Atheists like to bring up the old covenant laws as fuel for their hatred of the God of the Bible. The book of Deuteronomy is a good source for their accusations of an “evil God” without actually taking scripture in context. Read;
Deuteronomy 22: 13-21 (NASB)
13 “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, 14 and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ 15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; 17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. 18 So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
The scripture from Deuteronomy looks very harsh when you compare it to today’s morality. Judging a scripture using today’s morality is problematic. Trying to tie in the morality of 3000 years ago on the same scale as the morality of today will seem difficult to understand. Sexual purity was paramount unlike the culture of today!
When an Israelite had reason to believe that his wife to be was not a virgin he could make a formal protest to the elders of the city. The parents needed to give proof of the daughter’s virginity. If the evidence was satisfactory, the husband was not allowed to divorce his wife and had to pay a fine or dowry (proof was likely a blood stain on her garment or sheet). On the other hand, if the accusation of the husband were to be correct the woman would be put to death. The death sentence was not because she wasn’t a virgin, it was the woman’s deceptive behavior.
These laws were certainly severe, but the law of that magnitude is not enforced anymore due to the new covenant.
Luke 22: 17-20 (NASB)
17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way, He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
The new covenant does not “approve” of the moral sins, and we are not to be violent to anyone as the old Theonomic, system was done away with, read;
Hebrews 8: 13 (NASB)
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.