Contents | Index

certificate of divorce

DIVORCE (Heb. keritut; Gk. apostasion, "cutting," "separating").

According to Jewish Law divorce can be defined as a legal separation between man and wife by means of a formal process of some sort. As the ordinances respecting marriage have in view the hallowing of that relationship, so also was the Mosaic regulation in respect of divorce (Deut 24:1-4). From this we learn that a man, finding in his wife something shameful or offensive, dismissed her from his house with a certificate of divorce.

Divorce, giving a certificate, and causes of divorce seem to have been accepted by Moses and allowed because of the people's hardness of heart. The question of divorce was entirely at the will of the husband; the wife, not possessing equal privileges with the husband, had no right of divorce.