MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND ADULTERY

Article aW 1998

Note, click here for a new and shorter article on this subject - Article cT


MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND ADULTERY

Article aW 1998


INDEX

Chapter 1 Pertains to the issue of having more than one wife in both the Old and New Testament.

M Chapter 2 Pertains to the words adultery and fornication as used in the Bible.

Chapter 3 Pertains to how both man and woman relate to the institution of marriage.

M Chapter 4 Pertains to divorce as in the Old Testament.

V Chapter 5 Pertains to divorce as in the New Testament.

Chapter 6 Pertains to the subject of God's people marrying those that are not a part of God's people, with regard to both the Old and New Testament.

Chapter 7 Pertains to what part or power vows have in making a marriage.

V Chapter 8 Pertains to what "that which God has joined together" consists of.

V Chapter 9 Pertains to what marriages are acceptable and unacceptable, and pertains to what individuals would be required to remain single unless united with a past particular mate.

M Chapter 10 Pertains to dealing with different marriage situations.

M Chapter 11 Pertains to several past Christians views on divorce and remarriage.

M Chapter 12 Contains numerous additions.



Introduction

In considering the subject of marriage, divorce, and adultery it is very important that one focuses on the purpose or intent of God's laws. Jesus speaking of God's most basic laws, spoke of loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and of loving our neighbor as ourselves and then said, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matt 22:40). Paul speaking of this basic law said; "For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Gal 5:14). The purpose of God matrimonial laws is to create and preserve, peace, justice, and order among mankind. If it was lawful for a man to have any woman that he that day could attract to himself, or lawful for a woman to have any man that she that day could attract to herself, one can hardly imagine how much stress, anxiety, jealousy, and strife would be encountered. God's law forbids committing adultery for the vital purpose of making man's wife a secure companion to him, and for the purpose of making a woman's husband a secure companion to her, and to make a secure environment for the children. Truly we should be thankful for God's law that forbids committing adultery.

It is clear that adultery and fornication are the intimate relations between two who according to God's laws are not lawfully married. If two mates in God's sight are properly married then their relations obviously cannot be considered adultery or fornication. The purpose of this writing is to understand, with regards to the New Testament era, what marriages God does or can accept, and to understand what marriages He cannot accept.

The numbers given at the end of most paragraphs are provided as a means to identify paragraphs. Through using these numbers, basically any paragraph herein can easily be found when it is referred to. An index of the chapters within this article is given at the end of this article. If the reader in reading this article thinks of some new Scriptures that would vitally apply to any part of this article, the writer would like to learn of them.


Chapter 1

Considers the Issue of Having More than One Wife With Regards to Both the Old and New Testament.


Firstly will be given numerous Scriptures that reveal that in the Old Testament God permitted man to have more than one wife; aW-1:2

(Deu 21:15-16) "If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:" aW-1:3

(Exo 21:10) "If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish." (note this verse likely is teaching that one who takes another wife must except his full duties of marriage toward both his first and second wife). aW-1:4

(Lev 18:18) "Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time." Note how this verse teaches that one in taking an additional wife should not marry a sister of his present wife. aW-1:4.5

(Deu 25:5) "If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her." Note it is quite obvious that this responsibility to take a brother's widow to wife was not intended for just single brothers who yet had no wife, rather this taking a brother's widow to wife, likely often involved taking more than one wife. aW-1:4.6

(2 Sam 12:7-8) "...Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, ...I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things." aW-1:5

(Deu 17:14&16-17) Herein God giving the Israelites guidelines for their King which they might set up over themselves said, "When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; ...But he shall not multiply horses to himself... Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." This Scripture quite clearly does not mean their King could not have more than one wife but likely rather means that he should not take to himself an improper amount of wives. Note this Scripture also teaches that their King neither was to improperly multiply unto himself horses or silver or gold, thus if one thinks this Scripture means the King was not permitted to have more than one wife he should also to some extent believe this Scriptures means their King was not to have more than one horse of one piece of gold. King Solomon likely failed in keeping God's law, concerning having too many wives, and thus his wives turned away his heart (1 Kings 11:3-4). aW-1:6


Following are Scriptural examples of Old Testament Bible characters having more than one wife or concubines; aW-1:7

(Gen 25:1&26) "Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. ...But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." Note how this verse indicates that Abraham had some concubines as mates, besides that of having had Sarah as wife and after her death Keturah. aW-1:8

(Gen 31:17) "Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;" aW-1:9

(Judg 8:30) "And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives." aW-1:10

(1 Sam 1:2) "And he [Samuel's father] had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children." aW-1:11

(1 Sam 25:43) "David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives." aW-1:12

(2 Sam 5:13) "And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David." aW-1:13

(2 Sam 12:7-8) "And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel... I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom..." aW-1:14

(1 Ki 11:3) "And he [Solomon] had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart." aW-1:15

Others that had numerous wives are Solomon's son, Rehoboam, who had 18 wives and 60 concubines (2 Chr 11:21). Solomon's grandson, Abijah, had 14 wives (2 Chr 13:21). Jehodia the good Priest that helped Joash the King had two wives (2 Chr 24:2-3). Numerous other examples could be given but the writer will leave the above examples as sufficient. Although many Old Testament characters had more than one wife, yet it appears numerous ones only had one wife. aW-1:16


Concerning the New Testament era, it appears that Jesus to some extent advocated that the institution of marriage should consist of only one man and only one woman, although He did not emphasis such in great clarity. The following teachings of Christ to some degree indicate that Christ planned that man in the New Testament should only have one wife; aW-1:17

(Mat 19:4-6) "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, {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? {6} Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." aW-1:18

(Mark 10:6-8) "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. {7} For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; {8} And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." aW-1:19

Note Jesus in these verses did not say God in the beginning made them male and females (plural) and state that man should leave His father and mother and cleave to his wives (plural) and they all should be one flesh but rather stated that man should cleave to his wife (singular) and said they twain should be one flesh. aW-1:20


Apostle Paul quite clearly reveals that in the New Testament man is to only have one wife in the following Scriptures which read; aW-1:21

(1 Tim 3:2) "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;" aW-1:22

(1 Tim 3:12) "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." aW-1:23

(Titus 1:6) "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." aW-1:24

It appears God ordained that man in the New Testament should only have one wife to eliminate the difficulties that could be caused by one wife being loved above another wife, and the difficulties that could be encountered because of one man taking numerous wives while another man could scarcely have one wife. Truly God's laws are based on loving God with all our heart and loving other individuals as ourselves, and should be appreciated. aW-1:25

In the Old Testament, since man was permitted to have more than one wife, taking another wife had little to do with divorce or committing adultery. Yet in the New Testament since man is to have only one wife, taking another wife thus has much to do with divorce and committing adultery. aW-1:26




M Chapter 2

Considers Details Of The Words Adultery And Fornication As Used In Our King James Version Bible.


This subject is important because Jesus speaking of divorce and remarriage said "...Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery..." (Matt 19:9). Note in Matt 5:32 Jesus said much the same thing. Thus it is very important to understand what Jesus here meant in using the word fornication. aW-2:1

Since the Old Testament originally was written in Hebrew and the New Testament originally was written in Greek , the Hebrew and Greek words that underlie the words adultery and fornication will firstly be considered. In our King James Version often times a word therein may derive from numerous different words in the original Hebrew or Greek language. In carefully studying the words adultery and fornication it is obvious that these two words, rarely if ever derive from the same Hebrew or Greek word. The words fornication and adultery, thus clearly are two different words in the original languages as well as in the English. Although these words are two different words in there original languages as well as the English, yet such would not necessarily need to mean that the meanings of these two different words could not be quite interrelated. The first part of this chapter will consider the word fornication, and the last part will consider the word adultery. aW-2:2


The word fornicat(ion) including all of it's different word endings appears 39 times in the New Testament (KJV). The word fornication in the New Testament basically always comes from the Greek words which are given below together with their definitions; aW-2:3

G4202. porneia, por-ni'-ah; from G4203; harlotry (includ. adultery and incest); fig. idolatry:. aW-2:4

G4203. porneuo, porn-yoo'-o; from G4204; to act the harlot, i.e. (lit.) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (fig.) practice idolatry:. aW-2:5

Note how the above Greek definitions for fornication, among numerous immoral sins, includes the sin of adultery, which sin pertains more to the married than to those who were never married. aW-2:6

Surprisingly the word fornication appears only 5 times in the Old Testament. The definition of the two Hebrew words underlying the Old Testament word fornication are as follows. aW-2:7

“H2181. zanah, zaw-naw'; a prim. root [highly fed and therefore wanton]; to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); fig. to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah):” aW-2:8

“H8457. taznuwth, taz-nooth'; or taznuth, taz-nooth'; from H2181; harlotry, i.e. (fig.) idolatry:” aW-2:9

Note how the above Hebrew definitions for fornication, among numerous sins, includes the sin of adultery, which sin pertains more to the married than to those who were never married. aW-2:10

According to the above definitions involving both the Hebrew and Greek, it appears when the Bible speaks of fornication it must not necessarily or of necessity be speaking of improper conduct of those who were never married but could well be speaking of improper conduct of those who are or were married. aW-2:11

In our King James Version, the Hebrew and Greek words which underlie the word fornication, also very often underlie the words, harlot and whore. Considering all the above, it is quite clear that the word fornication when used in the Bible does not necessarily need to mean improper conduct by those who were never married, but could pertain to improper conduct by those who are married. aW-2:12

Webster's dictionary definition for fornication is; 1 : Human sexual intercourse other than between a man and his wife: sexual intercourse between a spouse and an unmarried person: sexual intercourse between unmarried people 2 : sexual intercourse on the part of an unmarried person accomplished with consent and not deemed adultery”. aW-2:13

L Note Webster's statement, “sexual intercourse other than between a man and his wife”, possibly could pertain to improper relations between married people, that are not married to each other. Also note Webster's other statement, “sexual intercourse between unmarried people”, also possibly could pertain to improper relations between those who are unmarried to one another, but yet are married. Yet also notice how the second definition of fornication speaks of fornication being something other than adultery. Although the writer here included Webster's English definition for the word fornication, such definition is quite unimportant as compared to the definitions for the Hebrew and Greek words that underlie fornication. aW-2:14

