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Divorce: God's Will?

I am desiring to share my views and beliefs on marriage and remarriage.

Divorce: God's Will?
Posted:Oct 26, 2005 1:17 pm
Last Updated:Mar 5, 2006 9:29 pm
1177 Views

God Himself is fed-up with His church condemning those who have had a divorce and married again, and those who may need a divorce and will remarry! Looking for the TRUTH concerning a christian marriage, divorce and being married again as taught in the Bible? It's in the book Divorce: God's Will? concerning Christian marriage, submission, divorce and being married again

The Simple Truth on Divorce and Remarriage
Part I

Robert Waters

Intro:
I. Divorce and remarriage is seen by many as one of the most challenging Bible subjects, if
not THE most difficult.

A. It has probably been the most hotly debated issue among disciples of Christ, and because
of the ramifications...it is a highly emotional issue.

B. Why is this subject so difficult ‒ why is there not a more unanimous understanding?
1. God is not the author of confusion, and his word is perfect: :
a. 1 Co 14:33 - For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches
of the saints.
b. Ps 19 - The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the
LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
2. Thus, it must be due to error and misunderstanding on man’s part.
3. God’s word is perfect and when we understand it there will be no doubts.

II. The text: Mark 10:11 (one of them)

Mark 10:11 - Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth
adultery against her.

A. What is often concluded from Jesus’ teachings (usually Matt 19:9) is that a person who
divorces his spouse and marries another commits adultery because they are still
married to the previous spouse.
1. Thus, they conclude and teach that one who is divorced must remain celibate.
2. However, there is the exception clause to contend with, which is found in
Matt 19:9: "except for fornication", and people generally have concluded that
this means if one of the parties has committed adultery he can remarry, but many
contend that only if they initiate the divorce because of the adultery can they remarry.
a. Thus, if your spouse initiates the divorce against you, even though you have
been faithful, you cannot (according to them) marry another.
b. But I contend that this absolutely was not what Jesus taught.

B. There are those who are determined to obey what they think Jesus taught regardless
of the consequences, and without considering the possibility that their thinking could
be wrong.
1. But there are those who have considered the consequences of the “traditional”
position and have found them to be unacceptable, and therefore continue their
search for the truth.
a. By unacceptable I'm talking about facts like:
1) It can only be true if Jesus contradicted the Law under which he lived, which
allowed divorce.
2) The conclusion does not allow harmony of the scriptures ‒ Paul
commanded…to let the unmarried marry (1Cor7:8,9) and stated the reason
to “let them marry”, which is to “avoid fornication” (1 Cor7:2) and stated that
forbidding to marry was doctrines of devils 1Tim 4:1-4.
3) It has God having made a law that requires punishing someone when they
did nothing to deserve it.
b. One must decide if the position he holds on divorce and remarriage has
“consequences” that he can or cannot accept, and make any necessary changes
in his thinking, teaching and practice.

B. Of course, this subject…is difficult to study because of our own prejudices.
1. Many actually have their minds made up and refuse to even consider anything that
is contrary to what they were taught and which might require a change.
a. Actually, their thinking regarding what Matt 19:9 says has become their
authority.
b. Therefore, anything that conflicts with their preconceived ideas cannot
possibly be correct and is automatically rejected.
2. The truth on divorce and remarriage can be simplified by first getting on the right
track, as I shall endeavor to show you.

Body

I. Let us now see how that Jesus’ teachings is misunderstood.

A. Jesus said: Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth
adultery against her. (Mark 10:11)

B. Before anyone should draw any conclusions that requires drastic action, like braking
up a marriage or imposing celibacy (and using Jesus’ teachings to support it) he
needs to know for sure what Jesus said.
1. The common or “traditional” view of what He said is that one who divorces his
spouse and marries another, commits adultery unless the one who initiated the
divorce did it because of adultery…
a. Thus, they claim that any divorced person who is now married, according to
Jesus is not really married; but the conclusion is an assumption based upon
what they think He meant.
b. Jesus did not say that “divorced” persons commit adultery when they marry,
regardless of the reason for the divorce.
2. Here is a paraphrase of what Jesus said: “If you ‘put away’ your wife and marry
another, unless it be for fornication, you commit adultery and anyone who marries
the one who was put away commits adultery.” (Matt 19:9).
a. “Put away” and “divorce” are NOT THE SAME THING.
b. “Put away” means, “send out of the house” and results in separation ‒ not
in a legal divorce.

II. What evidence is there that “put away” just means what it says and does not
mean divorce?

A. First, there is a GK word for divorce and it is not the one that is translated put away in
Matt 19:9.
1. Greek words:
a. APOLUO ‒ “Put away”
b. APOSTASION - “Divorce”
2. It is argued that apoluo and apostasion are used interchangeably.
a. I recognize that some preachers have been deliberately saying “put away”
when they mean divorce.
b. But it is a misuse of the Greek and the English.
3. Interlinear: Mt 5:32 (KJV text)
But <de> I <ego> say <lego> unto you <humin>, That <hoti> whosoever <hos>
<an> shall put away <apoluo> his <autos> wife <gune>, saving <parektos> for
the cause <logos> of fornication <porneia>, causeth <poieo> her <autos> to
commit adultery <moichao> and <kai> whosoever <hos> <ean> shall marry
<gameo> her that is divorced <apoluo> committeth adultery <moichao>

B. Authorities on APOLUO:
1. Thayer says apoluo means, “to dismiss from the house, to repudiate.” (Thayer’s
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, pg. 66).
2. Bagster’s Analytical Lexicon: “Apoluo. Put away: To let go; to let loose; to
send away”

C. Authorities on the meaning of the English words "PUT AWAY":
Some English dictionaries do not even include divorce as a definition of “put away”
including:
a. Wordnet Dictionary:
“Put Away”
Definition:
1. [v] turn away from and put aside, perhaps temporarily; “She turned away from her
painting”
2. [v] eat up; usually refers to a considerable quantity of food; “My tucked in a
whole pizza”
3. [v] kill gently, as with an injection, as of pet animals
4. [v] place in a place where something cannot be removed or someone cannot
escape; “The parents locked her up for the weekend”; “She locked her
jewels in the safe”
5. [v] throw or cast away; “Put away your worries”
6. [v] lock up or confine, in or as in a jail; “The suspects were imprisoned without
trial”; “the murderer was incarcerated for the rest of his life”

Synonyms include: cast aside, cast away, cast out, discard, dispose, throw away,
throw out

b. The Collins English Dictionary © 2000 HarperCollins Publishers:
“Put Away”
verb[transitive, adverb(ial)]
1 to return (something) to the correct or proper place
example: he put away his books
2 to save
example: to put away money for the future
3 to lock up in a prison, mental institution, etc.
example: they put him away for twenty years
4 to eat or drink, esp. in large amounts
5 to put to death, because of old age or illness
example: the had to be put away

c. There was NO MENTION of divorce anywhere in the definition of “put away”.
1) Why is this significant?
2) Because apoluo is properly translated, “put away” and “put away”, in our
language does not mean divorce.
3) In the O.T. there were two parts to a divorce, and it is pretty much the same
today.
a) You file for divorce, and when the papers are completed you present them
to your spouse.
b) Then you put her away or send her out of the house. (Of course, in our
day the woman usually gets the house and the man leaves.)

D. Authorities on the meaning of Divorce:
“Apostasion”, properly translated “divorce” or “divorcement”. [Grk. 647] apostasion
(ap-os-tas’-ee-on) “neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of 868; properly,
something separative, i.e. (specially) divorce:--(writing of) divorcement” (Strong's).
Smith’s Bible Dictionary defines divorce as: “A legal dissolution of the marriage
relation.”

