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Manners & Customs: Divorce
Divorce in ancient Bible times




Divorce in Easton's Bible Dictionary The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were reguired to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight pretences (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18). These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in the Christian Church.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/D/Divorce/

Divorce in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Deuteronomy 24:1-4 permits the husband to divorce the wife, if he find in her "uncleanness," literally, "matter of nakedness," by giving her "a bill of divorcement," literally, a book of cutting off. Polygamy had violated God's primal law joining in one flesh one man to one woman, who formed the other half or converse side of the male. Moses' law does not sanction this abnormal state of things which he found prevalent, but imposes a delay and cheek on its proceeding to extreme arbitrariness. He regulates and mitigates what he could not then extirpate. The husband must get drawn up by the proper authorities (the Levites) a formal deed stating his reasons (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8), and not dismiss her by word of mouth. Moses threw the responsibility of the violation of the original law on the man himself; tolerating it indeed (as a less evil than enforcing the original law which the people's "hardness of heart" rendered then unsuitable, and thus aggravating the evil) but throwing in the way what might serve as an obstacle to extreme caprice, an act requiring time and publicity and formal procedure. The school of Shammai represented fornication or adultery as the "uncleanness" meant by Moses. But (Leviticus 20:10; John 8:5) stoning, not merely divorce, would have been the penalty of that, and our Lord (Matthew 19:3; Matthew 19:9, compare Matthew 5:31) recognizes a much lower ground of divorce tolerated by Moses for the hardness of their heart. Hillel's school recognized the most trifling cause as enough for divorce, e.g. the wife's burning the husband's food in cooking. The aim of our Lord's interrogators was to entangle Him in the disputes of these two schools. The low standard of marriage prevalent at the close of the Old Testament appears in Malachi 2:14-16. Rome makes marriage a sacrament, and indissoluble except by her lucrative ecclesiastical dispensations. But this would make the marriage between one pagan man and one pagan woman a "sacrament," which in the Christian sense would be absurd; for Ephesians 5:23-32, which Rome quotes, and Mark 10:5-12 where even fornication is not made an exception to the indissolubility of marriage, make no distinction between marriages of parties within and parties outside of the Christian church. What marriage is to the Christian, it was, in the view of Scripture, to man before and since the fall and God's promise of redemption. Adulterous connection with a third party makes the person one flesh with that other, and so, ipso facto dissolves the unity of flesh with the original consort (1 Corinthians 6:15-16). The divorced woman who married again, though the law sanctions her remarriage (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), is treated as "defiled" and not to be taken back by the former husband. The reflection that, once divorced and married again, she could never return to her first husband, would check the parties from reckless rashness.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/D/Divorce/

Divorce in Naves Topical Bible General scriptures concerning Ex 21:7-11; De 21:10-14; 24:1-4; Ezr 10:1-16; Ne 13:23-30; Jer 3:1; Mic 2:9; Mal 2:14-16; Mt 5:31,32; 19:3-12; Mr 10:2; Lu 16:18; 1Co 7:10-17 -Disobedience of the wife to the husband, a sufficient cause for, in the Persian empire Es 1:10-22 -See MARRIAGE -FIGURATIVE Isa 50:1; 54:4; Jer 3:8
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/D/DIVORCE/

Divorce in Smiths Bible Dictionary "a legal dissolution of the marriage relation." The law regulating this subject is found De 24:1-4 and the cases in which the right of a husband to divorce his wife was lost are stated ibid., De 22:19,29 The ground of divorce is appoint on which the Jewish doctors of the period of the New Testament differed widely; the school of Shammai seeming to limit it to a moral delinquency in the woman, whilst that the Hillel extended it to trifling causes, e.g., if the wife burnt the food she was cooking for her husband. The Pharisees wished perhaps to embroil our Saviour with these rival schools by their question, Mt 19:3 by his answer to which, as well as by his previous maxim, Mt 5:31 he declares that he regarded all the lesser causes than "fornication" as standing on too weak ground, and declined the question of how to interpret the words of Moses.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/D/Divorce/

Divorce in the Ancient World DIVORCE IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES For centuries it has been possible for a husband in Arab lands, to divorce his wife by a spoken word. The wife thus divorced is entitled to all her wearing apparel, and the husband cannot take from her anything she has upon her own person. For this reason, coins on the headgear, and rings and necklaces, become important wealth in the hour of the divorced woman's great need. This is one reason why there is so much interest in the bride's personal adornment in Eastern countries. Such customs of divorce were no doubt prevalent in Gentile lands in Old Testament times. It was for this reason that the Law of Moses limited the power of the husband to divorce his wife, by requiring that he must give her a written bill of divorcement (Deuteronomy 24:1). Thus the Jewish custom of divorce was superior to the Arabic. It is important to remember that the sin of adultery did not have anything to do with the matter of divorce under the Jewish law. That sin was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), and that by stoning. If a husband found any unseemly thing in his wife, he could give her a written bill of divorcement, which made it possible for her to marry another man (Deuteronomy 24:2). A man guilty of unfaithfulness was considered to be a criminal only in that he had invaded the rights of another man. A woman was not allowed to divorce her husband. The prophet Malachi taught that GOD hated "putting away" and condemned severely any man who dealt treacherously with the wife of his covenant (Malachi 2:14-16). Such was the attitude of the Hebrew people on the subject of divorce.4 The LORD JESUS swept away all grounds for divorce under the Law, and made unfaithfulness the lone grounds for divorce under the Christian dispensation (Matthew 5:31, 32). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=iAcb1rTVOP8%3d&tabid=232&mid=762