Following are several Scriptures which use the word fornication, likely in speaking of any type of immorality, or lasciviousness involving the married as well as the unmarried; aW-2:15

(Jude 1:7) "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." aW-2:16

(1 Cor 5:9-10) "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world." aW-2:17

(Acts 15:29) "That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." aW-2:18

Should one think the above 3 verses, in using the word fornication, are speaking strictly with regard to those who were never married? aW-2:18.5


The following Scriptures, although not quite as likely as the above 3 verses, yet quite likely also are using the word fornication in speaking of any type of immorality, rather than strictly speaking of improper conduct of those who were never married. aW-2:19

(2 Chr 21:11) "Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto." aW-2:20

(Ezek 16:26) "Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger." Note all five Old Testament verses that use the word fornication, involving the two verses already given, and Isa 23:17, Ezek 16:15, and Ezek 16:29, very possibly could be speaking of sins of the married as well as the unmarried. aW-2:21

(2 Cor 12:21) "And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed." aW-2:22

(Mat 15:19) "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:" aW-2:23

(Cor 5:1) "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife." aW-2:24

(1 Th 4:3) "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:" aW-2:25

(Rom 1:29) "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers," aW-2:26

(Rev 9:21-22) "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." Note how this Scripture speaks of fornication and then of adultery in respect to the same situation. aW-2:27

(Rev 14:8) "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." aW-2:28

Many other Scriptures could also be given that use the word fornication much like, if not exactly like, the above verses do. aW-2:29


V The writer in times past has thought of the word fornication as always pertaining to improper conduct of those who were never yet married and thought that the word adultery always pertained to improper conduct of those who are married. Yet firstly in studying the definitions of the word fornication, with respect to it's underlying Hebrew and Greek words, and secondly in considering the way the word fornication is used in the Scriptures it become quite clear that the word fornication can pertain to any type of immorality or lasciviousness involving the married or the unmarried. It has been quite hard for the writer to grasp, that word fornication when used in the Bible can involve sins of the married as well as the unmarried. Yet in considering all aspects and Scriptures, such quite obviously is true. That the word fornication as used in the Bible can pertain to the sins of the married as well as to the sins of those who never were married will become yet clearer as other aspects are consider later in this article. Concerning one who lives in all kinds of immorality and lasciviousness, and lives a base life style, the word fornicator as used in the Bible, likely would fit such an one even better than the word adulterer would fit him, even if such an one would have been married. aW-2:30


Concerning the word adultery, the word adult(ery) including all of it's different word endings appears 34 times in the Old Testament and 35 in the New. Although the wordings of adultery appear 69 times in the Bible, yet since some verses contain such wording more than once, only 57 verses actually contain this word. aW-2:31

Concerning the word adultery, when it is used in the Old Testament, one Hebrew word basically always underlies it, which Hebrew word has the following definition; aW-2:32

“H5003. na'aph, naw-af'; a prim. root; to commit adultery; fig. to apostatize:.” aW-2:33

Concerning the word adultery, when it is used in the New Testament one Greek word basically always underlies it, which Greek wording has the following definition; aW-2:34

“G3431. moicheuo, moy-khyoo'-o; from G3432; to commit adultery:” aW-2:35


Webster's dictionary definition for adultery is; “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband; also: an act of adultery” Note how this definition for adultery always includes at least one married person in the improper conduct. Concerning Webster's definition for fornication, although it possibly indicates that such word can pertain to the married, he therein does not state one married person must be involved, such as he here does in his definition for adultery. Webster's definition for fornication was given in paragraph aW-2:13. aW-2:36

In considering the Biblical usage of the word adultery, of the 57 verses that use the word adultery, only about 15 of them give evidence (evidence other than the word adultery itself), that this word is being used with regards to those who are married. These 15 verses, in using the word adultery, connect such to husbands, wives, spouses, and the marriage relation. aW-2:37


Following are several Scriptures involving the word adultery, with several comments; aW-2:38

(Lev 20:10) "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. aW-2:39

(Ezek 16:32) "But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!" aW-2:40

(Hosea 4:14) "I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom [note the Hebrew word here underlying the word whoredom also is translated into the word fornication], nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall." Note how this verse connects improper conduct of daughters as whoredom or fornication and improper conduct of the married as adultery. aW-2:41

(Rom 7:3) "So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." aW-2:42

Note how the four above verses clearly are speaking with regard to those who were married, and speak of immoral conduct of such individuals as adultery. aW-2:43


(Jer 7:9) "Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;" aW-2:44

(Mat 5:28) "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Did Jesus here use the word adultery, because he was speaking to those who were married? If Jesus here would have been speaking to the unmarried would he have used the word fornication? aW-2:45

Concerning the above two verses note how an individual, outside of using the word adultery as evidence, cannot tell whether they are speaking to the married or the unmarried. aW-2:46

Although it is quite clear that numerous Scriptures use the word fornication as pertaining to any type of immorality or lasciviousness, including the adulterous act of one taking another rather than his married spouse, yet the writer could find no Scripture that uses the word adultery in speaking of immoral relations between two who were never yet married. aW-2:47


Chapter Conclusions

Considering the definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words that underlie the word fornication and considering how such word is used in the Bible, it is quite clear that the word fornication as used in the Bible can pertain to any immorality or lasciviousness, including adultery such as one taking another rather than one's married spouse. Concerning the word adultery as used in the Bible, it appears that the word adultery quite strictly pertains to behaviour of those who are or were married, and quite strictly does not pertain to those who were never married. aW-2:48

It is important that this chapter and chapter conclusion are remembered when reading chapter five. aW-2:49




Chapter 3


Considers How Both Man and Woman Relate to the Institution of Marriage.


Following are Scriptures which reveal that God, within His institution of marriage, ordained that the husband should be the greater authority. aW-3:1

(1 Cor 11:3) "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." aW-3:2

(Eph 5:24) "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." aW-3:3

Note how the above two verses speak of Christ being the head of man and the Church, and liken such to how the man is to be the head of the woman. aW-3:4

(1 Pet 3:5-6) "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: {6} Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." aW-3:5

(Est 1:22) This verse reveals that in the days of Queen Esther the world in general regarded the husband as the greater authority in the home. "For he [King Ahasuerus] sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people." aW-3:6

Considering all the above Scriptures it is clear that God has ordained that man should be the greater authority in a marriage union. That which has the greater authority normally possesses that which he rules over, more than that which is ruled over possesses it's ruler. In respect to such it appears the wife is more the husband's possession, than the husband is the wife's possession. One should here consider that Paul said, woman was made for man rather than man being made for woman, which verse is given in paragraph aW-3:10 below. aW-3:7


Following are several Scriptures which further pertain to how both man and women relate to the institution of marriage; aW-3:8

(Gen 2:18 & 20-24) "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. ...but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. {21} And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; {22} And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. {23} And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. {24} Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." aW-3:9

(1 Cor 11:7-9) "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. {8} For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. {9} Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." aW-3:10

(Prov 18:22) "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord". aW-3:10.5

(1 Cor 7:2) "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." aW-3:11

Many Scriptures speak of men taking a wife or wives to themselves, but no Scriptures speak of women taking to themselves a husband. Considering such, and all the above, it is quite clear that God has given man has a greater right to take and have a wife than he has given woman to take and have a husband. aW-3:12


Considering how God created woman for man taking a rib from him, and making her flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone and considering man's strong inborn desire for a mate, it appears to the writer that God has created man with a greater physical need for woman than he created woman with a need for man. If man truly does have a greater physical need for woman than woman does for man, possibly such would be why God has granted man a greater right to take and have a wife than He has granted to woman to take and have a husband. One should consider that if woman needs a husband just as much as man needs a wife, possibly women should have just as much right to ask a man to be her husband as men have to ask a women to be their wife. The writer also has heard that more women are always born then men, which God might have ordained to be so because of man having a greater physical need of woman, than woman has for man. If any reader knows of a reliable source that proves that their are always more women born then men, the writer would like to know of it. aW-3:13

One should again consider those verses that speak of it not being good for man to be alone, speak of woman being made for man rather than man for woman, and speak of him that finds a wife finding a good thing and obtaining favor of the Lord. One should consider the Scriptures do not say such things in regards to women having husbands. Yet it is true that woman often have a desire for a husband. aW-3:13.5

Eccl 4:9 states that two are better than one. Yet Eccl 4:9 likely is not only speaking of a having a marriage partner but is speaking of one having a friend or friends who can help in time of need. Note Eccl 4:10 & 11 speaks of the second being able to help when one falls, and speaks of a three fold cord [likely braided rope] not being quickly broken, which likely pertains to 3 individuals together being very strong. Although man in general likely has a greater physical need for a wife, than a women does for a husband such does not mean man is of lessor intelligence or ability to provide for himself than is woman. Such neither means man cannot live a single life such as Apostle Paul did, and encouraged others for the sake of the Gospel, to also live (1 Cor 7). aW-3:14

Woman has been created to be a help meet to man, yet it appears a woman who does not find that particular place to fill, can yet live a quite fulfilled and useful life. Although woman generally may not need a marriage partner as much as man needs a marriage partner, such does not mean woman does not need the companionship of other sisters, or mean that she does not need the help or support of men. aW-3:15

Since many Scriptures speak of men taking to themselves a wife and appears no Scripture speaks of women taking to themselves husbands, it is quite obvious that God has given man a greater right to take and have a wife than God has given woman to take and have a husband. Yet since no Scriptures clearly teach that man in general needs a marriage partner more than a woman needs a marriage partner the writer will not further endeavor to prove such. aW-3:16


Chapter Conclusion

M It is quite clear that God has given man a greater right to take and have a wife than he has given woman to take and have a husband. It appears men in general have a greater need for a wife than women have for a husband. aW-3:17