E. What about the fact that some versions of the N.T. translate apoluo as divorce?
1. It is true that several translations have translated apoluo as divorce in Matt 5:32 etc.
a. However, as far as I have been able to find out, the KJV was the first to translate
apoluo as divorce and it was certainly inconsistent in so doing.
1) Of the 11 times Jesus used the word apoluo the KJV rendered it “put away”
ever time except in one case ‒ Matt. 5:32.
2) There is no apparent reason for the inconsistency.
b. Previous to the KJV was the Wyclilff version:
Mark 10:11 - “Whosoever putteth awaye his wyfe and maryeth another, breaketh
wedlock to herward. And if a woman forsake her husband and be maryed to
another, she committeth advoutry also.”
c. A margin note in The Geneva Bible translated from the Textus Receptus in
1560 (about 50 years before the KJV) concerning the term put away said, “that
is, was not lawfully divorced.”
1) Why is this worthy of note? It gives support to the idea that Jesus was talking
about men merely putting away their wives and NOT divorcing them lawfully.

d. Greek/English Interlinear (tr){BUT I} legw <3004> (5719) {SAY} umin <5213> {TO
YOU} oti <3754> {THAT} oV <3739> an <302> {WHOEVER} apolush <630> (5661)
thn <3588> {SHALL PUT AWAY} gunaika <1135> autou <846> {HIS WIFE,} parektoV
<3924> {EXCEPT} logou <3056> {ON ACCOUNT} porneiaV <4202> {OF
FORNICATION,} poiei <4160> (5719) {CAUSES} authn <846> {HER} moicasqai
<3429> (573 {TO COMMIT ADULTERY;} kai <2532> {AND} oV <3739> ean
<1437> {WHOEVER} apolelumenhn <630> (5772) {HER WHO HAS BEEN PUT
AWAY} gamhsh <1060> (5661) {SHALL MARRY,} moicatai <3429> (5736)
{COMMITS ADULTERY.}
e. The ASV is widely respected as being the most literal and accurate version.
a. It consistently renders apoluo as “put away” in the passages relative to our
study, but never does it render it as divorce.
b. Had the ASV scholars understood apoluo to mean divorce they would have so
translated it.
2. What appears to have happened is that the KJV erred by translating apoluo as
divorce in one instance, probably due to Papal influence.
a. Then by the time many of the newer versions came along many scholars were
indoctrinated in the idea that Jesus meant divorce when he was talking about
merely "putting away", and therefore their biases were reflected in their decisions.
b. Considering that the KJV has been so respected and widely used there is no wonder
that many were influenced by it.

III. How is it possible that disciples came to think that “put away” means divorce?

A. First, in O.T. times some Jews were apparently simply putting away their wives or sending
them away and marrying another.
1. Originally, there was no law authorizing divorce, but due to the hardness of heart of the
men, who were sending away their wives and marrying another, the law was given.
2. Their evil practice resulted in the women being put out on their own without a means of
supporting themselves.
a. They could not marry another without being charged with committing adultery.
b. Therefore, God actually COMMANDED the “bill of divorce” to be given.
Deut. 24:1 ASV
When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in
his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write
her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
1) From the reading it seems evident that providing the “bill of divorcement”
was a command.
2) Jesus’ question (Mark 10:3) confirms that it was a command: “What did Moses
command you?”
3) Now, let it be understood that this was no command, or even license, for treachery
against one’s spouse, because this is the very thing God “hateth” (Mal 2:16) - For
the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth
violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your
spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
4) Nevertheless, in the case where men were determined to deal treacherously
with their spouse, by merely putting her away, that He commands the actual
divorce be given seems apparent.
3. Let us take a close look at Mark 10:2-5:
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his
wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command
you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you
this precept.
a. First, the Pharisees asked if it was lawful for a man to put away his wife.
1) Jesus responded by asking them what Moses commanded.
2) They replied that Moses allowed them to write a “bill of divorce” and to
“put away”.
3) But Jesus responded that it was a “precept” or command, and that the giving
of it was because of their hardness of heart.
b. Observations:
1) If put away means the same as divorce or is used interchangeable, then
God’s word is redundant and makes no sense.
2) Such thinking has the conversants saying: (vs 4): Moses suffered you to
divorce your wives and to divorce them.

IV. Below are versions that are consistent in NOT translating apoluo as divorce:
Mat 5:32:
(ASV) but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the
cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her
when she is PUT AWAY committeth adultery.

(Bible in Basic English) But I say to you that everyone who puts away his wife
for any other cause but the loss of her virtue, makes her false to her husband;
and whoever takes her as his wife after she is PUT AWAY, is no true husband
to her.

(Darby) But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except for
cause of fornication, makes her commit adultery, and whosoever marries one
that is PUT AWAY commits adultery.

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

(LITV) But I say to you, Whoever puts away his wife, apart from a matter of
fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry the one
PUT AWAY commits adultery.

(MKJV) But I say to you that whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause
of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is
PUT AWAY commits adultery.

(Worldwide English) But I tell you, no man may send away his wife unless she has
committed adultery. If he does send her away, he is making her commit adultery.
And if a man marries a woman who has been sent away from her husband, he
commits adultery.’

(World English Bible) But I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for
the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her
when she is put away commits adultery.

(WYC) 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.

(Youngs Literal Translation) But I–I say to you, that whoever may PUT AWAY
his wife, save for the matter of whoredom, doth make her to commit adultery; and
whoever may marry her who hath been PUT AWAY doth commit adultery.

There is no stronger evidence of a proper translation of a word than what is
rendered by respected translators. The ASV is the most respected for accuracy
and reliability. Also, a few of the other versions noted above are highly respected
and quoted from often. It is primarily the new versions, which are known for
unfaithfulness to the original language, that in some instances render apoluo as
divorce in at least some passages.

V. Below are all the passages (as rendered by the KJV) where APOLUO is used in
connection with the PUTTING AWAY of WIVES, which was the problem Jesus
addressed (the English word is shown in red):

Mt 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a
writing of divorcement:
Mt 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.
Mt 19:3 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?
Mt 19:8 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.
Mt 19:9 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.
Mr 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to
put away his wife? tempting him.
Mr 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry
another, committeth adultery against her.
Mr 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to
another, she committeth adultery.
Lu 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth
adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband
committeth adultery.

“Put her away”
Mt 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make
her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Mt 19 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of
divorcement, and to put her away?
Mr 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to
put her away.

VI. Now let us look at teachings that support the idea that “put away” was
not equal to divorce, but amounted to separation.

A. Ezr 10:11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your
fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the
land, and from the strange wives.
1. The word translated “separate” is:
[Heb. 914] badal(baw-dal')
a primitive root; to divide (in variation senses literally or figuratively, separate,
distinguish, differ, select, etc.):-- (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make)
separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly. (Strong's)
2. There was no command to divorce those women, why?
a. They were not legal marriages.
b. The relationships were not pleasing to God and simply needed to be
ended by permanent separation.

B. What is significant about the observation that "put away", as used by Jesus,
amounts to separation?
1. The "exception clause", found in Matt 19:9 is made to be the core of the
teaching that so divides brethren on the divorce and remarriage issue.
a. It is asserted that one who is divorced cannot marry unless he did the
divorcing and did it because the spouse committed fornication.
b. That is not what the passage says.
2. Jesus said if one PUTS AWAY his wife and marries another he commits
adultery, unless the wife was put away BECAUSE OF FORNICATION.
a. This does not mean that the spouse committed fornication, which either
broke the marriage bond or allowed the "innocent" one to so do.
b. It simply had reference to the RELATIONSHIP - it was not a legal marriage.
1) If a man found that he had married someone who was already
married, or who was close kin (incest), he would not need to do anything
but "put away", which amounted to separation.
2) (New Jerusalem) But I say this to you, everyone who divorces his wife,
except for the case of an illicit marriage, makes her an adulteress; and
anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Mt 5:32).
[The translators of the above version failed to properly translate apoluo,
but properly translated or paraphrased the "exception clause" as "except
for the case of an illicit marriage."]
3. The only instances in the N.T. where action was required in a case involving a
marriage was where the marriage was not legal according to the Law, i.e.,
was an "illicit marriage".
a. One was Herod's marriage to his brother's wife (Mark 6:18; Lev 20:21)
b. The second was the man who had his father's wife (1Cor. 5. See Clark).

