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September 27, 2012

Comments

Thank you so much for this post!

This makes sense to me. Whether it is Christianity or another traditional religious faith, there is typically a big focus on community and the accountability that comes with it. If one is committed to going to a worship service of some type with other similarly minded believers regularly, it makes it a lot harder to leave your spouse because of both the negative reinforcement the community will bring to the one doing the leaving, as well as the positive reinforcement the community will give to couples in the form of support, counseling, prayer, etc.

Am curious to see if other posters will try to poke holes in it. I see none.

Darth Dutch

I believe the divorce rate would drop even further if Churches stopped giving a loop hole for divorce and re-marriage based on Matthew 19:9.
Most would agree that it's OK to remarry if divorced from an adulterous spouse. Yet in the same verse, the innocent woman who is divorced from her adulterous husband, commits adultery along with husband #2 when she remarries.

@dave,

Spot on. I think one of the tangential issues in the church along these lines is the fundamental misunderstanding of what the Bible actually teaches about divorce.

I think Dave misread Matthew 19:9. Jesus said, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." (NIV) Notice the exception. The innocent party who divorces from an adulterous spouse is not committing adultery upon remarriage.

Back @ Donna,

Notice in the last part of the verse, the innocent woman divorced from her adulterous husband (of the first part of the verse), commits adultery along with the 2nd husband she marries.

In essence, husband #1 divorces his innocent wife, marries another committing adultery. Instead of being free to remarry because of his adultery as you say, she also commits adultery by remarrying after her divorce. Her 2nd husband also commits adultery by marrying her.

If the "except clause" justifies remarriage after divorcing from an adulterous spouse, why is she and her second husband involved in adultery by marrying?

Dave,

I'm not sure where you're getting the situation you are referring to.

Verse 9 only speaks of the faithful husband divorcing the unfaithful wife and marrying another woman. In that case, he is okay to remarry because wife #1 was unfaithful to him. I'm not seeing where you're getting the situation of the adulterous wife remarrying another man from that verse. It speaks only of the faithful husband remarrying.

Perhaps it's right in front of me but I'm just not seeing it???? Help me out here...

Darth Dutch

@ Darth & Donna;

Matthew 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.

1.The man divorces his wife for any reason other than infidelity, and marries another. He and the woman he marries commit adultery.

2.The innocent divorced wife marries another, she and the person she marries also commit adultery.

The “except clause” doesn’t permit remarriage of divorced people on the grounds of infidelity. Because the innocently divorced wife and the 2nd husband are said to commit adultery if marrying after her divorce from an adulterous husband.

Hi dave, while I think you are on the right track here, I think when one looks a little deeper it might be an even more serious failing to allow infidelity to be reason for divorce. Some have argued that God has put up with unfaithfulness in all of the forms that fornication encompasses. Strongs defines the word "fornication" to include even idol worship which derives from the root word "porneuō".

In the day when one was expected to be virgin prior to marraige, women were under great pressure to prove their virginity and even culturally it was celebrated when the marraige was consumated and proved. If one was married under the expectation that the partner had been undefiled by pre-marital sexual intercourse, and it was then found out to not be true, they were then free to anull the marraige made on false pretenses. Joseph was tempted to "put Mary away privately" during their courtship, prior to the time when they could properly come together as one. Matthew 19:9 is allowing execption for this deception only, not to marital unfaithfulness, of which everyone is guilty when we consider application of the sin of lust/covetousness to this area.

I dont have the time to really do a serious defense of this interpretation, but wanted to throw it out for consideration.

Dave,

To look at her and lust "is" adultery.


Ransom.


Justified.

Darth & Donna,

Dave is reading from the KJV. Modern committee translations do not include the latter part of verse 9 that he mentions because the earliest available manuscripts do not include it. It is likely a later scribal addition to make 19:9 better jive with 5:32.

bc307, you point is worth noting. This reference to Matt 5:31-33 has something to add here that I think backs the point that dave is wanting to make[that infidelity is not reason for divorce per his 6:36am post]. Specifically, regarding the message of the 3 verses, and keeping context, the seriousness of vs 33 as it regards vows is including marraige vows.

