19 Divorce and Remarriage

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 DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

OR

KJV ONLYISM

 

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This paper is about what I believe is now the greatest of all blunders found in the KJV Bible translation.  Below I have a letter to D.A. Waite on this subject of Matthew 5:32 “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”  D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D is not a KJV Onlyism advocate in the sense that he and the Dean Burgon Society or Bible For Today of Collingswood, NJ understand that the KJV is inspired English.  They only believe the KJV it is the best translation.  We only disagree here about the rendering from “put away” to “divorce” in Matthew 5:32 and a fuller understanding of the word “fornication”.

 

On the other hand, this revelation has great significance in defending God’s intended Word, correcting KJV Onlyism advocates, and helping those suffering under this misinterpretation of the KJV translation from those who wrongly use this verse in the way that Pastor Waite does. [Today I use the KJV with some corrections to it from the Majority text found in the NKJV for the NT.  For the OT I use the KJV exclusively which relies on the Masoretic Text.]  But I think if Pastor Waite dealt more seriously with the question he would answer it, which is another reason I am posting it. D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D does not answer the question but rather only offers ad hominem suggestions which are of no value either to me or anyone else serious about the subject. Please keep in mind that this letter I wrote to him is not my standard proof for my argument. My formulated argument is actually in the paper Divorce and Remarriage below. If you wish to deal with the argument please read that paper as well.

 

Note that D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D. believes that you cannot marry a divorced person, divorced for any reason other than unchastely before marriage defined by him as fornication in the verse above.  If one does marry a divorced person they are committing adultery.  And if you divorce your wife you make her commit adultery when she goes to remarry.  And if she repents she will need to get a divorce from her illegitimate marriage that never existed in the first place and find her first husband and remarry even if there are children.

 

Below is my open letter to D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D. (I modified it for a clarification of my argument.)

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Dear Pastor Waite,

 

You wrote: “I think you told me that you are divorced (and I guess remarried, though I am not sure) and you are seeking to justify your choices.”

 

Dear Pastor Waite, if I am indeed living in the sin of adultery because I divorced my unfaithful wife and remarried and if indeed Jesus disallowed the Law of Moses that allowed divorce and remarriage you have the following problems:

The Jews are made into adulterers as they follow Moses’ Laws.

 

Jehovah made His wife commit adultery (Matt. 5:32) because He divorced His wife not for fornication, the unfaithfulness of a fiancée before an actual marriage, but for adultery.  In Jeremiah God divorced His wife, not for fornication but for adultery, and worse, He remarried.

 

Jehovah allowed the divorce definition in the case of divorcing ones wife not simply for fornication Deuteronomy 24:3  “ if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce”.

 

The Patriarchs were living in adultery and conceived the nation of Israel in the sin of adultery.

 

If all these things were the case this Jesus would have been rightfully stoned.  Instead His opponents did nothing because the true Jesus was talking about “putting away” without the divorce paper (Deut. 24:1) and they knew it.  Jesus even said that He did not come to change the law not one tittle, here He is changing it.  He was not speaking as a hypocrite.  Your position is making Jesus, Jehovah and Moses into Law breakers.

 

But Jesus was not a law breaker and did not break the Law and despise the prophets, nor is the Law sin. Your position is blaspheming the Godhead and the Law. This is a very serious error and grievous change to the Word of God.  You need to reconsider your position on the rendering of these terms.  God allows divorce and remarriage.

 

In your misuse of the word fornication there is no reason for divorce unless you find your wife not a virgin.  This problem is created because you allow a change from “put away” to “divorce”, even though the word for divorce is admitted that it is not in the text that the KJV uses. See the Douay or the Wycliffe for an accurate translation of Mathew 5:32.

 

“But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”

 

“But I say to you, that every man that leaveth his wife [that every man that shall leave his wife], except (for) [the] cause of fornication, maketh her to do lechery, and he that weddeth the forsaken wife, doeth adultery.”

