goes and becomes the wife of another man, and the second husband, too, comes to dislike her and dismisses her from his house by handing her a written bill of divorce; or if this second man who has married her, dies; then her former husband, who dismissed her, may not again take her as his wife after she has become defiled. That would be an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring such guilt upon the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you as a heritage." [DEUT 24:1-4] [Note: Under the New Covenant, Jesus definitively prohibits divorce. See "divorce" in topical scripture for more information.]

"When brothers live together and one of them dies without a son, the widow of the deceased shall not marry anyone outside the family; but her husband's brother shall go to her and perform the duty of a brother-in-law by marrying her. The first-born son she bears shall continue the line of the deceased brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel. If, however, a man does not care to marry his brother's wife, she shall go up to the elders at the gate and declare, 'My brother-in-law does not intend to perform his duty toward me and refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel.' Thereupon the elders of his city shall summon him and admonish him. If he persists in saying, 'I am not willing to marry her,' his sister-in-law, in the presence of the elders, shall go up to him and strip his sandal from his foot and spit in his face, saying publicly, 'This is how one should be treated who will not build up his brother's family!' And his lineage shall be spoken of in Israel as 'the family of the man stripped of his sandal.'" [DEUT 25:5-10] [Note: Although various Old Testament practices are not binding under the New Covenant, such passages may nevertheless be useful for reference purposes.]

"But if you do not hearken to the voice of the LORD, your God, and are not careful to observe all his commandments which I enjoin on you today, all these curses shall come upon you and overwhelm you... The most refined and delicate woman among you, so delicate and refined that she would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground, will begrudge her beloved husband and her son and daughter the afterbirth that issues from her womb and the infant she brings forth..." [Taken from DEUT 28:15,56-57]

The woman went and told her husband, "A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, 'You will be with child and will bear a son. So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb, until the day of his death.'" Manoah then prayed to the LORD. "O LORD, I beseech you," he said, "may the man of God whom you sent, return to us to teach us what to do for the boy who will be born." God heard the prayer of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field. Since her husband Manoah was not with her, the woman ran in haste and told her husband. "The man who came to me the other day has appeared to me," she said to him; so Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he reached the man, he said to him, "Are you the one who spoke to my wife?" "Yes," he answered. Then Manoah asked, "Now, when that which you say comes true, what are we expected to do for the boy?" The angel of the LORD answered Manoah, "Your wife is to abstain from all the things of which I spoke to her. She must not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor take wine or strong drink, nor eat anything unclean. Let her observe all that I have commanded her." [JUDG 13:6-14]

After three days' failure to answer the riddle, they said on the fourth day to Samson's wife, "Coax your husband to answer the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your family. Did you invite us here to reduce us to poverty?" At Samson's side, his wife wept and said, "You must hate me; you do not love me, for you have proposed a riddle to my countrymen, but have not told me the answer." He said to her, "If I have not told it even to my father or my mother, must I tell it to you?" But she wept beside him during the seven days the feast lasted. On the seventh day, since she importuned him, he told her the answer, and she explained the riddle to her countrymen. [Taken from JUDG 14:14-17]

At that time, when there was no king in Israel, there was a Levite residing in remote parts of the mountain region of Ephraim who had taken for himself a concubine from Bethlehem of Judah. His concubine was unfaithful to him and left him for her father's house in Bethlehem of Judah, where she stayed for some four months. Her husband then set out with his servant and a pair of asses, and went after her to forgive her and take her back. She brought him into her father's house, and on seeing him, the girl's father joyfully made him welcome. He was detained by the girl's father, and so he spent three days with this father-in-law of his, eating and drinking and passing the night there. On the fourth day they rose early in the morning and he prepared to go. But the girl's father said to his son-in-law, "Fortify yourself with a little food; you can go later on." So they stayed and the two men ate and drank together. Then the girl's father said to the husband, "Why not decide to spend the night here and enjoy yourself?" The man still made a move to go, but when his father-in-law pressed him he went back and spent the night there. On the fifth morning he rose early to depart, but the girl's father said, "Fortify yourself and tarry until the afternoon." When he and his father-in-law had eaten, and the husband was ready to go with his concubine and servant, the girl's father said to him, "It is already growing dusk. Stay for the night. See, the day is coming to an end. Spend the night here and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow you can start your journey home." The man, however, refused to stay another night; he and his concubine set out with a pair of saddled asses, and traveled till they came opposite Jebus, which is Jerusalem. [JUDG 19:1-10]

Then at daybreak the woman came and collapsed at the entrance of the house in which her husband was a guest, where she lay until the morning. When her husband rose that day and opened the door of the house to start out again on his journey, there lay the woman, his concubine, at the entrance of the house with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, "Come, let us go"; but there was no answer. So the man placed her on an ass and started out again for home. [Taken from JUDG 19:26-28]

