Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
Edited by Gene Benjamin II
All Scripture taken from the Son Of Man Bible, unless otherwise noted. SOMB.bblx e-Sword module. Original work at unfoldingword.org. The Son Of Man Bible modules are updated regularly. If you haven’t downloaded and installed a current version lately, do so today!
Genesis 2:18-24, “Then Yehovah Almighty said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” . . . 21Yehovah Almighty caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, so the man slept. Yehovah Almighty took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh where he took the rib. 22With the rib that Yehovah Almighty had taken from the man, he made a woman and brought her to the man. 23The man said, “This time, this one is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. . .” 24Therefore, a man will leave his father and his mother, he will be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
That, of course, is what is known as the story of Adam and Eve. A love story, and I am quite confident that the half of it was not told. How thrilled Adam must have been when he first gazed upon Eve. And oh, how he must have loved her, having been alone, without anyone for some unknown period of time. How thankful he must have been that Yehovah’s plan for him included marriage, a wife and children. It has been the same for untold numbers of men and women ever since.
In verse 18 of Genesis 2, we are told that Yehovah did not consider it good for man to be alone. Consider also the inspired wisdom of Solomon on this same subject:
Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from Yehovah.”
According to these passages marriage is a good thing. It was from the beginning ordained and blessed by Yehovah. Yehovah used it as a model for His own special relationship with His people Israel. He was married to them, and them to Him. It was also at a marriage ceremony that Yeshua commenced to unveil his divinity by performing His first miracle. All of this demonstrates that the sacrament of marriage was and is held in high esteem by Yehovah. It should be safe to say that the act of marriage is even loved by Yehovah.
With this being true, would it not also be safe to say that the opposite is just as true as well, that is, that Yehovah hates divorce? “Of course,” many Christians would declare, “after all, that is exactly what Malachi was inspired to write!”
Malachi 2:16a, “For I hate divorce,” says Yehovah, the Almighty of Israel,” (NOT the SOMB)
Is that not correct? No, it is not! Please do not misunderstand me. I did not say that Yehovah does not hate divorce. I strongly suspect that He does in most cases. What I did say was, that this is not what Malachi was inspired to write.
Hopefully, I now have your attention so that you will stay with me through the rest of this treatise. I will explain my reason for writing what I just did concerning Malachi 2:16. However, first let me assure you, the reader, that I am not promoting divorce amongst Yehovah’s people in these articles.
The Tragedy of Divorce
Divorce is tragic and has lasting effects on generations to come, at least when children are involved. In most instances it leaves deep, often permanent scars on one or both divorcees, sometimes even resulting in suicide and, or murder. Yet even with that, probably the most grievous aspect about divorce is the impact that it has on the children. One study conducted on the effects of divorce on children, after studying 131 children under thirteen years of age whose parents were divorced, reported that the “…most pervasive fact to emerge from the study was the enormity of the grief all the children studied felt over their parents’ divorce. They were sad beyond measure.” After reading this, one cannot help but think of Yeshua’s words as recorded by Matthew:
Matthew 18:6-7, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him that a great millstone should be hung about his neck, and that he should be sunk into the depths of the sea. 7Woe to the world because of times of stumbling! For it is necessary that those times come, but woe to the person through whom those times come!”
A six year old that I was personally acquainted with was helping his mother make cookies. He was using a cookie cutter and after producing a heart-shaped piece of dough he declared, “Our family has a lot of this!” He then tore the heart shaped piece of dough in half and said, “This is what happens to hearts when people are divorced!” It would seem that he spoke more truth than his young mind could even comprehend. Or, possibly he understood it better than the hardened and calloused minds of most adults.
As harmful as it is on the immediate children of divorcees, let us not forget that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations (Deuteronomy 5:9-10). In other words, in many cases it becomes a perpetual cycle unless one generation finally breaks the cycle.
What about the grandparents? Seldom are they considered, yet they are victims of divorce as well. When couples divorce they not only divorce themselves, but in many cases they also divorce the grandparents from their grandchildren. Often one of the divorcees remarries and moves away with the children. In some cases, the genetic grandparents on one side are told that their grandchildren now have new grandparents and that it would be best if they did not confuse matters and are then asked to stay out of the lives of their grandchildren. The grandchildren lose, and one of the most important influences in their lives is sacrificed on the altar of divorce. Divorce is almost always a losing proposition for everyone involved, except of course, for the divorce lawyers who promote divorce for their own financial gain.
