Understanding Divorce

Matthew 19:3
[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? 

Mat 19:8  

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

  • Moses had given the children of Israel a law that was contrary to the original law concerning divorce for the hardness of the hearts of the children of Israel.  The men hard-hearted in growing bitter with their wives shortcomings not being long-suffering giving honour unto the wear vessel, and the women were unwilling to submit in obedience to their husbands rather than giving honour in subjection unto them in the spirit of meekness. We will look at the laws and precepts to understand the errors of the men and women of old time for edification.

Deuteronomy 24:1
[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.

  • (The uncleanness of the woman was referring to her iniquity of being unwilling to submit to her husband. Throughout the scriptures nudity or nakedness is used to refer to iniquity in verses like Eze 23:29, Rev 16:15; 3:17-18)


ערוה :Original
Transliteration: ‛aruh 
BDB Definition:
nakedness, nudity,
shame, pudenda; pudenda (implying shameful exposure) nakedness of a
indecency, improper behaviour, exposed, undefended(figuratively)
Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine
Strong's Definition: From H6168; nudity, literally (especially the pudenda) or figuratively (
): - nakedness, shame, unclean (-ness)

  • According to precepts, a woman would be despised for her boldness.   

Ecclesiasticus 22:5, 25-26
[5]She that is bold dishonoureth both her father and her husband,
but they both shall despise her.

  • If she would not submit to her husband's lead he would divorce her according to the law of Moses.  

Sir 25:25  

Give the water no passage; neither a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad.

Ecclesiasticus 26:7-8
[7]An evil wife is a yoke shaken to and fro: he that hath hold of her is as though he held a scorpion.
[8]A drunken woman and
a gadder abroad causeth great anger, and she will not cover her own shame. (That shame helps understand her uncleanness that Moses was referring to. The woman's unrighteousness would anger her husband to harden his heart towards her and divorce her for her unwillingness to go as he would have her:) 

Sir 25:26  

If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh, and give her a bill of divorce, and let her go.

  • The original law did not permit to divorce under these circumstances:

Mat 19:4-6,8-9 

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Mat 19:5  

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Mat 19:6  

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore Alahayim hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

[8]He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but
from the beginning it was not so.

[9]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. 

Mar 10:12  

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

  • This is the understanding of Divorce according to the Lord to help us rectify the things Moses suffered to be done in the past due to the hardness of the people's hearts:

Deuteronomy 24:1-4

[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 herhand, and send her out of his house.

  • In the beginning it was not so:

[2]And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.

  • (This was also an  addition by Moses because she may not be another man's wife in that scenario. That would be adultery in this matter as Christ said.)

[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; 

[4]Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled;
for that is abomination before the Ahayah: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Ahayah thy
Alahayim giveth thee for an inheritance.
(Notice she is now defiled because she has committed adultery by sleeping with another man that was not her husband from the first marriage according to the original law.  Yache's Apostle gave further edification on the matter from Him so we may know what ought to have been done:

1Co 7:10  

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

1Co 7:11 

 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

The woman needed to abide with her husband and her husband ought to have dwelt with her according to knowledge praying that the Lord give her a change of heart forbearing with her instead of putting her away in hardness of heart. If she was was unwilling to follow his lead as he would have her, then he should have increased in prayer and words of righteousness, seeking to overcome with love. Ahayah does not take pleasure in divorce.)

           Ahayah rebuked his people for divorcing their wives

Mal 2:13

And this have yee done again, covering the Altar of AHAYAH with tears, with weeping and with crying out, in so much that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

Mal 2:14

Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because AHAYAH hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. (Man made a covenant with the woman by marrying her, so she cannot be put away if she didn’t break the covenant through fornication.)
Mal 2:15

And did not he make one? yet had he the residue of the spirit: and wherefore one? that he might seek a Holy seed: therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Mal 2:16

For AHAYAH the Alahayim of Israel saith, that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith AHAYAH of hosts, therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

  •  Yache clarified what is right according to the law from the beginning so that we may not deal treacherously.

Mat 5:31

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
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.

Mar 10:12  

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery

  • There is a great understanding the Angel of Repentance gave to Hermas to help understand how to be merciful as Alahayim is merciful when it comes to adultery in a marriage between believers. 

Shepherd of Hermas Commandment 4:


I say to him, "Sir, permit me to ask thee a few more questions" "Say on," saith he. "Sir," say I, "if a man who has a wife that is faithful in the Lord detect her in adultery, doth the husband sin in living with her?"

  • These stipulations in the laws of divorce are pertaining to husbands and wives in Christ together as oppose to marriages wherein either spouse in an unbeliever. 


"So long as he is ignorant," saith he, "he sinneth not; but if the husband know of her sin, and the wife repent not, but continue in her fornication, and her husband live with her, he makes himself responsible for her sin and an accomplice in her adultery."

