Deuteronomy Chapter 24 Star Chart: Clockwise from "When a (Castor) man hath taken a (Pollux) wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his (lunar) eyes, because he hath found some (red radius) uncleanness in her: then let him (Castor) (red radius) write her a (lunar white) bill of divorcement, and give it in her (Pollux) hand, and send her out of his (red radius) house" (24:1) till "when she (Pollux) is departed out of his (red radius) house, she may go and be another (Castor) man's wife (360°). And if the latter (Castor) husband hate her, and (red radius) write her a (lunar white) bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband (red radius) die, which took her to be his (Pollux) wife" (24:2-3), then "Her former (Castor) husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his (Pollux) wife (360°), after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the (Shekinah) Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the (Shekinah) Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance" (24:4).
Divorce & Remarriage
24:1 When a (Castor) man hath taken a (Pollux) wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his (lunar) eyes, because he hath found some (red radius) uncleanness in her: then let him (Castor) (red radius) write her a (lunar white) bill of divorcement, and give it in her (Pollux) hand, and send her out of his (red radius) house.
2 And when she (Pollux) is departed out of his (red radius) house, she may go and be another (Castor) man's wife.
3 And if the latter (Castor) husband hate her, and (red radius) write her a (lunar white) bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband (red radius) die, which took her to be his (Pollux) wife;
4 Her former (Castor) husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his (Pollux) wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the (Shekinah) Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the (Shekinah) Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
5 When a (Castor) man hath taken a new (Pollux) wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
Summary of the Bible's Divorce & Remarriage Doctrine
1. A rabbi named HILLEL taught that an Israelite could DIVORCE his wife for ANY CAUSE whatever because Deuteronomy 24:1 mentions "indecency in ANYTHING" (Gittin. 9:10). A rabbi named SHAMMAI taught that an Israelite could only divorce his wife if she were UNCHASTE because Deuteronomy 24:1 mentions "INDECENCY in anything." Each school emphasized a different word in this same verse. Matthew 19:9 is Jesus' restatement of Deuteronomy 24:1 with "fornication" being the only "uncleanness" or "nakedness" of anything. Jesus dropped the phrase that "she find no favor in his eyes" since men's personal views were subject to God's. This had been one of the chief arguments of the School of HILLEL in advocating the "every cause" DIVORCE (Matt.19:3; cp. pp.333-334 of Life & Times). Notice that "every cause" (Matt. 19:3) -- like our "no-fault" divorces of today -- included "if she spoils a dish in cooking" or "if he finds a woman more handsome than she" (Talmud Gittin. 9:10; Ant.4:8:23; Life & Times 2:332-334). Or even "speaking to her husband so loudly that the neighbors could hear her in the adjoining house" (Chethub 7:6) (see Sketches of Jewish Social Life, pp.157-158). Thus Luke 16:18 can be translated, "who DIVORCES his wife to MARRY another" (Charles B. Williams). Jesus corrected this liberal Hillel school by saying that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 refers only to "Porneia" (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). The apostles now thought divorce was so strict it was better not to marry (Matt. 19:10-12). God "hateth putting away" in that "treacherous" every-cause context (Mal. 2:16). But it is not "treacherous" to divorce an adulterous wife, or an adulterous husband.
Some "UNCLEANNESS" worthy of DIVORCE is found in Jeremiah 3:8-10 where we read that the crimes of "ADULTERY," "HARLOTRY" and "IDOLATRY" were reasons for God DIVORCING Israel long after the initial marriage. Then in Jeremiah 3:14 we read, "Turn, O backsliding children ... I am your Master" (no longer husband, but still master of the children). He died (Heb. 9:15) so His wife could remarry him (Eph. 5:22-27,323). She is his betrothed wife (Rev. 19:7).