Every couple before deciding to be wed should understand that “Getting married is like buying a phonograph record. You buy it for what is on one side, but you have to take the flip side as well. Divorce is like getting the hole in the middle.”
The answer to divorce, simply put, is marriage! Yehovah’s design is for man to “be united to his wife.” Far too many people look upon marriage as being an event, when in actuality the wedding is the event; marriage is a lifetime accomplishment. Nevertheless, does all of this mean that Yehovah does not permit divorce under any circumstances?
Yeshua declared that it had been Yehovah’s design from the beginning that husbands and wives should remain together Matthew 19:4-8, “Yeshua answered and said, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female? 5He who made them also said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and join to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what Yehovah has joined together, let no one tear apart. (Separation is unlawful, without a lawful writ of divorcement.)” 7They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of divorce and then to send her away?” 8He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, (with a writing of divorcement), but from the beginning it was not that way.”
Does this then mean that Yehovah hates divorce? Does the Bible say that He does? No, it does not. However, as was stated previously, I strongly suspect that Yehovah does hate divorce since, almost without exception, divorce brings grief, heartache and havoc upon everyone it comes in contact with. Yet, on the other hand, Yehovah did provide for divorce:
Deuteronomy 24:1, “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some unsuitable thing in her, then he must write her a certificate of divorce, put it into her hand, and send her out of his house.”
According to Yehovah’s Law, divorce was an option, but, for what reasons was it allowed? This may shock a lot of evangelical Christians, nevertheless we are told that a husband may divorce his wife if she “finds no favor in his eyes” and if he finds “some indecency in her.” Yet, when we come to the New Covenant era, many modern preachers and commentators insist that Yeshua changed the law on divorce. Whereas, Moses wrote that a man can divorce his wife for any just cause, in the gospels Yeshua appears to limit divorce to only cases of adultery. At least that is what many are led to believe from reading most modern commentaries, as well as from reading several New Testament passages in some of the newer translations.
Although many Christians have taken this position on divorce, I doubt whether they really understand what doing so implies. If their theology is correct, then Yeshua would have been a sinner, or at the very least promoting sin. In order for Yeshua to have been our perfect sinless sacrifice He had to fully keep and accurately teach the Old Covenant Law. The Apostle John declared in 1 John 3:4, “Everyone who commits sin is doing what is lawless; for sin is lawlessness.” Thus, had Yeshua broken or changed the law, He would have been guilty of sin and thus could not have been our Savior.
Even if Yeshua had changed Yehovah’s moral law under the New Covenant dispensation, as some Christians claim, His dissertations on divorce in the Gospels were given during the Old Covenant dispensation. Additionally, Yeshua Himself declared, Matthew 5:18, “For truly I say to you that until heaven and earth pass away, not one yod or one kots (thorn or stroke of a yod) shall in any way pass away from the Torah, until all things have been accomplished.”
Whatever the law on divorce was in Deuteronomy 24, not the smallest letter or stroke of it was changed by Yeshua. Therefore, we can safely conclude that something is wrong with the theology usually advanced regarding divorce.
The erroneous interpretation of Yeshua’s instructions can be traced to two modern mistakes. This error is first made because most of today’s preachers and commentators believe that Yehovah’s Old Covenant laws have been abolished and replaced (antinomian theology), thus they seldom consult them. Secondly, mistaken conclusions on this subject are derived from translation errors in most modern English versions of the Bible.
Divorce & Remarriage
My purpose in the remainder of this treatise is to clear up the mistaken notions held by many Christians regarding divorce and remarriage. Let us begin by going back to Yehovah’s law concerning divorce. In Deuteronomy 24 we find that the divorce process can be broken down into three parts: (1) The husband must write out a certificate of divorce, (2) he must deliver it himself to his wife, and (3) he must then send her away. It takes all three integral parts in order for the divorce to be lawful, and to be recognized by Yehovah. A husband was not allowed to simply send his wife out into the streets. He was to formally divorce her through the aforesaid process. She was to be given a certificate of divorce, that is, a breaking of the lawful contract of marriage with a lawful contract of divorce. In other words, she was to be provided with proof that she was a lawfully divorced woman.