4. illustrations:
a. Consider that some men (or women) just put their spouse out of the
house with the intention of being permanently separated, and do not bother
with a divorce.
1) It could be they did it because they had no intention of marrying another
because of indifference, or for various other reasons.
2) Also, some actually “divorce” but do not “put away” and the motive
may be to avoid paying taxes.
b. John and Shay marry. John finds another woman. John “puts away” Shay.
He says to her, “Take your stuff and get out of the house. You are
free from me. I’m marring another woman.”
1) What happens when he does marry this other woman? Obviously, he
commits adultery (Matt 19:9; Rom 7:1-4). Why would he be committing
adultery? It would be adultery because he was still legally and
scripturally married to Shay.
2) What would be the situation for the woman? She would be on her
own and could not marry according to Law and Scripture. Why? It
would be because she would commit adultery if she did, since she
was still legally married. What is her solution to the problem? Get a
legal and proper divorce, if possible.

C. The above is clearly the type scenario that was addressed by Moses as found in
Deut 24:1-4, which is the very passage the Pharisees alluded to in their effort to
entrap Jesus.
1. Mike Willis, an ultra conservative preacher and long time editor of Truth
Magazine (now Guardian of Truth), gave the following exegesis of
Deut 24:1-4:
“A reading of this passage demonstrates that Moses was trying to legislate
in such a way as to aid the woman because of the manner in which man
was abusing her. According to what I can understand was happening in
the days of Moses, a man would put away his wife without any concern for
her future. She would not be free to go out and marry another man and
yet she could not live with her husband. This left her in destitute
circumstances quite frequently. Hence, what Moses was trying to legislate
was something that would aid women who had been put away by their
husbands.”

“The Mosaical legislation said that if a man was going to put away his
wife, he had to give her a bill of divorcement that showed that she was
free from him and had the opportunity to remarry. Hence, it was
designed to protect the women from the harsh treatment husbands were
giving to them. Mike Willis Dayton, Ohio Truth Magazine XXIV: 14,
pp. 227-230 April 3, 1980.

D. Isa 50:1 ‒ “Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s
divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom
I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for
your transgressions is your mother put away.”
1. This passage is very important because it emphasizes the importance
of the “bill of divorcement” and teaches us that until there is an actual
legal divorce (with the papers) there is still hope for reconciliation. It also
clearly illustrates that “put away” does not mean “divorce”.
2. Evidently God did not deal treacherously with Israel by simply putting
her away and leaving it at that.
a. There was a “separation” but no divorce at this point, as was evidently
the case in the following passage:
Mal 2:14, 15 “Yet ye say, Wherefore? 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 wherefore 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.”
b. In the above passage is the illusion to the abuse of a wife (treachery)
probably by having been "put away", and the passage states
that the covenant is yet intact.
1) Such would be the case because "put away" is not divorce,
and a marriage covenant is not ended by merely "putting away".
2) Marriages were ended only by both "divorcing" and "putting
away" (Deut. 24:1-4).
3. The word translated “divorcement” (in Isa 50:1) is “kariythuwth,” which
STRONG defines as: “divorce, dismissal, divorcement”.
JFB ‒ “HORSLEY best explains (as the antithesis between ‘I’ and
‘yourselves’ shows, though LOWTH translates, ‘Ye are sold’ I have
never given your mother a regular bill of divorcement; I have merely ‘put
her away’ for a time, and can, therefore, by right as her husband still take
her back on her submission; I have not made you, the , over to
any ‘creditor’ to satisfy a debt; I therefore still have the right of a father
over you, and can take you back on repentance, though as rebellious
you have sold yourselves to sin and its penalty (1Ki 21:25 ).”

The explanation (above) of the text is consistent with Deut 24:1-4.
“Put away” did not mean “divorce”. It meant or was equal to “separation”.

VII. What is Significant about Deut 24:1-4?

A. The order of the command of Moses was: write the bill of divorce
and “send her away” (shalach).
1. That there are two separate commands involved in the divorce
is evident.
2. The Hebrew word, "Shalach" is translated "send her away" and is
equivalent to the greek word APOLUO, which means "put away".

B. It is important to note that STRONG nowhere mentions divorce in
his definition of “shalach”, as found in the text.
1. This should not be surprising because in the passages where
“shalach” is used it is understood from the context to be
something different from divorce, where papers were issued.
2. It is very significant that Jesus dealt with the very same matter in
His discourse with the Pharisees (Matt 19). Thus, it is prudent to
conclude that where Jesus used the word “apoluo” in his
response to the Pharisees, in reference to the Deut 24:1-4 scenario,
that it should NOT be translated “divorce”.
3. Furthermore, there is no reason for any “authority” to have
included “divorce” as part ot the definition of “apoluo”, as used
in Matt 19:9.
a. In fact, there are various reasons apoluo should not be
translated divorce.
1) It would result in redundancy.
2) There is another word (Apostasion) in the same context
that is used to refer to divorce, and is universally
translated as divorce.
b. The Greek word “apostasion” is translated “divorcement”
and is found 3 times in the KJV - all are in the gospels
and legal divorce is the implication. [Mt5:31; Mt19; Mr10:4]

VIII. Words sometimes only partially communicate and leave
room for speculation, theory and conjecture.

A. Example:
I met an old friend a few months ago that I had not seen in over 20 years. I knew she had married a doctor but did not know anything about him. She said to me, “I had to get rid of him”. Now, “get rid of” could be interpreted in various ways. It could mean she divorced him, it could mean she just told him IT IS OVER ‒ We are THROUGH, and moved out, or sent him out; or she could have killed him. If she had wanted to clearly communicate the idea that she had divorced her husband she could certainly have used the word “divorced”, or even said, “I gave him his walking papers”, but since she did not I cannot be absolutely certain what she meant. There is a remote possibility that the man she married was already married when he married her or that he was a first cousin, both of which would have made the marriage illegal. Thus, in such case she would not have needed to do anything more than “put him away”, which was to end the relationship by permanent separation.

Was God not being clear when He inspired writers to use certain words that mean “put away”, “send away” etc.? Did He want us to conclude that they had, in every case, actually divorced their wife? Some may have incorrectly used the same native language to mean “divorce,” but that is not what God said. When God gave important legislation regarding divorce he made it clear. In both the O.T. (Deut 24:1-4) and the N.T. (Matt 19-9) there is the allusion to actual papers (“bill of divorce” when divorce (noun) is under consideration. But of course when God said “he may not put her away all his days” (Deut. 22:29) common sense dictates that the command disallowed a divorce because “put away” was involved in “divorce”. It just makes sense that if you are told to not “put away” you are being told you cannot divorce, although they are not the same thing. Nevertheless, some preachers are deliberately using the words "put away", in their teachings when they mean "divorce". Why, because that is what they need it to mean. When they need to know about someone's "eligibility" do they ask, "Have you been put away?" Of course they do not. They ask, "Have you been divorced?"

If, in the above example, my friend had said, “I divorced him” or I gave him his “walking papers”, then I would have understood for certain that an actual divorce had taken place. As she worded it, all I knew for certain was that they were separated and did not have a good relationship.

