What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?

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What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?

First of all, no matter what view one takes on the issue of divorce, it is important to remember Malachi 2:16: “I hate divorce, says the YAHUAH ELOHIYM of Yisrael.” According to the Bible, marriage is a lifetime commitment. “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what YAHUAH has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). YAHUAH realizes, though, that, since marriages involve two sinful human beings, divorces are going to occur. In the Old Testament, He laid down some laws to protect the rights of divorcées (Deuteronomy 24:1–4). Yahusha pointed out that these laws were given because of the hardness of people’s hearts, not because such laws were YAHUAH’s desire (Matthew 19:8).

The controversy over whether divorce and remarriage are allowed according to the Bible revolves primarily around Yahusha’ words in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. The phrase “except for marital unfaithfulness” is the only thing in Scripture that possibly gives YAHUAH’s permission for divorce and remarriage. Many interpreters understand this “exception clause” as referring to marital unfaithfulness during the betrothal period. In Yisraelite custom, a man and a woman were considered married even while they were still engaged or “betrothed.” According to this view, immorality during this betrothal period would be the only valid reason for a divorce.

However, the Greek word translated “marital unfaithfulness” is a word that can mean any form of sexual immorality. It can refer to fornication, prostitution, adultery, etc. Yahusha is possibly saying that divorce is permissible if sexual immorality is committed. Sexual relations are an integral part of the marital bond: “the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31). 

Therefore, any breaking of that bond by sexual relations outside of marriage might be a permissible reason for divorce. If so, Yahusha also has remarriage in mind in this passage. The phrase “and marries another” (Matthew 19:9) indicates that divorce and remarriage are allowed in an instance of the exception clause, whatever it is interpreted to be. It is important to note that only the innocent party is allowed to remarry. Although not stated in the text, it would seem the allowance for remarriage after divorce is YAHUAH’s mercy for the one who was sinned against, not for the one who committed the sexual immorality. There may be instances where the “guilty party” is allowed to remarry, but they are not evident in this text.

Some understand 1 Corinthians 7:15 as another “exception,” allowing remarriage if an unbelieving spouse divorces a believer. However, the context does not mention remarriage but only says a believer is not bound to continue a marriage if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave. Others claim that abuse (spousal or child) is a valid reason for divorce even though it is not listed as such in the Bible. While this may very well be the case, it is never wise to presume upon the Word of YAHUAH. In cases of abuse, a separation is definitely in order and should occur immediately.

Sometimes lost in the debate over the exception clause is the fact that, whatever “marital unfaithfulness” means, it is an allowance for divorce, not a requirement for it. Even when adultery is committed, a couple can, through YAHUAH’s grace, learn to forgive and begin rebuilding their marriage. YAHUAH has forgiven us of so much more. Surely we can follow His example and even forgive the sin of adultery (Ephesians 4:32). However, in many instances a spouse is unrepentant and continues in sexual immorality. That is where Matthew 19:9 can possibly be applied. Many also look to quickly remarry after a divorce when YAHUAH might desire them to remain single. YAHUAH sometimes calls people to be single so that their attention is not divided (1 Corinthians 7:32–35). Remarriage after a divorce may be an option in some circumstances, but that does not mean it is the only option.

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that YAHUAH hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and that reconciliation and forgiveness should mark a believer’s life (Luke 11:4; Ephesians 4:32). However, YAHUAH recognizes that divorce will occur, even among His children. A divorced and/or remarried believer should not feel any less loved by YAHUAH, even if the divorce and/or remarriage is not covered under the possible exception clause of Matthew 19:9.

https://www.gotquestions.org/divorce-remarriage.html

About the author

Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

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Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

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