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> Cure 4 Divorce, divorce
post Jul 8 2009, 09:39 PM
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The Cure 4 Divorce
By Michael Sayen


An article by: The Psychology Wiki
Religious/cultural attitudes to divorce
“Within Christianity, divorce has become almost commonplace, and the interpretation of the Holy Scripture on divorce widely varies among Christian denominations. However, the first 400 years of the Early Church, the church maintained a rather unanimous voice on divorce.” Footnote (1)

Some of the Early Church Father’s Testimonies…
“ANF05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix by Schaff, Philip
90. That a wife must not depart from her husband; or if she should depart, she must remain unmarried.”

And some more from the book “Encyclopedia of Early Church Fathers”
“When being inquired of, Christ gave this judgment: He said that a wife must not be put away, except for the cause of adultery....Laws are prescribed to married women, who are so bound that they cannot thence be separated.” Novatian (c.235,W),5.589, formerly attributed to Cyprian.

“A wife must not depart from her husband. Or, if she should depart, she must remain unmarried.” Cyprian (c.250,W),5.553

“He who marries a woman divorced from her husband is an adulterer. So is he who divorced a wife for any cause other than adultery, in order to marry another.” Lactantius (c. 304-313,W), 7.190, translated from the Latin.

“But now, contrary to what was written, even some of the rulers of the church have permitted a woman to marry—even when her husband was living, doing contrary to what was written. For it is said, ‘A wife is bound so long as her husband lives.’” Origen (c.245,E), 9.510.

“Encyclopedia of Early Church Fathers” Footnote (2)

The Cure 4 Divorce

Living as One Flesh
In the beginning, man and woman became one flesh entering a covenant by oath to one another cleaving both in body having a vestige of spirit . Jesus started off by speaking about divorce saying “He who made them at the beginning made them male and female” Matt 19:4 then latter, “but from the beginning (divorce) was not so” Matt 19:8. Jesus focus in speaking about divorce was the intent of marriage “in the beginning” Gen 1:1-26.

The design of man and woman from “in the beginning” showed man was made in the “image and glory” of God and the woman was made in the “glory” of man 1Cor 11:7b. Paul to explain submission of the woman in Church said “Adam was formed first then Eve” 1 Tim 2:13. Paul explained the order that gave Adam leadership. Since the woman was made as a “help-meet” Gen 2:18, the man paid the “bridal price” Ex 22:16-17, for the authority of the father to be passed on to her new husband Num 30:5-6.

God’s punishment for original sin was for his creations, Adam and Eve, to experience pain. Today, a woman still experiences pain during childbirth—and a man still works in the heat of the day by the sweat of his brow. Even in the 21st Century, the woman, through the guidance of the bible, should remain under the rule of her husband; where the man has authority over his wife and allowed to over-rule her. This may sound very anti-feminist or worse (gasp!) not politically correct.

Paul when making a strong judgment used the Law of Gen 3:16 to enforce his judgment for the woman to be silent in the church by being subject “as the Law also says” 1 Cor 14:34 and to have the woman ask their “husbands” at home vs. 35. The “Law” Paul was speaking about in 1 Cor 14:34 did not mention who said it or from what context. The Corinthians so knew what “Law” Paul was talking about that he felt it was unnecessary to repeat it. And that could only be the story of Adam and Eve, and the great fall (as a child would know and understand). By Paul speaking in boldness and directness we can tell this was a known subject.

When Paul said “Law” he was not only referring to the ‘Law of Moses’ but any writings of the entire Old Testament. As 1 Cor 14:21 says “In the Law it has been written” (“Law” speaking about a scripture in the book of Isaiah ). The Old Testament was also known as; “Scriptures”, “the Law and the Prophets”, or “the Law of the Lord.”

Gen 1:18 uses the same Hebrew word “rule over” as Gen 3:16 in which it says, “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.” The word “rule over” is used to have dominion over.

The punishment of woman of Gen 3:16 affected her in every area of life: shame in the political office “As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths" Isaiah 3:12, shame in the Church to speak “women” to keep “silent” 1 Cor 14:34, 1 Tim 2:11-12 and “For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels” 1 Cor 11:10, and required of in the marriage “the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church” Eph 5:23.

Gen 2:18 was the ‘design’ of God for the woman, Gen 3:16 was her ‘punishment’, and Deut 24:1, Num 30:13, Rom 7:2, Eph 5:23, 1 Cor 7:39, 1 Cor 14:34, and 1 Tim 2:11-14 were some of the ‘judgments’ concerning that Law.

Solomon said jealousy is as cruel as the grave (Songs of Sol.).

Divorce was first introduced to the Jews in Moses giving of the Law.

“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been “defiled;” for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” Deut 24:1-4 NKJ version

This was Moses giving instruction to the men of Israel about divorce and remarriage of the woman he divorced (Deut 24:2-4). The Jews asked Jesus about this Law “testing Him” Matt 19:3. Not in how much Jesus knew, or to give them further clarity, but to answer a question they considered ‘unanswerable’ and to trap Him.

Jesus says to the multitude of believers in Matt chapter 5, “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” Jesus explains the word “uncleanness” in Deut 24:1 was “sexual immorality”. For the Jews understood that if a person committed adultery they were to be stoned to death(John 8:1-16) Lev 20:10, so “uncleanness” had to mean something besides adultery. “Sexual immorality” could be any sexual indecent act that would “defile” the individual’s body.

