And Live Happily Ever After

   Don't we wish. But it all too often does not work out that way. What did Moses and Jesus Christ have to say about divorce?

  1. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

  2. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.

  3. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

  4. Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

In verse 1 and 3 notice the three steps;

  1. and write her a bill of divorcement, 

  2. and giveth it in her hand,

  3. and sendeth her out of his house;


Divorce requires all three. 1. The divorce papers. 2. Delivery of the papers. 3. Separation.

1. If you prepare the papers, give them to your wife but she still lives with you, then you are not divorced. (3 is missing.)

2. If you prepare the papers, and kick her out without presenting the papers, then you are not divorced. (2 is missing)

3. If you throw her out without preparing papers. You have separation but not divorce. (1 is missing.)


If you do not have (1) + (2) + (3) then you do not have a divorce.

  1. Matthew 5:31-32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall (3) put away his wife, let him (1)(2) give her a writing of divorcement:
  2. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall (3) put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, (exception) causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is (3) divorced committeth adultery.

   In the above verse the immediate assumption is that divorced includes (1)(2)(3) but it is the exact same word that was translated put away (3). so the translation more correctly is;

  1. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away (3) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is (put away) (3) committeth adultery.

    Notice that Matthew 5:32 mentions only the putting away. Perhaps Matthew 5:32 could be paraphrased this way: 

    The Law says that a woman commits adultery if she remarries without a written bill of divorcement; so therefore, I say unto you that whoever puts her away (without divorce papers) causes her to commit adultery, and is just as guilty for adultery as she is. And whosoever marries her that has been put away in this unlawful manner also commits adultery, because he is marrying a woman who is still, in the eyes of the law, another man's wife.

Matthew 5:32 contains an exception clause, "saving for the cause of fornication."  In Ezra 9 and 10 there is a Bible example of the exception clause in action. It will be studied in detail later in this course.

   If a couple is living together in a relationship that God does not recognize as a marriage in the first place, then, because there is no lawful marriage, there can be no lawful divorce, only a putting away. (A separation) So to paraphrase again Matthew 5:32; "The Law says that a lawful divorce (of married people) requires both a putting away and bill of divorcement. But, if they are living together without a lawfully-binding marriage contract for a bill of divorce to void, then the solution is simply a putting away. (As in Ezra 9-10)

Here come the learned Pharisees seeking understanding.

  1. Matthew 19: 3-9 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, (trick question) and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
  2. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, (In Genesis 2:24) that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
  3. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
  4. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Notice that the question "for every cause" was NOT answered.)
  5. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? (Deuteronomy 24)
  6. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
  7. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife (3), except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away (3) doth commit adultery. (If he throws her out without papers, then neither he nor she can marry another since they have no valid divorce.)
     
  1. Mark 10:2-11 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
  2. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
  3. And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, (1)(2) and to put her away (3).
  4. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
  5. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
  6. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
  7. And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
  8. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
  9. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.
  10. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away (3) his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. (This verse does not say, "Whosoever shall divorce (1)(2)(3) his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her


    Jesus example: When dealing with the wicked, you don't have to answer questions, and you can answer questions with questions.

     "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" Jesus' answer was a quotation of Genesis 2:24. Notice that He did not answer the question, especially the part, "for every cause." 

    Because Jesus did not answer the question, a follow-up question is found in Mark 10:2, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" Jesus answers that question with a question, "What did Moses command you?" 

From The Beginning It Was Not So

    It was not God's intention for Cain to slay Abel or that down through time man should murder his fellow man. From the beginning it was not so that man should murder. God gave us a command "Thou shalt not kill" just as in Genesis 2:24 he gave a command concerning how long a marriage should last. But men do kill. So, a precept is found in Numbers 35:16, 17, 18, and 30.

"The murderer shall surely be put to death."

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Question 60: (Two parts) Does God's commandment, "Thou shalt not kill (murder)." nullify God's command "the murderer shall surely be put to death"?

  Yes.          No.

True or false; Likewise, because of the hardness of our hearts, Moses also wrote the precept, "the murderer shall surely be put to death."

  True.          False.