Divorce

The (Ta-nakh) clearly states that God hates divorce [Mal 2:16]. It just as clearly states that God Himself divorced the children of (Yis-ra-el) [Jer 3:8, Hos 2:2]. You may hate to pay your taxes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. You may hate to get your cavities fixed, but that doesn’t make it a sin to go to the dentist.

(Y’-shu-a) told us that (Mo-sheh) gave the people the right to divorce because of the hardness of their hearts [Mat 19:8]. Divorce is not a sin! God has never granted man the privilege to sin at any time, nor did (Mo-sheh). The purpose of divorce is so that people can get re-married. If there was no hardness of the human heart, divorce would never have been granted.

Understand that hardness of the heart doesn’t always come from both sides. If a man commits adultery, it is not from the hardness of her heart that his wife divorces him. It is because of the hardness of the man’s heart that he committed the sin and broke the covenant and trust between them. God’s heart was not hardened when He divorced (Yis-ra-el). Their heart was hardened by idolatry. If a man is abusive to a woman verbally and/or physically, it is not from the hardness of her heart that she divorces him. It is because of the hardness of his heart that he was abusive to her. That covers divorce, but there was also Putting-Away. The book of Deuteronomy teaches us that if a virgin bride is found not to be a virgin, she was to be put away [put to death (Deu 22:21)]. Now think about Matthew chapter one, verse nineteen, which says, “Now (Yo-sef) her husband, who was righteous and not willing to expose her publicly, was thinking about having her killed privately [Deu 22:13-21 and tradition].” (Yo-sef) was actually thinking about having (Mir-yam) put to death privately because it was obvious to him that she was not a virgin.

Now consider the words of (Y’-shu-a) in Matthew 5:31-32.

31 It has been said, “If a man takes a wife, and it come to pass that she find no grace in his eyes, because he has found in her (i) (er-vat—da-var) a total disregard for (To-rah) observance(i) [a word of impurity]: let him write her a bill of divorcement and put it in her hand and send her from his house [Deu 24:1].”
32 But I say to you, all who send away their wives [not all who give them a bill of divorcement], except in the case of adultery, cause her to commit adultery and whoever marries her who is sent away commits adultery.

In Hebrew culture, (ba-ar), or Putting-Away, was to put a woman to death. While, (sha-lakh), was to give her a (sefer—k’-ri-tut), a bill of divorcement and to send her away. (Ro-mai-on) [Roman] culture differed in that, Putting-Away was said of men who sent their wives out of their houses with nothing but the clothes on their backs, no dowry, no support, no help of any kind. This approach to divorce was problematic among the (Ro-mai-oi) [Romans] because after a woman was sent from her house, she would sometimes marry another man only to find out that her former husband was the jealous type. There are stories of men breaking into houses and killing their ex-wife’s new husband for committing adultery with his wife. As you may have already guessed, some of the (Y’-hu-dim) had already begun to use this practice. (Y’-shu-a) was pointing out that the (To-rah) clearly stated that a man and woman where not divorced without the bill of divorce. As is the case today, the only way a (Y’-hu-dit) [Jewish] couple could get a legal divorce in the time of (Y’-shu-a) was to go to a (beit—din) which was a Y’-hu-dit court. There, men would be forced to give their ex-wives support, especially if there where children involved. It was much more lucrative for these men to just send the women away. (Y’-shu-a) went on to point out that the men who sent their wives out of their homes without a decree of divorce caused their wives to commit adultery because they were not legally divorced. Additionally, the men these woman married committed adultery as well. It can be further stated, that if the man who sent his wife away without a bill of divorce re-marries, he also commits adultery.

(Y’-hu-dit) [Jewish] law actually forbad any person from staying married to an abusive spouse. It was very much within their God-given authority over the people to make such a law, just as (Mo-sheh) did. It was called binding and loosing. Whatever the court decided was right was bound on earth and in heaven, and whatever was overturned by those courts was loosed on earth and in heaven. That should sound familiar to you [see Mat 18:18].

The reason why it was against the (To-rah) for spouses to stay in an abusive environment was to protect the spouse from being abused and the children. Children who are raised by abusive parents, tend to become abusive parents.

It should be noted that pastors of Churches, large organizations such as the Assemblies of God or small independent groups, do not have the right to setup or institute a (beit—din). The (beit-din’s) were governed by (Ra-bim) [Rabbis] who were trained doctors of the (To-rah). These were men trained in the proper translation and application of the (Ta-na-khit) [Scriptures], not men educated in Bible colleges and seminaries. It should be noted that [beit-din’s] are supposed to govern the lives of believers today. In first Corinthians, chapter six, verse one, (Sha-ul) [Paul] said, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” (Sha-ul) was commanding his followers to take their matters to the (beit-din’s), not the secular courts. Another example is found in Acts chapter fifteen, verse twenty-eight, which says, “We have concluded by the (i)Holy (Ta-na-khit)(i) [spirit of holiness], to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;” It is clear that (Ya-a-qov) was the head of the (beit-din) and was making a ruling on a matter that had been brought before them.

Shalom,

Robert Allon