If a man divorced a woman without the knowledge of sexual immorality, and she did not marry another already, he is to return to her Matt 5:31. When it says he “causes” the woman to commit adultery, this does not mean she is ‘allowed’ to marry another, it simply means, he being in charge is responsible for putting her in a position of temptation (because of the “desire shall be for your husband” Gen 3:16a and an empty womb cries out Prov 30:16, and the woman growing “wonton against Christ, they desire to marry” 1 Tim 5:11). She will be required for her own actions.

The Nations before them that occupied the Land known as Israel, was filled with “abominations” that caused them to be judged Deut 7:1-2. Like abominable marriages Lev 18:1-24 and gross sexual sins of marriage Lev 20:23 which the Lord God “cast out” before Moses leading the people to the promise Land.

For Moses to explain to the men in Israel about remarrying a former wife who was divorced by another husband, he used a narrative to explain that even if she was released (either by divorce or death of the second husband) it would be an abomination for him to take her back. But Deut 24:4 explained that his former wife was now “defiled”. But defiled does not mean she was only defiled to him, alone.

A woman becomes “defiled” by polluting her body by another man’s “seed” becoming improperly “one flesh” with another quoted inside or outside a marriage .

“After that…”
“That” in Deut 24:4 could also be translated “who” or “which” was (she been) “defiled”. One of the reasons Moses was saying this was in order for the reader of the Law not focus on the second marriage or divorce (not to produce doctrines from) but keeping the focus on Moses giving instruction to the original husband. By this we can see that the phrase “after she was defiled” to be a thing of ‘sexual immorality’ on the woman’s part. It is possible, because of the seemingly obscurity of Deut 24:4, and not stating in Deut 24:2 was “sin” for her to marry the second husband, that the Jews allowed their women to remarry. But Jesus said in Matt 5:32, that anyone who marries the woman who was “put away” commits adultery Matt 19:9b; and Paul said a woman becomes bound to the “law of the husband” upon marriage Rom 7:2.

When relating about the story of Deut 24:1-4, Jer 3:1 says, “If a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man’s may he return to her again? Would not that land be greatly polluted?” Deut 24:4 said if a man marries his former wife who was “defiled” by marrying a second husband it would be an “abomination” in the Land of Israel. God goes on and says, “But you have played the harlot with many lovers ‘Yet return to Me,’ says the Lord.” Explaining the gross sexual sin of the woman defiling her body with other men, but the Lord will still take her back.

God will remarry his wife in the last days when Israel returns to the Lord Rom chap 9-11 and it will not be an “abomination” but forgiveness (Jer 3:12-14). To illustrate the great sin of Israel (Isaiah 50:1) God used the comparative story of Hosea and Gomer (Hos. 3:3 even returning back to his defiled wife).

Now although God was said to be married to two wives, the men, according to the Law of Moses, were permitted to exercise polygamy, though it was not designed that way (no longer “two” but “one flesh”). God is used as an example of having two wives at the same time in Jer 3:8; as Jacob with Rachel and Sister Leah, Jacob and wives, and taking on a slave as an additional wife for your son. It also is said seven women will in the last days ask to marry one man for their (name) reproach to be taken away. God would never use Himself as an example of an adulterous affair but still to marry His “promised” wife, the ‘loved one,’ he married the other (still not clear on this example).

Although, polygamy may have been allowed for the man in the Law of Moses, it was not to be for the overseer, or elder/deacon, (“one wife husband” the “husband of one wife” required to have a high moral character for office).

The Law does say in Lev. 18:18 that you shall not marry a “sister” as a rival as the other “is alive”. Jacob marrying Rachel and Leah (while alive) was symbolic of God being married to both the sisters of Judah and Israel though He was promised the “loved one”. Judah and Israel, the two Nations that came out of one, because of the deceitfulness of sin (Laban).

Divorce was getting out of hand and God addressed this with the Nation of Israel and said He no longer will “regard the offering anymore nor receive it with good will from your hands” Mal. 2:13 from the “priests” 2:1 because they have dealt treacherously with their “companion” the “wife by covenant” vs. 14. And latter said “He hates divorce for it covers one’s garment with violence” Mal 2:16. We can see this with the Pharisees as they asked if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just “any reason” Matt 19:3.

Jesus did not deny the Law of Moses but said, “But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery: And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” Matt 19:9. Stating it was not un- “lawful” for a man to put away his wife for sexual immorality but if he did without the knowledge of sexual immorality he not only “caused” Matt 5:32 her to commit adultery, by causing her to marry another, but if he married another woman was guilty of adultery as well Matt 19:9b.

Mark when writing about this account of divorce wrote to the Gentiles living in Rome, “And in the house His disciples asked Him again about the same matter. So He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” Mark 10:10-12. Mark 10:10-12 was writing to the Gentiles in what Jesus said in “private” and not to the Jewish people, or Pharisees, at large.

Mark mentions in 10:12 that the women were putting away their husbands. Woman divorces were probably prevalent in that culture for we see the ease of Gentile woman divorcing their husband’s in 1 Cor 7:10-15 without proof of “sexual immorality” needed and the Jew’s knowing Harod married his brother’s wife which the Law of Moses would not allow. Luke 16:18 was the same recorded message of Matt 19:1-12 and Mark 10:1-12.

Paul wrote a letter to the Jews and Gentiles in Rome and said to the Jews, “Indeed you are called a Jew and rest on the law, and make your boast in God…you who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law” Rom 2:17-24. When speaking to them in freedom from the Law of Moses compared it to adultery as a woman bound to the law of her husband, marrying another man Rom 7:3.

