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Two Terms Used For Marriage Regarding Gentiles

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Daily Study of the Noahide Code of Laws

The Divine Code for January 15, 2023

Today: Pages 414 - 415

Topic Chapter 3:2 - 3:3

There are two terms used for marriage regarding Gentiles:

(a) a ''woman who has had relations with a husband'' (b'ulat baal) is a ''fully married woman,'' with whom adultery is a capital sin;

and (b) a ''betrothed woman'' (me'orasah), with whom it is forbidden for another man to have relations, but it is not a capital sin. The betrothed woman has not established a marriage bond and is not considered married within the Torah Law for Gentiles; the couple only agreed to become married in the future, and perhaps made some formal commitment. Still, her betrothal makes het prohibited to have relations with other men, since such an act would be akin to stealing.

Even if a woman cohabited with het husband to be before they participated in a wedding ceremony (e.g., before they entered their wedding canopy), if those relations were not for the purpose of consummating marriage, but were done only in a provisional promiscuous way, the woman is not called a b'ulat baal (one who has been wedded through marital relations), and liability for adultery has not taken effect upon her.

Reading schedule of the Divine Code

Yesterday's Study Topic: 3:1

Tomorrow's Study Topic: 3:4 - 3:5

Curious about the whole page? You can read it in The Divine Code.


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.

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