This is more serious than probably it first appears. Without this lawful document, and if a woman was to “remarry” or attach herself to another man, she and the one whom she “remarried” would have been considered adulterers, and that was a stoning offense!
In this light, the writ of divorcement was intended to be a letter of protection for the woman, more than a letter of permission for the man.
“Divorce” & “Put Away”
In addition, the two terms “divorce” and “sends her out” (also translated as “put away” and “send away”) should also be considered. It is extremely important to understand that nowhere in the Scriptures are these two terms used interchangeably. The Hebrew word for “divorce” in Deuteronomy 24:1 is found in only two other locations: Isaiah 50:1, describing Yehovah’s future divorce of the House of Judah, and Jeremiah 3:8, regarding Yehovah’s previous divorce of the House of Israel.
Deuteronomy 24, Isaiah 50 and Jeremiah 3 are the only three instances where the Hebrew word for “divorce” can be found in the Old Testament. That is right; this is not the word used in Malachi 2:16 as would be expected if Yehovah were saying that He hated divorce in that passage.
The Hebrew word translated “divorce” is a very specific term, and in all three instances it is used in conjunction with the term “bill,” “writ,” or “certificate.” On the other hand the Hebrew word translated “sent out” or “put away” is a very common term and is used nearly a thousand times in the Old Testament.
There is no interchangeability between these two Hebrew words. One could not be divorced without being put away. However, one could be put away without being divorced. It is this latter condition that was addressed by the Prophet Malachi:
Malachi 2:13-14, “You also do this: You cover the altar of Yehovah with tears, with weeping and sighing, because he still does not turn toward the offering or accept it with favor from your hand. 14But you say, “Why does he not?” Because Yehovah was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have been faithless (by NOT giving her a writing of divorcement), even though she was your companion and your wife by covenant.”
Note that the women spoken of in this situation were still considered as being wives by covenant or contract with their husbands, that is, they had never been lawfully divorced.
Malachi 2:15-16, “Did he not make them one, with a portion of his Ruach? Then why did he make you one? Because he was seeking an offspring from the Almighty. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. 16 “For I hate divorce,” says Yehovah, the Almighty of Israel, “and the one who covers his garment, (or wife), with violence,” says Yehovah of the heavenly armed forces. “So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not be faithless.””
Is that how Yehovah intended this verse to be translated? No it is not. Had He intended this, He would have inspired Malachi to use the same Hebrew word translated as “divorce” in the twenty-fourth chapter of Deuteronomy. Instead, He inspired Malachi to use the same Hebrew word translated as “sends her out” or “put away” in Deuteronomy 24.
The King James Version translated Malachi 2:16a correctly:
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away.
In other words, the treachery committed by these men was not in divorcing their wives, but rather in that they were putting their wives away without a certificate of divorce. In their vindictiveness, they were putting their wives in a horrible no win predicament. If the wives had “remarried” or had attached themselves to another man, they would have been subject to stoning for adultery since without a certificate of divorce they were still lawfully married to their first husband. If they would not commit adultery then these women were left to fend for themselves, which was nearly impossible under the conditions of that time.
Consequently, one can perceive the treachery in what these men were doing, and consequently understand why Yehovah would hate it. You can also visualize the hardness of some men’s hearts and then understand why Yehovah would provide for divorce (Mark 10:2-5, “And Pharisees came to him to test him and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife? [which means following the command in Deut. 24.] ” 3He answered, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and then to send her away [yes, lawful].” 5“It was because of your hard hearts that he wrote you this precept,” Yeshua said to them.”). On the other hand, if divorce itself is treachery then even Yehovah promoted it by allowing for it and even making provisions for it in Deuteronomy 24. Additionally, Yehovah would be guilty of treachery Himself since He divorced His wife, Israel.
New Testament Divorce & Remarriage
As can be seen, much has been misunderstood about this subject, resulting in much injury and unnecessary guilt being laid upon the backs of divorcees. This has occurred because much of modern Christendom has rejected Yehovah’s perfect law and because of the mistranslation of some key words pertaining to this subject.