1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Rom 7:1-6 was speaking about the Jews both holding onto the Law of Moses and trying to embrace Christ. They were committing spiritual “adultery”. Paul uses a physical truth “For…” Rom 7:2, to bring a conclusion “So then…” Rom 7:3, to explain the spiritual truth “So…” Rom 7:4.

Paul said in 1 Cor 7:39, approximately one year before the book of Romans, when a woman marries a man she becomes “bound of law, as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” Paul was not speaking about polygamy as in Rom 7:1-6 but still Paul said a woman was “bound to the law of the husband”. What does this mean? Paul is not saying we are still bound to the Law of Moses.

Paul says the reason the woman is bound to the “law of the husband” is because she is “under-man” (Greek word of Rom 7:2).

Paul also states other non-specific “laws” that binds something to another i.e. “another law”, “law of the sin”, “law of the God”, “I find a law that is evil is present with me”, “law of the mind”, “law of the Spirit”, “law of the sin and of the death (as Rom 5:21)”. And so was used the “law of the husband”. This also seems to be shown in the statement by Paul earlier saying the Jews are not saved by the Law of works but through the “law (of) faith”.
Paul used the word “law” was to symbolize, sometimes, something other than the Law of Moses. We might say the “law of Nature”, “law of Gravity”, “law of Physics” or some other “law” to be of a known truth or order. And Paul used it as a known fact according to God’s word. The “law” of the husband, was a play-on-words, which Paul used to show when you are “under” a “law” (as of The Law of Moses) the law “lords-over” you, in which you “were held by”.
Also Paul said “Law of God” and “Law of Christ” in 1 Cor 9:21 even though he was not speaking about the Law of Moses.

It is possible since Paul says “man” twice in Rom 7:2 this showed the woman is currently married to that man (thus “having been bound”).

Under-man, woman
Rom 7:2 this sentence says in Greek, “The for (for the) under-man (under the position of man) woman to the living man, having been (has been) bound (of) law.”

This sentence could better be translated: “For the woman under authority of man (or under her husband) has been bound of law to the living husband.”

The proper word used in this passage would be better translated “bound of law” and not “bound by law”. The principle of under-man is also shown in “(the Greek word under +) submission (appointed, set)” Eph 5:23-25 and Col 3:18 using the premise of the “head” of the man. The woman was designed “for” man, and “from” man, showing this was the ‘design’ of God.

“Under man” could also be translated “underneath man”. This was to express her general or specific position to the man in obedience unto (to establish the “lords over” rule in Rom 7:1b). This was taken from Paul’s concept when he said sin “lords over” a man while “under law”. As “under law” and “under grace” is being used in Rom chap 6, so was “under-man” being used to fall in line with these two examples.

The “under” word in Greek is also used in the first part of the word “under-officers” or “ministers” to show submission to another. The ‘under’ was to establish order, position, or rank in these usages. Under was nothing more than to say under something else.

In a divorce, though the woman is no longer submissive to the husband Num 30:9 and he no longer has a “rule over” her Gen 3:16. She being “under man” becomes bound to the “law of the husband” when married, though the marriage covenant is “obsolete” after a divorce Heb 8:13a. Why is the woman bound? I am not sure, other than since she was put “under” her husband when married and now becomes bound for life to that man. That is why Moses made it clear in Deut 24:4 that if she married another man, while her first husband was still living, she became “defiled”.

Though a man was allowed to divorce his wife for ‘sexual immorality’ according to the Law of Moses, if a man brought a bad name on a young “virgin” saying she was defiled when he married her, or humbling a woman by seizing her and marrying her, these men were not allowed to “divorce her all his days” Deut 22:19, 29. These men, also, become bound for the life of the woman.

“As long as he lives”
Rom 7:2 and 1 Cor 7:39 says she is still bound of law to him “as long as he lives”. “As long as lives” was a very strong statement and a blanket statement to be an all inclusive - no matter what as long as he lives he will do such and such (with no exceptions). As said when Hannah “lent” her son Samuel to the Lord “as long as he lives” .

Paul addresses questions, 1 Cor 7:1, the Church had about; marriage, divorce, and remarriage in verses 1-40. The Church questioned everyone getting married… the widow, the virgin “not sin” (but vs. 36 “let them marry”), the divorced man “not sin”, everyone! Paul speaks lastly about the remarriage of a woman in 1 Cor 7:39 a woman has been bound of law “on as long as lives” the husband. Paul did not mention the “loosed” women as he did the men.

Command/Charge of the Lord
1 Cor 7:10-11 all is wrapped up in this “command” by our “Lord” Jesus towards all Christians, “a woman is not to separate from her husband, if separated let her remain unmarried or reconcile with her husband.” And to the men, “a man is not to leave (some translations have dismiss) his wife”. The Greek word “separate” was a general word in Greek meaning an ‘all inclusive way’ or the final outcome of a spouse divorcing another Matt 19:6. This gives further credence in the woman not given “permission” to divorce her husband according to the Law of Moses, for it says the woman is not to “separate” but it says the man is not to “leave”.

For the man to “leave” 1 Cor 7:11b his wife, the Greek word has a since of dismiss or “remit” associated with it as used in Mark 2:7, 10 and again in 1 Cor 7:12-13. For there were some Christians who thought they were suppose to put away their unbelieving spouses according to the Law in Ezra 10:3 (to correct their actions of marriage to the 7 abominable nations forbidden by God in the Law, Nehemiah 13:23-31 which believers now thought they were to separate now from all non-believers Is. 52:11 and 2 Cor 6:17 and not “touch” what is “unclean”).