Meanwhile, the Benjaminites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah. The Israelites asked to be told how the crime had taken place, and the Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, testified: "My concubine and I went into Gibeah of Benjamin for the night. But the citizens of Gibeah rose up against me by night and surrounded the house in which I was. Me they attempted to kill, and my concubine they abused so that she died." [Taken from JUDG 20:3-5]

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land; so a man from Bethlehem of Judah departed with his wife and two sons to reside on the plateau of Moab. The man was named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his sons Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. Some time after their arrival on the Moabite plateau, Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women, one named Orpah, the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband. She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab because word reached her there that the LORD had visited his people and given them food. She and her two daughters-in-law left the place where they had been living. Then as they were on the road back to the land of Judah, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's house! May the LORD be kind to you as you were to the departed and to me! May the LORD grant each of you a husband and a home in which you will find rest." She kissed them good-bye, but they wept with loud sobs, and told her they would return with her to her people. "Go back, my daughters!" said Naomi. "Why should you come with me? Have I other sons in my womb who may become your husbands? Go back, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to marry again. And even if I could offer any hopes, or if tonight I had a husband or had borne sons, would you then wait and deprive yourselves of husbands until those sons grew up? No, my daughters! My lot is too bitter for you, because the LORD has extended his hand against me." Again they sobbed aloud and wept; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her. "See now!" she said, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!" But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! for wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Wherever you die I will die, and there be buried. May the LORD do so and so to me, and more besides, if aught but death separates me from you!" Naomi then ceased to urge her, for she saw she was determined to go with her. [RUTH 1:1-18]

Naomi had a prominent kinsman named Boaz, of the clan of her husband Elimelech. Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, "Let me go and glean ears of grain in the field of anyone who will allow me that favor." Naomi said to her, "Go, my daughter," and she went. The field she entered to glean after the harvesters happened to be the section belonging to Boaz of the clan of Elimelech. Boaz himself came from Bethlehem and said to the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!" and they replied, "The LORD bless you!" Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, "Whose girl is this?" The overseer of the harvesters answered, "She is the Moabite girl who returned from the plateau of Moab with Naomi. She asked leave to gather the gleanings into sheaves after the harvesters; and ever since she came this morning she has remained here until now, with scarcely a moment's rest." Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter! Do not go to glean in anyone else's field; you are not to leave here. Stay here with my women servants. Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow them; I have commanded the young men to do you no harm. When you are thirsty, you may go and drink from the vessels the young men have filled." Casting herself prostrate upon the ground, she said to him, "Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your notice?" Boaz answered her: "I have had a complete account of what you have done for your mother-in-law after your husband's death; you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know previously. May the LORD reward what you have done! May you receive a full reward from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge." [RUTH 2:1-12]

Boaz then said to the elders and to all the people, "You are witnesses today that I have acquired from Naomi all the holdings of Elimelech, Chilion and Mahlon. I also take Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, as my wife, in order to raise up a family for her late husband on his estate, so that the name of the departed may not perish among his kinsmen and fellow citizens. Do you witness this today?" All those at the gate, including the elders, said, "We do so. May the LORD make this wife come into your house like Rachel and Leah, who between them built up the house of Israel. May you do well in Ephrathah and win fame in Bethlehem. With the offspring the LORD will give you from this girl, may your house become like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah." [RUTH 4:9-12]

Her rival, to upset her, turned it into a constant reproach to her that the LORD had left her barren. This went on year after year; each time they made their pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the LORD, Peninnah would approach her, and Hannah would weep and refuse to eat. Her husband Elkanah used to ask her: "Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you refuse to eat? Why do you grieve? Am I not more to you than ten sons?" [1SAM 1:6-8]

As she remained long at prayer before the LORD, Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her, "How long will you make a drunken show of yourself? Sober up from your wine!" "It isn't that, my lord," Hannah answered. "I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD. Do not think your handmaid a ne'er-do-well; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery." Eli said, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." She replied, "Think kindly of your maidservant," and left. She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downcast. Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD, and then returned to their home in Ramah. When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the LORD remembered her. She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him. The next time her husband Elkanah was going up with the rest of his household to offer the customary sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vows, Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband, "Once the child is weaned, I will take him to appear before the LORD and to remain there forever; I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite." Her husband Elkanah answered her: "Do what you think best; wait until you have weaned him. Only, may the LORD bring your resolve to fulfillment!" And so she remained at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. [1SAM 1:12-23]

Meanwhile the boy Samuel, girt with a linen apron, was serving in the presence of the LORD. His mother used to make a little garment for him, which she would bring him each time she went up with her husband to offer the customary sacrifice. And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, as they were leaving for home. He would say, "May the LORD repay you with children from this woman for the gift she has made to the LORD!" The LORD favored Hannah so that she conceived and gave birth to three more sons and two daughters, while young Samuel grew up in the service of the LORD. [1SAM 2:18-21]