The same has happened with the New Testament Scriptures. Yehovah is not the author of confusion, thus He cannot be blamed for the turmoil over this subject. Rather, man is to be blamed for it. The devastation of divorce is undeniable, however, under certain conditions both divorce and remarriage were permitted according to Yehovah’s Law as provided to us in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Taking then what we have already learned from the Old Testament let us now see if we can not make sense of Yeshua’s statements in the New Testament on this important subject.
The two Hebrew words translated “divorce” and “sent out” or “put away” in Deuteronomy 24 mean two different things and are not interchangeable. The same is true with the corresponding New Testament Greek words. The Greek word for “put away” is apoluo (#630), whereas the Greek word for “divorce” is apostasion (#647). With this knowledge, let us examine Yeshua’s instructions on divorce and remarriage in Matthew 5:
And it was said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal”; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32 NASV)
Have the translators of the New American Standard Version conveyed accurately Yehovah’s will on this matter? Hardly! Contrast the New American Standard Version’s rendition of this passage with the King James Version’s rendition:
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away [apoluo] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement [apostasion]….
Yeshua was simply quoting Deuteronomy 24:1 which declares that it is not permissible for someone to put away his wife without giving her a certificate of divorce. Verse 32 in the King James Version continues:
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife [apoluo, without a writ of divorcement], saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced [apoluo, put away (without a writ of divorcement)] committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:32-33 KJV)
The King James Version is nearly flawless. Had the King James translators rendered the last apoluo as “put away” it would have been perfect. If Yehovah had wanted this last phrase to have read “whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery,” He would have inspired Matthew to have used the word apostasion. Instead it should have been rendered, “whosoever shall marry her that is put away [without a writing of divorcement] committeth adultery.”
If, in verses 32 and 33, Yeshua had said what the New American Standard and King James’ translators wrote, Yeshua would have been guilty of heresy for having changed Yehovah’s Law. Earlier in Matthew 5, Yeshua Himself declared:
Matthew 5:17-19, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Torah or the prophets. I have come not to destroy them, but to interpret them correctly, not incorrectly. 18For truly I say to you that until heaven and earth pass away, not one yod or one kots (thorn or stroke of a yod) shall in any way pass away from the Torah, until all things have been accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks the least one of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Are we to believe that Yeshua is “least in the kingdom of heaven”? We have no choice but to admit that He is if the translators of the New American Standard and King James versions are correct.
The first phrase of verse 32 in the New American Standard reads: “…everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery….” In Yehovah’s law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) divorce is not limited to just cases of unchastity. If the New American Standard is correct then Yeshua is at variance with Yehovah’s morality as communicated to us in His laws.
In the latter part of verse 32, both the New American Standard and King James translators have Yeshua declaring that “whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Yet Yehovah’s law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) allowed for a properly divorced woman to remarry. On the other hand, when verse 32 is translated correctly we find that Yeshua is in perfect harmony with the Law as one would expect Him to be. He was simply saying that any man who only puts away his wife, that is, without a writ of divorcement (a lawful breaking of the marriage contract with a lawful divorce contract) causes his wife to commit adultery if she “remarries.” And the one who “marries” a woman only put away but not lawfully divorced commits adultery as well since by contract she would still be the wife of another man.
The Exception Clause
With the foregoing understood, someone is sure to inquire, “What about the exception clause in Matthew 5:32?” The New American Standard Bible renders it:
“…except for the cause of unchastity….”
The King James Version renders it much better:
“…saving for the cause of fornication….”
The word “fornication” is translated from the Greek word porneia. What constitutes porneia or fornication? Rather than speculating let us allow the Scriptures to answer that question for us. Following is a list of acts described by the Greek word “porneia”:
Incest — 1 Corinthians 5:1
Harlotry or Prostitution — 1 Corinthians 6:13-18, 10:8
Forbidden Lineage — Hebrews 12:15-16
Homosexuality — Jude 7
Those four acts of immorality are all identified in the New Testament as being cases of porneia or fornication. Although not specifically identified as such in the New Testament there are other immoral acts that should also be viewed as fornication:
Bestiality — Leviticus 20:15-16
Remarrying a Divorced Wife a Second Time After She Married Again and was Divorced from Her Second Husband — Deuteronomy 24:1-4
Marrying an Unlawfully Divorced Woman — Matthew 5:32
The foregoing acts should all be identified as fornication because porneia is simply unlawful sexual relationships. So what do these acts have to do with what Yeshua declared in Matthew 5:31-32?