So, with this understanding of the Christians who thought they ‘should’ put away their spouses because they were “unclean” being unbelievers, we can see the use of the same Greek word in 1 Cor 7:11b to show the man is not to leave “his wife” if he thought for a biblical permission or any reason, even that of “sexual immorality”.

According to 1 Cor 7:14 Paul was using their reasoning of them divorcing their spouses of 1 Cor 7:12-13 of Ezra to show their “children” would have also be “unclean” Ezra 10:3 and they would have needed to divorce their children, as well. But the Holy Spirit “sanctified” the spouses, making their children “holy”.

Paul had to tell them not to “leave” the “unbelievers” they were married to 1 Cor 7:12-14 as long as they were willing. But there were those of the ‘opposite’ side of the coin who were holding on to the unbelievers to try and “save” them 1 Cor 7:16.

1 Cor 7:15 “Not in bondage”
The only ‘exception clause’ for a Christian to divorce is said latter by Paul to the “rest” in 1 Cor 7:15 giving Christians permission to separate in “this case”, “If but the unbeliever separates, let be separated.” As long as the unbelievers were not willing to remain in the marriage, compared to the spouses where were in vs. 12-13. They have “not have-been-in-bondage” (Greek word meaning slavery or a continued state of bondage) for the responsibility to remain married in order to “save” them 1 Cor 7:16, but to let them go for ‘peace’ sake (all believers to live in peace whenever possible-“us”). Paul does not give permission of remarriage in this passage but only divorce. Paul latter speaks about permission for remarriage for the “man” in 1 Cor 7:27-28, and for the “woman” in verse 39.

1 Cor 7:39 If the woman’s husband sleeps she is allowed to marry “in the Lord.” She is not required, as a Jewish woman under the Law of Moses, to marry a “brother” (redeemer) to rise up a seed of the dead husband (to carry on his name and heritage). The Jews taught the believing Gentiles in the Church to keep the “laws of Moses” Acts 15:5. The Jews reading 1 Cor 7:39 would have understood, as Rom 7:1 “for knowing Law I speak”, that the concept of the “law of the husband” spoken here would have bounded her to the life of this man. And a divorce would not have freed her to marry another.

Further it was said, “Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man” 1 Tim 5:9. The “has been” in Greek shows once in her lifetime, or as long as a husband of her was still living. Jesus, to point out the woman at the well sins said two things. First that she has been married five times and secondly that the man she is now living with is not her husband. The woman being married five times was shown to be a sexually immoral thing or life style. Though Jesus did not say she divorced the men or that she committed sexual immorality in the marriage, but pointed out the shame of her not being married to just one man.

A priest was told in Lev 19-20 not to marry a “harlot, polluted, divorced, or widow” but only a virgin, but latter on he is said in Ezek. 44:22 he is allowed to marry either a virgin “or a widow of a Priest”. Showing it was improper to marry a divorced woman (under the purity or morality guidelines given to the Priests) but was ok to marry a widow (though she was previously “one flesh” with another man, considered sexually pure). Even God made the widow to be able to be married again, providing her a “redeemer” (Book of Ruth).

Only a “widow, orphan, or fatherless” was said to receive protection from God Ps 94:6, 146:9, to glean in the fields, or to share in the first fruits of the Levite Priests Deut 14:28-29, 24:19, 26:12. Nothing was said about a divorced woman, other than she returned to her father’s house as in her youth (Lev 21:13). The Priest was shown though the Law not to marry a “divorced” woman (Priests not to marry a divorced, unclean, or defiled woman).

We only presume a divorce contract was intended to give the woman permission to marry another man. But we do know, by scripture, it was a statement against the woman because of her sins and transgressions Isaiah 50:1 showing the man is ‘no longer her husband and she is no longer his wife’ Hos 2:2. Heb 8:9, 10 and Jer 31:31-32 shows the woman broke the “covenant” of her God and thus she was “put away”. God divorced Israel and put away Judah saying “I disregarded them.” God made the first covenant obsolete and was “vanishing away” in order to establish the second Heb 8:12-13.

We are commanded as Gentiles to abstain from “sexual immorality” Acts 15:29 and that would include “adultery” in remarriage.

Jesus did not give “permission” for a man to divorce his wife for sexual immorality only the Law of Moses Matt 19:9. Jesus only addressed adultery in remarriage, and causing the innocent spouse to commit adultery in remarriage Matt 5:32. Moses allowed them divorce because he realized their “carnal mind” is not subject to the Law of God, nor indeed could it be Rom 8:7. When the Law came, sin abounded. Paul said, “For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet”.

New Heart
Jesus said, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” Matt 19:8. But we have been given a “new heart” Eze 36:26 and no longer live in the hardheartedness of sin for the reason to “put away” our wives, but to obey Christ in all righteousness.

“Be Holy”
We are commanded to be Holy as God is Holy. Jer 3:8, 9 He gives us His example of staying married when His wife Judah was unfaithful to Him (as 1 Cor 7:11b), and only divorcing Israel when she would not return to Him (as 1 Cor 7:15). We are not to follow the Law of Moses, which gives us “permission” to put away our wives, but Christ alone. “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” Gal 3:10.

