VA’YISH’LACH (He sent) SEXUAL SOUL TIES (The story of the rape of Dinah)


Sexual union, regardless of its instigation, produces soul ties. Therefore, one must guard sexual integrity to the greatest extent possible. When one is violated or acts in ignorance of consequences, there is healing from the LORD, but in order to be thoroughgoing, healing must be obtained through spiritual operations in accordance with biblical principles.

In Genesis 34:1-4 is the story of the rape of Dinah, the daughter that Leah bore to Jacob; she was violated by Shechem ben Hamor, the son of the Hivite lord of the land. Shechem was immediately ensnared in a soul tie with Dinah—VA’TIR’BAK* NAF’SHU B’DINAH—”His soul clung to Dinah.”

[*VA’TIR’BAK is from the root DAVAK—to cling, cleave, keep close. BDB 179]

Shechem asked his father, therefore, to obtain Dinah as his wife.

The very opposite happened when Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, the full sister of Absalom: Amnon loathed her after he defiled her. (2 Samuel 13) Tamar however was so deeply grieved that she went into mourning. She had told Amnon that she would accept him if he married her properly; then after raping her she told him “…this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that you did unto me.” (v. 16)

We live in a time of extreme sexual confusion. Unless the people of the LORD labor to be spiritually, emotionally and physically clean there will be no end to societal disintegration. But even in such a time as this one, God’s people can follow the LORD’S word toward healthy and happy marital union.

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 and following all the way through chapter 7 of the book, the apostle Paul teaches concerning sexual issues. In 6:16 he refers to what we today call “soul ties.” In that verse he says,

“What? Do you not know that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, says he, shall be one flesh.” (quoting Genesis 2:24)

If there is a soul tie created between a man and a prostitute, then how much more is there a soul tie created from random fornication or treacherous adultery? No wonder there is so much divorce in America when there is so much sexual permissiveness in the culture.

A godly friend of mine once told me, “Bron, I wish I never had another woman than my dear wife. The memories of the other women I had during my heathen days before I came to the LORD have given me much grief.”

Just as a sperm and ovum when joined create a brand-new DNA in a new one-celled human being, so the sexual union of a man and a woman joins two souls in an immediate bond. In becoming one flesh they become a human unity. This is the primary reason that nobody should engage in sexual union outside of marriage—you become joined to the person with whom you physically consummate. We should even avoid this in our imaginations, for actions always begin there—in the mind. And Jesus taught us that whoever looks on a woman TO LUST AFTER HER has committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) The same is true for the woman, as in the case of Potiphar’s wife toward Joseph.

There are many considerations that can be explored from these texts. But since this is a brief devotion, let me simply say that God wants all of us to be clean inwardly and not the victims of the torment that comes from defiling ourselves or another person by unholy sexual union. Therefore, keep your mind clean; keep your body clean. If you wander or fail, repent and make a godly return to the LORD and set right the relation you have created with another. Sexual sin is not unpardonable. But it must be acknowledged before God and the parties who have been involved. It must be cleansed by the blood of Jesus and corrected in practical circumstance. But then, once it is confessed and made right, go forward in the newness that comes from our LORD’S healing and build a whole and healthy future together. If the other party does not wish to go forward, then Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 that we are free from bondage to the unbelieving party.

Forgiveness from Messiah does produce true freedom. (John 8:11)

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