IX. A Look at Various Old Testament Passages

(Ezra 10:19) “And they gave their promise that they would put away (yatsa’ H331 their wives; and being guilty, they presented a ram of the flock as their trespass offering.” NKJV

It is worthy of note that in the text there was no indication that the priests did anything other than “put away” or separate from their foreign wives according to the will of God. They did not need to actually divorce them because these were women that they should never have married ‒ women who God had said they could not marry. Thus, they were committing sin in living with these women, which is the same type of thing as “fornication” (porneia), which includes “incest”, according to STRONG. The fact that they did not formally divorce their wives is in perfect harmony with Jesus’ “exception” ‒ “except for fornication”, i.e., the “putting away” and marrying another would not result in adultery being committed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Jeremiah 3:1) “They say, ‘If a man put away (shalach H7971) 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 with many lovers; yet return again to me,’ saith the LORD.”

In the above passage, the word “They” was doubtless a reference to the Jews who had come to misunderstand and misuse Deut 24-1-4. (This will become evident when you understand the message of the text.) In Deut 24 the husband was forbidden to take back a wife to whom he had actually given a “bill of divorce” if she had married another. He was not forbidden to take back a woman who he had “put away” or merely sent out of the house, as we have seen from Isaiah 50:1, though it seems apparent from the text (Jer 3:1) that such had become the thinking of the people. God said, Regardless of this erroneous thinking I will take you back. He was saying, we have been separated and you have played the , nevertheless, I will take you back.

Was God asserting that he would do something that was against the Law, and therefore would mess up the paradigm he had given?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Jeremiah 3:8 ) “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away (shalach H7971), and given her a bill of divorce (keriythuwth H374; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the also.”

After alluding to the fact that he had been previously dispatched to plead for Israel’s return during the separation, Jeremiah stated that God had “given her [Israel] a bill or certificate of divorce”, thus dissolving the marriage and relieving God of any responsibility to Israel as his “chosen” or as his “wife” who He had married (Jer3:14). In verse 14 we see where the Lord had told Jeremiah to plead with his “back sliding” “wife” to return and he would take her back. If we go back and consider verse 12 there should be no doubt that Jeremiah was talking about what he had been told to say BEFORE the divorce had actually been given.

Note how some would interpret Jer.3:8:
"And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had DIVORCED HER (put her away), and DIVORCED HER (given her a bill of Divorce); yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the also” (Jer 3:.

In the above passage some emphatically argue that "put away" means divorce. If such is true then consider how ridiculous they make the passage read. They have God saying: I DIVORCED HER AND I DIVORCED HER. Nevertheless, the fact that God did two separate things (described with different words), to Israel is positive proof that the sending away is not the divorce. The divorce (legal proceedings evidenced by a “bill” or written statement) is the divorce. One can put away and not divorce and one can divorce and not put away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Ezekiel 44:22) “Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away (garash H1644): but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before.” The NKJV says, “driven out” instead of “put away”.

The command to the priests restricted them marrying a virgin or a widow of another priest. If the priests had obeyed the command it would have assured that the priests did not marry one who could possibly be still married to another. The above passage may be an indication that there were misunderstandings among the Jews regarding what was an acceptable divorce. Marrying a virgin or the widow of another priest assured that the woman had no legal ties to another, and when you consider what their responsibilities were, it is understandable that God would require such of these men.

X. Some Observations Regarding Divorce in the Epistles

A. Have you ever noticed that in the KJV or ASV there is no instance
of an apostle’s words being translated as “divorce”, “divorced” ,
or “bill of divorcement” etc?
1. However, “loosed” (LUSIS, 1 Cor 7:27,2 refers to and applies
to those who have been divorced.)
2. Neither Jesus nor the apostles specifically and plainly addressed
the matter of divorce.
a. Nevertheless, in an effort to explain the apostles’ teachings
to conform to their idea of what they THINK Jesus taught,
many assert that “chorizo” (rendered as “depart”,
1 Cor. 7:11) means “divorce”.
1) It does not.
2) However, it is something that may be involved in the process
of divorce.
b. Note STRONG’S definition below as copied in full from his work
used by SwordSearcher:
“from 5561; to place room between, i.e. part;
reflexively, to go away:--depart, put asunder,
separate.”

B. The words of the apostles constitute our authority to act religiously,
thus, the importance of the observation noted above, is evident.

Conclusion:

The practice of requiring celibacy is something that is contrary to the very reason given for marriage (1Cor7:2).

Divorce is not specifically and clearly authorized in the New Testament, but because marriage is dissolvable (contrary to Catholic decree), if done legally, those who have been through an unfortunate marriage and divorce are not still bound to a previous relationship. Marriage and divorce is not a law of the church, therefore it is not regulated by the church.

When a divorce takes place, one or both parties may have been guilty of sin, but the sin(s) may be forgiven (1 Cor 6:11). The last thing a divorced person needs is to be placed in a position that makes his/her endeavor to live the Christian life even more difficult (1Cor7:2). That God does not require the divorced to be punished is true because there is no scriptural evidence of it.
In reading the works of Josephus, I was unable to find where he made any mention of Jesus teaching, or being charged with teaching, that certain marriages must be dissolved or that certain people had no right to a marriage. According to Josephus’ understanding, the only restriction…was that they be “at the age fit for it”. This is consistent with the Apostle Paul’s teachings in 1 Cor 7:36: “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.” The male is to be a “man” and the female must have “reached the flower of her age”. Any other restrictions placed upon people are man-made and not of the gospel of Christ (Gal 1:8,9).

In our language “put away” is NOT the same as divorce. We do not talk like that. Only men who need APOLUO (put away) to mean APOSTASION (divorce), to justify their teaching and practice, talk like that in their writings. As a did you ever play the game where you say the opposite of what you mean? If you say something wrong long enough you are going to get confused and the people that hear you are going to get confused. The translation from the ASV is correct and it means what it says.

Paul uses “depart” in 1 Cor 7:11, which is from “chorizo” and means separate. If she departs the logical result is that she is then SEPARATE from her husband.

Some are still clinging to the argument that only God joins and only God can unjoin.
God “joins” people who marry, but when a couple marries they had a part in that decision. God would not have joined them if they had not determined to marry. If this same couple determine to divorce it is their decision and there is no scripture that indicates that God does not recognize it. Thus, recognizing that the divorced are indeed “loosed”, the passages in the N.T. that allow marriage are to be applied to those who are divorced. To fail to obey is to be guilty of teaching “doctrines of devils” by “forbidding to marry”.

The Marriage Institution Or The Marriage Partners?

Which is greater in God’s eyes: the marriage or the people of the marriage? The priorities in the Church concerning marriage have been greatly misplaced. We have judged the “marriage institution” to be greater than the couples who make up the marriage.

The institution is never greater than those who make up that institution. A company is only as good as its people. A strong and mighty nation is made up of courageous people who will stand up for what is right under any circumstances. Moreover, a great marriage is great because the couple has a great relationship, and nothing less. An institution is only as great as the relationships that make up that institution.

When a couple no longer has a great relationship, the marriage is no longer great. When we care more about our marriage than our marriage partner, we have misplaced the emphasis of our relationship. Being married does not create a great relationship. But having a great relationship creates a great marriage.

When we are faced with the decision of either saving the institution or the people of the institution, the institution must go! And when we are faced with the decision of either saving a marriage or the people of the marriage, the marriage must go! Whether it be the Sabbath day, a company, the ministry, the nation, or a marriage, the people of these institutions are always more important than the institutions themselves. Always!