Though we “were made dead to the law (Law of Moses)” and are “not under law” any longer; we are “not without law to God” but “in-the-law of Christ”. That is the “law of liberty”. For living in the Spirit we fulfill the “righteousness of the law” that is the “law of God”. We do not destroy the law through our “faith”, but rather “we establish the Law”.

Remarriage of the man “Loosed”
Paul acknowledges to be “loosed” as Deut 24:1-4 by saying if a man “has been bound to a wife seek not to be loosed/released” in 1 Cor 7:27. Stating a man can divorce his wife for the case of sexual immorality, but that a Christian man should not take advantage of this “permission” (though it would not be sexually immoral for him to do so). But if the man found himself divorced from his wife and “loosed or released” from her, according to scripture, then he may marry another while his wife was still living, and this would not be considered “sin” 1 Cor 7:28.

If the unbeliever wishes to “separate” (1 Cor 7:15 as Israel in Jer 3:8) he/she may “let be separated” from the marriage (grant the divorce). But they are not to put away a spouse who is willing to remain in the marriage 1 Cor 7:12-13, even if it is only in pretence (Jer 3:9 “Judah”). The man may seek another when “loosened” according to the Law of Moses (1 Cor 7:27-28). But a woman is to “remain unmarried” if she is unable to “reconcile” with her husband 1 Cor 7:11.

It is interesting to note Solomon was born by King David with the wife of “Uriah”, and Herodias was “the wife of Philip”. In the improper taking of a wife from another the bible still spoke of the first spouse as the husband or wife of.

If the woman were released from the ‘law’ of her husband when divorced, then the lack of commentary of this by Scripture would seem not to make sense.

Footnote (1) (This page uses content from the English-language version of Wikipedia. The original article was at Divorce. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Psychology Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.)

Footnote (2) Bercot, David. Encyclopedia of Early Church Fathers: from the website “Why I will not remarry SO LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE” as compiled by a Christian divorcee biyn.org. I believe referenced from the book “A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs” Edited By: David Bercot By: David W. Bercot, ed. Hendrickson Publishers 1998

(The Cure 4 Divorce - title by Stratton Wells)
And help from a word by a friend, Adam (knowingly or unknowingly, I am not sure).
And thanks Jenn for the help with the help and ideas in editing.

Love you all brothers and sisters, Michael.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
This article is about covenants in general. For more specific uses, see Covenant (disambiguation).
A covenant, in its most general sense, is a solemn promise to engage in or refrain from a specified action.
More specifically, a covenant, in contrast to a contract, is a one-way agreement whereby the covenanter is the only party bound by the promise. A covenant may have conditions and prerequisites that qualify the undertaking, including the acations of second or third parties, but there is no inherent agreement by such other parties to fulfill those requirements. Consequentially, the only party that can break a covenant is the covenanter.
The bible speaks about Covenants:
Gal 3:15 it says, “Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Thought it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it” as to say, “and this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God, in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.”

For the woman who… “Forsakes the companion of her youth; and forgets the covenant of her God” Proverbs 2:17, God no longer looks at them as two but one, “yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant” Malachi 2:14 and 15.

God to fulfill his promise, “thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said: This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I will set My rainbow in the cloud…”

So when Israel was not faithful to their covenant oaths they were guilty of breaking the covenant to their God and when Israel did not return God gave her a certificate of Divorce but when Judah returned God remained faithful to her Jer 3:10.

God made a covenant with David and will remain faithful to his Covenant with David Ps 89:30-37 and will bring Israel back and marry her again and make a “new Covenant” with her Hosea 2:13-23 and Jer 31:31-33 an everlasting Covenant.

God says for his covenant with David, though man is faithless God is faithful for he cannot deny Himself. Though man broke their covenant with God in at Mt. Heron in giving of the 10 commandments, God remind faithful to His promises with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and will restore Israel and David will have a King on the thrown forever.

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post Nov 9 2014, 10:31 PM
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I have changed the original "cure 4 divorce" and have made corrections and changes. Please through out the original post of this and refer to this as the newest and correct. Nov. 2014 made and edited.

First, it is important to understand Duet. 24:1-4. The law of divorce as given by Moses. Note: It is only four verses and not forty verses. This is a short and simple law! But out of these small verses caused great arguments and confusion concerning divorce to the Jews. Not that they were fighting about all the "What if" situations but solely what constituted "uncleanness"?

The scribes tested Jesus on this because in their mind there was no clear answer what "uncleanness" was. If there was they would not have tried to "test" Him with it. They new that if a woman committed adultery she was to be stoned to death. But if a woman committed adultery why then was the man allowed to divorce his wife?

Jesus straighten out what uncleanness was meant to be in the Gospel accounts so we should not still be arguing over this as the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees did two thousand years ago. It does not seem to be the source of contention in the early church (like circumcision, the law of Moses, food sacrificed to idols etc..) as seen in the Epistles and book of Acts (other than what Paul addresses in 1 Cor. 7:10-15). Our fights are now the opposite of the Jews. Not that we don't understand what "unleanness" was meant to be in Deut. 24:1-4 but all the "what if's" and how to apply that teaching in Christians lives who no longer live according to the law.

Remember this next point when reading the rest of this article or other teachings about divorce and remarriage. Jesus and Paul only spoke few words about divorce and remarriage. So, the more simple a teaching is the easier it should be to understand. As we might say about a jacket, "One size fits all, except for someone with extra broad shoulders." Think simple answers to complex questions and not the other way around. The early church did not have a big problem with this topic (other than what was addressed in 1 Cor. 7:10-15, 39) so we shouldn't either.

