For the first year of marriage, a Jewish man was required to stay home. On a full-time basis, he was to learn how to give joy to his wife. It was a year-long sexual apprenticeship whose goal was his wife’s fulfillment.
Deuteronomy 24:5. When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, neither shall he be assigned any business. He shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken.
When a man takes a new wife. This couple is newly married.
In ancient days, Jewish society placed big safeguards around a recent marriage. The marital relationship between the man and the woman was a very high priority, both to the LORD God and to society.
he shall not go out in the army. The new husband must not be drafted into the army.
The LORD God forbade society from drafting a recently-married man into the army. He was totally exempt.
Even though his nation might need him in the military, his new marital relationship with his wife was of much higher priority … in the opinion of his nation … and the LORD God.
neither shall he be assigned any business. Nobody is allowed to give the new husband any official responsibilities.
In lieu of military service, his society could not assign him to some other duty orresponsibility. No, he was exempt from everything. Where would he go?
He shall be free at home one year. This newly-married man must spend a whole year at home.
He was forbidden to have a job. And they were not to travel or to go away on vacation. He was to stay put.
With everything else in life exempted, what was he to do for this year?
shall cheer his wife whom he has taken. He is to bring happiness to his wife.
For a whole year, the man’s only focus is this: to bring “joy” to his wife.
What does that mean?
happiness. The Hebrew word is וְשִׂמַּ֖ח (“samach”). It means rejoice, be glad.
Many translations render the Hebrew word /u·shmch/ as “happiness.” But the more accurate rendering is “joy.”
This verse is not talking about her “happiness.” Its about her “joy” or her “rejoicing.”
Bringing his wife to the fullness of “joy” is her husband’s full-time job … for a whole year.
For one whole year, he’s to bring joy to his wife.
It doesn’t say he is to bring joy to himself. Nor does it mention her being obliged to give him “joy.”
We believe this is speaking of a sexual apprenticeship between the married couple. For a year, he is to learn to give her sexual joy. He’s to learn to bring her to orgasm.
We see this as a man’s “apprenticeship” in giving his wife sexual joy.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.