Hymen –
Hebrew Bible & Talmud
Proof of Virginity?


Here’s my notes and research from when I took a Talmud class and we studied the tractate on virginity and how to tell.

If you have a question, please post it below.  We will do our best to answer it.

You might also want to check with competent clergy, medical professionals and of course follow the footnotes and references from where I got my research.

Marriage Violations – Virginity
Deuteronomy 22:13-21 

  • 13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,”
    • 15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin.
    •  16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’
    • But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the [bed] cloth before the elders of the town,
      • 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels[a] of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name.
      • She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
    • 20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. [Aish.com on infidelity] She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.   New International Version (NIV)  biblegateway.com

Detail & Clarification from Jewish Talmud 

  • What is meant by a claim [denying a woman’s] virginity? [A man] married a woman on the assumption that she was a virgin, and [after the wedding] claims that he did not find signs of virginity.
    • For there are two signs of virginity:
      • a) [hymenal] bleeding at the conclusion of her first sexual experience;
      • b) tightness that is felt during sexual relations at that time.  19 * Halacha 9   Sefaria.Org *   Chabad.org
  • A GIRL WHO WAS INJURED ACCIDENTALLY BY A PIECE OF #WOOD or any other way of the hymen not bleeding the first time  one has sexual intercourse
    • Literally, “one struck by a piece of wood,” a woman who claims that she did not have hymenal bleeding at the time of her first sexual experience, because she had previously been “struck by a piece of wood” and caused to bleed at that time. As mentioned in Halachah 10, the term is used to refer to any woman who claims that her failure to have hymenal bleeding resulted from causes other than intercourse. Chabad.org
      • An injury to the hymen made by a piece of wood (a picket fence injury) causes loss of the status of virginity, according to the Sages (Ketubbot 1:3)  jwa.org/status-of-virgin     See also Halacha 10    Learn More Kethuboth
    • The early sages (Tanaaim) discussed the case of a woman whose hymen was torn by an injury and not by sexual relations, for example, if a stick penetrated her sexual organ and tore her hymen. According to one sage, Rabbi Meir, she is considered a virgin with all a virgin’s rights because her hymen was not torn as a result of sexual activity.  Daatement.org
  • #Bed Cloth  
    • According to the law in Deuteronomy, if a newly-married man claims that he found his bride not to be a virgin, her parents must rebut the charge by producing a bloodstained garment or bed cloth proving that her hymen had been broken at the consummation of the marriage:
      • The girl’s father and mother shall produce the evidence of the girl’s virginity before the elders of the town at the gate.  And the girl’s father shall say to the elders, “I gave this man my daughter to wife, but he had taken an aversion to her; so he has made up charges, saying,
        • ‘I did not find your daughter a virgin.’
          • But here is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!”  And they shall spread out the cloth before the elders of the town (Deut. 22:15-17; New JPS translation). Learn WAY more ⇒  Christianity.com/accused_brides
  • When [a man] weds a virgin who is granted a ketubah of 200 [zuz], and claims that he did not discover signs of her virginity, the woman is questioned [regarding the matter].
    • If she says, “It is true that he did not find me a virgin, but this is because I fell, and I was struck by a piece of wood or the ground, and my hymen was damaged,” her word is accepted and she is entitled to a ketubah of [100 zuz].   Halacha 10
      • Although [her husband] claims: “Perhaps you engaged in intercourse, and I am under no obligation to you,” his claim is not accepted, for his claim is not absolute. He may, however, have a ban of ostracism issued, conditional on her having engaged in relations with another man.  Chabad.org
  • If he claims, “I did not find her a virgin,” and she claims,
    • “He has not had intercourse with me and I am still a virgin,” she should be examined. Alternatively, he should have relations with her under the surveillance of witnesses [and the truth will be clarified].24   they should inspect the sheet before and after the couple engage in relations for signs of hymenal bleeding.  Halacha 12
    • If she claims, “He had relations with me and he found me a virgin like all others, and his claim is false,”
      • he is questioned [and asked to clarify his statements]. We ask him: “Why do you say that she was not a virgin?”
        • If he answers: “Because she did not have hymenal bleeding,” we check her family [history]. Perhaps [the women of] this [family] are known not to have [vaginal] bleeding at all: neither menstrual bleeding nor hymenal bleeding. If this was found to be true, we presume [that she was a virgin, and she is entitled to a ketubah of 200 zuz].
          • If the women in her family are not known to have such a condition, we check her [physical state]; perhaps she is afflicted by a serious infirmity that has parched her body’s natural fluids, or [perhaps] she was afflicted by hunger. Therefore, we have her bathe, eat and drink until she becomes healthy. At which point, [the couple] engage in relations again to see if she manifests hymenal bleeding or not.
          • If she is not hampered by sickness, hunger or the like, the [husband’s] claim that she was not a virgin [is accepted]. [This applies] even if he felt tightness during relations. Since there was no hymenal bleeding, her hymen was not intact. For every virgin will manifest hymenal bleeding, whether she is a minor or above the age of majority, whether a na’arah or a bogeret, unless [this is prevented by an external factor,] illness or the like, as explained.
    • I did not feel #tightness [during intercourse]. Instead, I found an open passageway,”
      • we inquire with regard to [the woman’s] age. Perhaps she is a bogeret, under 12 1/2, and most bogrot do not have tightness that can be felt substantially [during intercourse], for as she grew older [the adhesion of] her limbs lessened, and the virginal [tightness] disappeared.
        • If she had not become a bogeret yet, we ask him: “Perhaps you leaned on the side or [entered] gently during intercourse, and therefore you did not feel any tightness?” If he replies: “No. I found an open passageway,” [his] claim that she was not a virgin [is accepted] with regard to any woman who has not reached the age of bagrut, regardless of whether she was a minor or a na’arah, or whether she was healthy or sick. For the vaginal channel of every virgin is closed. Even if she manifests hymenal bleeding, she is not considered to be a virgin, because the vaginal channel was open.  Chabad.org
        • There are geonim who rule that for a bogeret, the claim that she did not have hymenal bleeding is not valid, but the claim that her vaginal channel was open is valid. This does not appear [to be based on the proper text of] the Talmud. They had inaccurate versions of the text. I have investigated many texts, including those of an early era, and I have discovered the version to be as I ruled. For a bogeret, the only valid claim is [that she did not manifest] hymenal bleeding.  Halacha 13   Chabad.org  * Purchase Talmud from Amazon
  • Alimony
    • The minimum amounts of the kethubah [alimony?] to which virgins, widows, divorcees or other women belonging to the various strata of social and religious life are entitled, and the conditions governing the forfeiture of her kethubah by a wife in the absence of her virginity, are duly indicated. CHAPTER I
    • disputes on the amount of a kethubah, arising from a disagreement between husband and wife as to whether the latter was married as a virgin or a widow. CHAPTER II 