If we put the institution first, instead of the people, we lose the vision for the institution. The vision of the people makes the institution what it is. Without a vision, failure and collapse are inevitable. When the dreams for the marriage that are in the heart of the husband and wife go out because of a bad relationship, the marriage is on a collision course with a bad situation. But as long as there is vision for the marriage, the marriage will continue. When a married couple loses the vision for the marriage, which is that joy a person possesses in their heart to spend the rest of their days with their mate, it’s hard to rekindle on their own. However, God is able through willing hearts.
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Divorce: God's Will?
Posted:Oct 26, 2005 1:16 pm
Last Updated:Mar 5, 2006 9:29 pm
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God Himself is fed-up with His church condemning those who have had a divorce and married again, and those who may need a divorce and will remarry! Looking for the TRUTH concerning a christian marriage, divorce and being married again as taught in the Bible? It's in the book Divorce: God's Will? concerning Christian marriage, submission, divorce and being married again

The Simple Truth on Divorce and Remarriage
Part I

Robert Waters

Intro:
I. Divorce and remarriage is seen by many as one of the most challenging Bible subjects, if
not THE most difficult.

A. It has probably been the most hotly debated issue among disciples of Christ, and because
of the ramifications...it is a highly emotional issue.

B. Why is this subject so difficult ‒ why is there not a more unanimous understanding?
1. God is not the author of confusion, and his word is perfect: :
a. 1 Co 14:33 - For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches
of the saints.
b. Ps 19 - The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the
LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
2. Thus, it must be due to error and misunderstanding on man’s part.
3. God’s word is perfect and when we understand it there will be no doubts.

II. The text: Mark 10:11 (one of them)

Mark 10:11 - Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth
adultery against her.

A. What is often concluded from Jesus’ teachings (usually Matt 19:9) is that a person who
divorces his spouse and marries another commits adultery because they are still
married to the previous spouse.
1. Thus, they conclude and teach that one who is divorced must remain celibate.
2. However, there is the exception clause to contend with, which is found in
Matt 19:9: "except for fornication", and people generally have concluded that
this means if one of the parties has committed adultery he can remarry, but many
contend that only if they initiate the divorce because of the adultery can they remarry.
a. Thus, if your spouse initiates the divorce against you, even though you have
been faithful, you cannot (according to them) marry another.
b. But I contend that this absolutely was not what Jesus taught.

B. There are those who are determined to obey what they think Jesus taught regardless
of the consequences, and without considering the possibility that their thinking could
be wrong.
1. But there are those who have considered the consequences of the “traditional”
position and have found them to be unacceptable, and therefore continue their
search for the truth.
a. By unacceptable I'm talking about facts like:
1) It can only be true if Jesus contradicted the Law under which he lived, which
allowed divorce.
2) The conclusion does not allow harmony of the scriptures ‒ Paul
commanded…to let the unmarried marry (1Cor7:8,9) and stated the reason
to “let them marry”, which is to “avoid fornication” (1 Cor7:2) and stated that
forbidding to marry was doctrines of devils 1Tim 4:1-4.
3) It has God having made a law that requires punishing someone when they
did nothing to deserve it.
b. One must decide if the position he holds on divorce and remarriage has
“consequences” that he can or cannot accept, and make any necessary changes
in his thinking, teaching and practice.

B. Of course, this subject…is difficult to study because of our own prejudices.
1. Many actually have their minds made up and refuse to even consider anything that
is contrary to what they were taught and which might require a change.
a. Actually, their thinking regarding what Matt 19:9 says has become their
authority.
b. Therefore, anything that conflicts with their preconceived ideas cannot
possibly be correct and is automatically rejected.
2. The truth on divorce and remarriage can be simplified by first getting on the right
track, as I shall endeavor to show you.

Body

I. Let us now see how that Jesus’ teachings is misunderstood.

A. Jesus said: Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth
adultery against her. (Mark 10:11)

B. Before anyone should draw any conclusions that requires drastic action, like braking
up a marriage or imposing celibacy (and using Jesus’ teachings to support it) he
needs to know for sure what Jesus said.
1. The common or “traditional” view of what He said is that one who divorces his
spouse and marries another, commits adultery unless the one who initiated the
divorce did it because of adultery…
a. Thus, they claim that any divorced person who is now married, according to
Jesus is not really married; but the conclusion is an assumption based upon
what they think He meant.
b. Jesus did not say that “divorced” persons commit adultery when they marry,
regardless of the reason for the divorce.
2. Here is a paraphrase of what Jesus said: “If you ‘put away’ your wife and marry
another, unless it be for fornication, you commit adultery and anyone who marries
the one who was put away commits adultery.” (Matt 19:9).
a. “Put away” and “divorce” are NOT THE SAME THING.
b. “Put away” means, “send out of the house” and results in separation ‒ not
in a legal divorce.

II. What evidence is there that “put away” just means what it says and does not
mean divorce?

A. First, there is a GK word for divorce and it is not the one that is translated put away in
Matt 19:9.
1. Greek words:
a. APOLUO ‒ “Put away”
b. APOSTASION - “Divorce”
2. It is argued that apoluo and apostasion are used interchangeably.
a. I recognize that some preachers have been deliberately saying “put away”
when they mean divorce.
b. But it is a misuse of the Greek and the English.
3. Interlinear: Mt 5:32 (KJV text)
But <de> I <ego> say <lego> unto you <humin>, That <hoti> whosoever <hos>
<an> shall put away <apoluo> his <autos> wife <gune>, saving <parektos> for
the cause <logos> of fornication <porneia>, causeth <poieo> her <autos> to
commit adultery <moichao> and <kai> whosoever <hos> <ean> shall marry
<gameo> her that is divorced <apoluo> committeth adultery <moichao>

B. Authorities on APOLUO:
1. Thayer says apoluo means, “to dismiss from the house, to repudiate.” (Thayer’s
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, pg. 66).
2. Bagster’s Analytical Lexicon: “Apoluo. Put away: To let go; to let loose; to
send away”

C. Authorities on the meaning of the English words "PUT AWAY":
Some English dictionaries do not even include divorce as a definition of “put away”
including:
a. Wordnet Dictionary:
“Put Away”
Definition:
1. [v] turn away from and put aside, perhaps temporarily; “She turned away from her
painting”
2. [v] eat up; usually refers to a considerable quantity of food; “My tucked in a
whole pizza”
3. [v] kill gently, as with an injection, as of pet animals
4. [v] place in a place where something cannot be removed or someone cannot
escape; “The parents locked her up for the weekend”; “She locked her
jewels in the safe”
5. [v] throw or cast away; “Put away your worries”
6. [v] lock up or confine, in or as in a jail; “The suspects were imprisoned without
trial”; “the murderer was incarcerated for the rest of his life”

Synonyms include: cast aside, cast away, cast out, discard, dispose, throw away,
throw out

b. The Collins English Dictionary © 2000 HarperCollins Publishers:
“Put Away”
verb[transitive, adverb(ial)]
1 to return (something) to the correct or proper place
example: he put away his books
2 to save
example: to put away money for the future
3 to lock up in a prison, mental institution, etc.
example: they put him away for twenty years
4 to eat or drink, esp. in large amounts
5 to put to death, because of old age or illness
example: the had to be put away

c. There was NO MENTION of divorce anywhere in the definition of “put away”.
1) Why is this significant?
2) Because apoluo is properly translated, “put away” and “put away”, in our
language does not mean divorce.
3) In the O.T. there were two parts to a divorce, and it is pretty much the same
today.
a) You file for divorce, and when the papers are completed you present them
to your spouse.
b) Then you put her away or send her out of the house. (Of course, in our
day the woman usually gets the house and the man leaves.)

D. Authorities on the meaning of Divorce:
“Apostasion”, properly translated “divorce” or “divorcement”. [Grk. 647] apostasion
(ap-os-tas’-ee-on) “neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of 868; properly,
something separative, i.e. (specially) divorce:--(writing of) divorcement” (Strong's).
Smith’s Bible Dictionary defines divorce as: “A legal dissolution of the marriage
relation.”

