Is this incest or not?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Palmer, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Palmer

    Palmer
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    Please ponder this situation for me. It is not hypothetical.

    A married couple has 2 sons. The husband dies when the oldest son is 4 years old and the other son is one year old. Soon afterward, the widow and the son of the brother of her late husband (nephew) become a couple/date/live together.

    I believe that this is incest and absolutely horrible for her sons. Besides my sense of right and wrong, I have used Leviticus 18.14 to confirm that this is wrong and incestuous.

    I am being told that I am wrong about this. I have been told that because the husband has passed away, there is no reason, legal or moral, that she should not be allowed to date him or to marry him.

    Am I wrong on this? Is this incest? Why?/Why not?

    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    When I read this in the context of the first part of Leviticus 18, I am understanding that it is referencing a man approaching his living uncle's wife.

    The reason that I say this is because elsewhere in the law, it was not only acceptable, but commanded that in certain instances that a widow marry her dead husband's brother.

    So, if a widow marrying her dead husband's brother was lawful and sometimes commanded, then marrying her dead husband's brother's son could not be considered incestuous.

    But frankly, the whole point is moot because they are living together unmarried. To me, that's the bigger issue - fornication, not incest. Jesus made a distinction between marriage and living together in John 4. Also, it sounds as if this relationship is stressing some people. This couple shouldn't be so selfish.





     
  3. abcgrad94

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    It is not incest, nor is it morally or sinfully wrong, except that they are living in fornication. Scarlet said it well.
     
  4. annsni

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    I agree with the others. Incest would be involving blood - or what would be a blood relation. Now if it were HER brother's son, then yes, it would be incestual.
     
  5. mont974x4

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    Agreed. It is not incest. Also, I would be more careful about how Leviticus is applied in a post-Cross NT Church context. Using that to claim someone is wrong opens you up to all sorts of legalism and crazy applications of those verses.
     
  6. Aaron

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    Yes, you are right. Marriage to near of kin, whether the relation is by blood or by law, is forbidden.
     
  7. Benjamin

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    On a side note: I understand the Samaritans had similar laws as the Jews regarding adultery as well as being keenly fond on divorce. The woman at the well had probably been divorced 5 times; I suspect she was likely a brawler and quarreler and because of that her marriages didn’t last and now she was engaged or contracted to get married again because she “still thirsts” for that permanent relationship, hence Jesus dealt with her argumentative nature while relating to an everlasting relationship of life. Anyway…just noting that I doubt she was living with perspective #6 and therefore don’t think that any distinction was being made or can be drawn out from the context of John 4 in regards between marriage and living together.

    To the Op, I don’t understand why this (concern of incest?) would be “absolutely horrible” for her 4 and 1 year old? I think the only way this situation, for children that young, would be problematic is if other adults meddled to the point of bringing about conflicts that involved them. And no, I do not think it is incest, and yes, “if” they are living together without being married and subjecting those boys to that therein would be my concern for the boy’s situation.
     
  8. saturneptune

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    I remember there was a similar question that came up here several years ago. A mother with one child had been divorced, and she remarried when the child was about two or three. Her new husband adopted the child, even to the extent of having the birth certificate changed, which I think is wonderful.

    Anyway, with that background, once the child was a young adult, would it have been wrong for him to marry what in essence is his first cousin on the adopted dad's side (the dads brothers daughter). Both young people had the same last name, and there was no blood relation. I believe the law allowed it, but the relationship never took place for many reasons. The point is that even though legal, when the dad adopted the child, it became a legal contract, and all the elements became legal such as inheritance etc. The dads brother became his uncle legally, and the uncles daughter his first cousin. Personally, I think there is no difference between this and a blood relationship as far as what is proper to do. Legal does not always make it right.
     
  9. freeatlast

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    Hello Palmer. Everyone seems to be in agreement. This is not incest but it is fornication which far worst them incest. I would say that you have a field to share the gospel with them.
     
  10. Palmer

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    Thank you to everyone who replied. It helped to have different viewpoints to look at this. Special thanks to Scarlet O for the Scripture references.

    I’ve done research, asked people that I know and trust, and received answers that make sense to me. I still believe that this is incest.

    From what I have found, you are not permitted to have relations with anyone related by affinity (marriage) to the same degree as anyone related by consanguinity (blood).

    According to the Targum of Jonathan, it does not matter if the uncle is deceased or not.

    The death of the husband also does not stop his sons from being the cousins of his nephews and nieces. They are of the same blood line, with grandparents and aunts and uncles in common still. Would you object if your cousin slept with (even once)/dated/lived with/married your mother? Under the same roof as you did while you grew up? I definitely would.

    After researching Deu 25 5, it does not apply in this case. It was a specific exception for Jewish women that is no longer acceptable.

    I have also been given a lengthy and specific explanation of how family life would be changed if these relationships were acceptable. A husband knowing in his final days that he may be replaced by his brother/nephew/father would likely die in despair. The same would apply to a dying wife, and how she would feel about her sister coming into her home to help with household chores and small children; she would most likely be very uncomfortable knowing that her sister came to be anything but a sister, if the possibility and acceptability of relations between her sister and husband could exist after her passing. This situation can include a niece as well.

    These are some but not all of the reasons given me that I have based my decision that this is most definitely incest.

    To Saturneptune: I definitely agree; legal does not always make it right.

    To Aaron: I’m with you brother.

    Again, thanks to all that replied.
     
  11. Amy.G

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    Huh? Under OT Law the widow was supposed to be taken in by the brother of her dead husband so that his line would not end. Or by a kinsman redeemer. Boaz was a relative of Ruth.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    What is the Targum of Jonathan?
     
  13. glazer1972

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    Not Incest.
     
  14. MNJacob

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    An Aramaic translation of the Torah.
     
  15. tinytim

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    I'm so glad you are not my spiritual advisor... read the above responses before yours.. ... Learn some bible before you show your ignorance!
     
  16. Oldtimer

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    Ditto others. It is not incest.

    Ditto others. Living together outside the bonds of marriage is the greater issue.
     

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