M Chapter 4


Considers Divorce As In The Old Testament


The following Scriptures pertain to six particular situations in the Old Testament in which it was proper for one to separate from or divorce his wife. aW-4:1


Situation One,

(Exo 21:2-4) "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. {3} If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. {4} If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself." aW-4:2


Situation Two,

(Deu 21:10-14) "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, {11} And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; {12} Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; {13} And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. {14} And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her." aW-4:3


Situation Three (note this Scripture is harder to understand),

(Exo 21:7-11) "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. {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. {9} And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. {10} If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. {11} And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money." aW-4:4

Although God in the above two situations would allow a husband to be loosed of his undesired wife, it appears God did not permit men in these situations to make merchandise of his wife, which likely would be selling her for a bound woman or slave. Note Jesus in Matt 18:23-27 spoke of a situation wherein one was required to sell his wife to pay a debt. aW-4:5


Situation Four, In the following Scripture, those who had taken wives such as they should not have taken, were required to put them away; aW-4:6

(Ezra 10:2-3) "And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law." aW-4:7


Situation Five,

Deu 24:1-2) "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. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife." aW-4:8

In considering the permission for divorce as given in this situation, it is important that one understands what this uncleanness might have been. The uncleanness spoken of in the above Scripture likely was not an uncleanness as grave as adultery or premarital fornication, since in the Old Testament fornication as such or adultery was to be punished by death. Following are two Scriptures which reveal that fornication as such or adultery was to be punished by death; aW-4:9

(Deu 22:20-21) This Scripture teaches that if one after taking a wife found her to be guilty of fornication and not a virgin, she was to be put to death reading; "But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you." aW-4:10

(Lev 20:10) This Scripture reveals that a wife who committed adultery also should have been put to death reading "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." aW-4:11


Note the uncleanness of which the above wife of Deu 24:1-2 was found guilty, was insignificant enough, that she rather than being put to death for such uncleanness, was rather given an emphatic liberty to go and become another man's wife. aW-4:12

Since the uncleanness which gives liberty for divorce, as spoken of in Deu 24:1-2, quite clearly is a lessor uncleanness than adultery or fornication, one should not conclude that this Old Testament verse is giving permission for divorce with sole regard to one's wife being guilty of either fornication or adultery. The New International Version and New Revised Standard Version speaking of the uncleanness for which one could divorce his wife as in Deu 24:1-2, speak of it as being something indecent or objectable reading; aW-4:13

(Deu 24:1 NIV) "If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house," aW-4:14

(Deu 24:1 NRSV) "Suppose a man enters into marriage with a woman, but she does not please him because he finds something objectionable about her, and so he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; she then leaves his house" aW-4:15


Situation Six This Scripture reveals that any man who married the above woman who was put away because of uncleanness, had the right to divorce her if he did not find her to be pleasing to him and reads; aW-4:16

(Deu 24:3-4) "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 LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance." Note how the reason for divorce as given in this verse is simply that her husband hated her. Also note how verse 4 of this Scripture states the husband who put away his wife can never take her back again after that he had put her away. aW-4:17


V A concise review of the above Scriptural situations or reasons forwhich divorce or dissolving of marriages was allowed in the Old Testament is, firstly if a servant left his master who had given him his wife that marriage could be dissolved, secondly wives who were taken from among the enemy captives if not pleasing could be put away, thirdly marriages wherein masters had taken a maid servant as wife, or given his maid servant to their son to wife could be dissolved in such wives were not desired, forthly those marriages which never were valid marriages obviously could be dissolved, fifthly marriages wherein one found some uncleanness in his wife could be dissolved, and the woman who had such uncleanness could marry another, sixthly men who took a wife who previously was put away by another man for her uncleanness were allowed to also put her away if they later hated her. aW-4:18


In the following two Scriptures God likens His rejection or disowning of unfaithful Israel, to Himself like a husband putting away an adulterous wife; aW-4:19

(Jer 3:8&20) "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. ...Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD." aW-4:20

(Isa 50:1) "Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away." aW-4:21


Following is a statement of Job's which possibly indicates that Job felt if he would have been unfaithful to his wife, his wife would have been at liberty to become another man's wife. aW-4:22

(Job 31:9-11) "If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door; {10} Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. {11} For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges." aW-4:23


Following are three verses which pertain to divorced women in the Old Testament; aW-4:24

(Lev 21:14) This verse pertains to wives such as the priests were required to take. "A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife." aW-4:25

(Lev 22:13) "But if the priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof." Note his divorced woman was permitted to eat of the Holy things of the alter as she did in her youth. aW-4:26

(Num 30:9) "But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her." aW-4:27


Following are two Scriptures which give situations wherein the husband was not permitted to ever put away his wife; aW-4:28

(Deu 22:28-29) "If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." aW-4:29

(Deu 22:18-19) "And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days." aW-4:30


With respect to the King James Version Bible, there are 11 Scriptures that use the word divorce (including it's different endings). (Note numerous Scriptures speaking of divorce also use the term "put away"). Of the 11 Scriptures which use the word divorce, 7 are speaking of a writing of divorce or bill of divorce. Moses in Deu 24 1-2 (given above in paragraph aW-4:8) required that one who put away his wife should give her a bill of divorcement. It appears God did not want man to put away his wife merely on a verbal or impulsive decision. It appears that God thus ordained such a serious undertaking had to be done at least in writing, rather than merely verbally. aW-4:31

Deu 24:3-4 (given nigh above in paragraph 4:17) stated that one who put away his wife should not take her back again. Jeremiah also speaking of how one should not take back a wife who he had earlier put away said, "They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted?..." (Jer 3:1). In the Old Testament two things that God required in the putting away of one's wife were, firstly that it was to be a written and firmly settled decision rather than merely a verbal and impulsive decision, and secondly that the woman could never return to her previous husband. Note Mal 2:14-16 (which is given below in paragraph 4:34), also reveals that God in the Old Testament, neither wanted man to put away his wife in an oppressive manner. Quite likely one was not allowed to ever take back a wife that he had earlier divorced, so that men would not put away their wives somewhat carelessly, thinking that if he wanted her back again he could possibly or likely do so. If men in the Old Testament had been permitted to put away their wife and then take her again, men in reality could have traded wives, then later traded back again, and even done so repeatedly, greatly destroying family security for the parents and the children, and clearly the land would have been greatly polluted! God did not want man to put away his wife verbally, carelessly, or temporarily. It appears God in the Old Testament would only allow one to put away his wife if such was a well considered, final, and permanent transaction. Considering Old Testament Scriptures which speak of men's wives, it is clear that even in the Old Testament wives were not ordained or established to be a short term or temporary companions. It appears that even in the Old Testament God's general rule or goal for marriage was largely that it should be permanent and for life. It is obvious that even in the Old Testament God did not intend that men should carelessly, freely, and with very little reason separate from their wives. Yet it also is clear that God gave His old era people a significant liberty to allow marriage partners which were in serious difficulty, to separate and to marry others. aW-4:32


Although God in the Old Testament did allow divorce and remarriage for numerous reasons, He did not want men cruelly and without proper reason to put away their wives. Such is revealed in the following Scripture; aW-4:33

(Mal 2:14-16) "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD 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. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously." aW-4:34


V Old Testament Scriptures teach that the righteous man even regards the lives of their beasts (Pro 12:10)! How much rather would not God have ordained that men of that era should also have been reasonable with their wives! Yet one should consider that is possible that men in the Old Testament could have put away their wives without necessarily being unreasonable with them in doing such, firstly because one's wife may have wanted to separate and been glad for the divorce, or secondly because one's wife may have been very deserving of the divorce. One should consider that their is a great difference between the Old Testament husband who had put away his wife because of a quite difficult conflict, and with his wife being fully agreed thereto, then the inconsiderate husband who had put away his wife greatly against her wishes and in a very oppressive manner. If one's Old Testament wife would have greatly erred but yet penitently and sincerely confessed her fault to her husband, if her husband would yet have put her away for such fault, although it broke his wife heart, God likely would have been quite displeased with such a inconsiderate separation. God very possibly would have been more displeased with such a inconsiderate separation, then if one would have put away his wife without any outstanding error or fault on her part but rather because their marriage simply was not working and very stormy and they both wanted to separate. In the old era, what made a divorce displeasing to God likely was not so much how great or small the wife's fault or error was, but rather if there was great oppression and injustice involved in the separation. God hates oppression, for it breaks his most basic commandment which is to love our neighbor as ourselves. In further considering the quite liberal liberty for the disolvements of marriages in the Old Testament, one should also here remember how that God then also allowed the disolvements of a marriage for merely a business purpose, such as when a servant in leaving his master, separated from his wife which his master had given him while in servitude (Ex 21:2-4). aW-4:35


Because of God's old era liberty for men to put away their wives some men might have been more free to take new and additional wives, thinking if it don't work out I simply will put her away. Yet even if Old Testament men would not have had such liberty, some still might just as freely have taken additional wives, and then not given their prior wives proper affection, care, and attention, and left them too much to fend for themselves. aW-4:36

V In considering God's permission for divorce as in the Old Testament, it is important that one therewith considers the liberal liberty that God in that era gave to man concerning him having more than one wife. Would it have made for peace, justice, and order, for God to require man to keep a wife whom he did not desire, while yet allowing him to take an additional wife or wives where upon his affections would rest? Concerning a disliked wife who was kept as a second or third wife strictly because her husband dared not to put her away, would she have been better off in that situation, then if she had been put away, with the liberty to marry another? Truly a woman who would have been kept strictly because her husband dared not put her away would have been in a very sorry or grievous situation, existing in the situation of being unwanted but yet mandatorily kept, while her husband had another wife or wives where upon to place his affections! In the New Testament, concerning the wife who to some extent is kept merely because of God's laws against divorce, she yet is at a great advantage since her husband can have no other wives where upon to place his affections! With regard to such complications, it is quite clear that it would have been less reasonable, practical, and edifying for man in the old era to have been required to keep each wife whom he had taken, like as man in the New Testament era is require to keep his wife. The next chapter pertains to God's New Testament laws concerning divorce and remarriage and reveals that God no longer permits men to put away their wives as freely as He did in the Old Testament. aW-4:37