E. What about the fact that some versions of the N.T. translate apoluo as divorce?
1. It is true that several translations have translated apoluo as divorce in Matt 5:32 etc.
a. However, as far as I have been able to find out, the KJV was the first to translate
apoluo as divorce and it was certainly inconsistent in so doing.
1) Of the 11 times Jesus used the word apoluo the KJV rendered it “put away”
ever time except in one case ‒ Matt. 5:32.
2) There is no apparent reason for the inconsistency.
b. Previous to the KJV was the Wyclilff version:
Mark 10:11 - “Whosoever putteth awaye his wyfe and maryeth another, breaketh
wedlock to herward. And if a woman forsake her husband and be maryed to
another, she committeth advoutry also.”
c. A margin note in The Geneva Bible translated from the Textus Receptus in
1560 (about 50 years before the KJV) concerning the term put away said, “that
is, was not lawfully divorced.”
1) Why is this worthy of note? It gives support to the idea that Jesus was talking
about men merely putting away their wives and NOT divorcing them lawfully.

d. Greek/English Interlinear (tr){BUT I} legw <3004> (5719) {SAY} umin <5213> {TO
YOU} oti <3754> {THAT} oV <3739> an <302> {WHOEVER} apolush <630> (5661)
thn <3588> {SHALL PUT AWAY} gunaika <1135> autou <846> {HIS WIFE,} parektoV
<3924> {EXCEPT} logou <3056> {ON ACCOUNT} porneiaV <4202> {OF
FORNICATION,} poiei <4160> (5719) {CAUSES} authn <846> {HER} moicasqai
<3429> (573 {TO COMMIT ADULTERY;} kai <2532> {AND} oV <3739> ean
<1437> {WHOEVER} apolelumenhn <630> (5772) {HER WHO HAS BEEN PUT
AWAY} gamhsh <1060> (5661) {SHALL MARRY,} moicatai <3429> (5736)
{COMMITS ADULTERY.}
e. The ASV is widely respected as being the most literal and accurate version.
a. It consistently renders apoluo as “put away” in the passages relative to our
study, but never does it render it as divorce.
b. Had the ASV scholars understood apoluo to mean divorce they would have so
translated it.
2. What appears to have happened is that the KJV erred by translating apoluo as
divorce in one instance, probably due to Papal influence.
a. Then by the time many of the newer versions came along many scholars were
indoctrinated in the idea that Jesus meant divorce when he was talking about
merely "putting away", and therefore their biases were reflected in their decisions.
b. Considering that the KJV has been so respected and widely used there is no wonder
that many were influenced by it.

III. How is it possible that disciples came to think that “put away” means divorce?

A. First, in O.T. times some Jews were apparently simply putting away their wives or sending
them away and marrying another.
1. Originally, there was no law authorizing divorce, but due to the hardness of heart of the
men, who were sending away their wives and marrying another, the law was given.
2. Their evil practice resulted in the women being put out on their own without a means of
supporting themselves.
a. They could not marry another without being charged with committing adultery.
b. Therefore, God actually COMMANDED the “bill of divorce” to be given.
Deut. 24:1 ASV
When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in
his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write
her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
1) From the reading it seems evident that providing the “bill of divorcement”
was a command.
2) Jesus’ question (Mark 10:3) confirms that it was a command: “What did Moses
command you?”
3) Now, let it be understood that this was no command, or even license, for treachery
against one’s spouse, because this is the very thing God “hateth” (Mal 2:16) - For
the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth
violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your
spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
4) Nevertheless, in the case where men were determined to deal treacherously
with their spouse, by merely putting her away, that He commands the actual
divorce be given seems apparent.
3. Let us take a close look at Mark 10:2-5:
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his
wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command
you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you
this precept.
a. First, the Pharisees asked if it was lawful for a man to put away his wife.
1) Jesus responded by asking them what Moses commanded.
2) They replied that Moses allowed them to write a “bill of divorce” and to
“put away”.
3) But Jesus responded that it was a “precept” or command, and that the giving
of it was because of their hardness of heart.
b. Observations:
1) If put away means the same as divorce or is used interchangeable, then
God’s word is redundant and makes no sense.
2) Such thinking has the conversants saying: (vs 4): Moses suffered you to
divorce your wives and to divorce them.

IV. Below are versions that are consistent in NOT translating apoluo as divorce:
Mat 5:32:
(ASV) but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the
cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her
when she is PUT AWAY committeth adultery.

(Bible in Basic English) But I say to you that everyone who puts away his wife
for any other cause but the loss of her virtue, makes her false to her husband;
and whoever takes her as his wife after she is PUT AWAY, is no true husband
to her.

(Darby) But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except for
cause of fornication, makes her commit adultery, and whosoever marries one
that is PUT AWAY commits adultery.

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

(LITV) But I say to you, Whoever puts away his wife, apart from a matter of
fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry the one
PUT AWAY commits adultery.

(MKJV) But I say to you that whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause
of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is
PUT AWAY commits adultery.

(Worldwide English) But I tell you, no man may send away his wife unless she has
committed adultery. If he does send her away, he is making her commit adultery.
And if a man marries a woman who has been sent away from her husband, he
commits adultery.’

(World English Bible) But I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for
the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her
when she is put away commits adultery.

(WYC) 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.

(Youngs Literal Translation) But I–I say to you, that whoever may PUT AWAY
his wife, save for the matter of whoredom, doth make her to commit adultery; and
whoever may marry her who hath been PUT AWAY doth commit adultery.

There is no stronger evidence of a proper translation of a word than what is
rendered by respected translators. The ASV is the most respected for accuracy
and reliability. Also, a few of the other versions noted above are highly respected
and quoted from often. It is primarily the new versions, which are known for
unfaithfulness to the original language, that in some instances render apoluo as
divorce in at least some passages.

V. Below are all the passages (as rendered by the KJV) where APOLUO is used in
connection with the PUTTING AWAY of WIVES, which was the problem Jesus
addressed (the English word is shown in red):

Mt 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a
writing of divorcement:
Mt 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.
Mt 19:3 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?
Mt 19:8 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.
Mt 19:9 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.
Mr 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to
put away his wife? tempting him.
Mr 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry
another, committeth adultery against her.
Mr 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to
another, she committeth adultery.
Lu 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth
adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband
committeth adultery.

“Put her away”
Mt 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make
her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Mt 19 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of
divorcement, and to put her away?
Mr 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to
put her away.

VI. Now let us look at teachings that support the idea that “put away” was
not equal to divorce, but amounted to separation.

A. Ezr 10:11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your
fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the
land, and from the strange wives.
1. The word translated “separate” is:
[Heb. 914] badal(baw-dal')
a primitive root; to divide (in variation senses literally or figuratively, separate,
distinguish, differ, select, etc.):-- (make, put) difference, divide (asunder), (make)
separate (self, -ation), sever (out), X utterly. (Strong's)
2. There was no command to divorce those women, why?
a. They were not legal marriages.
b. The relationships were not pleasing to God and simply needed to be
ended by permanent separation.

B. What is significant about the observation that "put away", as used by Jesus,
amounts to separation?
1. The "exception clause", found in Matt 19:9 is made to be the core of the
teaching that so divides brethren on the divorce and remarriage issue.
a. It is asserted that one who is divorced cannot marry unless he did the
divorcing and did it because the spouse committed fornication.
b. That is not what the passage says.
2. Jesus said if one PUTS AWAY his wife and marries another he commits
adultery, unless the wife was put away BECAUSE OF FORNICATION.
a. This does not mean that the spouse committed fornication, which either
broke the marriage bond or allowed the "innocent" one to so do.
b. It simply had reference to the RELATIONSHIP - it was not a legal marriage.
1) If a man found that he had married someone who was already
married, or who was close kin (incest), he would not need to do anything
but "put away", which amounted to separation.
2) (New Jerusalem) But I say this to you, everyone who divorces his wife,
except for the case of an illicit marriage, makes her an adulteress; and
anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Mt 5:32).
[The translators of the above version failed to properly translate apoluo,
but properly translated or paraphrased the "exception clause" as "except
for the case of an illicit marriage."]
3. The only instances in the N.T. where action was required in a case involving a
marriage was where the marriage was not legal according to the Law, i.e.,
was an "illicit marriage".
a. One was Herod's marriage to his brother's wife (Mark 6:18; Lev 20:21)
b. The second was the man who had his father's wife (1Cor. 5. See Clark).