 

You wrote: “Romans 7 and 1 Corinthians 7 are crystal clear on this, as are Mark and Luke.  Marriage is broken ONLY by the death of the spouse.”

 

Concerning the Scriptures you cite in defense of your augment, that 1 Cor. 7 is talking about married people, that there should be no putting away we read. “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”  Paul proves my point! Paul says the Lord was not talking about divorced people but putting away without divorce. Please deal with the material and my paper. Putting away is not always the same as divorce.

 

And Romans 7 “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” What does the law say on this point in Deut? The husband can write her a certificate of divorce; the wife cannot write the husband a certificate of divorce. How does this prove your point? It does not. Jesus was not living in America at the time He spoke about marriage laws: God said to Jacob: “I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”.  There is no law about having two wives.  Remember the Fathers of our faith, Jesus was not inferring that they were breakers of the Laws of God, or else He would have been stoned for that. Or they would have at least made an attempt to stone him then and there. Instead they did nothing because He was talking about “putting away” without divorce. Again please read my paper in the link below on Matthew 5:32. Do you really believe that a woman having two husbands and thus committing adultery as seen in Romans 7 is equivalent to what would also be Paul’s point about the Fathers, that the nation of Israel is founded on Moses Law that contradicts it?

 

In short, your standard for Laws and Holiness cannot be higher than God’s standards for Laws and Holiness in regards to marriage. Yes divorce is not in God’s perfect plan, and neither is polygamy either. But yet it is in that God uses it and makes allowances for it in His Law.

 

Yours truly in Christ,

 

Donald Perry

 

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MARRAGE AS AN ETERNAL BINDING

LAW VS MARRAGE AS CONDITIONAL LAW

 

By Donald Perry

 

As I write this paper my goal is to take an unbiased view. However at the same time the goal of this paper is to bring to light the strongest arguments, be they position (A.) over and against position (C.), or (C.) over and against position (A.). Position (B.) is not argued in the main volume of this paper. These positions are outlined below:

 

A.) Fornication refers only to Deut. 22:20-21 fraud, and put-away refers to a divorce not recognized by God.

B.) Fornication refers to adultery, put away refers to divorce.

C.) Fornication refers to Deut 22:20-21 fraud and any union that is not legally binding, put away refers to separation [1 Cor. 7:10,11] or divorce and separation depending on the context.

 

IN ARGUMENT (A.) IS INFERED ERROR AND SIN TO MOSES AND THE LAW: YET ROMANS 7:7 STATES: “IS THE LAW SIN?   GOD FORBID. NAY I HAD NOT KNOWN SIN BUT BY THE LAW” POSTION (A. ) PRESENTS A PROBLEM WITH THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURES.

 

The Law showed that divorce and remarriage doesn’t equal adultery in Deut 24 contrary to what Jesus taught if you hold to position (A.). But is it reasonable that Jesus would have set aside the Law of Moses, even if it was written for mans hard heart? Consider Romans 7:7 and the following verses, and this“Therefore what is the Law? Is the Law sin? Nay I had not know sin but by the Law”:

 

Prior to Christ’s discourse on divorce Jesus said in Matthew 5 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus argued that the Scripture cannot be broken in John 10 “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came and the scripture cannot be broken;”

Paul said that the Law was good 1 Timothy 1:8 “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; [9] Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, [10] For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; [11] According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” If the Law is against the adulterers-divorce of position (A.) above, how then can it be truly for adulterers that Jesus would have to change it and disallow adultery-divorce at the same time according to position (A.)? Position (A.) has the Bible contradicting itself, neither is the Law of God something that is evolving. Man is not evolving and neither is God, neither have we been resurrected. Paul’s letter to the Romans is meaningless if Christ came and showed the Law of God allowed sin: Paul said in Romans 2:22-23 “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? [23] Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?” Paul said in Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

David said in Psalm 19, “The Law of the Lord is perfect.” 119 “Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.”

If Jesus in Matthew 5 and 19 is showing that the law is at fault at some point, then Jesus is not the Christ and we are yet in our sins. Therefore the answer that shows Jesus is reversing Law must be rejected wholly on that basis alone is of the strongest of arguments. Jesus is not the minster of sin.