V Another aspect of God's change in marriage laws for the New Testament, likely pertains to God having established a higher standard of sanctification for His people of the New Testament. In the New Testament, it is quite clear that God's Spirit was poured out and given to God's People in a greater measure, and God's law was written in their hearts in a new way. This greater infilling of the Holy Spirit and greater sanctification that God has provided and ordained for the new era, is considered in another writing coded aN, especially in paragraphs 16 & 24. Jesus when questioned about permission for divorce and about the bill or writing of divorce that Moses established, told the questioning Jews that Moses had given such permission for divorce because of the hardness of their hearts (Matt 19:7-8, Mark 10:4-5). Although in the Old Testament, in some situations one was to give his enemy food and drink when he was hungry (Pro 25:21), and was to return his enemies ox or ass to his enemy, if he found it going astray (Ex 23:4), that age yet was a time of a particular hardness. In that age if one accidentally killed one of your family members, you as the avenger of blood had the full right to kill them, unless they had fled and remained in the city of refuge which was provided to protect such innocent manslayers (Num 35:27-28). If one had intentionally killed one of your family, that person was to be put to death, and you as the avenger of blood were permitted to personally kill that person (Deu 19:11-13). It appears that God in the Old Testament not only allowed the bill of divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts but also established the cities of refuge for the innocent manslayer to flea to, because of the hardness of men's hearts. Although God's people in the old era were to be reasonable and considerate, it is quite obvious that the Old Testament was not a time of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation as the New Testament is ordained to be. It is quite clear that the higher standard of sanctification such as God has provided and required in new era, has some connection with God in the new era not allowing man to put away his wife as freely as in the old era, but rather ordaining that in the new era struggling partners rather than separating, can and should forgive one another and be reconciled. aW-4:38




Chapter Conclusions

In the Old Testament their were various reasons for which a husband was permitted to put away or divorce his wife, which reasons were lessor then that of his wife committing adultery and being unfaithful to him. In the Old Testament God yet hated when one dealt treacherously with his wife and treacherously put her away. aW-4:39




V Chapter 5


Considers Divorce as in the New Testament.

Considers Christ's Two Teachings Wherein Christ Speaking of Divorce and Remarriage Being Forbidden", Yet Says "Except it be for Fornication" and "Saving for the Cause of Fornication".


Following are several Scriptures pertaining to divorce and remarriage as in the New Testament.


(Mark 10:11-12) "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. {12} And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." aW-5:1

(Luke 16:18) "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." aW-5:2

(Rom 7:2-3) "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." aW-5:3

(1 Cor 7:39) "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." aW-5:4


The above verses quite clearly reveal that the divorce and remarriage is not permitted in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament. Jesus in the following Scriptures further reveals this change saying, "...Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you..." (Mat 19:8-9). "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you..." (Matt 5:31-32). Jesus in the Mark 10:4-12 also indicates this change much in the same way. aW-5:5


Although it is clear, divorce and remarriage is not permitted in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament, yet in the following two Scriptures Christ yet speaks of divorce and remarriage being permitted in the New Testament for the cause of fornication; aW-5:6

(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." aW-5:7

(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." aW-5:8

The above two verses will here after often be referred to as the "divorce reason verses". Jesus in the first above verse was disapproving the belief which declared that the only thing required in putting away one's wife was to give her a writing of divorcement (Matt 5:31), and in the second above verse was answering the Pharisees question, whether a man could put away his wife for every cause (Matt 19:4). Thus it is clear that Jesus in the above Scriptures was revealing that in the New Testament man may not put away his wife carelessly and with little reason as some did in the Old Testament, and was revealing that man in the New Testament may not put away his wife for any thing less than the grave and dreadful fault of his wife being guilty of fornication. Note how the "divorce reason verses" do not condemn one in the New Testament for putting away his wife for the cause of fornication, which thus yet clearly gives him liberty to put her away for that cause. aW-5:9

In considering the "divorce reason verses" it is important that one understands what the word fornication means as used in these verses. As was clearly revealed in chapter 2 the word fornication as used in the Bible can pertain to a married persons committing adultery, as well as pertain to immoral relations of those who were never married (note if such chapter is not clearly remembered it should be reread!). Thus in respect to the word fornication, this fornication for which a husband is permitted to divorce his wife, could either pertain to one's wife committing adultery and being unfaithful to her husband, or pertain to one's wife being guilty of committing fornication before their marriage, or could pertain to both. aW-5:10

V In regards to fornication which a woman had confessed and repented of and made know to her mate before their marriage, such clearly would not be a transgression against her husband as great as committing adultery against him after their marriage. Would God then permit a husband to divorce his wife because of such repented of fornication, rather than permit him to divorce her because she committed adultery with another man after they were married? One should here again consider how that Jesus in the "divorce reason verses" taught that man dare not put away his wife for an insignificant fault in her, but rather only for that which is a very grave fault in her. If a woman confessed and repented of her fornication and made such known to her husband before their marriage, it does not appear that her husband should later be permitted to divorce her because of that fornication, rather than be permitted to divorce her for committing adultery against him after their marriage. aW-5:11

V In regards to a woman being guilty of fornication before marriage, if such was kept hidden and after being married was discovered by her husband, that situation certainly would be more grievous to the husband than if her fornication had been confessed and repented of and revealed to him before their marriage. It is clear that a woman would be disgraceful and disrespectful to her mate, if she would marry him while keeping it hidden that she was guilty of earlier fornication, yet such would not be as great a disgrace and disrespect toward her husband as would be committing adultery and being unfaithful to him after their marriage. Would God then allow a husband to divorce his wife because of being found guilty of fornication before their marriage rather than allow him to divorce her if she committed adultery with another man after they were married? In consideration of these things to the writer it is quite clear that the divorce reason verses, in using the word fornication, are speaking of a woman committing adultery against her husband rather than speaking of her being found guilty of fornication before their marriage. aW-5:12

V If the "divorce reason verses" meant that one could divorce his wife because of her having committed fornication before their marriage, rather than because of her being unfaithful to her husband after their marriage, one should consider that a man to a degree would have an advantage in marrying a woman who had committed fornication and was not a virgin, as he then would have the liberty to put her away and marry another if she was displeasing and grievous to him, while otherwise if he married a virgin, he could not put her away or marry another even if she permanently turned against him and become and adulterer with another man. Such aspect should be soberly considered. It is quite obvious that God would not establish a law that would give man an advantage in marrying a woman who had a grave sin in her past, nor would God establish a law that would make a woman with a grave sin in her past, a woman more desirable to marry because of her not being such an unalterable obligation or restriction to her husband. In consideration of all the above it becomes quite obvious that the divorce reason verses, in using the word fornication, are speaking of a woman committing adultery against her husband rather than speaking of her being found guilty of fornication before their marriage. To those whom this may interest, the writings of Menno Simons and John Holdeman, teach that the "divorce reason verses" permit man in the New Testament to put away his wife and marry another if his wife is unfaithful to him and committees adultery. Such writings of these particular individuals are given in paragraphs 11:3-15. aW-5:13


Following are the "divorce reason verses" as given in the New International Version;

(Mat 5:32 NIV) "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." aW-5:14

(Mat 19:9 NIV) "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." aW-5:15


Following are the "divorce reason verses" as given in the New Revised Standard Version; aW-5:16

(Mat 5:32 NRSV) "But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." aW-5:17

(Mat 19:9 NRSV) "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery." aW-5:18


Concerning the word fornication or fornicator as used in the Bible, such word likely fits one who lives in all kinds of immorality and lasciviousness, and lives a base life style, even better than would the word adulterer would fit them, even if such a person were married. Even the word fornicator as normally used in English, may better fit the individual who is involved in all types of immorality and lasciviousness, even if he is married, than the word adulterer would fit such an one. aW-5:19

The fornication for which a husband may put away his wife likely pertains to any type of immorality which one's wife might live in. Thus the fornication for which a man is allowed to put away his wife, quite clearly would not always be confined to one's wife committing adultery with another man, but could pertain to one's wife living in immoral sins of any kind. aW-5:20

Yet as the Scriptures teach that one is to be forgiving and longsuffering to all men, it does not appear that a man in finding his wife guilty of adultery or any grave immorality should now feel he has immediate permission to marry another but should rather be forgiving toward her as Christ was toward the Church, and hope for her repentance and renewed companionship. When one's wife is unfaithful to her husband, the Christian husband should likely be longsuffering toward his wife as God in the following verse was toward Israel; "...but thou [Israel] hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD." (Jer 3:1). Yet if such a woman would turn from him and marry another and continue to live in that adultery or any immorality, it appears her husband should be allowed to put her away because of that fornication or adultery and marry another. God in the Hosea chapters 2 and 3 appears to also speak of Himself taking back His people as taking back an adulterous wife, similar to how He spoke of such in Jeremiah. aW-5:21


Note some individuals or groups believe that Jesus in speaking of man being allowed to put away his wife and marry another for the cause of fornication, believe that Jesus was not giving this liberty with regard to proper marriages or real wives, but believe Jesus was giving this liberty strictly in respect to marriages which never were valid, or with respect to those couples who are only engaged (espoused) to be married, but were not yet married. Those beliefs are considered in chapter 12. aW-5:21.5


Following is again given the "divorce reason verses" as in the KJV together with numerous comments;

(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." aW-5:22

(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." aW-5:23

To make it easier to understand the above verses, the woman in these verses will be symbolized as being Jane, and the man involved therein will be considered to be a man named Jack. Note the first above "divorce reason verse" (Matt 5:32) clearly teaches that if Jack puts away Jane, saving for the cause of fornication, he causeth Jane to commit adultery, and teaches that whosoever marries Jane also doth commit adultery. This verse thus focuses on Jane and the man who married her as becoming adulterers, because of Jack divorcing Jane as such. aW-5:24