4. illustrations:
a. Consider that some men (or women) just put their spouse out of the
house with the intention of being permanently separated, and do not bother
with a divorce.
1) It could be they did it because they had no intention of marrying another
because of indifference, or for various other reasons.
2) Also, some actually “divorce” but do not “put away” and the motive
may be to avoid paying taxes.
b. John and Shay marry. John finds another woman. John “puts away” Shay.
He says to her, “Take your stuff and get out of the house. You are
free from me. I’m marring another woman.”
1) What happens when he does marry this other woman? Obviously, he
commits adultery (Matt 19:9; Rom 7:1-4). Why would he be committing
adultery? It would be adultery because he was still legally and
scripturally married to Shay.
2) What would be the situation for the woman? She would be on her
own and could not marry according to Law and Scripture. Why? It
would be because she would commit adultery if she did, since she
was still legally married. What is her solution to the problem? Get a
legal and proper divorce, if possible.

C. The above is clearly the type scenario that was addressed by Moses as found in
Deut 24:1-4, which is the very passage the Pharisees alluded to in their effort to
entrap Jesus.
1. Mike Willis, an ultra conservative preacher and long time editor of Truth
Magazine (now Guardian of Truth), gave the following exegesis of
Deut 24:1-4:
“A reading of this passage demonstrates that Moses was trying to legislate
in such a way as to aid the woman because of the manner in which man
was abusing her. According to what I can understand was happening in
the days of Moses, a man would put away his wife without any concern for
her future. She would not be free to go out and marry another man and
yet she could not live with her husband. This left her in destitute
circumstances quite frequently. Hence, what Moses was trying to legislate
was something that would aid women who had been put away by their
husbands.”

“The Mosaical legislation said that if a man was going to put away his
wife, he had to give her a bill of divorcement that showed that she was
free from him and had the opportunity to remarry. Hence, it was
designed to protect the women from the harsh treatment husbands were
giving to them. Mike Willis Dayton, Ohio Truth Magazine XXIV: 14,
pp. 227-230 April 3, 1980.

D. Isa 50:1 ‒ “Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s
divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom
I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for
your transgressions is your mother put away.”
1. This passage is very important because it emphasizes the importance
of the “bill of divorcement” and teaches us that until there is an actual
legal divorce (with the papers) there is still hope for reconciliation. It also
clearly illustrates that “put away” does not mean “divorce”.
2. Evidently God did not deal treacherously with Israel by simply putting
her away and leaving it at that.
a. There was a “separation” but no divorce at this point, as was evidently
the case in the following passage:
Mal 2:14, 15 “Yet ye say, Wherefore? 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 wherefore 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.”
b. In the above passage is the illusion to the abuse of a wife (treachery)
probably by having been "put away", and the passage states
that the covenant is yet intact.
1) Such would be the case because "put away" is not divorce,
and a marriage covenant is not ended by merely "putting away".
2) Marriages were ended only by both "divorcing" and "putting
away" (Deut. 24:1-4).
3. The word translated “divorcement” (in Isa 50:1) is “kariythuwth,” which
STRONG defines as: “divorce, dismissal, divorcement”.
JFB ‒ “HORSLEY best explains (as the antithesis between ‘I’ and
‘yourselves’ shows, though LOWTH translates, ‘Ye are sold’ I have
never given your mother a regular bill of divorcement; I have merely ‘put
her away’ for a time, and can, therefore, by right as her husband still take
her back on her submission; I have not made you, the , over to
any ‘creditor’ to satisfy a debt; I therefore still have the right of a father
over you, and can take you back on repentance, though as rebellious
you have sold yourselves to sin and its penalty (1Ki 21:25 ).”

The explanation (above) of the text is consistent with Deut 24:1-4.
“Put away” did not mean “divorce”. It meant or was equal to “separation”.

VII. What is Significant about Deut 24:1-4?

A. The order of the command of Moses was: write the bill of divorce
and “send her away” (shalach).
1. That there are two separate commands involved in the divorce
is evident.
2. The Hebrew word, "Shalach" is translated "send her away" and is
equivalent to the greek word APOLUO, which means "put away".

B. It is important to note that STRONG nowhere mentions divorce in
his definition of “shalach”, as found in the text.
1. This should not be surprising because in the passages where
“shalach” is used it is understood from the context to be
something different from divorce, where papers were issued.
2. It is very significant that Jesus dealt with the very same matter in
His discourse with the Pharisees (Matt 19). Thus, it is prudent to
conclude that where Jesus used the word “apoluo” in his
response to the Pharisees, in reference to the Deut 24:1-4 scenario,
that it should NOT be translated “divorce”.
3. Furthermore, there is no reason for any “authority” to have
included “divorce” as part ot the definition of “apoluo”, as used
in Matt 19:9.
a. In fact, there are various reasons apoluo should not be
translated divorce.
1) It would result in redundancy.
2) There is another word (Apostasion) in the same context
that is used to refer to divorce, and is universally
translated as divorce.
b. The Greek word “apostasion” is translated “divorcement”
and is found 3 times in the KJV - all are in the gospels
and legal divorce is the implication. [Mt5:31; Mt19; Mr10:4]

VIII. Words sometimes only partially communicate and leave
room for speculation, theory and conjecture.

A. Example:
I met an old friend a few months ago that I had not seen in over 20 years. I knew she had married a doctor but did not know anything about him. She said to me, “I had to get rid of him”. Now, “get rid of” could be interpreted in various ways. It could mean she divorced him, it could mean she just told him IT IS OVER ‒ We are THROUGH, and moved out, or sent him out; or she could have killed him. If she had wanted to clearly communicate the idea that she had divorced her husband she could certainly have used the word “divorced”, or even said, “I gave him his walking papers”, but since she did not I cannot be absolutely certain what she meant. There is a remote possibility that the man she married was already married when he married her or that he was a first cousin, both of which would have made the marriage illegal. Thus, in such case she would not have needed to do anything more than “put him away”, which was to end the relationship by permanent separation.

Was God not being clear when He inspired writers to use certain words that mean “put away”, “send away” etc.? Did He want us to conclude that they had, in every case, actually divorced their wife? Some may have incorrectly used the same native language to mean “divorce,” but that is not what God said. When God gave important legislation regarding divorce he made it clear. In both the O.T. (Deut 24:1-4) and the N.T. (Matt 19-9) there is the allusion to actual papers (“bill of divorce” when divorce (noun) is under consideration. But of course when God said “he may not put her away all his days” (Deut. 22:29) common sense dictates that the command disallowed a divorce because “put away” was involved in “divorce”. It just makes sense that if you are told to not “put away” you are being told you cannot divorce, although they are not the same thing. Nevertheless, some preachers are deliberately using the words "put away", in their teachings when they mean "divorce". Why, because that is what they need it to mean. When they need to know about someone's "eligibility" do they ask, "Have you been put away?" Of course they do not. They ask, "Have you been divorced?"

If, in the above example, my friend had said, “I divorced him” or I gave him his “walking papers”, then I would have understood for certain that an actual divorce had taken place. As she worded it, all I knew for certain was that they were separated and did not have a good relationship.