 

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE “PUTTING AWAY” ARGUMENT OF POSTION (C.) ABOUT?

ANSWER: THE JEWS WERE ADDING TO THE LAW, NOT JESUS NOT MOSES: THEY WERE “PUTTING AWAY” WITHOUT A DIVORCE.

 

Jesus is quoting Deut 24 in Matthew 19:9 and 5:23 which reads as follows: Matthew 19:9a “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery, and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”. [also see Matthew 5:32a “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced [the word is *put away* not divorce in the Greek] commits adultery.”].

Jesus is answering another test question by the Pharisees again who wish to trick Him. They did not mention divorce; they only said put away and implied divorce referring to the end result of Deut. 24. But the difference between put-away and divorced can be as different as night and day. A person simply put away (apoluo) is a person separated not necessarily divorced. This can be argued, that it was a common practice and serious problem, as it is today among Jews. From TEA FOR PEACE MARRIAGE IN JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM page 6 “According to Jewish law (halakha), a married couple is only released from the bonds of matrimony through the transmission of a divorce document– known as a get – from the husband to the wife. The get serves not only as proof of the dissolution of marriage in the event that one or both wish to remarry but actually affects the divorce proceedings. A husband’s refusal to give his wife a get is a common form of spousal abuse.” To put away without divorce had and now has its advantages, especially since the OT Bible allows men to have more than one wife, and one could not get re-married to their first wife again after a divorce. In a case of putting away without divorce, one did not have to pay back the money to the father of his bride. To put-away without divorce implied that your wife was not a believer to begin with, and that you needed to get married again because of her sin.

And it is hard to prove otherwise that this is not the very thing that Paul says that Jesus was addressing, saying in 1 Cor. 7:10, 11 “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” In context depart and putting away here does not seem to be divorce, the woman does not need to marry her husband a second time, she is still called a wife. The proponents of position (A.) need to argue that Paul is talking about Jesus talking about the divorce of Moses using the word “depart” and “be reconciled”. Yet the divorce of Moses also had to do with not being allowed to “be reconciled”. If Proponents of position    (A.) make mere depart” and “be reconciled” mean divorce they make Paul and Jesus Law breakers.

Position (C.) says: In Matthew 19:9 Jesus, when He says “causes her to commit adultery” is saying and what that means that unless you give your wives a certificate of divorce you put her in a position where she has a need to marry to have a man look after her, that the Law will not allow and puts in a constant state at every turn of looking like an adulterous wife. This means that the first husband not giving her a certificate of divorce is understood by God to be the cause of the problem and for any adultery in this case, and not the woman. Here Christ catches the Pharisees in their own trap, pointing out their sin of allowing putting away without divorce, and this is how and why these questions and answers come about this way.

Position (C.) will say Christ to be saying after Matt. 19:4-6, in the second part Matt. 19:7-9 the very opposite of marriage being necessity eternally binding. This is when marriage is being used for evil, for men to not divorce and only put their away their wives out of their house. A fate worse than being made a widow, because the woman is still someone else’s wife but has no one who can care for her and none of the benefits of being married. If one does not divorce for the purpose to marry another the put away wife looks like an adulterous, and to associate with her or befriend such a woman (“put away” but not divorced) at the least makes one look like a sinner and at most calls for one to be stoned. The woman becomes in a sense unclean.

Position (A.) will say that she commits adultery in 19:9 because Jesus is now giving a new teaching that in the case of marriage, man cannot put asunder what God has joined together anymore than Adam could put away Eve, literally bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. That the only woman for Adam could have been Eve. Therefore the adultery is not from merely a departing or putting away, but it is that God is now and has from the beginning rejected divorce. That every divorce is a lie, and that in every marriage God had crafted perfection and His intentions from the beginning. Yet Jesus admits in verse 6 that man puts asunder what God has joined together. If there is truly a separation how then can there still be adultery which is a violation of a marriage that has not been put asunder, this is a difficult question for position (A.) to answer. Position (A.) could argue that Jesus was talking figuratively or sarcastically when He said “put asunder”, and this is why He mentions divorce in verse 9. How could Eve no longer be bone of Adam’s bones?, this would be literally impossible. Yet “putting away” works without these apparent contradictions and difficulties.