It would be fairly easy and informative if one would search divorce in OT references, one might begin to see why my post above is defensible against the idea that "fornication" is talking about merely "infidelity" which scbrownlhrm also points out is nearly unavoidable by humankind in our falleness, which would open up unlimited divorce to everyone. Uh-oh did I just take to roof off?

As Jesus spoke these words, the Jewish State punished blatant adultery with death, breaking the marriage bond.

Jesus points out that there are less obvious forms of adultery where the marriage bond is not broken by death. It involves any who remarry, even the innocent third parties in adultery.

We could paraphrase the verse; “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication (resulting in death by the State), and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

A few sources to help us all avoid any subtle “One Verse Theologies”……. Including one which seems to affirm BradB’s description of the word porneuō:

1 of 3:

“Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context” by David Instone-Brewer. ISBN-10: 0802849431. Published 2002.

Introduction:


“To many, the New Testament's teaching on divorce and remarriage seems to be both impractical and unfair. The "plain" meaning of the texts allows for divorce only in cases of adultery or desertion, and it does not permit remarriage until the death of one's former spouse. But are these proscriptions the final word for Christians today? Are we correctly reading the scriptures that address these issues?

By looking closely at the biblical texts on divorce and remarriage in light of the first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman world, this book shows that the original audience of the New Testament heard these teachings differently. Through a careful exploration of the background literature of the Old Testament, the ancient Near East, and especially ancient Judaism, David Instone-Brewer constructs a biblical view of divorce and remarriage that is wider in scope than present-day readings.

Among the important findings of the book are that both Jesus and Paul condemned divorce without valid grounds and discouraged divorce even for valid grounds; that both Jesus and Paul affirmed the Old Testament grounds for divorce; that the Old Testament allowed divorce for adultery and for neglect or abuse; and that both Jesus and Paul condemned remarriage after an invalid divorce but not after a valid divorce. Instone-Brewer shows that these principles are not only different from the traditional church interpretation of the New Testament but also directly relevant to modern relationships.”

2 of 3:


“Divorce and Remarriage: What Does the Bible Really Say?” by Ralph Woodrow. ISBN-10: 0916938069. 2002.


Introduction: “Though Old Testament law permitted divorce--the Lord himself, figuratively, went through a divorce--by the time of Jesus, Jewish men were abusing this law by divorcing wives "for any cause." This book answers the questions: In which situations does the New Testament permit divorce? Are divorced Christians who have remarried "living in adultery"? Church dogma often targets the wounded, rejecting the very ones who need Christ's healing touch, thereby further complicating the pain and rejection of these wounded ones. While not encouraging frivolous marriage dissolutions, this book deals with the issues of divorce and remarriage from a biblical perspective--looking below the surface of what some have said the Bible teaches--to understand the obvious intent of Scriptural passages which deal with these issues.

Why do some teach that God requires divorce? This idea is based, supposedly, on the words of Jesus: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery" (Matt. 19:9). At the time of Jesus, many of the Jews practiced a type of divorce, popularized by Rabbi Hillel, known as divorce "for every cause." Such had become a mere excuse for immorality. When the Pharisees sought to put Jesus on the spot, they asked if it was lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause. In his reply, Jesus called it just what it was: adultery (see Matt. 19:3-11).
Today, by taking the words of Jesus out of their proper setting, some have gone to the other extreme. They argue that there are never any Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage; that God recognizes only "first" marriages; that all remarried people are living in adultery.
If the statement of Jesus was an inflexible rule intended to cover all kinds of divorce-allowing no ground, no forgiveness-then it would be true: a remarried man would have to break up his present marriage (get a divorce) and go back to his first wife. If she has remarried, she would have to get a divorce…………

In the Bible, Old Testament and New, no one was forbidden marriage. At Corinth, known in the ancient world as a very immoral city, many people had found the Lord-including married people, remarried people, single people, virgins, and widows. Marriage was forbidden to none: "Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:2). According to Paul, forbidding to marry was a "doctrine of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
Some at Corinth, having become Christians, were now married to unbelievers-they were saints married to sinners. They wondered if sexual relations in such a marriage were unholy and even if children born to such relations would be unholy. Their question was not so much "does God permit divorce?"-rather, "Does God require divorce-the divorce of an unbelieving spouse?" Notice Paul's answer:

"If any brother has a wife that believes not, and she is pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which has a husband that believes not, and if he is pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him" (1 Cor. 7:12,13). Children born from such unions were not unholy (verse 14). God did not require divorce.

