Deuteronomy 24:1 - 4
ESV - 1 When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house. 2 And if she goes and becomes another man's wife.
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RABBINICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW MOSES IN THE TIME OF CHRIST In the time of Christ two schools of thought prevailed on the subject of divorce. The Rabbi Hillel allowed the man to divorce the women for almost any fault, stressing the first part of Deuteronomy 24:1 (“….if she hath found no favour in his eye….”) So lax was his interpretation that divorce was held to be possible merely if the wife did not prepare the husband’s food to his liking. Hence the trap question of Mathew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? With which the Pharisees hoped to involve Jesus in controversy over the law of Moses, “is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause” this is what Hillel taught. The Rabbi Shamma interpreted the law with the accent upon the second part Deuteronomy 24:1 (“…because he had found some uncleanness in her….”). to this interpretation Jesus gave authority by stressing that ideally divorce is wrong, and was not originally intended by God, but that the hardness of the human heart made necessary a law to sanction divorce, though only for “some uncleanness” Jesus went further. He identified the “uncleanness” as fornication. His deliverances in Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18 Whosoeverputteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. Which suggest an absolute prohibition on divorce must be read in conjunction with Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Mathew 19:18He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, “Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness” which elaborate the teaching to allowed divorced on the ground of fornication alone. Jesus did not come to change the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. His teaching on divorce did not abrogate the law offered in Deuteronomy 24:1-2, but it did condemn the lax interpretation of Hillel. He made it very clear that divorce was a violation of the ideal ordained by God, and that only the sinful condition of humanity made such an expedient necessary. His teachings must be understood against the background of the social customs and morals of the day. The Jews unquestionably allowed divorce, but was confused on the grounds upon which divorce was to be allowed. Where divorce was allowed the Law of Moses specially sanctioned the remarriage even of the guilty party: “she may go and be another man’s wife” (Deuteronomy 24:2)
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