Putting away, divorce, and remarriage, is outlined in Deuteronomy 24:1-5 “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour 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. [5] When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.”

 

MATTHEW 19  THE LORD HATES PUTTTING ASUNDER

 

Matt. 19:4-6 “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, [5] 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? [6] Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? [8] 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. [9] And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. [10] His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. “

Is there adultery after divorce? Aside from the putting away divorce issue Jesus points out “let not man put asunder”. Here God says that man can divide a marriage, which in fact divorce does exist, and that should mean that divorce ends adultery. The proponents of position (A.) say that putting away and divorce are the same in Matthew 5 and 19 making Moses’ divorce Laws only worldly laws, yet marriage itself is likewise an intuition only of this world, 1 Cor. 7:31-33.). In the case of position (A.) the conclusion is that every marriage after the first is made void by the perfection of the first first legitimate marriage. However this implies that: 1.) Moses not only allowed adultery but gave a law for it because of the hardness of their hearts. 2.) That Jehovah Himself in Jeremiah 3:8 is “committing adultery” putting His wife away (not for fornication) also being married to another. 3.) That Jesus had to correct the Old Testament in both the Law and the Prophets.

Is Jesus talking about divorce or putting away or both in Matthew 19?

1a. Jesus is answering a question about putting away, not necessarily divorce. The two do not have to be the same thing. However Jesus first gets into putting way by talking about divorce first to say that concerning “hardness of your hearts” vis-à-vis “at the beginning” and “what God has joined together” let not man divorce or “put asunder”. And is easy enough to understand. God does not like divorce, but He can arguably hate the putting away even more without a divorce.

1b. What does Moses law have to do with? What Jesus spoke of concerns a law of selfless grace and forgiveness that men should give themselves up for their wives, Eph. 5:25. It is worthy to note that Jesus said that the command of Moses for divorce was given after the fall on the basis of the hardness of men’s hearts. Being that man has not changed, men are still subject to or have hardened hearts, why then would then the law no longer apply for which reason it was first given in the first place? Did Moses make a Law so men could justifiably commit adultery? This is a difficult question for the proponents of view (A.). Why would Moses need to not only give into the sin of adultery and make Laws for Israel to justify it?

  1. From here Jesus gets into putting away without talking about a divorce included necessarily. According to position (C.) Jesus is making a point that pre-marriage-fornication or post-marriage-with-unbelievers-fornication are the only grounds for “putting away” without a divorce necessary according to the Law. Position (C.) will now say this is now another subject but the same topic in the later part of these verses, the sin of putting away without divorce. Paul can easily be argued to show in 1 Cor. 7, when defining what Jesus said, that He was talking about separated people still married, not divorced people committing adultery by reason of their divorce. The fact that in Luke a woman is putting away a man shows strong a strong argument that the subject has to do with separation, and that this would be the very thing that Jesus is addressing. A woman could not divorce her husband according to the Law, that is not the way it was written. Deut 24:1-5 reads “let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house”.

If the cause for putting away is only fornication (Deut 22:20-21 or John 8:41) what is the cause for divorce? In Deut. 24:1-4 it is uncleanness or nakedness. But this nakedness of Deut. 24:1-4 does not have to arguably be adultery, for in that case the woman in Deut. 24 could likely not necessarily see a divorced at all, but rather be stoned according to Law. The following divorce of the second man that married the woman is based only on hatred. It seems that this law is there that God would rather not that two people live together that can only hate each other, for whatever reason that is. It is apparently not such an issue if there was another marriage previously dissolved for uncleanness.

