The purpose of this paper is to enhance the sex ethics of the Korean church and regard sex crimes as serious through a study on the text of Deuteronomy 22:13-29. As a research method, first, through a close reading of the text its content is perceived and in light of the social and cultural background of the time its interpretation is done. Second, the basis and problems of the covenant-theological interpretation of this text are pointed out. Third, based on the results of this study, suggestions for their practical application to today’s church are made.
In chapter 1, the purpose and method of this study was presented. In chapter 2, through the study of Deuteronomy 22:13-29 some insights were found. First, women’s sex was strictly controlled by men. Second, the virginity of women was considered important in terms of father’s authority and economy. Third, marriage was a kind of transaction, and female virginity was the most important transaction item. Fourth, sexual intercourse with a married or engaged woman is an infringement of her husband’s rights. Fifth, women’s extramarital sex was considered an evil to be eliminated from the community. Sixth, in the case of men, sexual intercourse with a virgin was not considered a crime, whether it was a consensual sex or a sexual assault. Seventh, male sex was not subject to control.
What was found from this study is that Deuteronomy considerably reflects the culture and system of the patriarchal society in ancient Near East, which does not independently recognize women’s personality and sex but thinks they are subordinate to men. In chapter 3, the Book of Hosea and Malachi 2:10-15 are suggested as the basis for the covenant-theological interpretation of Deuteronomy 22:13-29. And it was pointed out that the limitations of the covenant-theological interpretation are to connect all women’s sex to the covenant, and that only the chastity of women. In chapter 4, three suggestions for modern application are made. First, the differences of the status and independence between women in the Old Testament times and modern times are to be acknowledged. Second, the equality and exclusivity between the husband and the wife in a marriage relationship need to be recognized. Third, the violation of women’s right of sexual self-determination should be viewed as a serious crime.