On the other hand, in certain circumstances, divorce was permitted. Paul goes on to say that if the unbeliever is not pleased and decides to depart, to "let him depart, a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases" (1 Cor. 7:15)-that is, the believer is no longer bound to the marriage……………

Make no mistake about it: Marriage for life-not divorce-is the ideal. Divorce is a major surgery. As with a physical affliction, a wise doctor will first try to treat the affliction with methods less drastic. So is it with divorce. It is a last resort alternative. But, by God's grace, there can be life after divorce.


3 of 3:

Regarding BradB’s description of the word "porneuō" this next book seems to confirm this in a fairly detailed way:

“Except For Fornication: Why Evangelicals Must Reevaluate Their Interpretation Of Matthew's Divorce Exception Clause” by Daniel R. Jennings. ISBN-10: 1475095392.

Finally:


The statistics in this OP seem to confirm Jesus’ take on Hot, Cold, and Lukewarm. The most faithful are those who attend rigorously and seek Him out in a diligent fashion / the “hot”. The next most faithful are those who are honest and claim to be secular / the “cold”. But the least faithful of all are the subtly dishonest, those who, for the last 20 years, when polled claim to be “Christian” and yet nominally attend, say, every Christmas service. The “once a year” crowd who fall under the umbrella of “Christian”. Now, those in the once-per-year crowd ought not, here, be charged with being *Not Christ’s* as we all have in us various degrees of sin. I do not here claim that such are not Christ’s as that call is put into Christ’s Hands and no other. On top of all of this is the interior of all of us wherein those subtle desires lurk, which qualify, in His Eyes, as fornication and/or adultery. All of this falls on that Hard Stop of Ransom. This brings in Eden, and, the Now, and, the New Creation. We must remember Jesus’ opening remarks when asked about Marriage and Divorce in Matthew 19. He immediately goes to Eden, Pre-Fall, Pre-Sin, and sets the bar there: “Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended; from the beginning it was not so.” Those of us here in the middle, between Eden and that New City yet to come, find this: Complete Ransom.


So this doesn't turn into a "one verse theology", here's another for your consideration:

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. ! Corinthians 7:39

Yes, that is correct. When your spouse dies you can remarry. And, while married, there are a few valid reasons for divorce recognized in scripture, and, there are many in-valid reasons for divorce mentioned as well.

On another note, the two extremes which are error, clearly, are these:

1) X can never marry anyone, ever.

2) X can never divorce, ever.


It seems these two are both false, and the truth is in between.


C.S. Lewis once noted that our errors often come in pairs. “Our adversary (Satan) always sends errors into the world in pairs--pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking about which is the worse. He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled……..We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through both errors."


The goal: Husbands, love your wives and lay down your life, all that is the Self, for them. Wives, do the same for your husbands.

Dave,

There was no "Jewish State" enforcing capital punishment in Jesus' day. The bulk of the Jewish community lived in Roman-occupied territory; they could put no one to death that could not be convicted under Roman law. That's why in both Jesus' and Paul's cases, the word of the high priest was not enough to have them executed - each had to appear before Roman authorities (and in the case of Jesus, Pilate caved to the pressure of the mob rather than finding Jesus guilty under Roman law).

With adultery not being a capital offense under Roman law, Jews had no legal recourse to execute in such cases. I'm sure there were social pressures and consequences, but there was no Jewish State conducting executions. Where did you get your information?

@ bc307;

At the time of Christ, the woman taken in adultery would have been stoned to death under Mosaic (State) Law as practiced by the Jews. The Roman occupation didn't mean they abandoned their concept of State or religious duties.

The Law kills.

Ransom restores.

Of the woman caught in adultery Love Manifest speaks:


"Let he who is without sin throw the first stone."