The man quickly came up to Eli and said, "It is I who have come from the battlefield; I fled from there today." He asked, "What happened, my son?" And the messenger answered: "Israel fled from the Philistines; in fact, the troops suffered heavy losses. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are among the dead, and the ark of God has been captured." At this mention of the ark of God, Eli fell backward from his chair into the gateway; since he was an old man and heavy, he died of a broken neck. He had judged Israel for forty years. His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child and at the point of giving birth. When she heard the news concerning the capture of the ark and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband, she was seized with the pangs of labor, and gave birth. She was about to die when the women standing around her said to her, "Never fear! You have given birth to a son." Yet she neither answered nor paid any attention. (She named the child Ichabod, saying, "Gone is the glory from Israel," with reference to the capture of the ark of God and to her father-in-law and her husband.) She said, "Gone is the glory from Israel," because the ark of God had been captured. [1SAM 4:16-22]

She then said to her servants, "Go on ahead; I will follow you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. As she came down through a mountain defile riding on an ass, David and his men were also coming down from the opposite direction. When she met them, David had just been saying: "Indeed, it was in vain that I guarded all this man's possessions in the desert, so that he missed nothing. He has repaid good with evil. May God do thus and so to David, if by morning I leave a single male alive among all those who belong to him." As soon as Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the ass and, falling prostrate on the ground before David, did him homage. As she fell at his feet she said: "My lord, let the blame be mine. Please let your handmaid speak to you, and listen to the words of your handmaid. Let not my lord pay attention to that worthless man Nabal, for he is just like his name. Fool is his name, and he acts the fool. I, your handmaid, did not see the young men whom my lord sent. Now, therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as you live, it is the LORD who has kept you from shedding blood and from avenging yourself personally. May your enemies and those who seek to harm my lord become as Nabal!" [Taken from 1SAM 25:19-26]

Ishbaal sent for her and took her away from her husband Paltiel, son of Laish, who followed her weeping as far as Bahurim. But Abner said to him, "Go back!" And he turned back. [2SAM 3:15-16]

When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband had died, she mourned her lord. But once the mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her into his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But the LORD was displeased with what David had done. [2SAM 11:26-27]

When Joab, son of Zeruiah, observed how the king felt toward Absalom, he sent to Tekoa and brought from there a gifted woman, to whom he said: "Pretend to be in mourning. Put on mourning apparel and do not anoint yourself with oil, that you may appear to be a woman who has been long in mourning for a departed one. Then go to the king and speak to him in this manner." And Joab instructed her what to say. So the woman of Tekoa went to the king and fell prostrate to the ground in homage, saying, "Help, your majesty!" The king said to her, "What do you want?" She replied: "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. Your servant had two sons, who quarreled in the field. There being no one to part them, one of them struck his brother and killed him. Then the whole clan confronted your servant and demanded: 'Give up the one who killed his brother. We must put him to death for the life of his brother whom he has slain; we must extinguish the heir also.' Thus they will quench my remaining hope and leave my husband neither name nor posterity upon the earth." The king then said to the woman: "Go home. I will issue a command on your behalf." The woman of Tekoa answered him, "Let me and my family be to blame, my lord king; you and your throne are innocent." Then the king said, "If anyone says a word to you, have him brought to me, and he shall not touch you again." But she went on to say, "Please, your majesty, keep in mind the LORD your God, that the avenger of blood may not go too far in destruction and that my son may not be done away with." He replied, "As the LORD lives, not a hair of your son shall fall to the ground." The woman continued, "Please let your servant say still another word to my lord the king." He replied, "Speak." So the woman said: "Why, then, do you think of this same kind of thing against the people of God? In pronouncing as he has, the king shows himself guilty, for not bringing back his own banished son. We must indeed die; we are then like water that is poured out on the ground and cannot be gathered up. Yet, though God does not bring back life, he does take thought how not to banish anyone from him." [2SAM 14:1-14]

Ahithophel went on to say to Absalom: "Please let me choose twelve thousand men, and be off in pursuit of David tonight. If I come upon him when he is weary and discouraged, I shall cause him panic. When all the people with him flee, I shall strike down the king alone. Then I can bring back the rest of the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband. It is the death of only one man you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace." This plan was agreeable to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. [2SAM 17:1-4]

A certain woman, the widow of one of the guild prophets, complained to Elisha: "My husband, your servant, is dead. You know that he was a God-fearing man, yet now his creditor has come to take my two children as his slaves." "How can I help you?" Elisha answered her. "Tell me what you have in the house." "This servant of yours has nothing in the house but a jug of oil," she replied. "Go out," he said, "borrow vessels from all your neighbors - as many empty vessels as you can. Then come back and close the door on yourself and your children; pour the oil into all the vessels, and as each is filled, set it aside." She went and did so, closing the door on herself and her children. As they handed her the vessels, she would pour in oil. When all the vessels were filled, she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." "There is none left," he answered her. And then the oil stopped. She went and told the man of God, who said, "Go and sell the oil to pay off your creditor; with what remains, you and your children can live." [2KGS 4:1-7]

