Obscure Bible Verses: Deuteronomy 25.11-12

Deuteronomy 25.11-12 When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand.  Your eye shall have no pity.

In reading the over 600 laws in the Old Testament, one will come across some gems like this.   You have to wonder why God would have made such a law.  I’m sure that, in an effort to spiritualize something that is just stinking hilarious, theologians have concocted just as many creative interpretations as they have for Zipporah and the bloody foreskin (Ex 4.25).  One thing that always makes me laugh is knowing that God saw something like this coming and made a law to prevent it.

There must be something for us to learn from this obscure passage, so here is my two cents worth.  First of all, I’m not sure who is more embarrassed in this scenario–the man who gets a cup check from this guys bride or the husband of the bride.  It’s like walking in on a guy in a bathroom stall going #2 without a door–who is more uncomfortable?

On the other hand, there is something to learn here about women “rescuing” their men.  There are actually two problems.  One, a manly man shouldn’t need rescuing from his bride.  Maybe he shouldn’t have been in a fight in the first place.  Regardless, if you’re  man and you pick a fight, you better be able to finish it.  Obviously, I am speaking figuratively but the same goes for literal fights as well.  Fists, words, or whatever, a man can defend or attack with.   The more common problem I see is women who wrongly think they need to defend their man.  Like a mama bear defending her cubs, if her man is in a confrontation, she suddenly takes it upon herself to “rescue him”–even if he didn’t ask her to (and hopefully he didn’t).  Of course, a lot of time, he is more comfortable with his jewels riding around in her purse anyway so maybe he stopped fighting a long time ago.

She defends him and often times, his sinfulness.  Instead of praying, encouraging, or otherwise gently rebuking him in his sin, she justifies it to everyone.  She speaks for him everywhere all the time–and he lets her.   She speaks in public; when together she serves as his interpreter in conversation; and in cyberspace, she acts as his voice through texting, facebook, and email.  Privately she makes all the decision.  Instead of allowing him to take responsibility, she  mothers him.

Now of course, the root cause is that man failing to lead–this is sin that needs to be confessed and repented of.  It does not justify her behavior, only explains why it is happening.  The man has created a void by abdicating his leadership position.  Men fail to speak.  They fail to fight when they are supposed to and defend when they should.  They act like another kid to be parented, rather than the loving pastor of the home to be respected and followed.

And when men fail to lead, invariably, women end up crushing other men’s testicles, and their brides struggle to balance their two God-given roles because they now only have one hand.


Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

3 thoughts on “Obscure Bible Verses: Deuteronomy 25.11-12”

  1. so what happens if one of the men grab the others’ testicles?

    your rationalisation is ridiculous, if i was attacked by another man i would welcome all the help i could get, including my wife’s, we are a team after all. if it was a pre-arranged “fight” with rules etc ANYBODY assisting the other should be prevented or punished in this case, not just women or wives.

    there is no honour in street fighting

    the training i’ve received instructs to run away at the first opportunity (for good reason), if that cannot be achieved a good handful of testicles might work (although it it limits your ability to punch by one hand). usually a swift kick to the region is also quite difficult (against most popular belief), a lifted leg, by a very small fraction will block such an attack.

    this passage just underlines the abhorrent perspective applied to women at the time(s) the bible was written. agriculture rendered women property, the bible documented this nicely.


  2. hahahahah what a bunch of balony. That is right in line with the absolute absurdness of the whole Jaywey bullsh.. storyline the bible and every religious offspring it ever spawned.


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