About This Project

Does the Bible condone sex trafficking?
“This can’t really be in the Bible!”
Have you ever read a verse and then said that to yourself?
Do you sometimes have a hard time interpreting passages of Scripture through today’s lens?

It can be hard to read the Bible:
For one, it’s long. There are 66 books and thousands of pages.
Two, it’s old. It’s most recent parts were written almost 1900 years ago.
And three, it’s got some crazy statements, like today’s topic: “What do you do when you want to take a captive woman home with you whose husband you just killed?”

We are going to deep dive into a Text that you are going to say, “I can’t believe that’s in the Bible!”

I assure you, The Law of Captive Woman is in the Bible for a reason! We’ll examine it and explain how it applied then, what it means now, and the tremendous BLESSING GOD HAS IN STORE FOR US today. Get your Bibles out and let’s dive in to The Difficult Sayings of Torah Part 1: Deuteronomy 21: 10-14.



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Start [0:00]
▶ Does the Bible Condone Sex Trafficking? [2:50]
▶ Difficult Sayings of the Torah in the Bible Part 1 explained [4:00]
▶ The Atheist’s Angle on The Law of Captive Woman [5:38]
▶ Pastor explains The Law of the Captive Woman in the Torah Deuteronomy 21 10-14 In the Bible [10:30]
▶ The Skeptic’s Reading of the Law of the Captive Woman [12:30]
▶ The Temptation to interpret The Law of the Captive Woman [13:38]
▶ Historical Context of the Law of the Captive Woman [19:19]
▶ Biblical Context of the Law of the Captive Woman [30:14]
▶ Gospel Context of the Law of the Captive Woman [52:23]



“The Law of the Captive Woman” Deuteronomy 5:21 (ESV) “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.”


Scriptures Studied: Deuteronomy 21:10-14; Jeremiah 31; Ezekiel 36; Matthew 19:3-7; Matthew 19:8; Ephesians 4:28; Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 2:14; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 4:4-8; Ephesians 2:1-7; Acts 9:15-16; Romans 8:37-39



The Atheist’s Angle:

(The Old Testament contains) “a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for
slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human animals.” – Christopher Hitchens, “God is Not Great, Chapter 7.


The Skeptic’s Reading:

God is giving permission for Israelites to take women from other nations to be their sex slaves and when they grow tired of her they can just cut ties with her with impunity.

Difficult Sayings:
1. The Bible is not written TO you.
2. The Bible is 3500 years old.
3. Hard sayings invite us to lean in.
4. Hard sayings reveal God’s heart for the helpless.
5. REMEMBER: Torah PROTECT the community from the individual


The Temptation:
‣ Judge this text based on my context.
‣ Question the validity of other passages (even leading to questioning essential tenants of Christian faith).
‣ In effect, I stand in judgment over an ancient text based on my limited experience and contextual frame of reference.


Three Interpretive Paths:
A roadmap to studying other parts of Torah.
1. Historical Context with Contemporary Comparison.
2. Biblical Context.
3. Gospel in Context.



  • When we journey back over the millennia into the ancient Near East, we enter a world that is foreign to us in many ways. Life in the ancient Near East wouldn’t just be alien to us—with all of its strange ways and assumptions. We would also see a culture whose social structures were badly damaged by the fall. Within this context, God raised up a covenant nation and gave the people laws to live by; he helped to create a culture for them. In doing so, he adapted his ideals to a people whose attitudes and actions were influenced by deeply flawed structures. As we’ll see with regard to servitude, punishments, and other structures, a range of regulations and statutes in Israel reveals a God who accommodates. Yet contrary to the common Neo-atheists’ caricatures, these laws weren’t the permanent, divine ideal for all persons everywhere. God informed his people that a new, enduring covenant would be necessary (Jer. 31; Ezek. 36).

By the Old Testament’s own admission, the Mosaic law was inferior and future looking. – Copan, Paul. “Is God a Moral Monster?”

  • In the Law God Meets Humanity Half-Way.
  • Jesus is teaching the true manner of reading the Law. The Law is not an all-time guide for all people but a “less than desirable” standard for a hard-hearted people.


What did other cultures do in this context?

  • “Throughout the ancient Mediterranean world, captive women of vanquished peoples were assumed to be the due sexual prerogative of the victors (compare Briseus at the beginning of the Iliad). This law exceptionally seeks to provide for the human rights of the [non-Israelite!] woman who falls into this predicament.” – Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible.



  • Where are we in the Torah? Israel is on the verge of the promised land.
  • Deuteronomy chapter 20-21 – laws concerning warfare
    – Do not fear the enemy (vv. 1–4).
    – Exemptions for those who just built a house, planted a vineyard, got married
    – Exemptions for those who fear battle (20:5–9)
    – What to do with cities outside the land (20:10–15)
    – What to do with cities inside the land (20:16–18)
    – A prohibition to cut down fruit trees during a siege (20:16–18).


Key Terms (working outline)
– Warfare – a time of bloodshed and hostility.
– Power – who is given the power over another?
– Authority – what is allowed in the authority structures created by war?
– Where are the limitations on both power and authority in ancient holy war?

Warfare – a time of bloodshed and hostility.
– God works within world history as it is.
– Suffering from war is inevitable due to sin.
– God’s people are LIMITED in this activity.

– The Woman captured is NOT to be enslaved.
– She is to be taken as a WIFE (responsibility).
– She cannot be mistreated if he divorces her.

– God’s law applies first to human AUTHORITY
(even as Israel conquers her enemies!).
– Authority is not AUTONOMY.
– AUTHORITY is held to a higher standard than those NOT in authority




  • Jesus is the conquering warrior.
  • Jesus is the captive taker.
  • Jesus is the identity changer.
  • Jesus is the heart transformer.
  • Jesus is the Faithful Lord of Our New Identity/Family/Nation


The Beauty of our Salvation:

Though Satan held us in his grip of sin and shame, enslaving us for the purposes of dehumanization, God, in mercy, sent Jesus to defeat our former lord (Lucifer). He finds us and loves us. He changes our clothing, draping us in His righteousness and assigns our new identity. We are now joined to Him in holy union, letting go of our past and embracing a future of beauty and blessing.



👍 👍 👍 Pastor Recommends 👏 👏 👏

• Book: Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0801072758
• The Last Days: Revelation Study https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQFc6Gn3VQD_6GM1dfOtrhj6eAeV9iqV7
• The Trojan Horse of TikTok: https://youtube.com/live/K3ou38hMZdI




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Season 7, Deep Dive Bible Study
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