Dave,

While you are correct that Roman occupation did not necessarily affect Jewish commitment to the Mosaic Law, it most certainly did impede their ability to carry out capital punishment in cases where the Mosaic Law proscribed it. Otherwise, why didn't the Jews simply stone the famous "blasphemers" Jesus and Paul? They could not do so without Roman involvement, and in Jesus' case, it was a Roman execution (crucifixion) and not a Jewish one (stoning). This is self-evident in the text, but if you need further convincing, do a little research. It won't take much, as this is not a contested matter. Some groups of Jews may have carried out their own brand of "vigilante justice" (e.g. the stoning of Stephen), but there was no Jewish State holding court and carrying out executions at the time of Jesus. There is no textual support for such a notion, and much against it.

Rome no doubt turned a blind eye to the stoning of women taken in adultery, and Stephen, when stoned for blasphemy.

No matter what the political climate at the time of Christ, the innocent woman, divorced from an adulterous husband, committed adultery along with husband #2 when they married.

This proves that the "except clause" doesn't allow remarriage on grounds of adultery after divorce.

How about we get back to the topic of the post - the divorce rate among Christians.

Jon Acuff, host of the blog Stuff Christians Like, likened the argument that Christians have a lower divorce rate, to a debate as to whether 5 people out of 10 get eaten by a bear in our neighborhood or only 3 out of 10 people get eaten by bears. He suggests that perhaps we, as Christians, shouldn't argue about the "true" bear eating statistics, but work on solutions so that no one gets eaten by a bear.

Brianhunt, I'll start this off topic but end it on the topic of avoiding divorce in the first place as you suggest:

Here are two more approaches:


1 of 2, from http://www.equip.org


“The Holy Spirit used two distinct Greek words in relating to the Apostles the essence of Christ’s teachings and the Scripture we now possess. Each Greek word related to a family of Greek words used to express ideas about illicit sex, referring to sex outside the bounds of a monogamous marriage. Here is what Christ literally said: “Everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of porneia (sexual immorality), makes her moichao (commit adultery). And anyone who marries a divorced woman (i.e., one who has been divorced for other cause than adultery, or who divorces her husband for other cause than adultery) moichao (commits adultery himself).” Understanding these two Greek words is very important in our interpretation of Christ’s teaching on divorce and remarriage.

The first word (porneia) comes from a family of words used to describe illicit sex outside the bounds of a legal and monogamous marriage. Both Greco-Roman law and Jewish law highly valued the institution of marriage. The Greek language reflects these values. This family of porn-words describes all types of illicit sex. The Greek verb porneuo (to fornicate) is related to the Greek words porneo(harlot), pornos (fornicator), and porneia (fornication).

The second word is more specific. Moichao is a verb used for adultery in marriage. It meant to “have sex with someone other than your spouse to whom you are married.” The cognate of the verb, moicheia, always referred to adultery, and nothing else.

So here is what Jesus says: “If a man divorces his wife for reasons other than that she engaged in sexual immorality, and was sexually unfaithful to him, and if he marries another, he commits adultery because he is still married to his first and faithful wife in God’s eyes, and in society’s as well. And if he puts a sexually faithful wife away, and she then marries another man, he has forced her into an illicit marriage, and this too is therefore a form of adultery.”


Later in His ministry, Jesus expounded on this viewpoint in Matthew 19:1–12. Again, the issue of divorce is raised by the crowd. The Pharisees ask Jesus, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” Jesus is frank and clear. He explains four things to the Pharisees and those listening to their discourse.

From the beginning of creation, God had always intended a marriage to be between one man and one woman, in a lifetime commitment. Christ references Genesis 2:18–25. Moses did not prescribe Deuteronomy 24:1–4, at the inspiration of God, in order to loosen the demands of marriage but rather to restrict divorces. It was the “hardness of the heart” that was in view in Deuteronomy 24:1–4. In other words, the “certificate of divorce” was intended to make divorce more difficult to obtain, not to facilitate dissolutions of marriage. Only porneia or moicheia (sex outside of marriage) are the acceptable grounds for divorce. Those who divorce other than for sexual infidelity will commit moicheia (adultery).”