If Jesus went back to the law of Moses then so should we. First, there is not a lot of loop holes and "what if's" about divorce and remarriage in Deut. 24:1-4 nor was it seen in Jesus teaching in Matt. 5:31-32, 19:2-9. This is very important to note. Otherwise, there would be a lot more teaching about this by Jesus or Paul.

Now yes, this is the law, but it is important to understand the law according to the Gospel teachings. Then by doing this we can further understand 1 Cor 7:10-11 "...command, not I but the Lord" Paul's letter referring back to Jesus teaching concerning divorce.

Many times Paul talks about his epistles and says to spread or share this with the rest of the churches. So, many of his teaching, taught by revelation of Jesus Christ, was considered not taught from man but by God and should be spread for all to read. Its like this, one church had some questions concerning a "matter" (1 Corinthians letter) and when Paul prayed he was given answers from God. He then said share this with the other churches!

In order to understand why Moses said these specific commands (Deut. 24:1-4) it is important to comprehend marriage and betrothal as directed by God through scripture.

Here is a simple illustration. A man paid a "price" as Jesus paid a price for His bride. This is called the 'bridal price'. The bridal price could be set by the father (parents) or set by what was the current price for virgin daughters (Ex. 22:16-17, Duet. 22:29).

The man paid this price then entered into a legal betrothal with his wife. God so looked at this betrothal as marriage that if anyone transgressed this betrothal they were stoned to death Deut. 22:23- as committing adultery. And needed a "writ of divorce" to end the betrothal (Joseph was minded to 'put away' Mary secretly). It says we are betrothed unto Christ right now as a church and will soon enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb (in the last day).

The man paid the price because she was under the authority of her father Numbers 30:2-16 while young and still living in her fathers house. God made the woman for man, he being created 1st (1 Tim 2:13-14) and was taken out of man (1 Cor. 11:2-16) put him to lead his wife thus the curse put the woman under the complete "rule" of her husband (Gen. 3:16) establishing the rule-of-thumb "law of the husband" Rom. 7:1-2, 1 Cor. 7:39.

Paul also used the "law of..." to explain a general and complete bondage of something by a set of rules.

When Paul says in Rom 7:1 "for I speak to those who know the law" he was referring to what he said next to these believing Jews... "that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives."

Paul goes on and states some simple truths that have dominion over another in Chapter 7: "another law" vs. 23, "law of husband" vs. 2-3, "law of sin" vs. 7:23, 25 "law of God", "I find a law that evil is present with me" vs. 21, "law of my mind" vs. 23, "law of Spirit" 8:2, "law of sin and death" vs.3 and briefly spoken of earlier the "law of faith" 3:26.

This law (Gen. 3:16) was the reason why Paul says a wife is under the law of her husband. When Paul addresses submision of the woman he also goes back to this law and said in 1 Cor 14:34 "as the law also says". What the law does is lock her, in a way, under his authority not to be able to free herself from his "rule". Man is never said to be under the law of his wife.

That is why Rom 7:1-6 says that if the woman takes on a second husband she would be committing adultery against the "law of her husband". The man, although suggested by scripture not to take on more than one wife (husband of one wife 1 Tim. 3:1-3) it was not considered sinning or committing adultery to take on a second wife (Lev. man not to neglect his second wife etc... and many other Old Testament examples).

Now with understanding some of these concepts you can understand why (highly accepted by most Jewish scholars and Christians alike) that the law of Moses only allowed man to divorce his wife and not the other way around. A woman, by law, did not share that same concessions.

Jesus is speaking to the multitudes concerning the "law" in the Gospel accounts of divorce and remarriage. It is important to note that the Gospel of Mark was written to primary a Gentile audience. That is probably why it says in Mark 10:11-12 that if the 'woman' divorced her husband...

When we look at Matt. 5:31-32, and Matt. 19:9 we see the verse (the 'exception' clause) was written with two parts in mind. We can really see this by Luke 16:18 the man in the first part and the woman in the second part clearly defined (with their individual teachings).

When Matt. 19:9 mentions the exception clause it is only clearly understood to be speaking about the man. The second part of the illustration of verse 9b does not specifically say the exception clause is also pertaining to the divorced woman. Now many will argue and say the sentence structure 'suggests' or basic hermeneutics or exegesis suggest etc. ect. ect. but it doesn't. It would only be speculation for someone to teach that without a question of a doubt. And it is not provable either way in the Greek. But when reading the rest of the scripture, concerning divorce and remarriage, you can see that verse 9b was a general teaching concerning a divorced woman (no specific exception clause in mind).

It is impossible to prove that Matt. 19:9a and 9b was either speaking about the same woman (the woman in part a was the same woman who marries in part cool.gif. As well as it is impossible to prove or say that the exception clause of Matt. 19:9a either included or excluded the woman from Matt. 19:9b. But it is important to note that it was obvious to those there listening who understood the law of Moses hearing this teaching by Jesus.

At that time there was not a lot of question or confusion about what Jesus was speaking of in Matt. 5:31-32 and Matt. 19:9. Jesus was only addressing what adultery was in regards to remarriage for both the man and the woman. Jesus summed it up on one verse. REMEMBER, all Jesus did was define the interpretation of "uncleanness" found in the woman (Sexual immorality) of Deut. 24:1-2 by giving illustrations who was guilty of adultery when they remarried concerning this Law of Moses. Nothing more, nothing less. Jesus was not giving a new teaching here.

