What are the views on the issue of divorce and remarriage from a Hebrew and biblical perspective

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(NOTE: These answers are not presented in a particular order, just in the approximate order that they arrived from our contributors. Feel free to add your comments. If you have a burning question send it to steve@saltshakers.com or if you feel able to answer these type of questions email us to join our panel of "messianic rabbis".)

BOB DOTY answers ...

Answer: this is a subject that has caused probably more trouble in the church than anything and still isn't understood correctly. Here are some, but not all, general guidelines:

A. In the beginning God intended marriage to be permanent (Matt. 19:4-6).

B. Because of the hardness of people's hearts, God instructed Moses to write divorce into the Law(Deut. 24:1; Matt. 19:8,9).

C. If a man divorces his wife and then remarries her after she has married another man in the mean time, then they are living in adultery (Deut. 24:2-4).

D. There are several reasons besides adultery that were accepted as legal for a bill of divorcement listed in the Mishnah. All of the Scriptures need to be studied in their proper context which cannot be done here. Every effort should be made to restore the marriage before divorce is used.

E. God forgives.

EVETTE LEWIS answers ...

From a Biblical perspective, Divorce is allowed where one party has committed adultery - and even looking at another person is considered adultery. Yeshua stopped a woman from getting stoned to death for being an adulterer, so I don't think any of us can judge, if He was willing to love this woman, despite her position.

What's more, He understands how tough relationships can be, and loves both parties, so it's worth noting that even though marriages are supposed to be for a lifetime, they do brake down, and He can be console and comfort both. He can also help before things get to late, if allowed to - it's worth praying whent things hit the rocks, turn to The Rock!

From our position with G-d - He calls it Divorce when the relationship breaks down and we go after other idols or 'gods' and is jealous - Isaiah 50 v 1-2

This is what the LORD said when the people had turned away from Him: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.

When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst.

If a marriage is going wrong, then put G-d first - pray and have faith - love can be poured into the situation, and the Lord can help. I have been there and it works!!

In regards to remarriage, when the Samaritan woman said - He told me my life story - and Yeshua had spoken to her, about her husbands and lovers, she did not say - and He rebuked me and said I won't get to Heaven now.. He still loved her.

Getting divorced and remarried will not separate you from G-d - turning your back on Him will. So the important thing is that you are loved by Him, and though people make mistakes, they may be held to account, by themselves, and others, but they are still loved by G-d.

RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ...

Your question is an excellent one; however, the response is not as easy as one might think.

Judaism has recognized the concept of "no-fault" divorce thousands of years ago. Judaism has always accepted divorce as a fact of life, albeit an unfortunate one. Judaism generally maintains that it is better for a couple to divorce than to remain together in a state of constant bitterness and strife. Under Jewish law, a man can divorce a woman for any reason or no reason.

From a Biblical perspective, let’s see what our Heavenly Father says about divorce, Malachi 2:14-16 – “You ask, "Why?" It is because the L_rd is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the L_rd made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. "I hate divorce," says the L_rd G_d of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the L_rd Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.”

That’s pretty clear to me how G_d feels about divorce.

If you wish to carry it one step further, since Yeshua is G_d, let’s look at what Yeshua has to say: Matthew 5:31-32 – “It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

And still yet another opinion from Rav Sha’ul (the Apostle Paul) from 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 – “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

I think that sums it up pretty well. The real question is, “What is best to follow, man’s way or G_d’s way?”

RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...

There are 3 reasons for divorce and or remarriage according to scripture, and you may not remarry the same spouse after a divorce. G-d gave Yisra’el a certificate of divorce (Jer 3). While Revelation speaks of a Jewish wedding, the groom is now the son. That is what he inherited- the right to marry the bride.

HENRY BRINKMAN answers ...

The issue of divorce is not too hard to handle. The Bible is pretty plain on the divorce issue. GOD hates divorce. God allowed men to hand out written decrees of divorce, because of the hardness of their hearts. Man has made good use of these things and even in Old Testament times the divorce issue was pretty prevalent. Man seems to have this tendency to make the laws fit to there liking and to manipulate things for their betterments. So today we have the divorce rate at 53% in both the secular world and the Christian world.

Now the remarriage part is the hard part. The Bible tells us that He who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Adultery was punishable by death. So you have a circle effect. If you divorce you can not remarry or you commit adultery? Now we need to look at the laws regarding adultery and we shall see how stringent they are. What does this then mean? Divorce is only allowed in the case of adultery, so we have decided that the marriage is then dissolved and made null and void. In GODS eyes marriage is forever, and He states that what He has put together no man shall part. It is therefore imperative that we make sure that the partner we choose is indeed chosen by GOD. We therefore need the wisdom and foresight to choose according to the will of GOD. Do we have that patience?

divorce and re-marriage

I was divorced 10 years ago when my first Christian husband and father of my two sons wanted to be with someone else (he broke my heart).

Having from then remained sexually pure for 8 years I married for a 2nd time 2 years ago a much older Christian man. He had won my trust and emotional attachment when I was very vulnerable (due to other life traumas). Our church supported us with a wonderful wedding.