Yeshua in Concert with Yehovah’s Laws
It must be remembered that in Matthew 5 Yeshua was not condemning divorce, but rather the putting away of a wife without a bill of divorcement. Following is Matthew 5:31-32 as it should have been translated, including what can now be understood as being acts of fornication:
Matthew 5:31-32, “It was also said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away [apoluo], let him give her a certificate of divorce [apostasion].’ 32But I say to you that everyone who puts away [apoluo] his wife [without a writing of divorcement], except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress. Whoever marries her after she has been put away [apoluo, without a writing of divorcement] commits adultery.”
In other words, a man is not permitted to put away his mate without a certificate of divorce unless it is an incestuous relationship, or one with a prostitute, or a forbidden lineage, or one with someone of the same sex, or one with an animal, or one with a wife previously divorced and divorced a second time, or one with a woman unlawfully divorced (put away).
Note, I identified these as relationships not marriages since in Yehovah’s eyes none of these relationships constitute a lawful marriage. That is why a man could put away these partners without having to provide them with a certificate of divorce. In these cases, a bill of divorcement was not required since (from Yehovah’s perspective) there was no lawful marriage contract that required annulment with a divorce certificate. These kinds of relationships only required repentance and the putting away of the unlawful partner.
In Ezra 10:1-9 Yehovah provided us with a Biblical example of such a separation. Nowhere in this passage is a certificate of divorce required for the Israelites to “separate [put away] … their strange wives.” The following passage from the book of Ezra provides us with the reason why a writ of divorcement was unnecessary:
Ezra 9:1-2, “. . . “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the ethno-linguistic people of the other lands and their abominations: Canaanites, Hethites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. 2For they have taken some of their daughters and sons, and have mixed the holy people with the ethno-linguistic people of other lands, and the officials and leaders have been first in this faithlessness.””
All of the nations cited in that passage with whom the Israelites had intermingled were descended either from Canaanites, Moabites or Ammonites; all of which were lineages that Yehovah had forbid Israel to intermarry. Thus they were unlawful unions, and therefore acts of fornication. Hence, in that particular instance, they were not required to present them with a certificate of divorce. They were only required to repent of their sins and put away their foreign wives.
This is the correct interpretation of the exception clause. It validates Yehovah’s Law and Yeshua’s confirmation of the same. Anything else puts Yeshua in conflict with the Law and morality of Yehovah. Instead of being at variance with Yehovah’s Law, Yeshua was simply expounding upon the same. In so doing, He confirmed that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 was the standard for divorce and remarriage except in cases of fornication, sexual immorality.
It is to be hoped that this thesis has cleared up what has been mistranslated and misinterpreted by many in modern Christendom. Hopefully, this study will aid in removing unnecessary guilt from those who have been lawfully divorced and who have remarried. Yehovah’s Law does not promote divorce, but it does permit it.
Once again, I am not promoting divorce either, but simply wanting to put it in its proper Scriptural perspective. I am also hoping to relieve the pseudo guilt that some have carried on their shoulders for far too long. Divorce should always be the last resort, the solution only when all else fails and reconciliation is absolutely impossible. Divorce is seldom, if ever, a positive good but usually just the lesser of two evils. Nevertheless, in light of Yehovah’s Law and Yeshua’s validation of the same, divorce and remarriage can no longer be entirely denounced.
I would also like to add the Living Ruach of the Torah (Yeshua), in regards to adultery, a stoning or capital offense. Let’s look at John 8:3-11, where Yeshua is in the temple teaching the people, “3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery. They placed her in the middle. 4Then they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5Now in the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such people; what do you say about her?” 6They said this in order to trap him, so that they might have something to accuse him about, but Yeshua bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. 7When they continued asking him, he stood up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger. 9When they heard it, they left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Yeshua was left alone, with the woman who had been in the middle. 10Yeshua stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.””
