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What the Bible Really Teaches About Marriage & Divorce:

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     We can see by the conversation in Matthew 19:3-9 and Mark 10:2-12 that the pharisees had no understanding of the verses of scripture they were quoting. 
 
     Our first indication is their motive, which, according to scripture, was not to know the truth, but only to tempt the Lord (Matthew 19:3, Mark 10:2).Secondly, especially evident in Mark's gospel, when Jesus asked them, "What did Moses command you?" they forgot all about Genesis 2:23,24, and went right to their carnal (mis)understanding of Deuteronomy 24:1-4; which is again evidenced by the Lord's reply in verse 5, "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." 
 
     But to the diligent seeker, passages like Jeremiah 3, Hosea 3, Ezekiel 16, etc..., plus the clear revelation of this issue in the New Testament, make it perfectly clear that God, in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, was not giving his married men permission to divorce their wives; but rather, in his perfect righteousness, was making manifest in the Hebrew scriptures his own provision to put away his own people Israel for their uncleanness and hardness of heart, by instituting the "betrothal period" (which was previously unknown to men), into the marriage law, which provided for a period of time for the love and faithfulness of the bride to be proven before the sealing, or consummation, of the marriage, and for the bridegroom to have the right to put her away if she was found not to be a virgin, even up until the time of the actual sexual consummation (Deuteronomy 24:1).
 
 
     The second and third passages which are misused to pervert God's truth in this matter are Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.

    

"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."



"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

 

The phrase, "except for fornication" is so simple, and yet so widely misunderstood.

Jewish people understood fornication back then; many still do today.
 
     Fornication is just what Webster's says it is, and it always and only involves unmarried persons. So, how can this be? Why is this "exception" found only twice in the Bible, and only in Matthew's gospel?

Well, Matthew's gospel was written and sent originally to specifically the Jewish people; Mark to the Romans, Luke to the Greeks. Jewish people understood what this "exception" was because of their wedding tradition (which came from God himself), specifically the period of time during a marriage called the "betrothal period". During the betrothal period, the couple was considered married, yet had not actually consummated the covenant by the shedding of blood in sexual union. 

(See Matthew 1:18-20, speaking of Joseph and Mary

as husband and wife, although their wedding

had not occured yet.)

 
     Jesus told the pharisees,

"...but from the beginning it was not so."

(Matthew 19:8)

 
     ...because when the marriage law was given in the beginning (Genesis 2:23,24), although it was given as a type of God's marriage to man by his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, at that time the bride had not yet begun to exist.

 

 

 Israel is the bride, or wife, of God (Jeremiah 3:14, Ezekiel 16:8, Hosea 1:2, 2:16, John 3:29), and did not exist until God called Abraham, out of whom came Isaac, and then Jacob, who is Israel.
 
 
     Before the law was given by Moses (a Levite of the nation of Israel), there was no betrothal period in the marriage law. But, when the bride (Israel) came to be, and was delivered from Egypt and was 

"...baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea..."

(1 Corinthians 10:2),

     they were entered into covenant with the God of Israel - a marriage covenant. And, because of their inherent unfaithfulness and stubbornness, God instituted the betrothal period into the marriage law, to keep the hard-hearted and unclean from entering into the eternal covenant of marriage with him; just as he "drove out the man" (Adam) from the garden of Eden, and the tree of life, after he had sinned against God,

"...lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever..."

(Genesis 3:22-24).

 
 
     So we can see that the institution of the betrothal period, which first began to be spoken by the mouth of Moses (Exodus 22:16, Deuteronomy 20:7, 22:23-26) was given by the God of Israel to guard against the unclean and hard-hearted (unbelieving) among the nation of Israel entering into permanent, eternal covenant rest with him in marriage; and was manifested in the law by providing the bridegroom the opportunity to preserve his integrity in Israel by proving his betrothed to be a virgin indeed, and faithful, before accepting her into the life-long, binding covenant of marriage.
 
 
     According to the Bible, the only time that fornication can occur in a marriage relationship is during the betrothal period. After the wedding has occured, sexual unfaithfulness is not called fornication, but adultery. And although adultery is a very serious and deadly sin, there is not now, nor has there ever been any provision by God in his word to divorce and remarry for this or any reason, once a marriage has been consummated! 

The ONLY provision for remarriage is the

physical death of the spouse.
 

"...but if the husband be dead, she is loosed

from the law of her husband."

(Romans 7:2)

 

"...but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty

to be married..."

(1 Corinthians 7:39)

 

Are fornication and adultery the same thing?

No. They are not.

(See Mark 7:21, 1 Corinthians 6:9,

Galatians 5:19, etc...)

 

Yes, sometimes fornication is called adultery in the Bible (during a betrothal period),

 

...but adultery is NEVER called fornication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
     The fourth passage the false teachers (mis-)use is 1 Corinthians 7:15:

"But if the unbelieving depart,

let him depart.

A brother or a sister is not under bondage

in such cases; but God hath

called us to peace."

...but the Greek word douloo, translated "under bondage", is not the same as the word deo, translated "bound by the law", in verse 39 of the same chapter:

"The wife is bound by the law

as long as her huband liveth..."

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