IX. A Look at Various Old Testament Passages

(Ezra 10:19) “And they gave their promise that they would put away (yatsa’ H331 their wives; and being guilty, they presented a ram of the flock as their trespass offering.” NKJV

It is worthy of note that in the text there was no indication that the priests did anything other than “put away” or separate from their foreign wives according to the will of God. They did not need to actually divorce them because these were women that they should never have married ‒ women who God had said they could not marry. Thus, they were committing sin in living with these women, which is the same type of thing as “fornication” (porneia), which includes “incest”, according to STRONG. The fact that they did not formally divorce their wives is in perfect harmony with Jesus’ “exception” ‒ “except for fornication”, i.e., the “putting away” and marrying another would not result in adultery being committed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Jeremiah 3:1) “They say, ‘If a man put away (shalach H7971) 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 with many lovers; yet return again to me,’ saith the LORD.”

In the above passage, the word “They” was doubtless a reference to the Jews who had come to misunderstand and misuse Deut 24-1-4. (This will become evident when you understand the message of the text.) In Deut 24 the husband was forbidden to take back a wife to whom he had actually given a “bill of divorce” if she had married another. He was not forbidden to take back a woman who he had “put away” or merely sent out of the house, as we have seen from Isaiah 50:1, though it seems apparent from the text (Jer 3:1) that such had become the thinking of the people. God said, Regardless of this erroneous thinking I will take you back. He was saying, we have been separated and you have played the , nevertheless, I will take you back.

Was God asserting that he would do something that was against the Law, and therefore would mess up the paradigm he had given?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Jeremiah 3:8 ) “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away (shalach H7971), and given her a bill of divorce (keriythuwth H374; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the also.”

After alluding to the fact that he had been previously dispatched to plead for Israel’s return during the separation, Jeremiah stated that God had “given her [Israel] a bill or certificate of divorce”, thus dissolving the marriage and relieving God of any responsibility to Israel as his “chosen” or as his “wife” who He had married (Jer3:14). In verse 14 we see where the Lord had told Jeremiah to plead with his “back sliding” “wife” to return and he would take her back. If we go back and consider verse 12 there should be no doubt that Jeremiah was talking about what he had been told to say BEFORE the divorce had actually been given.

Note how some would interpret Jer.3:8:
"And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had DIVORCED HER (put her away), and DIVORCED HER (given her a bill of Divorce); yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the also” (Jer 3:.

In the above passage some emphatically argue that "put away" means divorce. If such is true then consider how ridiculous they make the passage read. They have God saying: I DIVORCED HER AND I DIVORCED HER. Nevertheless, the fact that God did two separate things (described with different words), to Israel is positive proof that the sending away is not the divorce. The divorce (legal proceedings evidenced by a “bill” or written statement) is the divorce. One can put away and not divorce and one can divorce and not put away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Ezekiel 44:22) “Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away (garash H1644): but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before.” The NKJV says, “driven out” instead of “put away”.

The command to the priests restricted them marrying a virgin or a widow of another priest. If the priests had obeyed the command it would have assured that the priests did not marry one who could possibly be still married to another. The above passage may be an indication that there were misunderstandings among the Jews regarding what was an acceptable divorce. Marrying a virgin or the widow of another priest assured that the woman had no legal ties to another, and when you consider what their responsibilities were, it is understandable that God would require such of these men.

X. Some Observations Regarding Divorce in the Epistles

A. Have you ever noticed that in the KJV or ASV there is no instance
of an apostle’s words being translated as “divorce”, “divorced” ,
or “bill of divorcement” etc?
1. However, “loosed” (LUSIS, 1 Cor 7:27,2 refers to and applies
to those who have been divorced.)
2. Neither Jesus nor the apostles specifically and plainly addressed
the matter of divorce.
a. Nevertheless, in an effort to explain the apostles’ teachings
to conform to their idea of what they THINK Jesus taught,
many assert that “chorizo” (rendered as “depart”,
1 Cor. 7:11) means “divorce”.
1) It does not.
2) However, it is something that may be involved in the process
of divorce.
b. Note STRONG’S definition below as copied in full from his work
used by SwordSearcher:
“from 5561; to place room between, i.e. part;
reflexively, to go away:--depart, put asunder,
separate.”

B. The words of the apostles constitute our authority to act religiously,
thus, the importance of the observation noted above, is evident.

Conclusion:

The practice of requiring celibacy is something that is contrary to the very reason given for marriage (1Cor7:2).

Divorce is not specifically and clearly authorized in the New Testament, but because marriage is dissolvable (contrary to Catholic decree), if done legally, those who have been through an unfortunate marriage and divorce are not still bound to a previous relationship. Marriage and divorce is not a law of the church, therefore it is not regulated by the church.

When a divorce takes place, one or both parties may have been guilty of sin, but the sin(s) may be forgiven (1 Cor 6:11). The last thing a divorced person needs is to be placed in a position that makes his/her endeavor to live the Christian life even more difficult (1Cor7:2). That God does not require the divorced to be punished is true because there is no scriptural evidence of it.
In reading the works of Josephus, I was unable to find where he made any mention of Jesus teaching, or being charged with teaching, that certain marriages must be dissolved or that certain people had no right to a marriage. According to Josephus’ understanding, the only restriction…was that they be “at the age fit for it”. This is consistent with the Apostle Paul’s teachings in 1 Cor 7:36: “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.” The male is to be a “man” and the female must have “reached the flower of her age”. Any other restrictions placed upon people are man-made and not of the gospel of Christ (Gal 1:8,9).

In our language “put away” is NOT the same as divorce. We do not talk like that. Only men who need APOLUO (put away) to mean APOSTASION (divorce), to justify their teaching and practice, talk like that in their writings. As a did you ever play the game where you say the opposite of what you mean? If you say something wrong long enough you are going to get confused and the people that hear you are going to get confused. The translation from the ASV is correct and it means what it says.

Paul uses “depart” in 1 Cor 7:11, which is from “chorizo” and means separate. If she departs the logical result is that she is then SEPARATE from her husband.

Some are still clinging to the argument that only God joins and only God can unjoin.
God “joins” people who marry, but when a couple marries they had a part in that decision. God would not have joined them if they had not determined to marry. If this same couple determine to divorce it is their decision and there is no scripture that indicates that God does not recognize it. Thus, recognizing that the divorced are indeed “loosed”, the passages in the N.T. that allow marriage are to be applied to those who are divorced. To fail to obey is to be guilty of teaching “doctrines of devils” by “forbidding to marry”.

The Marriage Institution Or The Marriage Partners?

Which is greater in God’s eyes: the marriage or the people of the marriage? The priorities in the Church concerning marriage have been greatly misplaced. We have judged the “marriage institution” to be greater than the couples who make up the marriage.

The institution is never greater than those who make up that institution. A company is only as good as its people. A strong and mighty nation is made up of courageous people who will stand up for what is right under any circumstances. Moreover, a great marriage is great because the couple has a great relationship, and nothing less. An institution is only as great as the relationships that make up that institution.

When a couple no longer has a great relationship, the marriage is no longer great. When we care more about our marriage than our marriage partner, we have misplaced the emphasis of our relationship. Being married does not create a great relationship. But having a great relationship creates a great marriage.

When we are faced with the decision of either saving the institution or the people of the institution, the institution must go! And when we are faced with the decision of either saving a marriage or the people of the marriage, the marriage must go! Whether it be the Sabbath day, a company, the ministry, the nation, or a marriage, the people of these institutions are always more important than the institutions themselves. Always!

If we put the institution first, instead of the people, we lose the vision for the institution. The vision of the people makes the institution what it is. Without a vision, failure and collapse are inevitable. When the dreams for the marriage that are in the heart of the husband and wife go out because of a bad relationship, the marriage is on a collision course with a bad situation. But as long as there is vision for the marriage, the marriage will continue. When a married couple loses the vision for the marriage, which is that joy a person possesses in their heart to spend the rest of their days with their mate, it’s hard to rekindle on their own. However, God is able through willing hearts.
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