2 of 2 from http://crt010304.wordpress.com


A brief excerpt for the interested: “The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that there is a limited allowance for divorce and remarriage found in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28. Specifically, it allows for those who have been divorced prior to conversion to remarry and by extension those believers who have been divorced because an unbelieving spouse abandoned them. Stated another way, in Corinth the situation was unique and does not provide a blanket approval for all divorce and remarriage……………In the next section, Paul instructs married believers to remain married to their unbelieving spouse unless the unbelieving spouse deserts the marriage, in which case they are free to divorce and remarry (vv. 10-16). This provides a second allowance for divorce and remarriage- abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. In such cases believers are not bound to the marriage relationship.”

Also, perhaps this is of some help:


It seems the issue of Christ’s standards is where the bar is set. He has set the bar, there in Mathew, in Eden, or in God’s design of marriage “from the beginning”. Further, He has set the bar, not at our exterior act, but at our interior thirsts. The word “is” means “is” and it means, in His declaration, the interior rather than the exterior. Further, there is the issue of forgiveness and of Ransom, from Him toward us, yes, but also from us toward one another. We think that the forgiveness of our spouse of an external act of unfaithfulness is rightly harder than our forgiveness of that spouse for his or her subtle interior thirsts for that other man or that other woman. This distinction on our part is indefensible: both are equal crimes against the spouse and God’s Light. He has forgiven us. He means for us to move thusly with one another in our own offenses against one another. That’s hard. Awfully hard. For the woman caught in adultery, the legalists are ready to pounce. “The Law says!” “But the Law says!” “But the Law says!” Here is where Christ brings us back to our own sin, rather than to the sin of the other party. Don’t miss this. When the other party is clearly guilty, Jesus forces our eyes onto, not them, but to our own, guilty, self: “Let him who is without sin throw the stone……” How are we to deal with that “other party” who has been unfaithful? Christ turns our eyes inward to ourselves and reminds us that there is no distinction between that other party’s external act and our own interior thoughts. Forgiveness here enters. “He has so loved us; therefore we ought to so love one another.”


Dave,

I still don't think you've looked into this properly. Your most recent comment implies that, though Rome disallowed their vassals the ability to carry out capital sentences, the Jews continued to consistently execute adulterous women as a matter of course to maintain fidelity to the Mosaic Law, and Rome simply ignored it. Can you provide any compelling evidence for this? Because it seems to me that, rather than considering adjusting your view to account for the historical data, you prefer to maintain that any woman found committing adultery in the time of Jesus was stoned, as this comports most easily to your take on the "exception clause", which seems to be that if a woman committed adultery, she was always killed, dissolving the marriage bond in death so that the offended husband was then free to remarry.

That's why I've harped so hard on this historical question and you've remained so steadfast against it. If you are wrong about fornication (adultery in this case) automatically resulting in death, then we've got an innocent party (the offended husband), divorced from a still living guilty party, who Jesus has excluded from the prohibition on remarriage. And if the innocent husband can remarry, it only makes sense that Jesus would not prevent remarriage in a case where the roles were reversed (i.e., the wife is innocent and the husband is the adulterer). The historical issue we've discussed posits major problems for your interpretation of this verse, and rather than abandon your current interpretation, you avoid the historical evidence.

bc307,

It's not the main point, just one possible explanation of how death broke the marriage bond at the time of Christ.

The main point is:

Jesus teaches that divorce and remarriage constitutes adultery, even in cases where the innocent remarries after divorcing from an adulterous husband.

As a side note:

I've seen first hand, a man driving his wife away, she divorces him and remarries. He now remarries with the full blessings of his denomination, teaching that the "except clause" permits it. He is now a published "Christian" author.


Dave,

I have seen several descriptions of the Greek terminology there. It is not concrete. Sexual immorality of various kinds seems to be more heavly weighted in much of what I read. The writing in the other dircection is very good, too. There is this: Given Corinthians, it seems we cannot make a one-verse-theology out of Mathew. Also, Jesus is talking about divorce in general, and, it seems, not engagement, and, he is talking about an "except". I've seen writing on this eluding to the fact that giving a paper of divorce is what the "except" is to, not engagement. I've seen good writing going the other way too. All total, given that Jesus is telling when we can get a divorce, and, given Corinthians, it seems plausable that Mathew cannot be the one-verse-theology you seem to aim us toward.


