Sotah, Chapter Two, Mishnah Six

 

Introduction

Toward the end of yesterday’s mishnah we learned that when the woman says “amen, amen” she is agreeing not just to the fact that she didn’t already commit adultery with the person, but that she will not do so in the future.  Our mishnah limits the stipulations to which her husband can make her swear. 

 

Mishnah Six

1)      All agree that he cannot make a stipulation with her with regard to the time before she was betrothed or after she is divorced.

2)      If she secludes herself [with the man about whom she was warned, but after being divorced] and was defiled and subsequently [her husband] took her back, he cannot make a stipulation with her [in regard to this]. 

3)      This is the general rule: any with whom she has intercourse and was not prohibited to him [at that time]—the husband cannot make a stipulation on this. 

 

Explanation

Section one:  The husband cannot use this oath to make her swear that she didn’t have pre-marital relations or that she won’t have post-marital relations with the person about whom he warned her, or with any other person for that matter.  As we see at the end of this mishnah, the husband cannot use this opportunity to prevent her from having permitted sexual relations.

Section two:  In this case, the husband warned her not to be secluded with a certain man, and then he divorced her.  She then went and had relations with that man, which was permitted now that she is divorced. Subsequently the original husband remarried her.  Note that she can remarry her first husband so long as she has not been remarried (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4).  If she were now again to be secluded with the other man, she becomes a sotah.  However, her husband cannot make her swear that she didn’t have relations with the other man during the in-between period, before she was remarried.

Section three:  As we have already stated, the husband cannot make a stipulation to which she must swear with regard to any sexual relations which was permitted when it took place.   This section summarizes that rule.

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