Biblical Principle #287: Law of Moses Forbid Sex During Menstruation

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In the Law of Moses, God forbid sex with an Israelite wife during her menstruation period because it uncovered her shame.


We have previously established that the Law of Moses declared a woman on her menstrual cycle ceremonially unclean. The woman was required to offer a specific sacrifice to atone for her uncleanness and reenter the congregation of GOD’s people, Israel.

Because the woman was “unclean,” GOD forbid sexual intercourse during menstruation under the Law of Moses:

19 And because of her uncleanness you will not approach a woman during menstrual discharge to uncover her shame.

Leviticus 18:19 LES2

Recall that we have previously established that “shame” is the sense of embarrassment induced by awareness of nakedness.

The penalty for violating this command was removal from Israel:

18 If a man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and uncovers her nakedness, he has exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both shall be utterly destroyed from among their people.

Leviticus 20:18 OSB

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