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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 were hard-hearted in growing bitter with their wives shortcomings not being long-suffering giving honour unto the weaker vessel, and the women were unwilling to submit in obedience to their husbands rather than giving honour in subjection to the husband's rule over 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.


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


  • The uncleanness of the woman was referring to her improper behavior, being bold, and not being in subjection to her husband in all things like the Church is unto Christ. {Eph 5:24)

Ecclesiasticus 22:5

[5]She that is bold dishonoureth both her father and her husband, but they both shall despise 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:

Matt 19:9

[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 men'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 her hand, 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 this would be adultery in this matter if she didn't commit fornication 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 or remained alone until she repented and returned to her husband and her husband ought to have dwelt with her according to knowledge praying that the Lord gives her a change of heart forbearing with her instead of putting her away in hardness of heart. If she was unwilling to follow his lead as he would have her, then he should have increased in prayer, good works, 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 or as an unbeliever who departed because she was not pleased to dwell with her husband.)

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.

  • We have to take heed to our spirit as our wives are one with us, not to deal treacherously in divorcing without proper cause. 

 Understanding Divorce

  • The Lord Yache, gave commandments in the Gospel concerning divorce explaining the proper grounds for divorce according the original law [Gen 2:23] in order to abolish the contrary precept that Moses gave for divorce, due to the hardness of the hearts of the Israelites.[Matt 19:7-8] 

Mat 19:4  

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.

Mat 19:9  

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.

  • If an unbelieving wife commits fornication, the man is free to marry another. There is a difference for a unbelieving wife as oppose to a believing wife. If a faithful wife commits adultery she has one opportunity of repentance but if she does not repent, the man is free to marry another:

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?" 


"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."


"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."

  • If one is fighting against the spirit of fornication or adultery be mindful that you're polluting one's own flesh(sinning against yourself, Alahayim and your wife/husband(if married):

What are the grounds for divorce when an unbelieving spouse has not committed fornication? 

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. 

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. 

  • It is unrighteous for a Brother to divorce his spouse that is pleased to dwell with him and it is unrighteous for a Sister to leave her husband who is pleased to dwell with her:

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.

  •  The Brother or Sister is not held from marrying another, but is free to get married again but only in the Lord {1 Co 7:39} if an unbeliever is not pleased to dwell with them and departs.

Divorce for maid-wives:

Exo 21:7  

And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
Exo 21:8  

If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

Exo 21:10  

If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
Exo 21:11  

And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

  • The Brother or Sister is not held from marrying another, but is free to get married again but only in the Lord {1 Co 7:39} 

Laws of Divorce/Separation

  1. A believer may divorce from their believing spouse if fornication is 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 in the Lord. [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 believer is free to marry another if the unbelieving spouse commits fornication. {Matt 19:9}

  4. A woman who is a bondwoman (maid-wife) is free to return to her family if her husband is not providing the 3 provisions of a marriage: food, raiment, and duty of marriage. [Exo 21:10-11] She may be given in marriage to a man of understanding after she goes out free. [Sir 7:25]



Examples of the Original Laws on Divorce

Let's look at the law to see how Abraham fulfilled the original law separating from a wife and not taking another to commit adultery for the sake of her repentance. 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.

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.

Jasher 16:24 

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

  • We see that Hagar was a believer.

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. No adultery has been committed because he did not cut any off from his flesh in divorce and married another but he did righteously and took another wife in agreement with his wife and didn't cut his first wife off from his flesh because Alahayim joined them together.

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.)

  • In conclusion, He didn't commit adultery by having two wives nor did he go about it for lusts sake or without being in agreement with his first wife in unrighteousness. Also, he didn't commit adultery by putting away any wife and marrying another because he did not take another wife for the sake of his wife's one opportunity of repentance.

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