"What then, Sir," say I, "shall the husband do, if the wife continue in this case?" "Let him divorce her," saith he, "and let the husband abide alone: but if after divorcing his wife he shall marry another, he likewise committeth adultery."

  • ( The admonishment is just as the Lord Yache said so we can know these other records are not contradictory but rather for our edification on the matter.This is the edification on what a believer ought to do if their spouse falters from the faith adultery.

Shepherd of Hermas Commandment 4


"If then, Sir," say I, "after the wife is divorced, she repent and desire to return to her own husband, shall she not be received?" 

1[29]:8 "Certainly," saith he, "if the husband receiveth her not, he sinneth and bringeth great sin upon himself; nay, one who hath sinned and repented must be received, yet not often; for there is but one repentance for the servants of Alahayim. For the sake of her repentance therefore the husband ought not to marry. This is the manner of acting enjoined on husband and wife.

  • The law is about mercy in marriages. 


Not only," saith he, "is it adultery, if a man pollute his flesh, but whosoever doeth things like unto the heathen committeth adultery. If therefore in such deeds as these likewise a man continue and repent not, keep away from him, and live not with him. Otherwise, thou also art a partaker of his sin. 


for this cause ye were enjoined to remain single, whether husband or wife; for in such cases repentance is possible. 1[29]:11 I," said he, "am not giving an excuse that this matter should be concluded thus, but to the end that the sinner should sin no more. But as concerning his former sin, there is One Who is able to give healing; it is He Who hath authority over all things."

  • This is NO EXCUSE to go commit adultery, only Yache can give healing for such a sin.

  • Lets look at the law to see how Abraham fulfilled the original law Christ gave separating from a wife and not taking another to commit adultery. Hagar was a believer in the Lord before she fell to the flesh, so she is a great example for us to understand how divorce works with a woman that is faithful in the Lord.

Jasher 16:23 

And Sarai, the daughter of Haran, Abram's wife, was still barren in those days; she did not bear to Abram either son or daughter.

[24] And when she saw that she bare no children she gave her to Abram her husband for a wife. 

[25] For Hagar learned all the ways of Sarai as Sarai taught her, she was not in any way deficient in follwoing her good ways.

  • We see that Hagar was a believer. Abraham sent away his 2nd wife Hagar and did not marry another woman while she was alive because it would have been adultery since she didn't commit fornication. He married Keturah, his third wife, only because Hagar had died already before Sarah died.

Gen 11:29

And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. (He married his first wife.)

Gen 16:3

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. (He married his 2nd wife. He now has two wives at this point in his life.)
Gen 21:10

Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Gen 21:11

And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

Gen 21:12

And Alahayim said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. (Jubilee 23:10, this was a test for Abraham and he was found perfect through it.)
Gen 21:14

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

  • (The law said he cannot marry another wife if she didn't commit fornication. Sarah was his first wife, so he didn’t break any law by remaining married to Sarah since he was married to them both before Hagar was sent away. Now, let us see if he broke the law by getting another wife while Hagar was put away to commit adultery against her.

Jubilee 19:11

And Abraham took to himself a third wife, and her name was Keturah, from among the daughters of his household servants, for Hagar had died before Sarah. And she bare him six sons, Zimram, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah, in the two weeks of years. (Abraham only took another wife because Hagar had died before Sarah, so he did not break the law because he was free by law to marry again {Rom 7:3} since she was dead.)

There is a different law on how to handle the matters when a spouse is an unbeliever by the admonitions of the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 7:12-15

12  But to the rest speak I, not Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (Notice, the laws of Hermas pertained to a spouse that was faithful in the Lord, but this admonishment here by Paul is pertaining to spouses that do not believe in the Lord.)

13  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 

14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

1 Corinthians 7:16

16  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

1 Corinthians 7:15

15  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but Alahayim hath called us to peace. (Now in both cases, seeing as though the spouse was an unbeliever in the first place, if they decide to leave on their own, the Brother or Sister is not held from marrying another, but is free to get married again but only in the Lord {1 Cor 7:39})

Laws of Divorce/Separation

  1. A believer may divorce from their believing spouse if there is fornication committed, [Matt 19:9; Mark 10:11-12] but they must remain alone to give the spouse at fault an opportunity to repent and return. There is one opportunity of repentance from adultery. If they continue in their adultery, then the spouse is free to divorce them and marry another. [Shepherd of Hermas Mandate 4]

  2. A believer is free to marry another if the unbelieving spouse is not pleased to dwell with them and departs on their own accord.[I Cor 7:10-15]

  3. A woman who is a bondwoman (concubine) is free to marry another man if her husband is not providing all 3 requirements of marriage which are: food, raiment, and duty of marriage. She is free to go without any payment being required for her. [Exo 21:10-11]