Yeshua did not condemn her. Why? He would have been unjust to condemn her and not the man with her, but also because He knew that He was going to die and pay for her sins, as well as for all the sins of all mankind. Yeshua came to earth the first time to be the Savior of ALL men. The proper solution for adultery, rather than the stoning death per the letter of the Law, which is wholly justified, is for the adulterer and adulteress to repent of the sin and do not commit adultery any more. Yeshua wants us clean and whole, not defiled by anything in this dirty world. So when Ruach HaKodesh convicts you of a sin, just repent, receive your forgiveness and don’t do it anymore. It makes life a whole lot simpler. He wants obedience, not sacrifice. You don’t need a bunch of religious ritual to make you feel better about yourself, just repent, get forgiven and move on.
As I was studying this, I was writing a judicial “Court case” against myself on behalf of my ex-“wife”, Beverly. We’ve been divorced for over a decade now. I had to rewrite the section on divorce over and over. I couldn’t get it to say the truth for my situation, no matter how I wrote it, until I read the above study and the Ruach illuminated the truth to me. The fact of the matter is, in our situation, though we want to say we’d been “married” over 32 years, in reality, we’d been living in fornication, because my “wife” was promiscuous before I met and “married” her. She had been faithful to me, as far as I know, but she never was lawfully divorced, or put away with a writ of divorcement, from any of her previous “husbands”. She does not have a writing of divorcement from any other man as far as I know. Therefore, she is an adulteress and she has made me an adulterer in my ignorance of the Law clarified by Yeshua in Matthew 19:9. We were both just born again around the time we met. We knew NOTHING about all this marriage, divorce, and remarriage stuff. To be honest, we cannot say that we were living in adultery, because neither of us had ever been lawfully married. Actually, Beverly was made an adulteress by not getting a writing of divorcement from her first lover. I will become an adulterer if I get remarried without getting a writing of divorcement from Beverly (done January 5, 2007), or by providing her with one, though technically, it’s not required in our fornication situation.
Beverly and my relationship is more like the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:16-19, “16Yeshua said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.” 17The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Yeshua replied, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband,’ 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.”” Yeshua cuts to the quick, doesn’t He? He knew this woman was living in fornication, not adultery. She knew she was too. Beverly and I had deceived ourselves into thinking we were married; after all, the State said we were married, but what do they know? We divorced ourselves from the State “marriage” several years before we divorced from each other, but that’s another study. We have had nothing but a delusional “relationship” through ignorance of Yehovah’s Law, we were just living in fornication. Our past sins are forgiven, or are they? Has Beverly repented of her fornication or adultery? How can she? Where is her writing of divorcement from her first or last husband before me? How can I repent of my fornication with Beverly?
What Yehovah showed me is that we both needed to give each other a writing of divorcement (done January 5, 2007) and get remarried if we wanted to be together again (but it can’t happen per Deut. 24:1-4). Otherwise, we just stay separated (Nope, see my latest revelation on separation at the bottom of this article), receiving forgiveness and going and sinning no more; NO writing of divorcement is required in an unlawful fornication relationship situation such as ours was. But by issuing each other writings of divorcement, we could lawfully move on to other relationships if we so desired. I had no desire for marriage with any woman besides Beverly; Beverly had always said she would never marry again (She did get married in April, 2007), but had she ever been lawfully married? Neither of us had ever been lawfully married! We each needed a divorce decree just to clear our record and set ourselves on a firm foundation of Yehovah’s Word. I thought I could have married Beverly again, if she had wanted to get remarried again for the third time, but we could not per Deut. 24:1-4; we’d only had two weddings so by then, first and twenty-fifth, so why not another one? It is unlawful to remarry a former spouse who has gone ahead and remarried, then divorced the second spouse, even if you really want to get married again, it’s unlawful.
Update on separation:
I have no cause, except the cause of truth. All Yehovah wants is glory and to see that the lawful order is maintained in His kingdom. It took over two months of study and prayer just to distill that simple truth from Matthew 19:6, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what Yehovah has joined together, let no one tear apart (put or send away without the Writ of Divorce).” Yeshua was simply confirming the Law of Deuteronomy 24. Reconciliation, restoration is lawful (Jubilee Law). Divorce is lawful (Mosaic Law). Separation is unlawful (Yeshua Law); therefore a separated couple needs to move from an unlawful to a lawful status to bring order back to the Kingdom in their lives. A simple principle, really, once the Light comes on. A separated couple either needs to get back together as man and wife, or they need to get a lawful divorce done in writing.