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What the Bible says about Marriage, Divorce & Singleness

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

           Divorce & Remarriage

Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul spoke about marriage and divorce in the Bible. They would often speak about both topics interchangeably.  Jesus was concerned about the state of relationships, and was the reason he of ten spoke about “the kingdom of God.” In this kingdom, the motive behind an action was of great concern; more than the emotions. As humans, we often react based on the subjective, rather than the objective. At the same time, one may see an outward act and not know the motive (subjective) behind the act. To make his point, he taught the Sermon on the Mount (Mat. 5-7).

Divorce was rampant

Here’s the thing, the divorce culture of this time accommodated their sinful lives and ushered in a period of rampant divorce. Macarthur states that Rabbi Hilel allowed divorce for any reason:

“For any reason, unload that woman.” The men were the leaders in this divorce and you could divorce your wife for burning your dinner, for spinning around so that somebody saw her ankles. For letting her hair down, not metaphorically, but literally, for speaking to a man, for making a negative comment about your mother, or for finding someone else that you preferred. And you were obligated to divorce her if she was infertile. That was the reigning view.”[1]

On his way to Jerusalem, the religious leaders accosted him with a question about divorce. It was their intent to discredit him. They wished for him to condemn all divorcees, seeing that it was the common practice of the day. Up till now, men could divorce their wives for any reason. This would be quite the confrontation.

Mark 10

Their trap:  They began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife (v.2)

Jesus replied: “What did Moses command you?”(v.3)

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” (v.4)

Actually, they were incorrect. Moses did not command divorce. Moses sought to set order. There was already a penalty for adultery – death.  Violations of Marriage were punishable by death (Ex. 20:14,17 Lev. 20:10). People were executed for violation. Premarital sex was punished by scourging (Lev. 19:20).

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