However, after we married, although the marriage was consummated, I discovered that he had deliberately withheld from me that he was significantly physically damaged (this apparently occurred when participating in a former ungodly relationship). His appalling non-disclosure was despite me being transparently honest with him about myself BEFORE we married. To add to this, his temperament transformed from a lovely easy going nature to dogmatic, angry and totally unable to reason.

Is there any loving father who would not set their child free from even there own terrible mistake let alone deliberate entrapment and lovingly teach them so they learn from it?

In Malachi 2 v 16 it is clear to read that it is the abominable behaviour that is detested and divorce in order to take other wives. Divorce itself is the outcome of detestable behaviour and in many cases the only/last option. Re: Matt 19 it is clearly because of the hardness of the ‘guilty’ party’s heart, NOT necessarily the person seeking the divorce.

I am very thankful to have come across biblical research that reveals abuse, neglect, lack of provision and sexual immorality to all be justified reasons for divorce and remarriage. Jesus did not challenge valid reasons for divorce. He challenged divorce on the basis of ‘no fault’ instead of actual sexual immorality because this was the common offending practice. Biblically, if divorce was for no valid reason it was invalid, therefore ‘they’ committed adultery when they remarried. It makes perfect sense and demonstrates how just and kind our creator is. Praise HIS NAME!
J

remarriage is adultery plain an simple

Rabbi Crawfors was referring to Dueteronomy when he said a man could not remarry his former spouse. I believe that former spouse was the woman he was betrothed to and on their wedding night he found her to be not a virgin so he divorced her and sent her away because of her uncleaness. Years later he couldn't say he wanted to remarry her again after she had been married and divorced from someone else. Jesus says this remarriage would be a sin. This man already admitted this woman was defiled and was shamed in front of her family and friends how can he now say she is worthy of his love. Woman were not treated very well back in those days.
I would like to know what the Hebrew word is for the greek word "porneia". Jesus says porneia can be divorced from. Porneia is a marraige that is unlawful in God's eyes. It is not marrital unfaithfulness which can be repented of.

Re: Remarriage is adultery plain and simple

Dear Guest,

In answer to your question regarding the Hebrew for the Greek word porneia, that would be zanah - pronounced
zaw-naw. The meaning is pretty much identical.

If you have a Strong's Concordance, you can look it up under the Hebrew section # 2181.

Shalom,

Rabbi Joseph

Hebrew word "zanah" for porneia in Greek

Thank you Rabbi Joseph for getting back to me with your Hebrew word "Zanah". . . meaning for an unlawful relationship. I find many in the church today are very confused because we have been taught something different than what the Yeshua taught in Matthew 19:8-9. They think that this word "marital unfaithfulness" was done after the woman's hyman was broken by her husband, but this is not what Yeshua was talking about. He was talking about the hyman being broken by someone other than the husband during the betrothal time against this man's betrothed wife. This betrothed husband Jesus was saying, was free to divorce his betrothed wife like Josheph was. Joseph was found to be a just man when he planned to put Mary, his betrothed wife away quietly because he thought she committed 'Zanah' with someone other than himself. Many in the church have been taught this to mean marital unfaithfulness after the covenant vows were made. Not so says Jesus. Divorce is only allowed for an unlawful relationship such as a remarriage, or a homosexual marriage or a incestuous marriage ect. God looks at our heart's and looks to see if we have hardened our heart's to His ways by living to please ourselves at His Holy Name's expense, and our children's by tying to justifiy what we have done by calling it good, when it is bad. Remarriage after divorce is an evil ploy of satan's to destroy the image of God's faithfulness to us, and the next generation. It looks like satan has succeeded in grabing hold of many in this generation. We are causing the body of Christ to look more like a whore house instead of a holy sanctified people willing to lay our lives down and fight for our families for righteousness sake, and for God's kingdom glory at the expense of our own happiness because we love God more than ourselves. Today we seem to think it is all about us and our happiness, but it is not. Satan has deceived many, but thank God, He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail over it.

remarriage is adultery

Remarriage is adultery we must repent of this adulterous relationship and turn from it by getting a divorce from it, because it is unlawful in G-d's eyes. Yeshua called these kinds of relationship porneia or sexually immoral. Any sexuall relationship that God does not approve of like two men getting married, or an incestuous marriage worthy of divorce because they go against G-d's plan for marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman not previously married. This marraige is to stay togehter until death seperates them not divorce. Divorce only breaks the intimacy. G-d wants this divorce repented of and the marriage reconciled and restored for His names sake and His glory for the sake of their children so they will know that we serve a mighty G-d. G-d is able to restore broken heart's and broken lives, all we are required to do is humble ourselves before the Lord and turn from their wicked ways and He will restore us.

remarriage of ex-spouse

Is it a sin to marry your ex-spouse if neither have been with anyone since the divorce....and there was no adultery that caused the divorce...and what are the other two grounds for biblical divorce please give scriptural reference. thank you.

Remarriage of ex-spouse

Shalom my friend. Sounds like a little dilemma is taking place for someone. In reference to your biblical quest, please read what Rabbi Joseph Kresefsky wrote – he does reference scripture. Now, as it pertains to your question regarding remarriage. Praise G_d that if two people who were divorced and did not have sexual relations with others want to reunite, Baruch HaShem, they can!! The adulterous sin is only if they’ve been with others. Again, please see Rabbi Joseph Kresefsky’s comments above on this subject.