Note the second above "divorce reason verse" (Matt 19:9) clearly teaches that if Jack would put away Jane, except it be for fornication, and would marry another, he (Jack) would be committing adultery, and teaches that the man who would marry Jane after she was put away, also would be committing adultery. Note this verse focuses on Jack and the man who married Jane becoming adulterers because of Jack divorcing Jane as such. aW-5:25

V Yet note how neither of the "divorce reason verses" condemn Jack for putting away Jane for the "cause of fornication" which thus clearly gives him liberty to put her away for that cause. Yet also note how these verses also reveal that no matter what might have been involved and what the faulty reason might have been for Jack treacherously leaving Jane, Jack by doing such would be causing Jane to commit adultery and thus Jane by marrying another would be committing adultery as well as the one who married her. Note how these Scriptures thus do not give Jane the liberty to remarry even if Jack committed adultery and married another. Again consider how these verse show that no matter how erroneous Jack's behaviour was in forsaking her and marrying another that Jane yet would be committing adultery as well as the one that married her if she remarried, after that Jack wickedly forsook her, which clearly shows that Jane did not have liberty to remarry even if Jack committed adultery. aW-5:26

Thus it appears that although God has given man the right to leave his wife for the cause of fornication or adultery he has not given the woman that permission. Such conclusion was a new thought to the writer, yet he could not make light or sense, out of the "divorce reason verses" otherwise. One should again consider if Jane truly had the right to put Jack away and marry another, if Jack was guilty of adultery or fornication, why would Jesus so clearly teach that if Jack treacherously left Jane, he would cause Jane to commit adultery by his leaving her? Note the conclusion that God has given man a permission for remarriage that He has not given woman will become much clearer and understandable as other Scriptures and issues are considered below. aW-5:26.5

Now in the situation of Jack putting Jane away because she was guilty of fornication, Jack by putting her away as such, would not have been guilty of causing her to commit adultery, firstly because she was involved in such things before he even put her away, and secondly because God no longer considered Jack responsible to be a husband to Jane. aW-5:27


In considering the conclusion that man may put away his wife and marry another if she is unfaithful to him, while the woman does not have permission to divorce and remarry as such, one should consider how that men through out Bible history have had more right to take and have a wife than women have had to take and have a husband, secondly consider man might have a greater need for a wife then a woman has for a husband, and lastly consider that God made woman for the man and did not make the man for the women (1 Cor 11:9), (note woman is man's helpmeet rather than vise versa). In considering the aspect of a women not being permitted to remarry like men, it appears there is good reason why both men and women are not allowed to remarry if their spouses commit adultery which reasons will be considered below. aW-5:28


Following are two Scriptures that teach that a woman is bound to her husband as long as he liveth;

(Rom 7:2-3) "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." aW-5:30

(1 Cor 7:39) "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." aW-5:31

V Note how both above Scriptures focus on the woman being unalterably bound to her husband as long as he lives. Also note how these verses do not advocate or indicate that man is inalterably bound to his wife as long as she lives. No Scriptures which the writer is aware of, teach that the husband is bound for life to his wife, such as these Scriptures teach the woman is bound to her husband. It was a surprise to the writer that those verses which teach that one is bound to his mate until their death, were focused on the woman rather than the man, as above. aW-5:32

V Jesus in both Matt 5:32, and Matt 19:9, emphasizes that the man who marries a woman who was treacherously put away commits adultery, which clearly reveals that a woman that is put away should not remarry, even if she was put away unjustly or treacherously. Although both of these two verses clearly do not give women liberty to remarry, yet these two very verses also clearly give men the liberty to put away his wife and marry another for the cause of fornication. Note these two verses are those verses which have often been referred to as the "divorce reason verses". It is interesting to notice that the two very verses (the divorce reason verses) that give men the liberty to remarry for the cause of fornication, also clearly reveal that a women who was treacherously or unjustly put away should not remarry! The writer before comprehending that God gave man a liberty to remarry that He did not give to woman, could not understand the "divorce reason verses" which are given above in paragraphs 5:22-23, but felt these verses although seemingly giving liberty for remarriage, they yet also contradicted that very liberty they permitted. Yet these verses became quite understandable when the aspect was incorporated of men having a liberty to remarry that women does not have. aW-5:33

Considering all the above Scriptures and aspects it becomes quite clear that God has given man a right to divorce and remarry that he has not given woman and becomes quite clear that the fornication for which man may divorce his wife includes any adultery or immorality one's wife might become entangled with. To the writer it does not appear that the "divorce reason verses" mean that one should be allowed to put away his wife for fornication committed before their marriage, and especially if such was repented of and confessed before their marriage. aW-5:34


In the following Scripture, Apostle Paul in speaking of younger widows, possibly was speaking of younger women who were widows because their husband divorced them rather than because their husband had died. Note how Paul in the following Scripture does not give liberty for these particular widows to marry again. aW-5:35

(1 Tim 5:11-12) "But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; {12} Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith." (note the Greek definition for the Greek word which here underlies the English word widow does not accent one whose husband is dead but rather accents lacking and bereavement of a husband). aW-5:36

In considering the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage it is important that one focuses on the purpose or intent of God's matrimonial laws (the spirit of the law). It is clear that the reason God ordained the institution of marriage and forbids committing adultery is to create peace, justice, and order among mankind. If it was lawful for a man to have any woman that he that day could attract to himself, or lawful for a woman to have any man that she that day could attract to herself, one can hardly imagine how much stress, anxiety, jealousy, and strife would be encountered. aW-5:37

It is quite obvious that God's law largely forbids divorce and remarriage, to make man's wife a secure companion to him, and to make a woman's husband a secure companion to her, and to make a secure environment for the children. God for a good reason in the New Testament no longer permits man to have more than one wife as in the Old Testament, nor does he allow man to so freely put away (divorce) his wife and marry another as in the Old Testament. It appears God ordained that man in the New Testament should only have one wife to eliminate the difficulties that could be caused by one wife being loved above another wife, and the difficulties that could be encountered because of one man taking numerous wives while another man could scarcely have one wife. aW-5:38

If God would allow man and woman to quite freely divorce and remarry and quite freely change or exchange mates, our marriage partners would not be a secure companion to us, nor would our children have a secure environment, and life would be very difficult for everyone. aW-5:39


V The matrimonial laws as given in the following paragraph appear to be some basic laws which God has ordained for His people of the New Testament; aW-5:40

V If a brother treacherously put away his wife and married another, God's order or law would be that he must separate himself from his new wife, and again take that wife he had treacherously put away. If a woman from among God's people was treacherously put away by her husband God's order or law for her would not permit her to marry another. Two possible reasons a woman is restricted as such might be, firstly to maintain an open way so if her husband would repent he again could take her to be his wife rather than another, and thus reestablish that union which God had originally joined, and secondly to cause women to fear divorce and thus encourage woman to diligently endeavor to be pleasing to her husband. Yet if a wife would be unfaithful to her husband and commit adultery, her husband would be permitted put her away and marry another. Yet he should not be hasty in divorcing his wife and marrying another, but should rather be forgiving toward her as Christ was toward the Church, and first hope for her repentance and renewed companionship. If his wife then would not repent and her husband in due time would get remarried to another, after all such transpired, if his wife then would repent and return to God and his people. it appears she then would need to remain single. aW-5:41

V If God would allow women as well as men to marry another mate, in the situation of their mate having committed adultery against them, the likeliness of divorces and remarriages and exchanging of mates would be significantly increased. Such is true because if a wife knew that she was permitted to marry another if her husband committed adultery, she would tend to be less careful in pleasing and satisfying her husband and thus might increase her husbands temptations to adultery, and then if her husband actually would commit adultery, such a woman very possibly might marry another man instead of being reconciled with her prior husband, while God's law now rather requires such a woman to remain single and be available so that a reconciliation with her prior husband might in due time be accomplished. If God would allow a woman who was treacherously put away to remarry, and if God then, concerning her prior husband who now had sincerely repented, in allowing him to have a wife would allow him to marry another woman since his prior wife now is unavailable, their clearly would be more opportunity for divorces and remarriages and the changing of mates. If God permitted a woman who was treacherously (unjustly) put away to remarry, concerning a man who had treacherously put away his wife he instead of being reconciled with his prior wife, very easily could end up in due time marrying another women who was treacherously put away by her husband. If God would permit such divorcing and remarrying the security of marriage that God has ordained for the family, including the parents and their children, would be significantly destroyed. aW-5:42


In considering those women who are put away (divorced), it must be considered their are two classes of divorced women, the one class being those women who were treacherously put away by their husbands, which would be the more innocent class, and the second class being those women who were deservingly put away by their husbands because of them being involved with fornication or adultery. The above paragraph pertained to the more innocent class of divorced women, while the next paragraphs pertain to the more guilty class of divorced women. aW-5:43

V Now concerning the woman who had committed adultery against her husband and whose husband had thus put her away and married another, if such a woman if she later repented could marry another man because of her prior husband now not being available, the inequality as in the following parable could result; aW-5:44

V Nancy had a husband named Noah. Yet Nancy had attractions to a man named Jack with whom she then committed adultery. Noah after this then lawfully put away Nancy for the cause of adultery and lawfully married another as Christ taught that man can do. After this, since Noah had married another woman making him unavailable, it was also lawful for Nancy who now had seemingly repented to marry another, so Nancy in due time married Jack the very one with whom she had committed adultery (note we here are just pretending it was lawful for Nancy to remarry). Thus Nancy in a situation as this, to quite an extent would rather be rewarded for her unfaithfulness rather than punished. Note Nancy in the above parable would have lawfully married another man, without Noah, her prior husband, even having done anything unlawful. Note God does not even allow men to freely remarry, such as Nancy in the above situation would be remarrying, because God requires the man who has committed adultery against his wife to return to his wife, and requires his wife to remain single and available so such reconciliation might occur. aW-5:45

V If both man and women could remarry, in the situation of their mate having committed adultery against them, or in the situation of having committed adultery against their mate, and their mate had thus lawfully left them and had married another, the complete exchanging of mates between two married couples could quite easily be experienced among God's people as in the following parable; aW-5:46

