“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’”
Now we turn to the subject of divorce, the third antithesis between Jesus’ teaching and that of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus gave the ground of divorce. Matthew picked up this subject again in chapter 19.
“It was also said,
There were two schools of thought on divorce during Jesus’ day:
The Hillel group said it was permissible for a husband to divorce his wife for any reason.
The Shammai group taught that divorce was permissible for a major offense.
Jesus referred to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 by the phrase “it was also said.” The Mosaic Law allowed divorce and did not regard those divorced and remarried as committing adultery.
“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. Dt 24:1-4
‘Whoever divorces his wife,
Women did not have the right of divorce in Israel but men did. God provided the “Certificate of Divorce” to protect the wife from reckless and capricious divorce. That certificate did not allow a man to send his wife out the door without legal rights. Under this bill, the husband could not remarry his wife again or she him. This provision was a concession by God to the sinfulness of men.
let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
Divorce in Israel was a domestic matter and not something that went to court. A man could simply divorce his wife by giving her a document in writing. Having this document, a woman could marry again. This was especially important for the woman for economic reasons, for most women did not have a source of income. Some turned to prostitution to sustain themselves.
Mosaic divorce was a concession by God. Divorce includes the right of remarriage. The “certificate of divorce” releases all claim of the husband on the wife.
Divorce is concession to the sinfulness of man, not a primary ideal of God.
Divorce is a concession by God to the sinfulness of man. God’s ideal is the stability of permanence in marriage. Every person I know who has gone through divorce has experienced greater pain than they imagined. Their primary thought is to relieve their present pain in marriage, but they only find greater pain in divorce—not to mention more serious social issues such as the harm their children suffer in the loss of a parent.
You avoid the larger question of this verse. Jesus says a man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. That’s a straightforward comment with no wiggle room. My wife and I are both on our second marriage. Both of our previous marriages ended in divorce. Am I committing adultery? Since a lot of Christians remarry after duvirce, this is an important question.
Oh! And if I am committing adultery, what do I do? Divorce my current wife? (I don’t want to do that, I’m just wondering what the scriptural remedy would be.)
David, I am out of town but read my ch 19 before I respond.
There are biblical justifications for divorce and remarriage (e.g., sexual sin, desertion). However, if there is no biblical justification for divorce. then two wrongs do not make a right. Deut 24 indicates that it is wrong to go back to the first wife after marrying another.
Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery
God does NOT recognize divorce as ending a first marriage. This is proven in Scripture. Jesus said you will be committing adultery while on a honeymoon with a “new person” after a divorce and a remarriage ceremony. If you are committing adultery AFTER a divorce and remarriage ceremony your divorce did NOT work (it did not end your marriage). Most people refuse to accept the TRUTH.
A marriage covenant lasts until the death of one of the spouses according to God. People would never even go to the courthouse to obtain a divorce certificate if they knew the truth. Those divorce papers do not end their marriage. The papers say the “State of Colorado” has dissolved the marriage–NOT GOD! God says, “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.” 1 Corinthians 7:39
Jesus said if you get a divorce and then remarry you will be committing adultery with this new person AFTER you marry them. AFTER you marry them! If you can commit adultery AFTER a divorce—the divorce failed to do something…it failed to DISSOLVE YOUR MARRIAGE! Divorce papers do not dissolve the marriage in Gods sight if He is charging you with adultery AFTER you obtained your divorce. Those papers did not make you single again. Remarried people are committing adultery with each other…Jesus said that!
A REAL husband and wife cannot commit adultery with each other. That is why this is NOT your spouse. Jesus was saying you are not free AFTER a divorce because you can still commit adultery. To commit adultery you need a spouse–so the divorce did not free you from your spouse–you are not eligible for remarriage because you are still married according to God. There is just no way around it. The church today is afraid to tell people what Jesus said.
Jesus calls remarried sex–ADULTERY. Why would anyone believe that new person is “their spouse in God’s eyes” if they are committing adultery with them? Jesus said they are committing adultery AFTER they had their remarriage ceremony so how could that person possibly be their spouse? They were remarried by “the state” not by God.
No one reads their Bible–they listen to pastors tell them God forgives them and they do not have to give up their adultery partner, their so called “new spouse.” If Jesus says you are committing adultery with this “new spouse” how can you claim that this is your lawful spouse in the eyes of God?
We need to stop listening to everyone around us and listen to Jesus. He really meant what He said. Divorced people have no right to remarriage. Their divorce did not make them single.
The ONLY people in the Bible who commit adultery when they marry are divorced people, not single people, not widowed people, ONLY divorced people! Why is that? They are NOT FREE to marry. Their divorce did not make them FREE if they can commit adultery AFTER a divorce, like Jesus said.
Most people won’t flee this kind of adultery because they have been deceived by Satan to stay in it even though God’s Word is clear. They are living in Adultery. Remarriage is the greatest DECEPTION of our time.
“The deliberate contrast in Jeremiah 3:1 between the law that Moses laid down for the Israelites in Deuteronomy 24 and God’s own behavior towards His wife points out that the New Testament Church must not determine her marriage doctrine and practice from Deuteronomy 24.”
—Professor David J. Engelsma
The Bond Yet Unbroken:
The first verse of Jeremiah 3 proves, in a striking, indeed, startling way, that God was still MARRIED to DIVORCED Israel. To Israel who had “played the harlot with many lovers” and whom God had already divorced, according to verse eight, God called, “Yet return again to me.” This was a call to His wife, as verse one makes plain: “They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.”
Whereas it was not permitted in Israel for a wife divorced from her husband and remarried to another man to return to her first husband, God called His wife back to Himself, even though she had committed adultery with many companions and even though God had divorced her.