1 Cor. 7 Paul's teaching concerning divorce in the early church.

First of all, this is what I believe and can not 'prove' it. At least at this point. But I think the basic scripture (with the rest of scripture) and the Holy Spirit may have helped me (although, if not entirely at least in part) to understand the heart of what Paul was teaching here.

1 Cor. 7:10 Paul is going to state the clear teaching of Jesus so he could address the heart of what he is going to tell the believer about divorcing their unbelieving spouse. We know the Church was asking Paul in a previous letter about some matters in the church (1 Cor 7:1 now concerning what you wrote me...). Paul was obviously addressing a false teaching about divorce in these next few verses or heard reports of this practice in the church already (1 Cor. 5 "it is actually reported to me.." or 1 Cor 1-2 "some say...").

This church was out of control in a lot of areas. There were sexual problems in the church 1 Cor 5:1-3, and 1 Cor 6:14-19 as well as lack of order in the church service 1 Cor. 14. Paul says they were carnal minded (babes needing the spiritual food again). There were divisions 1 Cor. 11:16- and contentions. This was probably one of the teachings that was starting to permeate the church, according to Ezra 9-10, that some of the believers (both men and women) thought the scripture was teaching them to put away their unbelieving spouses and possibly even their children (vs. 14 from Ezra 10:3 "all these wives and those who have been born to them").

For Paul to address divorcing the unbelieving spouses he wanted to first speak about the "basics" of divorce taught by Jesus. Not that they did not know this already but to remind them to make his next point. The basic or general principle that Jesus taught that a man is not to separate what God has joined together. Paul is addressing the "do'ers" of the divorce and not those who have been divorced (as 1 Cor. 7:15 addresses). Paul is simply stating 1 Cor. 7:10-11 a man is not suppose to divorce his wife and a woman is not to leave her husband.

I believe that Paul used the Greek words in 1 Cor. 7:10-15 specifically to have specific meanings "leave" or "depart" (Strongs 5563 or Strongs 863). I think when Paul speaks to the man in 1 Cor. 7:11b and to the Christian men and women of 1 Cor. 7:12-13 he is referring to one trying to divorce for scriptural reasons. And when Paul says to the woman of 1 Cor. 7:10 and the unbelievers of 1 Cor. 7:15 he had in mind of the 'original' person seeking to divorce their spouse apart from scripture. When it tells the Christian to "let separate" in 1 Cor. 7:15 Paul is saying let the unbeliever have the divorce even though you would be willing to remain in the marriage if they were. Not that the divorce by the believer was unbiblical or apart from the law but that the initiating person seeking the divorce was doing it apart from the law.

Now, in Paul's usual form, while starting off saying a woman is not to separate from her husband, he then goes into (subcategory) specifics about a woman who might divorce (or we could conclude in all cases where she initiates the divorce) from her husband 1 Cor. 7:11a. But why would Paul do this? He did this because he wanted to make it very clear to the Church that the christian woman, who might someday divorce her husband, is not allowed to remarry even though she is divorced according to the civil law of that day.

Paul was giving a "all inclusive" teaching to the divorcing woman in regards to the rule of her REMARRIAGE. In plain, she must remain unmarried or return to her husband. Paul was making it clear that in no situation is this woman allowed to remarry another man. If Paul new that the woman could divorce if her husband committed adultery then the point Paul is trying to make would be partial and very weak.

(The "separate" word 1 Cor. 7:10, 11a, 15 in Greek is similarly used as when Jesus said "man should not separate what God joined together." Meaning this "separate" word is not speaking about a legal divorce according to Moses but generally what man was doing when he divorced his wife).

Paul gives the woman a very specific teaching about remarriage so that any woman (and the church) would not confused at all about the subject of the remarriage of a woman as Paul learned through the teaching of Jesus in Matt. 5:31-32 and Matt. 19:9. Note that the man is not given the same set of restrictions after a divorce in 1 Cor. 7:11b. Paul doesn't even allude to the teaching. The sentence structure would seem to show that when Paul spoke to the man in 1 Cor. 7:11b that he was not saying he too must remain unmarried or reconcile after a divorce. It just looks like Paul addresses the woman's set of remarriage rules only.

Why did Paul say that if a woman left her husband that she was to remain unmarried or reconcile? This was not Paul giving his own opinion as he stated in 1 Cor. 7:12, 25 (this is what "I say" not the Lord). Paul could conclude this by understating Jesus (our Lord's) teachings as shown in the Gospel and wanted the believers to understand and know how to apply this in the woman's life if she does transgress His command. Even with the freedom of Christ, not being under law, they were still to obey this teachings taught by Jesus! Paul is not putting further restrictions on the woman that were not already put on her by Scripture.

It is important to note that Jesus taught that if a person did not divorce (or was divorced themselves) according to the true law that Moses taught then their divorce was not biblical and did not really count in the eyes of God. And if their divorce did not count in the eyes of God then any remarriage would be committing adultery "against" their spouse (shown in Mark 10:10-12). And never do two wrongs make a right!

Some people may ask, why did Paul not speak about the "exception clause" in 1 Cor. 7:11 to the men then? If Paul did not mention it to the men of verse 11 then obviously he was not speaking about it in verse 10 to the woman (supposing Paul was not addressing those woman who left because their husbands were unfaithful). I believe He did. When Paul says the Lord commanded that the man not "divorce" in Greek (also seen in 1 Cor. 7:12-13) I believe Paul had the law of Moses in mind. But Paul was saying since Jesus said "let man not separate what God joined together" this is the heart of Jesus and His true teaching to both the man and woman... "Do Not Divorce!" Matt. 19:2-9.