Divorce in the New Testament in the Bible Encyclopedia-ISBE to apostasiou): The Scripture doctrine of divorce is very simple. It is contained in Mt 19:3-12. We are not called upon to treat of divorce in the Mosaic legislation (Dt 24:1-4). That was passed upon by Jesus in the above discussion and by Him ruled out of existence in His system of religion. After Jesus had spoken as above, the Mosaic permission of divorce became a dead letter. There could not be practice under it among His disciples. So such Old Testament divorce is now a mere matter of antiquarian curiosity. It may be of interest in passing to note that the drift of the Mosaic legislation was restrictive of a freedom of divorce that had been practiced before its enactment. It put in legal proceedings to bar the personal will of one of the parties. It recognized marriage as a social institution which should not be disrupted without reference to the rights of society in it. In this restrictive character "the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ" (Gal 3:24). But here, as in numerous other instances, Christ went behind the enactments to primitive original principles whose recognition would make the law of none effect, because no practice was to be permitted under it. Thus the Old Testament is disposed of. Of course what Jesus said will dominate the New. In fact, Jesus is the only author in the New Testament who has treated of divorce. It has been thought that Paul had the subject in hand. But we shall find on examination, further along, that he did not. We need then look nowhere but to Mt 19 for the Scripture doctrine of divorce. True, we have other reports of what Jesus said (Mk 10:2-12; Lk 16:18). But in Mt 19 we have the fullest report, containing everything that is reported elsewhere and one or two important observations that the other writers have not included. Luke has only one verse where Matthew has ten. Luke's verse is in no necessary connection with context. It seems to be a mere memorandum among others of the spiritual or ethical teachings of Christ. Luke however caught the gist of the whole teaching about divorce in recording the prohibition to put away one wife and marry another. The records in Mt 19 and Mk 10 cover one and the same occasion. But there is nothing in Mark that is not in Matthew; and the latter contains nearly a third more of text than the former. There is nothing, however, essential in Matthew that is not in Mark, save the clause "except for fornication." That exception will be treated further along. We seem to be justified then in saying that the total doctrine of the Scripture pertaining to divorce is contained in Mt 19. Attention must be called to the fact that, in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-32), Jesus treated of divorce, and that...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/D/DIVORCE+IN+THE+NEW+TESTAMENT/

Divorce in the Old Testament in the Bible Encyclopedia-ISBE di-vors': 1. Subordinate Position of Woman: Woman, among the Hebrews, as among most nations of antiquity, occupied a subordinate position. Though the Hebrew wife and mother was treated with more consideration than her sister in other lands, even in other Semitic countries, her position nevertheless was one of inferiority and subjection. The marriage relation from the standpoint of Hebrew legislation was looked upon very largely as a business affair, a mere question of property. A wife, nevertheless, was, indeed, in most homes in Israel, the husband's "most valued possession." And yet while this is true, the husband was unconditionally and unreservedly the head of the family in all domestic relations. His rights and prerogatives were manifest on every side. Nowhere is this more evident than in the matter of divorce. According to the laws of Moses a husband, under certain circumstances, might divorce his wife; on the other hand, if at all possible, it was certainly very difficult for a wife to put away her husband. Unfortunately a double standard of morality in matters pertaining to the sexes is, at least, as old as Moses (see Ex 7 through 11). 2. Law of Divorce: Deuteronomy 24:1-4: The Old Testament law concerning divorce, apparently quite clear, is recorded most fully in Dt 24:1 ff. A perusal of the commentaries will, nevertheless, convince anyone that there are difficulties of interpretation. The careful reader will notice that the renderings of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) differ materially. the King James Version reads in the second part of Dt 24:1: "then let him write a bill," etc., the Revised Version (British and American) has "that he shall write," etc., while the Hebrew original has neither "then" nor "that," but the simple conjunction "and." There is certainly no command in the words of Moses, but, on the other hand, a clear purpose to render the proceeding more difficult in the case of the husband. Moses' aim was "to regulate and thus to mitigate an evil which he could not extirpate." The evident purpose was, as far as possible, to favor the wife, and to protect her against an unceremonious expulsion from her home and children. 3. Marriage a Legal Contract: As already suggested, marriage among the Hebrews, as among most Orientals, was more a legal contract than the result of love or affection. It would be, however, a great mistake to assume that deep love was not often present, for at all times the domestic relations of the Hebrew married couple have compared most favorably with those of any other people, ancient or modern. In its last analysis it was, nevertheless, a business transaction. The husband or his family had, as a rule, to pay a certain dowry to the parents or guardians of the betrothed before the marriage was consummated. A wife thus acquired...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/D/DIVORCE+IN+THE+OLD+TESTAMENT/

Divorce Scripture - Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Deuteronomy/24/

Divorce Scripture - Deuteronomy 24:3 And [if] the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth [it] in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her [to be] his wife;
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Deuteronomy/24/

Divorce Scripture - Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Isaiah/50/

Divorce Scripture - Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Jeremiah/3/

Divorce Scripture - Mark 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put [her] away.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Mark/10/

Divorce Scripture - Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Matthew/19/

Divorce Scripture - Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Matthew/5/



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