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine. So she said to her husband, "I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there." Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight. Then he said to his servant Gehazi, "Call this Shunammite woman." He did so, and when she stood before Elisha, he told Gehazi, "Say to her, 'You have lavished all this care on us; what can we do for you? Can we say a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?'" She replied, "I am living among my own people." Later Elisha asked, "Can something be done for her?" "Yes!" Gehazi answered. "She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years." "Call her," said Elisha. When she had been called, and stood at the door, Elisha promised, "This time next year you will be fondling a baby son." "Please, my lord," she protested, "you are a man of God; do not deceive your servant." Yet the woman conceived, and by the same time the following year she had given birth to a son, as Elisha had promised. The day came when the child was old enough to go out to his father among the reapers. "My head hurts!" he complained to his father. "Carry him to his mother," the father said to a servant. The servant picked him up and carried him to his mother; he stayed with her until noon, when he died in her lap. The mother took him upstairs and laid him on the bed of the man of God. Closing the door on him, she went out... When Elisha reached the house, he found the boy lying dead. He went in, closed the door on them both, and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay upon the child on the bed, placing his mouth upon the child's mouth, his eyes upon the eyes, and his hands upon the hands. As Elisha stretched himself over the child, the body became warm. He arose, paced up and down the room, and then once more lay down upon the boy, who now sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. [Taken from 2KGS 4:8-21,32-35]

On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it so happened that Raguel's daughter Sarah also had to listen to abuse, from one of her father's maids. For she had been married to seven husbands, but the wicked demon Asmodeus killed them off before they could have intercourse with her, as it is prescribed for wives. So the maid said to her: "You are the one who strangles your husbands! Look at you! You have already been married seven times, but you have had no joy with any one of your husbands. Why do you beat us? Because your husbands are dead? Then why not join them! May we never see a son or daughter of yours!" That day she was deeply grieved in spirit. She went in tears to an upstairs room in her father's house with the intention of hanging herself. But she reconsidered, saying to herself: "No! People would level this insult against my father: 'You had only one beloved daughter, but she hanged herself because of ill fortune!' And thus would I cause my father in his old age to go down to the nether world laden with sorrow. It is far better for me not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to have me die, so that I need no longer live to hear such insults." At that time, then, she spread out her hands, and facing the window, poured out this prayer: "Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God! Forever blessed and honored is your holy name; may all your works forever bless you. And now, O Lord, to you I turn my face and raise my eyes. Bid me to depart from the earth, never again to hear such insults. You know, O Master, that I am innocent of any impure act with a man, And that I have never defiled my own name or my father's name in the land of my exile. I am my father's only daughter, and he has no other child to make his heir, Nor does he have a close kinsman or other relative whom I might bide my time to marry. I have already lost seven husbands; why then should I live any longer? But if it please you, Lord, not to slay me, look favorably upon me and have pity on me; never again let me hear these insults!" At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God. So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit's eyes, so that he might again see God's sunlight; and to marry Raguel's daughter Sarah to Tobit's son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her. [Taken from TOBIT 3:7-17]

Raphael said to the boy, "Brother Tobiah!" He answered, "Yes, what is it?" Raphael continued: "Tonight we must stay with Raguel, who is a relative of yours. He has a daughter named Sarah, but no other child. Since you are Sarah's closest relative, you before all other men have the right to marry her. Also, her father's estate is rightfully yours to inherit. Now the girl is sensible, courageous, and very beautiful; and her father loves her dearly." He continued: "Since you have the right to marry her, listen to me, brother. Tonight I will ask the girl's father to let us have her as your bride. When we return from Rages, we will hold the wedding feast for her. I know that Raguel cannot keep her from you or let her become engaged to another man; that would be a capital crime according to the decree in the Book of Moses, and he knows that it is your right, before all other men, to marry his daughter. So heed my words, brother; tonight we must speak for the girl, so that we may have her engaged to you. And when we return from Rages, we will take her and bring her back with us to your house." Tobiah objected, however: "Brother Azariah, I have heard that this woman has already been married seven times, and that her husbands died in their bridal chambers. On the very night they approached her, they dropped dead. And I have heard it said that it was a demon who killed them. So now I too am afraid of this demon. Because he loves her, he does not harm her; but he does slay any man who wishes to come close to her. I am my father's only child. If I should die, I would bring my father and mother down to their grave in sorrow over me. And they have no other son to bury them!" Raphael said to him: "Do you not remember your father's orders? He commanded you to marry a woman from your own family. So now listen to me, brother; do not give another thought to this demon, but marry Sarah. I know that tonight you shall have her for your wife!" [Taken from TOBIT 6:11-16]