V Their were once two couples who married mates with names much like their own. Ron had married Rhonda and Mark had married Martha. Their weddings were even about the same time. Ron later committed adultery with Martha. After Ron and Martha had committed adultery then Mark and Rhonda, the remaining innocent two, were permitted to marry another because their mates had committed adultery against them, thus they simply married each other. Some time after this, Ron and Martha the guilty two who committed adultery with one another, appeared to have repented of their sin, afterwhich they also were permitted to marry each other, because their prior mates had put them away and had married others and thus were now unavailable. aW-5:47

If men and women were allowed to freely remarry as such among God's people, almost any reorganization of mates could occur among God's people, and although unlawful deeds initially were involved in attaining such, yet in the end such couples would be lawfully married among God's people. If two people knew if they committed adultery that later they might be able to become lawfully married, their fear and abhorrence of adultery would be much less and their temptation for such would be much greater. If God would permit such remarrying and exchanging of mates among His people, the security of marriage would be largely destroyed for both the parents and the children and life would be much more difficult for all. aW-5:48

V If a child assuredly knows he cannot get a particular thing which he really wants, he normally will accept that restriction and will not continue thinking about getting that thing which he so strongly wanted. But if a child thinks their possibility is a way that he can get what he strongly wants, he will tend to continue to think about getting that thing, and likely will start to covet it earnestly. Thus it largely also is with us adults, if a man or a woman would believe their possibly would be a way to get another mate which they might want, they would tend to think about getting that mate and might start to covet that mate earnestly. If women who were put away (divorced) were permitted to marry another man, many opportunities of mate exchanging would evolve creating many temptations and much disorder, which temptations and disorder are now avoided because of God's law which forbids divorced women from remarrying. Note Jesus in Luke 16:18, Matt 5:32, and Matt 19:9 all three, emphasizes that the man who marries a divorced or put away woman commits adultery. aW-5:49

V Firstly since the only situation wherein God permits one from among his people to put away a marriage partner and marry another, is that of man dealing with a wife who is guilty of fornication or adultery, and secondly since man even in that situation should not be swift in marrying another (but rather should be longsuffering toward his wife hoping for her repentance and renewed companionship), and thirdly since he then dare not marry a women who was put away among God's people, largely all of the changing or exchanging of marriage partners as spoken of above, will not occur among God's people, but will be avoided. Because of the matrimonial laws of God which largely disallow divorce and remarriage and encourage reconciliation between divorced mates, a good standard of marriage and family security is created and preserved for the people of God. Truly, although we can understand only a small portion of the ways of God, yet God's ways are with meaning and wisdom. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom 11:33). aW-5:50


Although the Scriptures do not give a divorced woman liberty to remarry, yet Paul concerning the situation in the following Scripture, possibly gives permission that a divorced woman in that particular situation can remarry; Paragraphs 6:12-14 clearly reveal that this Scripture is speaking of a situation wherein one mate from an a non Christian couple became a Christian, for which cause the other mate departed from the mate who had turned to Christ. aW-5:52

(1 Cor 7:13&15) "And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him... But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." This Scripture thus is quite possibly revealing that in this particular situation a rejected woman as well as a rejected man could remarry. One should note how Paul emphasizes that in this particular situation that the woman has the same liberty as the man. In further considering how a woman in the above situation should be dealt with, the following parable should be considered; aW-5:53

V If the nation of Egypt would have a anti theft law that would require anyone who steals to be punished by having a hand cut off, Egypt quite obviously would have a good standard of theft security and very little stealing would be done, that is if they consistently upheld that law. Yet if Egypt would not cut off the hand of their citizens for having stole before being a citizen of their nation and before knowing their law, such would be quite understandable and just. It also is obvious that Egypt's theft security would not be jeopardized or destroyed by Egypt giving those who stole before coming to their country and knowing their law, that expectable liberty to keep their hand. Yet if Egypt would not consistently keep her law, when her own people stole, obviously her theft security would be lost. aW-5:54

V Just like the thief who stole before being a citizen of Egypt, was not dealt with as he would have, had he stole being a knowledgeable citizen of Egypt, so also it appears those women who were divorced before being a part of God's people or nation and before understanding God's matrimonial laws, likely need to be dealt with differently than those women who were divorced in and among God's people. Concerning a woman who was divorced and possibly remarried before being citizen of God's Holy Nation, one should consider if such a woman after becoming a citizen of God's Holy Nation would be allowed to remain married or to remarry, such liberty would not destroy or jeopardize the matrimonial security of God's people, just like Egypt giving the ignorant thief liberty to keep his hands did not jeopardize Egypt's theft security. The subject of dealing with past divorces and remarriages among non Christians when individuals as such turn to God and His people is considered much further in later chapters. aW-5:55


Chapter Conclusions

It is clear that God has given man the right to marry another women in the case of his wife committing adultery (fornication). aW-5:56

It is also clear that a woman who is treacherously or unjustly put away, does not have the liberty to remarry, such as God has given to men. aW-5:57




Chapter 6


Considers the Subject of God's People Marrying Those That are Not a Part of God's People, With Regard to Both the Old and New Testament.


Following are several Scriptures which clearly reveal that in the Old Testament the Israelites were not at liberty to freely take wives from another nation or people; aW-6:1

(Deu 7:1-4) "When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it... ...Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly." aW-6:2


The following Scriptures reveal that if the Israelites of the Old Testament married improper wives, such wives were required to be put away; aW-6:3

(Ezra 10:2-3&10-11) "And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. {3} Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. ...{10} And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. {11} Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives." aW-6:4

(Neh 13:27&30) "Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives? ...{30} Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;" aW-6:5

The following Scripture reveals that Ezra endeavored to separate Israel from the strange wives among them according to the spirit and intent of the law, and gave each situation a personal consideration. aW-6:6

(Ezra 10:14) "Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us." aW-6:7


Although the Jews were not to freely take wives from other nations, yet Deu 21:10-13 reveals that non Jewish women could be taken as wives from among the captives taken in war, yet such wives quite obviously were required to submit and conform to the ways of the Israelites. It also appears if a foreign woman turned from the ways of her nation to the God of Israel, such as did Ruth the wife of Boaz, a woman as such could be taken in marriage. The subject of the Israelites marrying into other nations is considered much further in article aV. Although God in some situations allowed wives to be taken from another nations, yet it is clear God did not want His people to marry non reformed foreign (strange) wives as such would tend to influence Israel to do the abominable things of other wicked nations. aW-6:8

In separating the strange wives from among them, what would Ezra and Nehemiah have done, if some strange wives at that difficult time, would have agreed to truly seek the God of Israel and earnestly told Ezra and their Israelite husbands, "thy God shall be my God and thy people shall be my people", somewhat as did Ruth the wife of Boaz? Would God yet have required that those wives be put away from Israel and their husbands? Firstly considering the purpose and spirit of God's law and secondly considering how God allowed many none Israelites to dwell among His people if they kept His laws, to the writer it appears that such wives would not have had to be separated from God's people and their husbands. How the Israelites related to other nations is considered much further in article aV. aW-6:9

Considering that God in the Old Testament did not allow His people to marry strange wives because of such wives having a harmful influence on their husbands and God's people, one should not think that God in the New Testament would allow His people to marry those who are unconverted and unbelievers. Possibly one reason few New Testament Scriptures pertain to teaching that the Christian should not marry a non Christian is because such is so obvious. Yet Paul's following teaching quite closely pertains to this subject reading, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," (2 Cor 6:14&17). aW-6:10

If one from among God's people today against the will of God and His people would marry a non Christian woman and endeavor to dwell among God's people and be a part of them, with his non Christian wife, such would be similar to what numerous ones did in Ezra and Nehemiah's time. If such a wife would not seek to find God and do His will and become a part of God's people, should her husband have any more right to keep her and bring her influence among God's people than those Israelites did in the old Testament who married strange wives? In a marriage as such, such partners likely could not be classified as being joined by God, and such invalid marriages likely also would need to be dismantled, as in the Old Testament. This subject will be considered further below. aW-6:11

Although it is clear that the Christian is not to marry an unbeliever or non Christian, Apostle Paul in the following Scripture speaks of a situation wherein it is permissible for a Christian to be married to and live with a non Christian or unbelieving mate; Note Apostle Paul in this Scripture quite obviously is speaking of the situation wherein one partner from a non Christian couple turned to the Lord and became a Christian while the other partner did not; aW-6:12

(1 Cor 7:12-15) "But to the rest speak I, not the 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. {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. {15} But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." aW-6:13

Verse 15 of the above Scripture reveals that this Scripture is written with respect to one partner of a non Christian couple becoming a Christian, as it gives the thought that the unbelieving partner may even decide to leave his mate because his mate turned to Christ. Note Paul in this Scripture speaking of having an unbelieving mate did not say "if any brother marrieth a woman that believeth not", but rather says "If any brother hath a wife that believeth not". Thus this Scripture which encourages the Christian to keep his unbelieving mate and permits the unbelieving mate to dwell among God's people is written with respect to one having been married to her before conversion, rather than with respect to the Christian intentionally marrying a non Christian. The verses which follow the above verses also indicate that Paul here was speaking with regard to one dealing with his marriage as already had, when he was called to Christ, as they speak much of one dealing with the situation wherein he found himself when called to Christ (1 Cor 7:17-24). Paul encouraged the mate who had turned to Christ to not put away their unbelieving mate with the intentions that the unbelieving mate and the children could be benefited by the believing mate's influence. Although what Paul here said is good and proper, Paul yet said that this was his advice, and said this advice was not necessarily a command of God (1 Cor 7:12). To the writer it appears, if the unbelieving mate which did not turn to Christ, would be vile person and have a great evil influence on the believing mate, such would not be a edifying situation, and separation might possibly be best. Yet if the believing party would patiently live that life which reproves sin, possibly the unbelieving party would in due time initiate a separation. aW-6:14