What kind of fornication is it? According to some proponents of position (A.), the fornication only has to do with Deuteronomy 22:20-21. However there are other kinds of fornication such as marriages to heathen (John 8:41, Hebrews 12:16-Genesis 36:2 “Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan”). But what fornication can mean is any union outside of legal Jewish marriage that does not require a divorce of any kind. In the case of fornication a Christian should ask for an annulment. A mere putting away in Matt. 19 appears to be allowable when a person is not bound being an unbeliever according to 1 Cor. 7 and the OT Law. Yet Paul says to stay in that condition where you are in 1 Cor. 7, that the unbelieving husband or wife may be saved. Although they are neither bound nor do they commit a adultery according to position (C.) if they leave without a divorce.

 

1 CORNITHIANS 7 WHAT IS PAULS TEACHING ON MARRAGE AND DIVORCE?

 

1 Cor. 7: 27,28 “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.”

That Jesus was talking about something other than divorce in Matt. 19:9 can be argued that it was is the same thing Paul is talking about in 1 Cor. 7:10,11 “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” This “depart” is very easy to show it was not in the category of divorce, but is within the same category as putting away that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5 and 19. This is one of the more difficult arguments for position (A.).

1 Corinthians 7:39 says “The wife is *bound* by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. … “ 7:15 “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under *bondage* in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” Here proponents of position (C.) will argue that not only is the word *bound* used of the dead and of the living, but that a marriage to an unbeliever is something we are bound from, not at “liberty” to recognize as consummated.

Argued by proponents to position (C.) when Paul said: ” Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Cor. 7:2) can mean that to take marriage away from anyone is to take away God’s tool for avoiding fornication – something only the devil authorizes said in 1 Timothy 4:3. And 1 Cor. 7.8,9 “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”. This could include those who are divorced.

 

JOHN 4 JESUS IDENTIFIES HUSBANDS PLURAL,OR NO HUSBAND, NOT JUST THE FIRST HUSBAND

 

John 4:17,18 “The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, You have well said, I have no husband: 18 For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: that said you truly.”

The number is wrong if position (A.) is the correct view. Jesus did not say she *has one living husband*, He said she *had* 5 husbands, which would be consistent with Deut 24:1-4. Jesus did not express to her position (A.), that there is no such thing as divorce. If Jesus was bring a new teaching He would have said that there can be no true husband but the first, and all this woman was doing was committing adultery. But Jesus said she had no husband, not the first, not the second, not the third, not the fourth and not even the fifth. Jesus did not say to her that she needed to repent and a needed to go back to her first husband. He did not teach her position (A.) that says that for only an illegitimate marriage based on the *fornication* of Matt 19:9 and Deut. 22:20-21, something that happened prior to marriage as a fraud in Matthew 19:9, can there ever be divorce. And I think it is unlikely that all five husbands had died, considering what kind of woman she was, that she had five husbands as well as had another already which was not her husband! And also that John tells us “The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men …” which men seem to be her former husbands, she did not go down and tell the woman of the city she told the men who would have some respect for her. Jesus should have said to her rather: “You have *wrongly* said, I have no husband, for you have *one* husband; and *all* whom you now have is not your husband: that said you truly.” if position (A.) is correct. This is a very difficult problem for position (A.) and I do not know how to answer it.

If Jesus had taught her a new Law He would have been stoned and died because He would have been making Israel a nation of adulterers by this change in the Law, and Jehovah Himself an adulterer considering Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.”. But the Pharisees finding no reason to stone Him left Him alone because He did not change their Laws or condemn Moses or the Lord. As rebellious as they were, they could not argue with His answer, they said nothing about Deut. 24:1-4. How then could He be inserting new Laws for them to follow contrary to the Laws of Moses, even regarding marriage and divorce? These were not His disciples they were there to catch Him teaching things contrary to the Law, something Jesus said He would never do.

 

MALACHI 2 THE LORD HATES DIVORCE OR THE LORD HATES PUTTING AWAY?

Malachi 2:14‐16: “Yet ye say, why? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And why one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore, take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away.”

Notice that these verses are about putting away without rightful cause. The verses do not mention divorce, that God hates divorce. The Lord hateth putting away, which can include divorce.