3. If Deuteronomy 24 were only referring to "annullment" in cases of fraud, there would be no need for a DIVORCE since there was really no MARRIAGE. Furthermore, if fornication was a legitimate ground for DIVORCE prior to MARRIAGE, why wouldn't adultery be a legitimate ground for DIVORCE after MARRIAGE? Marriage is a conditional agreement between the man and the woman based on God's law. When the man or the woman violates the agreement, God no longer holds the other party responsible for keeping it. Clearly this scripture in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is referring to any unlawful sex as cause for DIVORCE. But some ministers give heed to seducing spirits and they "forbid (anyone) to (re)marry" (cp. 1 Tim.4:1-3). At some unspecified point in time after the marriage ceremony, the husband finds some "UNCLEANNESS." The Bible places no limit on this period of time. "It come to pass" denotes a passage of time with no limitation. For instance, Genesis 4:14 and 1 Kings 20:6 where the very same Hebrew word is used. Fraud could occur long after the marriage ceremony as well as before in the betrothal period. However, this right of DIVORCE (Deut.24:1-4) is permanently denied to any husband who accuses his wife publicly and falsely of fornication for the purpose of prosecuting her (Deut.22:13-19). This right of DIVORCE is also permanently denied to any man who was legally forced to marry his wife because of having sex with her prior to marriage when she was a virgin (Deut.22:28-29). It is known today as a "shot-gun" marriage. These two exceptions clearly show that normally DIVORCE was lawful and allowed after MARRIAGE for serious crimes. For 14 centuries, divorce in the Jewish nation, as also among the Gentile nations, had the one and only meaning of dissolution with the right to remarry. A separation-divorce was unknown. The writing of divorcement was called a Bill of Cutting Off. All Hebrew lexicons agree. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 says that after a wife is divorced she could "go and be another man's wife." If she was divorced by the second husband, she could marry a third -- without being an adulteress. God referred to the first or second husband as her "former husband." If divorce does not dissolve marriage, as our opponents claim, then God allowed adulterous remarriage and the illegitimacy of children born in the remarriage. As it is impossible to believe that God allowed adultery, we are forced to the conclusion that the divorce severed the union. This fact destroys the argument that only death can dissolve marriage as Roman Catholics teach.
4. Christ approved the Jewish divorce for the cause of fornication in Matthew 5:32. That was a complete statement. It was not left for Paul to clarify it 25 years later in Romans 7:1-3. Divorce for adultery is not the subject matter of Romans 7:1-3. The Romans, to whom Paul wrote, knew from the law that when a Jew divorced his wife, she could go and be another man's wife without being called an adulteress. Alfred Edersheim wrote, "The Jews have it that a woman 'is loosed from her husband' by only one of two things: death or letter of divorce; hence Rom. 7:2-3." A Jew who heard Christ utter this "isolated text" in Matthew 5:32 could have divorced an unfaithful wife, remarried, and have died before Saul of Tarsus was even converted. Christ approved Jewish divorce for the cause of fornication. There was no need to mention REMARRIAGE in Matthew 5 or 19 for either partner because there was never any question about this. It was allowed by both HILLEL and SHAMMAI, by Moses (Deut.24:1-4) and Christ. Of course, the command, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex.20:14) is stripped of all its meaning by the School of HILLEL. It becomes ineffectual and powerless if a man can DIVORCE his wife for any petty reason.
5.The Greek word for divorce is the exact equivalent of the Old Testament Hebrew word. The primary meaning is "to set free." If Christ left any doubt about the meaning of "put away", then "Doubtful words will be construed most strongly against the party using them" according to Black's Law Dictionary.
6. In Numbers 25:1-2, the 23,000 of Israel, including the chiefs who committed sexual sins with the daughters of Moab, were not all unmarried. Here their sin is designated with the word zanah (fornication). Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:8 said, "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand." Paul here referred to married Israelites who committed fornication. Christ in Revelation 2:14 refers to the same event and calls it "fornication." In Amos 7:17, fornication (zanah) designates the sexual sins of a married woman. Porneia and its cognates are used of idolatrous worship in Exodus 34:16; 2 Chron. 21:11,13; Isa. 1:21; Jer. 3:8; Ezekiel 16 and 23. Idolatry with heathen nations was frequently accompanied by sexual vice. In Rev. 2:20 Christ again used fornication to describe Jezebel's idolatrous worship. In Hosea 2:5, fornication is used of Hosea's wife. "Harlot" is zanah. The sexual abominations of the married in Sodom and Gomorrah are referred to in Jude 7 as "fornication." The word "fornication" does not signify "premarital sin" only. It means sexual sin in general. In Hebrew and Greek, the word fornication includes incest, sodomy, harlotry, perversion and all sexual sin both before and after marriage. Even idolatrous worship. In the Old Testament these sins carried the death penalty (Lev. 20:11-21). Various Old Testament and New Testament references prove that fornication was applied to sexual sins of married people. There is not a single proof for the teaching that fornication refers to premarital sin only. Ancient Israel committed adultery. Ancient civilizations punished adultery by cutting off the nose and ears of the person unfaithful to the marriage. Such bodily mutilation was inflicted by the Chaldeans and Egyptians (Dio. Sic. 1:89-90). This is what is meant by the scriptures that say God would send Israel's enemies against her and "they shall take away they nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword" (Ez. 23:19-25). Notice that the death penalty is included.