We ought not divorce at all. That is where Jesus sets the standard. But, as in Man and God, when relational trust is so violated, when a Self so insists on Self and not Other, it is very possible that such a union will suffer a death. But, Love restores; Ransom restores.


To summarize my previous post:

First:

"If a man divorces his wife for reasons other than that she engaged in sexual immorality, and was sexually unfaithful to him, and if he marries another, he commits adultery because he is still married to his first and faithful wife in God's eyes, and in society's as well. And if he puts a sexually faithful wife away, and she then marries another man, he has forced her into an illicit marriage, and this too is therefore a form of adultery."


Second:


"Specifically, it allows for those who have been divorced prior to conversion to remarry and by extension those believers who have been divorced because an unbelieving spouse abandoned them... in Corinth the situation was unique and does not provide a blanket approval for all divorce and remarriage.....Paul instructs married believers to remain married to their unbelieving spouse unless the unbelieving spouse deserts the marriage, in which case they are free to divorce and remarry. This provides a second allowance for divorce and remarriage- abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. In such cases believers are not bound to the marriage relationship."

Third:

It seems the issue of Christ's standards is where the bar is set. He has set the bar, there in Mathew, in Eden, or in God's design of marriage "from the beginning". Further, He has set the bar, not at our exterior act, but at our interior thirsts. The word "is" means "is" and it means, in His declaration, the interior rather than the exterior. Further, there is the issue of forgiveness and of Ransom, from Him toward us, yes, but also from us toward one another. We think that the forgiveness of our spouse of an external act of unfaithfulness is rightly harder than our forgiveness of that spouse for his or her subtle interior thirsts for that other man or that other woman. This distinction on our part is indefensible: both are equal crimes against the spouse and God's Light. He has forgiven us. He means for us to move thusly with one another in our own offenses against one another. That's hard. Awfully hard. For the woman caught in adultery, the legalists are ready to pounce. "The Law says!" "But the Law says!" "But the Law says!" Here is where Christ brings us back to our own sin, rather than to the sin of the other party. Don't miss this. When the other party is clearly guilty, Jesus forces our eyes onto, not them, but to our own, guilty, self: "Let him who is without sin throw the stone.." How are we to deal with that "other party" who has been unfaithful? Christ turns our eyes inward to ourselves and reminds us that there is no distinction between that other party's external act and our own interior thoughts. Forgiveness here enters. "He has so loved us; therefore we ought to so love one another."


How does one fornicate if one is already married?
How does on divorce if one is not already married?


There is a lot of writing out there on the context of these verses.... readers will have to explore that for themselves I suppose. It seems to me more heavily weighted toward divorce and marriage rather than engagements, and sexual immorality of various kinds rather than fornication purely. But, there is good writing in both directions from various "experts". Does Matthew include Corinthians? Did Paul sin in telling the Corinthians to consider such a divorce acceptable, given what Matthew says? We must avoid one-verse-theologies.

Dave,

What I am getting at, and where I think you and I differ, is that death isn't the only thing that breaks the marriage bond. If I understood you correctly, this actually factors heavily into your main point, as the death of the fornicator is the only option you have for making sense of the passage in a way that yields your conclusion. Otherwise, what can you do with the qualifier, "except for fornication"? If you take those three words out, your conclusion makes great sense. But it's as if you don't read those words at all when you reckon this passage. If it doesn't mean what I suggested in my last post, then what does it mean? Why did Jesus add that in if it would have been much clearer to leave it out?

Adultery also breaks the marriage bond. Read Jeremiah 3:8. God gives Israel "a bill of divorce" for her adulteries. This is, of course, figurative language, and God desires nothing more than to take his wayward wife back. But the metaphor only works if the device is sound: if Israel is found guilty of adultery, God has appropriate grounds for divorce.

I'm sorry about your experience you mention, but we can't allow hard-hearted people taking selfish liberties with what the text says to color our exegesis of this passage.

so my question is this: many have re-married after a divorce. What is the way forward for these folks? My own daughter divorced her husband after 3 weeks and married another man after living with him from the time she moved out from her husband. 2 weddings within 9 months!So in God's view - who is she married to? Should she divorce husband #2? Do two wrongs make a right?

The first thing is to inform all involved that none of those are "un-forgive-able-sins".


Ransom.


Start there.


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