Paul said what Jesus commanded about divorce so they could understand the heart of God concerning being married to their unbelieving spouses verses 7:12-15. But when Paul goes on to speak to the women in 1 Cor. 7:11a who will or might divorce their husband in the future he then gives instruction to the church personally. Kind of like saying, "But if she does transgress this command by Jesus she still must not be allowed to remarry anyone else." So, obviously this subject was not something that was entirely clear to the church yet and Paul felt the church needed to be very clear on this issue!

Basically, Paul was making it very clear in 1 Cor. 7:11a that all the women who divorce their husbands (regardless of the situation or sexual immorality in the marriage) should never (as long as he lives) remarry anyone else.

Remember, it was not biblical or allowed (no exception clause was given by Jesus) for a woman to divorce her husband for sexual immorality. Matter of fact, the law itself would refute that because she was paid for by the bridal price shown to be falling "under" the "law" of her husband (Gen. 3:16) in authority.

After Paul teaches about the "basics" and unarguable teaching's of the Lord (Matt. 5:31-32, and Matt. 19:9) he then is able to give, with reason, what he is going to teach next (from his own) that a believer should never divorce an unbeliever "as long as they are willing" to remain in the marriage.

1 Cor. 7:15 gives permission for the believer (man or woman) to let the marriage be divorced. The Jews in Matt. 19:9 were not questioning the law of Ezra nor was this a big problem at this point. They have learned their lesson about marrying such abominable races (7 that previously occupied Israel that had judgement brought upon them). And there did not seem to be a big problem with this at this time in Jewish history. Therefore they did not have to worry about putting away those abominable wives and the children that were born to them (Ezra 10:3). But now us believers, being married to unbelievers, have a similar marriage as they once had, being that unbelievers are called uncircumcised in heart, unclean to touch 2 Cor. 6:17, and called not to be unequally yoked with them but rather called to come out from them and be separate.

Paul never specifically says the believer is free to remarry here. Paul only said that they are "not in bondage" to remain married to the unbeliever fearing that they may possibly convert some day. Not that they don't want them to convert but feared that divorcing them may be the wrong thing to do because you may 'be able' to covert them by staying married to them bringing them closer to Christ (1 Peter 3:1).

When 1 Cor. 7:15 says the believe is "not in bondage" this is not the same Greek word used in 1 Cor. 7:27 "bound". The bondage word is defined as 'enslaved'. The picture we get of this word is the same picture Paul uses later to speak to the unmarried person after instructing them to remain single, "not that I may put a leash on you..." in 1 Cor. 7:35. Paul was letting the believer know they are not enslaved to resist the divorce because of what Paul says next, "but God has called us to peace." We, as believers, are to try and live 'peacefully' with all men as much as it is in our power to do so. If it is in our power to let them go, if they want to go, we should let them go.

Paul said this because he just finished teaching them that Jesus commanded them not to divorce (1 Cor. 7:10-11) and he further told them not to divorce the unbelievers 1 Cor. 7:12-13 because remaining married to them 'sanctified' them making their children 'holy' but divorcing the spouse could make those children 'unclean'. Now you can now see the pressure the believers felt to keep the marriage together. Not only for the children but even more so for the unbelievers, "For how do you know if you will save..." And that is why Paul felt a need to free them from feeling enslaved to Paul's former instructions.

Paul is not at all talking about remarriage at this point. He is only addressing the freedom to "divorce" in this case only. Paul is not saying you can remarry and he is not saying you can not remarry. The rule of thumb is the Old Testament Law must always dictate as to when a man or woman is "loosed" to marry again 1 Cor. 7:26-27. Paul never supersedes the law or Jesus but instead practically applies Ezra 10:3 (properly) to the believers life with the commands of Jesus in mind.

In 1 Cor. 7:25 Paul then switching gears and giving specific instructions to the single Christians who have never been married before. He says this by simply saying that if a man (mankind) is loosed then he is free to marry and if a man is bound he should attempt to remain that way. This was a very general teaching of Paul for at this point it was suppose to be clear concerning who could marry at this point and who couldn't. Who was considered to be "loosed" and who was considered "bound". Paul finished and cleared up all these questions concerning divorce and remarriage in the church that they had (verses 10-15).

Paul was simply saying to the church that if you are free to marry then you can marry and if you are still married then don't try to change your current situation to be free to serve the Lord more.

1 Cor. 7:25-26 it would be improper to say that Paul is giving a new teaching concerning marriage and divorce ('I have no commandment from the Lord'). And it would be improper to say that Paul is giving all men and woman freedom to get remarried after their divorce. He is simply saying, if you are loosed already according to scripture, you may marry and it is not sin or wrong. Some were teaching not to marry (1 Tim 4:1-3 the last days some will forbid from marrying) even if they were free to do so.

1 Cor. 7:39 is now addressing the last group of people that he has not addressed (the topic has not yet been addressed in his letter) "widows". Some were confused if a woman could or should remarry if her husband "slept" probably due to the understanding that he lives forever and is only "sleeping". Paul says that you are free to remarry if your husband sleeps (or dies) only marry in the Lord. Because you are no longer bound to the law of her husband set by Gen. 3:16.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding about divorce and remarriage. God bless you guys!!!
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