Now in those days Judith, daughter of Merari, son of Joseph, son of Oziel, son of Elkiah, son of Ananias, son of Gideon, son of Raphain, son of Ahitob, son of Elijah, son of Hilkiah, son of Eliab, son of Nathanael, son of Salamiel, son of Sarasadai, son of Simeon, son of Israel, heard of this. Her husband, Manasseh, of her own tribe and clan, had died at the time of the barley harvest. While he was in the field supervising those who bound the sheaves, he suffered sunstroke; and he died of this illness in Bethulia, his native city. He was buried with his forefathers in the field between Dothan and Balamon. The widowed Judith remained three years and four months at home, where she set up a tent for herself on the roof of her house. She put sackcloth about her loins and wore widow's weeds. She fasted all the days of her widowhood, except sabbath eves and sabbaths, new moon eves and new moons, feast days and holidays of the house of Israel. She was beautifully formed and lovely to behold. Her husband, Manasseh, had left her gold and silver, servants and maids, livestock and fields, which she was maintaining. No one had a bad word to say about her, for she was a very God-fearing woman. [JDTH 8:1-8]

As soon as Judith had thus concluded, and ceased her invocation to the God of Israel, she rose from the ground. She called her maid and they went down into the house, which she used only on sabbaths and feast days. She took off the sackcloth she had on, laid aside the garments of her widowhood, washed her body with water, and anointed it with rich ointment. She arranged her hair and bound it with a fillet, and put on the festive attire she had worn while her husband, Manasseh, was living. She chose sandals for her feet, and put on her anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings, and all her other jewelry. Thus she made herself very beautiful, to captivate the eyes of all the men who should see her. [JDTH 10:1-4]

When those days were over, each one returned to his inheritance. Judith went back to Bethulia and remained on her estate. For the rest of her life she was renowned throughout the land. Many wished to marry her, but she gave herself to no man all the days of her life from the time of the death and burial of her husband, Manasseh. She lived to be very old in the house of her husband, reaching the advanced age of a hundred and five. She died in Bethulia, where they buried her in the tomb of her husband, Manasseh; and the house of Israel mourned her for seven days. Before she died, she distributed her goods to the relatives of her husband, Manasseh, and to her own relatives; and to the maid she gave her freedom. During the life of Judith and for a long time after her death, no one again disturbed the Israelites. [JDTH 16:21-25] 

On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he instructed Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti into his presence wearing the royal crown, that he might display her beauty to the populace and the officials, for she was lovely to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the royal order issued through the eunuchs. At this the king's wrath flared up, and he burned with fury. He conferred with the wise men versed in the law, because the king's business was conducted in general consultation with lawyers and jurists. He summoned Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, the seven Persian and Median officials who were in the king's personal service and held first rank in the realm, and asked them, "What is to be done by law with Queen Vashti for disobeying the order of King Ahasuerus issued through the eunuchs?" In the presence of the king and of the officials, Memucan answered: "Queen Vashti has not wronged the king alone, but all the officials and the populace throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For the queen's conduct will become known to all the women, and they will look with disdain upon their husbands when it is reported, 'King Ahasuerus commanded that Queen Vashti be ushered into his presence, but she would not come.' This very day the Persian and Median ladies who hear of the queen's conduct will rebel against all the royal officials, with corresponding disdain and rancor. If it please the king, let an irrevocable royal decree be issued by him and inscribed among the laws of the Persians and Medes, forbidding Vashti to come into the presence of King Ahasuerus and authorizing the king to give her royal dignity to one more worthy than she. Thus, when the decree which the king will issue is published throughout his realm, vast as it is, all wives will honor their husbands, from the greatest to the least." This proposal found acceptance with the king and the officials, and the king acted on the advice of Memucan. He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, to the effect that every man should be lord in his own home. [ESTH 1:10-22]

Observe, my son, your father's bidding, and reject not your mother's teaching; Keep them fastened over your heart always, put them around your neck; For the bidding is a lamp, and the teaching a light, and a way to life are the reproofs of discipline; To keep you from your neighbor's wife, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Lust not in your heart after her beauty, let her not captivate you with her glance! For the price of a loose woman may be scarcely a loaf of bread, But if she is married, she is a trap for your precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his garments not burned? Or can a man walk on live coals, and his feet not be scorched? So with him who goes in to his neighbor's wife - none who touches her shall go unpunished. Men despise not the thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry; Yet if he be caught he must pay back sevenfold; all the wealth of his house he may yield up. But he who commits adultery is a fool; he who would destroy himself does it. A degrading beating will he get, and his disgrace will not be wiped away; For vindictive is the husband's wrath, he will have no pity on the day of vengeance; He will not consider any restitution, nor be satisfied with the greatest gifts. [PROV 6:20-35]