7. The original law of marriage commands a man to "cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh." If there is no exception to this absolute law, then if a man's wife is a harlot, he must cleave to her. Those married to sex perverts must be one flesh with them, unless an exception can be found. Hebrews 7:22 and 8:6 say that Christ gave humanity a "better covenant" than the Mosaic Covenant. But Moses, with an inferior covenant, killed the adulterers and sex criminals and set the guiltless mates free to remarry (Deut. 22:23-24; Lev. 20:10). So if the better covenant requires the guiltless to be one flesh with sex offenders, then it seems that Moses gave the guiltless a better deal. Jesus reminded his audience that it was not an adulterous marriage in the beginning. Neither Adam nor Eve committed adultery. The death penalty was the solution to adultery originally. Jesus said nothing against that solution. And when the divorce bill was substituted for the death penalty, He did not say anything against that either. There was no need to divorce them when they killed them -- originally. Later, divorce was a merciful option compared to the original solution. A Jew could use the bill to divorce an unfaithful wife, then remarry, and still be a righteous man. The ministers of non-dissolution denominations are forbidden to perform a marriage for anyone "who has a former companion still living." It frequently happens that a married man or woman kills kills an adulterous mate. When brought to trial, they plead the "unwritten law" and twelve fellow citizens set them free to be married to another. The murderer can then be remarried by these ministers because when they ask the usual question: "Do you have a former companion still living?" they can truthfully say no. But when they caught their mates in adultery, if they had divorced them instead of killing them, they would not have the right to remarriage because -- they would have a former companion still living. This is the irony of false Roman Catholic doctrine.
8. The word "depart" in 1 Corinthians 7:10,11,15 signified divorce as obtained in the Greek law courts. The believers in verses 10-11 were commanded not to divorce their mates; and if they did, they were to "remain unmarried," or "be reconciled," because there was not valid cause for the divorce, and it did not dissolve the marriage in God's sight. But the "remain unmarried" proves that it had been legally dissolved, and was recognized as such by the Greek courts. But in the divorce of verse 15 where the unbeliever divorced the believer, the case was different. Here Paul did not command the believer to remain unmarried or be reconciled. The believer was "not under bondage" to the marriage. The Lord recognized the validity of the Greek divorce in these cases, just as He had accepted the validity of the Mosaic divorce for fornication. The "remain unmarried" particular of verse 11 was not repeated in verse 15, and what is not specified is not required. The problem of verse 15 is the same today as when a Jew or Moslem becomes a Christian, and the unbelieving partner divorces them because of their faith in Christ. To prevent the divorce, the believer would have to deny Christ. Evidently the unbelievers were were satisfied with with their marriages until their mates became Christians, for which cause they divorced them. Therefore, desertion by a mate is grounds for divorce and remarriage.
9. When there is valid ground for divorce, the marriage is dissolved for both parties. It sets both parties free. But the guilty party must take the blame before God for the dissolution of the marriage. Paul, in verse 27, referred to those who had been "loosed" from marriage by divorce, saying: "But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned" (7:28). It reminds us of John 4:17-18 where Jesus said to a woman, "Thou hast well said, I have no husband; For thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband; that saidst thou truly." Divorce was widespread throughout Palestine when Christ uttered the words of Matt. 5:32 because the opinion of Hillel prevailed. This woman was not an exceptional case.
10. In 1 Timothy 3:2 we read, "A bishop must be the husband of one wife." This forbids bigamy, not divorce and remarriage.
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6 No man shall take the nether or the upper (lunar) millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge.
7 If a man be found stealing any of his (Gemini) brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that (Perseus) thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you.
8 Take heed in the plague of (lunar white) leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the (Ophiuchus & Hercules) priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.
9 Remember what the (Shekinah) Lord thy God did unto (Pollux) Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt.
10 When thou (Castor) dost lend thy (Pollux) brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his (red radius) house to fetch his (lunar) pledge.
11 Thou shalt (Castor) stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend (Pollux) shall bring out the (lunar) pledge abroad unto thee.
12 And if the (Pollux) man be poor, thou (Castor) shalt not sleep with his (lunar) pledge:
13 In any case thou shalt deliver him the (lunar) pledge again when the sun (sun on red radius horizon) goeth down, that he may sleep in his own (lunar) raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the (Shekinah) Lord thy God.
14 Thou shalt not oppress an hired (Perseus) servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy (Gemini) brethren, or of thy (Ophiuchus & Hercules) strangers that are in thy land within thy (lunar or solar) gates:
15 At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the (sun on red radius horizon) sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his (lunar) heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the (Shekinah) Lord, and it be sin unto thee.
16 The (Gemini) fathers shall not be put to death for the (Gemini) children, neither shall the (Gemini) children be put to death for the (Gemini) fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
17 Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the (Perseus) stranger, nor of the (Perseus) fatherless; nor take a (Pollux) widow's (lunar) raiment to pledge:
18 But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the (Shekinah) Lord thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
19 When thou (Perseus) cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a (lunar) sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the (Perseus) stranger, for the (Castor) fatherless, and for the (Pollux) widow: that the (Shekinah) Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine (lunar) hands.
20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the (Perseus) stranger, for the (Castor) fatherless, and for the (Pollux) widow.
21 When thou gatherest the (lunar and solar) grapes of thy (red radius) vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the (Perseus) stranger, for the (Castor) fatherless, and for the (Pollux) widow.
22 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.