Divorced Israel remained the wife of the LORD.
What is striking, even startling, about this insistence on the maintenance of the marriage and on Israel’s return to her rightful husband is the contrast between God’s marriage to Israel and a law governing the earthly marriages of the Israelites.
Verse one refers to the law concerning divorce and remarriage in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 forbade a husband who had divorced his wife, on some other ground than her adultery, to take her back, if a second husband divorced her, or died.
God, however, will take His wife back, even though she gave herself to many lovers and despite the fact that He had given her a bill of divorce.
The law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 was merely Moses’ tolerance of deviation from God’s original ordinance of marriage on the part of hard-hearted Israelite men. It was a stop-gap measure, somewhat to protect vulnerable women, who otherwise would have been passed around like property.
This was Christ’s analysis of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, and indictment of the kind of people for whom the law was necessary, in Matthew 19:8: “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives.”
Deuteronomy 24 does not reveal the truth about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. It reveals the wickedness in marriage of hard-hearted, that is, unbelieving, men. The truth about marriage, already in the Old Testament, is revealed in Jeremiah 3:1: Even though He must divorce an unfaithful wife, God maintained the marriage and called His wife back to Himself.
Verse fourteen of Jeremiah 3 is decisive, and explicit, regarding the question, whether God divorced an original wife so as to annul the marriage and open the way for Himself to marry another. Addressing faithless, divorced Israel, Jehovah exclaimed, “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”
Although His wife was unfaithful, although she committed adultery with numerous lovers, although she was as yet impenitent, and although God had divorced her, God was STILL her husband, and she was STILL His wife. The bill of divorce did not touch, much less dissolve, the marriage bond:
“I am married unto you.”
Indeed, the fact of the marriage is the reason why God called Israel back, as it is the reason why she ought to come back, to live with Him: “for I am married unto you.”
—Professor David J. Engelsma
Was the bible not written for 'CHRISTIANS" not unbelievers? Therefore, when you accept Christ "you become a new creature" and marriage was not recognized?
Norine, I am not following your argument. God recognizes marriage before and after our salvation.
Give me scripture for that please because I am trying to search the scripture regarding remarriage. I have read the bible regarding many issues, but divorce/remarriage seems to be the most difficult one to get an understanding. It is my understanding that if you do anything unto the Lord, you must "know" Him (spiritually), not just "know" of Him!
The KCV and most versions using the KJV definations in Matthew 5: 31-32 using the word divorce is an error. The Englishmans Hebrew English correctly shows in multiple scriptures in the Hebrew idolatry not divorce.
Most people will not believe the KCV and other newer versions have errors, but the Youngs uses the correct Hebrew word idolatry and one can look up all the verses in the Hebrew which are idolatry meaning physical or spiritual adultry. The web has a free online new testament of the Youngs intrepetation which is correct. Basically marriage is when the husband is under God's authority and under obedience to God. When a man or woman are not under God's authority that individual is an idolator. Look up the bible rescourse on Matthew 5: 31-32 and see the intrepetations of which show correct intrepetations show idolatry or other than the English word divorce. Jesus said the language of the anceints. During Jesus time many listening to Jesus no longer knew the Hebrew or original tongue so they knew Greek. To be absolutely correct go the the original tongue as Jesus commands and get the Hebrew verses associated with Matthew 5: 31-32 and you'll find they read idolatry not divorce. Thus a marriage between two people whom are not Christians, not under God's umbrella would not include scripture as the man is not under God nor the woman. What God is concerned is marriage where both the man and the wife are obedient to His word as Jesus Christ is their LORD as well as Saviour. When a man or woman has strayed from obedience that is idolatry. Using the correct word in Matthew 5 idolatry not divorce clears up much confusion. Norine's comment of Mar 21, 2013 is not to find the right scripture but the accurate intrepetation of the original tongue Jesus said to use not the English language defination's as English was not introduced until 42BC and was not known during Jesus time and the first English document was in 1492. I find Strongs uses English definations of which dictionaries use current useage not the language of the anceints. To be absolutely correct use the Englishmans Hebrew English concordance and you will see the word is not divorce but idolatry. You can yourself find the correct intrepetation in the Englishmans Hebrew English concordance of which Youngs intrepetation is absolutely correct.
Someone called attention to me that I had not responded to some of the blogs above. The question that those who make the assertion that there is no remarriage after divorce have to 1) deal with the exception clause in Mt 19 and 2) the extant statement in 1 Co 7 that those who have been separated (divorce) permanently by their spouse have the right of remarriage.
Today Divorce is also a concession by God to alliviate the suffering abused of woman.
I marry a man.but we’re separated for almost 5years.
He is abusing me. He hits me and worse disrespect my faith.
God is a God of order.
Maybe it is my right to annul our marriage not because I am going to marry but because I love my life my kids and my faith. Now.. Will you still say. Till death do us part.. Men.. I would say that word if we have same faith and honor God but not to die in the hand of my ex husband and say. Till death to us part. Divorce at your place annulment in our place.. Both are useful when applied properly..
All I understand is… Never divorce your wife because you want to remarry. .
Bethelou, If your husband is physically abusing you, I am glad you separated from him. I believe there are three reasons for divorce and remarriage: 1) sexual sin on part of the mate (Mt 19), 2) desertion, 1 Cor 7 and death of a mate. You may want to begin studying here and move forward through the following studies: https://versebyversecommentary.com/1-corinthians/1-corinthians-710-11/
The question is always about if one partner goes out of the marriage. What if both went out of the marriage, then years after divorce. Can both be married to a other?
Susan, note this study, but you may want to study the studies before and after as well: https://versebyversecommentary.com/2002/09/23/1-corinthians-715/