Some individuals from among God's people, who had against the wishes of their parents and wishes of God's Church intentionally married a non Christian woman, might desire to keep her and be accepted among God's people with his non Christian wife. Such individuals might say the above teachings of Paul's would encourage and permit such. Yet the writer wonders how such would fit in with how God dealt with those in the Old Testament who intentionally married strange wives. One should remember Paul in the above Scripture was speaking with regard to those who in a non Christian environment had quite naturally and innocently married a non Christian partner like themselves, rather than with regard to one who had intentionally married an unbelieving partner against the rules of God and His people. aW-6:15

If a parent would tell his child that they could not have a particular type of pet, and his child knowingly yet went and got that very forbidden pet, it would be very proper for the father to require his child to get rid of that pet. Yet if that same father then adopted a child who had in it's possession that very same type of pet as a very precious companion to him, that father would not be unjust in allowing that adopted child to keep that pet although he required his own child to get rid of it. Such could be similar to how God would require one who from among His people who intentionally against the will of God and His brethren took a unbelieving wife, to put her away (if she refused to turn to God), while He yet would allow another to keep his unbelieving wife, if the reason he had her was because after he and her were married, he got converted while his wife did not. aW-6:16

If a nation would have a law against putting tattoos on the body, and their penalty for putting a tattoo on the arm was to cut off the arm, to quite an extent it would be just, if that nation then cut off the arm of any who intentionally put a tattoo on their arm. Yet if that same nation would not cut off the arm of one who had gotten a tattoo on his arm, before he was a citizen of that nation and before he was aware of that law, such would be quite just and understandable. Thus it also should be quite understandable why God would allow marriages, wherein one mate became a Christian without the other doing so, to remain in tack, while He would require those who from among God's people that had presumptuously married a non Christian to dissolve their marriage. aW-6:17

If one from among God's people who presumptuously married a non Christian, after seemingly having repented of such wrong deed, could then be accepted among God's people while keeping their non Christian mate, the temptation for some to marry a non Christian mate could be significantly increased, and more of such marriages easily could occur. It would then be very possible, that these individuals who married non Christians, would in due time be reaccepted among the people of God while keeping their non Christian mates. aW-6:17.5

Considering that God in the Old Testament required the Israelites that had taken strange or non reformed wives, to put them away, one should not think it strange if God also in the New Testament would require the same of those who have presumptuously taken non Christian wives. If one would be permitted to keep his non Christian wife which he presumptuously took, he in one sense would be being rewarded for his disobedience rather than chastised. It appears two reasons why God may not allow one to keep a non Christian wife which he presumptuously took are, firstly to eliminate one from being rewarded for his disobedience rather than chastised, and secondly to eliminate bringing their non Christian wives ungodly influence among God's people. God not only is interested in having secure families among His people, but is very keenly interested in the protection of Spiritual life and Godliness among His people. aW-6:18

Yet in following God's laws concerning matrimony, great care should be taken before endeavoring to separate any particular mates because of thinking their marriage cannot be an acceptable or valid marriage. 2 Cor 3:6 reads "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Paragraph aW-10:6 speaks of how the spirit of the law, at times has exceptions to the dead letter of the law. Yet there are marriages that cannot be accepted or valid, and those who are married under such situations must separate. Yet God will always provide a way for those involved to have hope and joy in the Lord. aW-6:19

Considering that the Israelites in the Old Testament were permitted to have more than one wife, it is quite clear that those Israelites who had taken strange wives, if they regretted they had done such and willingly and obediently put such wives away, they then were permitted to take other wives from among the Israelite people. Now concerning those who in the New Testament have taken strange wives, and have agreed to put them away because such wives now refused to turn to God together with them, should such ones be allowed to marry another as were the Israelites of the Old Testaments who also put away their strange wives? Or should such ones be required to stay single as long as their strange wife which they put away lives? If their past wife which they had put away, rather than turning to the Lord with them would become involved with another mate and thus in one respect be committing adultery against them could they not remarry as other men can whose wives commit adultery? Thus just like the Old Testament individuals who had taken strange wives and had put them away, were permitted to marry another, so also in the New Testament it appears to the writer that those who have become willing to put away their strange wives should be permitted to marry another and especially so if the wife they had put away has become involved with other mates. aW-6:20




Chapter 7


Considers the Place and Power of Vows in Making a Marriage


In the Old Testament vows or oaths were very binding as revealed in the following Scriptures;

(Num 30:2) "If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth." aW-7:1

(Deu 23:21) "When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee." aW-7:2


Yet even in the Old Testament their were those vows or oaths which one might have made, which God did not acknowledge or consider to be valid. Such vows were those vows made by a daughter or a wife, which were made without their father or husbands permission or consent, such as in the following Scriptures; aW-7:3

(Num 30:5) "But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her." aW-7:4

(Num 30:12&13) "But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her. {13} Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void." aW-7:5

According to verses 2 and 3 of the above chapter, it appears the above verses are especially speaking of vows which were made to God. Note how the above Scriptures reveal that a husband or father in the Old Testament could disallow or invalidate his wife's or daughter's vows and oaths. Also note how these Scriptures reveal that God would forgive the daughter or wife for not carrying out or keeping that vow or promise that she had made to Him, if her husband or father had disallowed and invalidated her vows. aW-7:6

As a wife or daughter does not have the right to make a vow or a oath that is unacceptable to her husband or greater authority and God had given her husband or father the right to disallow and make void her vows, so it is obvious, that God who is man's greater authority would have the right to disallow or make void any of man's vows which were made contrary to His will and He could not accept. It is thus quite clear that concerning those marriage vows, which were made in a marriage which God could not approve of, God if He so chose, could disallow such vows and make them totally vain and without affect. Thus concerning a couple who marries against the will of God, their vows could be disallowed and made invalid by God and thus their situation could largely be as if they had never made any vows at all. Clearly one is only bound to his vows inasmuch as God would require he should be bound to them. Jeremiah 44:24-27 speaks of a situation wherein some had vowed to do sacrifices to the queen of heaven, this Scripture then condemns them for keeping such improper and idolatrous vows. aW-7:7

Concerning the situation where an individual made an unnecessary and quite improper vow because of being wrongly taught and wrongly thinking that God required him to make such a vow, a vow as such could possibly be disallowed of God and invalid, and the one who made it thus could possibly be free of it's binding. Yet vows are a serious commitment which God does notice, and vows should be kept unless they are vows that God could not sanction or accept. Eccl 5:5 reads "Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." aW-7:8

V Apostle Peter's faith in Jesus being the Son of God was caused by a revelation from the Father (God), rather than merely caused by flesh and blood (man) revealing it to him (Mat 16:15-17). Jesus after speaking of Peter's God inspired true belief in Christ said, "...whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mat 16:19). When God's people are motivated by revelations from the Father through the Holy Ghost, whatsoever they bind on earth is bound in heaven. Yet obviously God does not bind in heaven those things which are done on earth if they are unacceptable to him. When Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence, cast some out of the Church wrongfully (3 John 1:9-10), God obviously did not bind that work in heaven and thus take their names out of the book of life. Neither when some, false brethren, unawares were brought into the Church (Gal 2:4), was that earthly acceptance bound in heaven and thus their names written in the book of life. aW-7:9

V Thus it must be considered that not everything that is bound on earth is bound in heaven nor is everything that is loosed on earth loosed in heaven. Concerning marriage what really counts is what has been bound or loosed in heaven. It does not appear that God would classify those who have lived together in a invalid marriage much different than He would classify those who lived together unmarried, as the only difference likely would be the one couple had a traditional marriage ceremony, and likely exchanged vain vows which God did not ordain should be binding, while the other couple did not exchange any vows at all. aW-7:10


In the Old Testament era, in some situations one might have taken a woman from among the enemy captives, to be his wife, possibly with her having little or no choice in the matter. What place did wedding vows have in old era marriages as these? Although women in old times and in some situations might not have had much or any choice concerning whose wife they would become, yet it appears in most situations among God's people, a woman had some choice concerning whose wife she might become. In the old era a father could refuse to give his daughter, as a wife, to one if he did not approve of him (Ex 22:17). Thus it is also clear that if a daughter could influence her father, she also had some choice in whom she would marry. In considering these issues one should consider that in old era times, vows possibly were not always or normally used in their marriages as in our time. aW-7:11

It is quite clear that most often in marriages of Biblical times, the couple being married knew what restrictions and obligations were involved in a marriage and were agreed to such restrictions and obligations. Malachi 2:14 uses the wording "wife of thy covenant", which could possibly indicate that generally Old Testament husbands had shared particular vows and made a formal or traditional covenant with their wives. Yet concerning marriages of God's people of times past, the writer knows of no Scriptural examples of vows being exchanged in the marriage ceremony, nor does the writer know of any Scriptures that advocate, that where two are to become valid mates, that particular vows must be exchanged. Yet clearly such does not mean vows were never or not made in marriages in times past. Nor does it mean that making vows to one another at the time of becoming husband and wife is improper. When men took to themselves wives during Bible times were their always marriage ceremonies? In the situation of Rebekah becoming Isaac's wife, after that Abraham's servant brought her to Isaac, the Scriptures simply say, "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." (Gen 24:67). The Scriptures speaking of Abigail, after David had sent his servants to ask her to be his wife simply read, "And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife." (1 Sam 25:42). Note David at this time was living in the wilderness because of his fear of Saul who had tried to kill him. Did those individuals in the Old Testament who had so many wives, have ceremonies for each one, and exchange formal vows? Possibly sometimes in times past, the taking of a wife or making of a marriage was just the simple yet genuine mutual agreement between two, who knowing the obligations and restrictions of marriage, accepted one another as now being husband and wife. aW-7:12

Marriage is the particular uniting of man and woman, after which loving relations between man and wife can lawfully be carried out. Possibly a most simple marriage would be the experience of a man and a woman soberly and truly accepting each other as man and wife knowing and excepting what their permanent obligations and restrictions would be. Such a couple although not having exchanged formal vows with their mouths, yet clearly would have made a commitment in their hearts toward one another. The next chapter pertains to what couples God can acknowledge and accept as being joined in marriage. aW-7:13