 

THREE DIFFERENT CONCLUSIONS TO MATT. 19:9

 

A.) Fornication refers only to Deut. 22:20-21 fraud, and put-away refers to a divorce not recognized by God.

B.) Fornication refers to adultery.

C.) Fornication refers to Deut 22:20-21 fraud and any union that is not legally binding .

 

A.) Fornication refers only to Deut. 22:20-21 fraud, and put-away refers to a divorce not recognized by God. The conclusion of this view is that there is no marriage but that of a first marriage, every other marriage thereafter only results in adultery, there never being a legitimate divorce only putting away in God’s eyes. But if that be the case then, not only is Deuteronomy 24 violated regarding marriage, but now one can go back to their first wife after she had been sent away and married another understanding Matt. 19:9 through 1 Cor. 7:10, 11. 1 Cor. 7:10, 11 reads: “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” “Put away” is thought to be used here understanding that God never recognized divorce from the beginning (Matt. 19), that this is the reason Jesus skips over Moses divorce Laws and talked only about it as “putting away”. Yet if putting away always equals divorce then Jesus is also teaching that men are committing adultery when they put away a wife who is illegitimate on the grounds of fornication: The word Jesus should be using should not mean that a divorce is necessary.

Yet marriage itself is a worldly ordinance. Just as there is no divorce in perfection, neither is there any marriage. But we are not in perfection, which is why the law was written, the Law was made for man and not man for the Law (Mark 2:27). Therefore this is why God also instituted divorce for the same reason He instituted marriage. The reason has to do with the flesh.

B.) Fornication refers to adultery. We are not arguing against this view here, because it is more simply refuted on the grounds that the word is fornication not adultery. This view is used by the Westminster Confession of Faith, the cheating spouse is as good as stoned according to OT Laws. They do not use Matthew 19 to prove their doctrine, rather they go to the OT and combine it with some NT thinking about grace.

C.) Fornication refers to Deut 22:20-21 fraud and any union that is not legally binding, but also every other sin that has to do with fornication: Sins that do not require a divorce because the marriage has no proper basis. And this fornication would also include marriage to unbelievers, being “unequally yoked” 2 Cor. 6. Yet in this instance of fornication Paul advises one who is not bound to stay with the person although there is no bond. You can get divorced and remarry again only to a believer, but it is God’s perfect will that one should never be in any need to put away, even if there is no legitimate Lawful Biblical marriage.

So ultimately all three interpretations believe that God hates divorce and wrongful putting away even more. Jesus said that the putting away laws [divorce and put away] were made for the hardness of men’s hearts. Hardness of heart is a very serious condition, Hebrews 3:6-11 “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. [7] Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,[8] Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: [9] When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. [10] Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. [11] So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)” However there are Scriptural differences in these divorces.

A.) This view is teaching that remarried Christians need to “put away” their Christian spouse without a divorce necessary, the very thing Jesus was teaching against according to position (C.). That they need to go back to their first marriage and stop committing the sin of adultery, also violating the Law and committing the sin in Deut. 24:4, the very thing that Moses was teaching against. According to the Pharisees and Moses this teaching would reverse Deut. 24 and make adulterers out of many of the people, possibly 4 times by both partners. What is inferred by these proponents is that the Pharisees set Jesus up testing Him, He failed the test miserably, and the Pharisees became His disciples accepting His new interpretation contrary to the Law of Moses and taught them that they could not divorce (i.e. put-away) for any cause.

B.) The problem with B. is that Jesus never taught that one could divorce for adultery, what He taught was that one cannot “put away” for fornication. He never spoke about adultery in Matt. 19, and left the possibility for divorce as it reads in Deuteronomy without adding or subtracting to it.

C.) The only problem I can find with this view thus far in Matt. 19 is that it does not punish people who divorce. Yet marriage itself is a complex worldly institution which is to pass away. This may answer the question about why God allows it. I do not think God likes divorce, and He may hate hardness of heart even more.