A worthy wife is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful one is like rot in his bones. [PROV 12:4]

When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household. She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms. She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed. She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land. She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel. She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness. Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her: "Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates. [PROV 31:10-31]

My son, rob not the poor man of his livelihood; force not the eyes of the needy to turn away. A hungry man grieve not, a needy man anger not; Do not exasperate the downtrodden; delay not to give to the needy. A beggar in distress do not reject; avert not your face from the poor. From the needy turn not your eyes, give no man reason to curse you; For if in the bitterness of his soul he curse you, his Creator will hear his prayer. Endear yourself to the assembly; before a ruler bow your head. Give a hearing to the poor man, and return his greeting with courtesy; Deliver the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor; let not justice be repugnant to you. To the fatherless be as a father, and help their mother as a husband would; Thus will you be like a son to the Most High, and he will be more tender to you than a mother. [SIRACH 4:1-10]

A thoughtful daughter becomes a treasure to her husband, a shameless one is her father's grief. [SIRACH 22:4]

A hussy shames her father and her husband; by both she is despised. [SIRACH 22:5]

Two types of men multiply sins, a third draws down wrath; For burning passion is a blazing fire, not to be quenched till it burns itself out: A man given to sins of the flesh, who never stops until the fire breaks forth; The rake to whom all bread is sweet and who is never through till he dies; And the man who dishonors his marriage bed and says to himself "Who can see me? Darkness surrounds me, walls hide me; no one sees me; why should I fear to sin?" Of the Most High he is not mindful, fearing only the eyes of men; He does not understand that the eyes of the LORD, ten thousand times brighter than the sun, Observe every step a man takes and peer into hidden corners. He who knows all things before they exist still knows them all after they are made. Such a man will be punished in the streets of the city; when he least expects it, he will be apprehended. So also with the woman who is unfaithful to her husband and offers as heir her son by a stranger. First, she has disobeyed the law of the Most High; secondly, she has wronged her husband; Thirdly, in her wanton adultery she has borne children by another man. Such a woman will be dragged before the assembly, and her punishment will extend to her children; Her children will not take root; her branches will not bring forth fruit. She will leave an accursed memory; her disgrace will never be blotted out. Thus all who dwell on the earth shall know, and all who inhabit the world shall understand, That nothing is better than the fear of the LORD, nothing more salutary than to obey his commandments. [SIRACH 23:16-27]

With three things I am delighted, for they are pleasing to the LORD and to men: Harmony among brethren, friendship among neighbors, and the mutual love of husband and wife. [SIRACH 25:1]

Worst of all wounds is that of the heart, worst of all evils is that of a woman. Worst of all sufferings is that from one's foes, worst of all vengeance is that of one's enemies: No poison worse than that of a serpent, no venom greater than that of a woman. With a dragon or a lion I would rather dwell than live with an evil woman. Wickedness changes a woman's looks, and makes her sullen as a female bear. When her husband sits among his neighbors, a bitter sigh escapes him unawares. There is scarce any evil like that in a woman; may she fall to the lot of the sinner! Like a sandy hill to aged feet is a railing wife to a quiet man. Stumble not through woman's beauty, nor be greedy for her wealth; The man is a slave, in disgrace and shame, when a wife supports her husband. Depressed mind, saddened face, broken heart - this from an evil wife. Feeble hands and quaking knees - from a wife who brings no happiness to her husband. In woman was sin's beginning, and because of her we all die. Allow water no outlet, and be not indulgent to an erring wife. [Taken from SIRACH 25:12-24]

Happy the husband of a good wife, twice-lengthened are his days; A worthy wife brings joy to her husband, peaceful and full is his life. A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the LORD; Be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile is ever on his face. [SIRACH 26:1-4]

A bad wife is a chafing yoke; he who marries her seizes a scorpion. A drunken wife arouses great anger, for she does not hide her shame. By her eyelids and her haughty stare an unchaste wife can be recognized. Keep a strict watch over an unruly wife, lest, finding an opportunity, she make use of it; Follow close if her eyes are bold, and be not surprised if she betrays you: As a thirsty traveler with eager mouth drinks from any water that he finds, So she settles down before every tent peg and opens her quiver for every arrow. A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones; A gift from the LORD is her governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth. Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person. Like the sun rising in the LORD'S heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home. [Taken from SIRACH 26:7-16]

Though any man may be accepted as a husband, yet one girl will be more suitable than another: A woman's beauty makes her husband's face light up, for it surpasses all else that charms the eye; And if, besides, her speech is kindly, his lot is beyond that of mortal men. A wife is her husband's richest treasure, a helpmate, a steadying column. A vineyard with no hedge will be overrun; a man with no wife becomes a homeless wanderer. Who will trust an armed band that shifts from city to city? Or a man who has no nest, but lodges where night overtakes him? [SIRACH 36:21-27]

