Onan's Sin ... became a sin at what point?

A) When he conceived in his mind ?
B) When he manipulated his manhood ?
C) When he spilled his seed ?

I am sure Onan sinned in multiple ways – as do we all. :shrug:

So …that would be A,B,&C ?

If you want to be reductionist about it, then it was when he decided to do what he did.

If you are talking about the sin that caused him to be struck dead i would say C (im not sure what you ment by B, if it was referring to knowingly withdrawing then that would count as knowingly contracepting and hence be mortal sin even if he didnt “spill seed”) but if you are talking about sin in general that could have been at any point in his thought process.

Onan was struck down for not wanting to parent a child with his brothers wife, correct? By today’s laws, it would have been adultery… so maybe in the God’s infinite wisdom it was a condemnation due to adultery? I’m not serious with the example… but am serious when I say that making a definitive statement condemning coitus interuptus based on this scripture is absurd. At most, we can ascertain that Onan was avoiding his responsibility to sire offspring for his dead brothers widow to preserve the bloodline per the law.

Far from being adultery (or incest), Onan was required to marry his dead brother’s wife and raise up children for his brother. I realize that you were merely giving an example of absurd interpretation in order to show the true colors of what you think is an equally absurd interpretation, but I disagree with the comparison.

After Onan’s death Judah was afraid of his other son, Shelah, suffering the same fate and so refused to allow Shua to marry him (he said he would allow the marriage when Shelah was older, but it seems as though this was a lie that no one really believed).

This is a crucially important point for understanding the the identity of the sin for which Onan was punished. If it was simply the sin of refusing to beget children for his brother, then Judah and/or Shelah were essentially guilty of the same thing. If anything they were even more guilty, since by not marrying the woman at all it was all the more certain that Shelah would never beget children with her. Yet God did not strike Judah or Shelah dead, and Judah seems to have thought that by letting Shelah shirk his responsibilities to his dead brother he would be saving him from death rather than putting him in danger of death. The whole story makes no sense unless the sin of Onan was the spilling of seed itself, with the refusal of children for his brother merely the motivation for this sin.

I agree. It might be wrong to not wish to father children for a dead brother … but, I don’t think that’s what Sin Of Onan is remembered for. Coitus Interruptus … was the grave sin.

I say its choice C.

You got my point… Thank-you.

Relative yo your point, I don’t believe you can draw any conclusion from the lack of punishment of Judah or Shelah for the same sin… If everyone was punished equally for comiting the same sin, then we’d have people being struck down at every turn, no?

IMO … God allows us to change our mind about our preconceived sins. Even at the last moment … Onan could of repented, and not interrupted the IC.
And, even after he made grave mistake … he could of repented immediatedly, and pleaded with God to forgive him. And, the Lord would of certainly noted his change of heart … and spared him from death.
The worse thing we can possibly do is to commit a grave sin, know it was wrong, and fail to immediately repent/and ask forgiveness for it … and get to a priest ASAP (within 7 days).

Yet this was the same family, the same woman, and within the same Biblical story. The context is all the same, so if there is a difference in God’s actions we should look for the reason within the story itself. In any case we have Judah’s decision to judge by. If he sought to save Shelah by not having him marry Shua, rather than by demanding that his son marry Shua and beget children by her, then at least in his own judgement the sin for which Onan had been punished was something other than or beyond refusing to beget children for his brother.

(Just a technicality. The daughter-in-law was Tamar. Shua was Shelah’s mother.)

Ah, you are right. It had been some time since I addressed this subject and couldn’t remember the name of the widow and Judah’s other son, so I quickly looked them up. Too quickly, in the case of the woman.

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