Resources & Links


Christian Thought

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 is one of the scarier passages for impressionable young Christian women, as it seems to hold up pre-marital sex as a crime punishable by death. Even for married women, such as myself, the passage can be puzzling: hymeneal blood following intercourse is a notoriously unreliable proof of virginity.

Well, having just published 2,600 words explaining this law (and that doesn’t count the footnotes), I thought I’d give the short version. Here it is in fewer than 500 words:   READ MORE >>>  Working the Grey Matter.com 


How accurate was the virginity test mentioned in Deuteronomy 22?  Read More >>> Got Questions.org 

California & USA
Rape Laws

Shouse Law - California Law   VIDEO

forensic pathology online.com - rupture of hymen not required - scroll down and see "rape on a virgin" & child - hymen shows tears.

U.S. Department of Justice - A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations

Wikipedia  Where in a rape case doctor’s found hymen intact, merely because doctors stated that partial penetration was possible, no such inference could be drawn in favor of the prosecution and the conviction in the rape case was set aside by the High Court.

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Graphic Textbook Pictures of Hymen & Female Genitalia


Scroll down to view






































Does an intact #Hymen = Virginity?
Pictures - Images - structure, what it looks like  & Where is the Location from Medical Text Books & Website 

hymen picture britannica

click to enlarge & view labels - photos courtesy of Britannica.com
Why does the photo say hymen caruncle & not just hymen?

Vagina - photo from wikipedia

Vulva with pubic hair removed and labia separated to show the opening of the vagina:

  1. Clitoral hood
  2. Clitoris
  3. Labia minora
  4. Urethral opening
  5. Vaginal opening - Hymen is around the vaginal opening - see photo's and diagrams below.
  6. Perineum
  7. Anus   Picture from wikipedia.org/Vagina
  8. How does the Zulu Tribe test Virginity for the Reed Dance?
  9. See pictures below for text book labeling of hymen location -  Britannica.com


  1. I've searched and searched for years and haven't found an authoritative picture of a hymen before and after sexual intercourse.   If you have an authoritative medical source, not porn, please post it below in comments - ask a question.
    1. OK, I found a video - but it's GRAPHIC Surgical Procedures!
      1. VIDEO Hymen Repair Procedure (Hymenoplasty)- Watch How it's Done
      2. Here's their website and contact information, somehow it just goes against my grain to provide this... either you've had sexual intercourse or you haven't.
      3. Cherokee Women's Health #Telemedicine

      Photo from Bronson Health.com (documenting child sexual abuse)hymen-abuse-manual photo from bronson health

    3. hymen picture from healthy strokes

      Picture from  Hymen - Healthy Strokes   visit their website for more

      Smart Phone - Read our text & Explanation 

      Hymen Photo's & Diagrams

      Grey Anatomy - Hymen

      More text from Gray's Anatomy  *  Purchase Book  *
      types of hymen from young women's health

    4. Photo from Young Women's Health.org 

    5. Photo courtesy of Britannica.com
      Click on photo to enlarge
    6. side view vagina hymen clitoris
    7. Types of hymens Young Women's Health


      healthystrokes.com/hymen gallery

    8. Sideway's view 

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