A daughter is a treasure that keeps her father wakeful, and worry over her drives away rest: Lest she pass her prime unmarried, or when she is married, lest she be disliked; While unmarried, lest she be seduced, or, as a wife, lest she prove unfaithful; Lest she conceive in her father's home, or be sterile in that of her husband. Keep a close watch on your daughter, lest she make you the sport of your enemies, A byword in the city, a reproach among the people, an object of derision in public gatherings. See that there is no lattice in her room, no place that overlooks the approaches to the house. Let her not parade her charms before men, or spend her time with married women; For just as moths come from garments, so harm to women comes from women: Better a man's harshness than a woman's indulgence, and a frightened daughter than any disgrace. [SIRACH 42:9-14]

Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor, For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a husband, says the LORD. Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes. For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left; Your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall people the desolate cities. Fear not, you shall not be put to shame; you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced. The shame of your youth you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember. For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the LORD of hosts; Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth. The LORD calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, A wife married in youth and then cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back. [ISA 54:1-7]

If a man sends away his wife and, after leaving him, she marries another man, Does the first husband come back to her? Would not the land be wholly defiled? But you have sinned with many lovers, and yet you would return to me! says the LORD. [JER 3:1]

To whom shall I speak? whom shall I warn, and be heard? See! their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot give heed; See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, which they will not have. Therefore my wrath brims up within me, I am weary of holding it in; I will pour it out upon the child in the street, upon the young men gathered together. Yes, all will be taken, husband and wife, graybeard with ancient. Their houses will fall to strangers, their fields and their wives as well; For I will stretch forth my hand against those who dwell in this land, says the LORD. [JER 6:10-12]

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses to dwell in; plant gardens, and eat their fruits. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters. There you must increase in number, not decrease. Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you; pray for it to the LORD, for upon its welfare depends your own. [JER 29:4-7]

"And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out libations to her, was it without our husbands' consent that we baked for her cakes in her image and poured out libations to her?" [JER 44:19]

How wild your lust! says the Lord GOD, that you did all these things, acting like a shameless prostitute, building your platform at every street corner and erecting your dais in every public place! Yet you were unlike a prostitute, since you disdained payment. The adulterous wife receives, instead of her husband, payment. All harlots receive gifts. But you rather bestowed your gifts on all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from all sides for your harlotry. Thus in your harlotry you were different from all other women. No one sought you out for prostitution. Since you gave payment instead of receiving it, how different you were! Therefore, harlot, hear the word of the LORD! [EZEK 16:30-35]

Because you did not remember what happened when you were a girl, but enraged me with all these things, therefore in return I am bringing down your conduct upon your head, says the Lord GOD. For did you not add lewdness to the rest of your abominable deeds? See, everyone who is fond of proverbs will say of you, 'Like mother, like daughter.' Yes, you are the true daughter of the mother who spurned her husband and children, and you are a true sister to those who spurned their husbands and children - your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. Your elder sister was Samaria with her daughters, living to the north of you; and your younger sister, living to the south of you, was Sodom with her daughters. Yet not only in their ways did you walk, and act as abominably as they did; in a very short time you became more corrupt in all your ways than they. [EZEK 16:43-47]

After some years they shall become allies: the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north in the interest of peace. But her bid for power shall fail: and her line shall not be recognized, and she shall be given up, together with those who brought her, her son and her husband. But later a descendant of her line shall succeed to his rank, and shall come against the rampart and enter the stronghold of the king of the north, and conquer them. [Taken from DAN 11:6-7]

Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, as did Joakim her husband and all her relatives, because she was found innocent of any shameful deed. And from that day onward Daniel was greatly esteemed by the people. [Taken from DAN 13:63-64]

Protest against your mother, protest! for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove her harlotry from before her, her adultery from between her breasts, Or I will strip her naked, leaving her as on the day of her birth; I will make her like the desert, reduce her to an arid land, and slay her with thirst. I will have no pity on her children, for they are the children of harlotry. Yes, their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has acted shamefully. "I will go after my lovers," she said, "who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink." Since she has not known that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, And her abundance of silver, and of gold, which they used for Baal, Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season; I will snatch away my wool and my flax, with which she covers her nakedness. So now I will lay bare her shame before the eyes of her lovers, and no one can deliver her out of my hand. I will bring an end to all her joy, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her solemnities. I will lay waste her vines and fig trees, of which she said, "These are the hire my lovers have given me"; I will turn them into rank growth and wild beasts shall devour them. I will punish her for the days of the Baals, for whom she burnt incense While she decked herself out with her rings and her jewels, and, in going after her lovers, forgot me, says the LORD. Therefore, I will hedge in her way with thorns and erect a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. If she runs after her lovers, she shall not overtake them; if she looks for them she shall not find them. Then she shall say, "I will go back to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now." So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. From there I will give her the vineyards she had, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. On that day, says the LORD, She shall call me "My husband," and never again "My baal." Then will I remove from her mouth the names of the Baals, so that they shall no longer be invoked. I will make a covenant for them on that day, with the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, and with the things that crawl on the ground. Bow and sword and war I will destroy from the land, and I will let them take their rest in security. I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD. [HOSEA 2:4-22] 

Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations. [Taken from MT 1:15-17] 

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. [MT 1:18-24]

The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him. He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?" They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her." But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate." In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." [MK 10:2-12]

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. [LK 2:36-38]

"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." [LK 16:18]

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (The woman) said to him, "Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back." The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband." Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.' For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true." The woman said to him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking with you." [JN 4:7-26]

A man named Ananias, however, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. He retained for himself, with his wife's knowledge, some of the purchase price, took the remainder, and put it at the feet of the apostles. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? And when it was sold, was it not still under your control? Why did you contrive this deed? You have lied not to human beings, but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last, and great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. Peter said to her, "Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount?" She answered, "Yes, for that amount." Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen, the footsteps of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." At once, she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men entered they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. [ACTS 5:1-11]

Are you unaware, brothers (for I am speaking to people who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over one as long as one lives? Thus a married woman is bound by law to her living husband; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law in respect to her husband. Consequently, while her husband is alive she will be called an adulteress if she consorts with another man. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and she is not an adulteress if she consorts with another man. In the same way, my brothers, you also were put to death to the law through the body of Christ, so that you might belong to another, to the one who was raised from the dead in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the flesh, our sinful passions, awakened by the law, worked in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, dead to what held us captive, so that we may serve in the newness of the spirit and not under the obsolete letter. [ROM 7:1-6]

This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For this is the wording of the promise, "About this time I shall return and Sarah will have a son." And not only that, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one husband, our father Isaac - before they had yet been born or had done anything, good or bad, in order that God's elective plan might continue, not by works but by his call - she was told, "The older shall serve the younger." As it is written: "I loved Jacob but hated Esau." [ROM 9:8-13]

Now in regard to the matters about which you wrote: "It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman," but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. This I say by way of concession, however, not as a command. Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord): a wife should not separate from her husband - and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband - and a husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to go on living with him, he should not divorce her; and if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to go on living with her, she should not divorce her husband. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy. If the unbeliever separates, however, let him separate. The brother or sister is not bound in such cases; God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband; or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? [1COR 7:1-16]

Now in regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that. I tell you, brothers, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away. I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction. If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if a critical moment has come and so it has to be, let him do as he wishes. He is committing no sin; let them get married. The one who stands firm in his resolve, however, who is not under compulsion but has power over his own will, and has made up his mind to keep his virgin, will be doing well. So then, the one who marries his virgin does well; the one who does not marry her will do better. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whomever she wishes, provided that it be in the Lord. She is more blessed, though, in my opinion, if she remains as she is, and I think that I too have the Spirit of God. [1COR 7:25-40]

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ. [1COR 11:3]

Indeed, the spirits of prophets are under the prophets' control, since he is not the God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God go forth from you? Or has it come to you alone? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or a spiritual person, he should recognize that what I am writing to you is a commandment of the Lord. If anyone does not acknowledge this, he is not acknowledged. So, (my) brothers, strive eagerly to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues, but everything must be done properly and in order. [1COR 14:32-40]

If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me! Please put up with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere (and pure) commitment to Christ. For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough. [2COR 11:1-4]

Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. Hagar represents Sinai, a mountain in Arabia; it corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. For it is written: "Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children; break forth and shout, you who were not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the deserted one than of her who has a husband." Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of the promise. But just as then the child of the flesh persecuted the child of the spirit, it is the same now. But what does the scripture say? "Drive out the slave woman and her son! For the son of the slave woman shall not share the inheritance with the son" of the freeborn. Therefore, brothers, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman. [GAL 4:21-31]

Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband. [EPH 5:22-33]

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged. [COL 3:18-21]

As for yourself, you must say what is consistent with sound doctrine, namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance. Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves, showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us. [Taken from TI 2:1-8]

Likewise, you wives should be subordinate to your husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives' conduct when they observe your reverent and chaste behavior. Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God. For this is also how the holy women who hoped in God once used to adorn themselves and were subordinate to their husbands; thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him "lord." You are her children when you do what is good and fear no intimidation. Likewise, you husbands should live with your wives in understanding, showing honor to the weaker female sex, since we are joint heirs of the gift of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. [1PT 3:1-7]

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." [RV 21:1-4]

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