V The fact that few Scriptures, if any, speak of marriage vows, and the fact that no Scriptures teach that vows must be made in taking a wife, indicate that marriage vows to some extent are not so vital an issue in creating a marriage. The main reason marriage is a permanent and binding relation is because God ordained that marriage should be a permanent and binding relation, not merely because of the vows that might have been exchanged. Concerning marriage and the intimate relations involved therein God ordained that such relations should and must be a permanent and binding relation and clearly wedding vows are not what actually makes marriage a permanent and binding relation. It appears vows could be included in the marriage ceremony as a way to acknowledge and show acceptance that marriage is ordained to be and must be a permanent and binding relation, rather than to thereby make marriage a permanent and binding relation. aW-7:14


Jesus speaking of swearing and making oaths in the New Testament said, "But I say unto you, Swear not at all;... But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.". (Mat 5:34&37). Another article coded aX quite extensively considers swearing, oaths, vows, and making promises, with regards to both the Old and the New Testament. In the KJV New Testament, the word vows only appears two times and then in speaking of some particular vows some had made for which cause they had shaved or sheared their hair (Acts 18:18, Acts 21:23-24). One definition of the word vow according to Webster's Dictionary is "a solemn promise". It is quite clear that God has ordained that in the New Testament one's vows should be considered no more than simply a very sober and careful promise of yea and nay. aW-7:15

Concerning those situations wherein one was married and divorced, is their requirement to remain single or permission to remarry contingent merely on their past marriage vows, or contingent upon what God's marriage laws would allow or disallow. Following are two short parables which pertain to this subject; aW-7:16

Jack and Mark were both non Christians who were very good friends who had very much confidence in one another. Jack having much confidence in Mark made a vow with Mark that he would be a business partner with him for 10 years and would not take on any other business commitments during that time. Yet just two years later things didn't work out for Jack as he thought and he broke the vow he made to Mark and separated. Mark then got another individual to replace Jack's partnership afterwhich he had no interest or desire for Jack's continued partnership. Five years after Jack made this 10 year vow he became a Christian. Now after Jack is a Christian should Jack's earlier ten year vow which now is unworkable, be reason for Jack to not be allowed to make any other business commitments for another five years? One would likely say how foolish it would be to require such of Jack. One would say Jack is only bound to that vow if such vow was made in wisdom and acknowledged or validated by God. aW-7:17

The other parable is as follows; There was once a non Christian named Sam who was involved with organized crime and vowed to fill a particular position therein for life. Some time afterward Sam become a Christian. Now would Sam's improper vow, which vow God never sanctioned but rather would have counted foolish and wicked, disqualify him from promising to fulfill other positions in life for others after he now is a Christian? Absolutely not! Note another article entitled "Oaths, Swearing, Vows, Truthfulness, and Lying" further pertains to how binding one's vows or promises might be and is coded as article aX. aW-7:18

As marriage vows alone or in themselves do not have power to validate a marriage, and are vain and meaningless without God's sanction, it does not appear marriage vows alone then should have power to disallow a latter marriage strictly because the latter marriage would conflict with earlier marriage vows and which vows God might not even have acknowledged. Note these issues will become yet clearer as later chapters are considered. aW-7:19


Chapter Conclusions

V As God has given fathers and husbands the right or authority to disallow and make void their daughter or wife's vows so such vows need not be regarded, so also God clearly has the right and authority to disallow and make void any of man's vows and make them invalid and without effect. aW-7:21

V Marriage vows in themselves do not appear to be a sufficient reason for one to be forbidden to remarry, even if the second marriage is in discord with an earlier marriage vow. aW-7:22.

V Marriage vows in themselves are not a sufficient reason to require one who was married and divorced to remain single, while rather the real reason such an individual might need to remain single is because God ordained marriage to be permanent and binding, and ordained particular marriage laws which must be kept. aW-7:23

V Marriage vows in themselves is not what makes marriage a permanent and binding relation. aW-7:23.5




V Chapter 8


Considers what, "that which God has joined together", really consists of.

Considers which marriages can be classified as being "that which God has joined together".

Considers what marriages God considers to be valid marriages.


This subject is important because Jesus said "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt 19:6). Note in Mark 10:9 Jesus said exactly the same words. It is clear that laws of the land and workings of men, might join individuals in marriage, which individuals God's law would not permit to be joined in marriage. Such a couple then would be merely joined by man and not by God. It is clear that those couples whose marriage God cannot accept, not only may separate but should separate. It also is clear that those couples who are joined by God, may not be separated except for the cause of fornication or adultery. aW-8:1

Those true Christians who marry in the fear of God clearly come under the position of being that which God has joined together. Yet some unbelieving and sinful youth, may have come together in marriage in very improper ways, which couples later might get converted and then wonder if they as a married partners, can truly be categorized as being that which God has joined together. Considering couples that might have come together in quite improper ways, and considering who God might allow to be joined or ordain should be joined, the following Scriptures should be considered; aW-8:2

(Deu 22:28-29) "If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; {29} Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." aW-8:3

(Exo 22:16) "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife." aW-8:4

Those Old Testament couples who became man and wife, as in the above two Scriptures, clearly were not joined together in the way that God would have had them to be joined, yet because of their situation, God ordained that they must be joined as man and wife. Concerning such couples, Although God did not initiate their being joined, yet God joined them because of what they did, which joining or marriage was now considered valid and binding by God. Note the next paragraph is written especially with regard to those who had no previous marriages and were never divorced. aW-8:5

It appears in the New Testament era, when non Christians commit fornication and enter marriage in very improper ways, if after such a marriage they get converted, they because of their prior relations, could very likely be a couple which God has ordained should be joined, which unit God has thus joined and which marriage man should not put asunder. When those who have been married in very improper situations and without regard to God, get converted and want to become a part of God's Church, even though they were not married in a Godly way, their marriage yet usually is considered binding and valid, and they do not now need to have another marriage ceremony. Yet such couples must now commit themselves to one another according to the matrimonial laws God has established for His people of the New Testament. aW-8:6

In some situations among unbelievers, one might have been involved in numerous situations or marriages in their past, and how should he then after being born again, know which mate God would ordain he should be joined to? Or in some situations would none of one's past partners be to whom God would ordain he should be joined? Following are several Scriptures with numerous comments, that reveal that in Christ's time many improper situations existed between man and woman, and also reveal that Christ had a proper way for those involved to go forth from that point forward; aW-8:7

(John 4:17-18) Herein Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman said, "... Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly." Note in this verse how Jesus did not classify the one she had now as her husband and yet classified five others that she had as having been her husbands. How did Christ classify who truly was or was not her husband? Jesus hereafter did not reject her as hopeless but rather endeavored to bring her into the ways of righteousness. Jesus hereafter among numerous instructions told her; "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24). aW-8:8

(Mat 21:31-32) Herein Jesus speaking to the Chief Priests and Elders said "...Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. {32} For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." aW-8:9

(John 8:4&8) "They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. ...And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." aW-8:10

It is clear in Christ's time many improper situations existed between man and woman, yet Jesus clearly did not cast away those who were involved in such as being in a hopeless or impossible situation, but dealt with the situation in a way of hope. aW-8:11


Concerning God's order of one being required to marry the daughter he disgraced or humbled, their was one exception to this rule which is given in the following Scripture; aW-8:12

(Exo 22:16-17) "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. {17} If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins." aW-8:13


The following parable should be considered in endeavoring to know who God might ordain should be joined, in those situations where one was involved with numerous mates in his non Christian past; aW-8:14

Their once was a Israelite who enticed a maid and laid with her, therefore as God had ordained, this Israelite then was required to be joined to her by taking her as his wife. Yet since her father decided he would not allow his daughter to be married to him, this Israelite therefore paid the dowry fee to her father and remained single. Although this Israelite greatly regretted his misconduct, two years later he fell into the same situation again with another maid. His situation was then brought to the Judges of Israel to see what should be done. The Judges then in considering this situation and determining what should be done with this Israelite, considered how that their law said that one who would not hearken to the Priest or Judges and transgressed presumptuously (rather than because of ignorance), should be cut off from God's people or put to death (Num 15:30 Deu 17:12). Yet since this Israelite was a orphan who had very little proper training and was quite ignorant on many issues, and truly had regretted his first offense as well as his second, they decided rather than putting him to death or cutting him off from among them, they would rather require that he be joined to this second maid that he humbled and should never be allowed to put her away, such as God had said should be done with such transgressors. As this maid's father approved of such, this Israelite then took her to be his wife and was never be allowed to put her away. aW-8:15

In considering the above parable one should consider that God in that situation would have ordained that two should be joined because of their improper relations and involvements with one another, yet because the first maid was not available and because later further involvements and relations were had with another mate, God then ordained that the latter two mates should be joined. Such is possibly how it may be among unbelievers today, who get converted after that they have been involved with several different mates in their non Christian past and ignorance. Such ones, if they would have been converted earlier God would have ordained that they should have been joined to a particular mate at that time because of their involvement with them then, but now at a later time God would ordain that they should be joined with another mate because their first mate is not available and because he now has other involvements with another mate. aW-8:16

The next chapter pertains to how God might ordain those improper marriages among non Christians, should be dealt with when such as are involved in such marriages turn to God and His people. aW-8:17


V Considering how God ordained the one who humbled a daughter was required to marry her, it is quite clear that in the situation where two have lived together unmarried they to some extent have an obligation toward each other, even though they never did exchange marriage vows. Some unmarried couples may even have lived together for numerous years and have had children together. Other couples may have almost on impulse got legally married, that is according to the laws of the land and workings of men, which couples then got divorced very soon afterwards. This couple also would have some obligation toward each other because of their relations they likely would have had, and because of their vows. Yet as revealed in the previous chapter, vows in themselves are not what actually makes marriage a binding and permanent relation. How situations such as these two should be dealt with, is clarified in the next chapter. aW-8:18


V There are likely some individuals who firmly believe that any woman who has been married and divorced, according to the laws of the land and workings of men should not remarry no matter what her situation may have been. There are likely some individuals who firmly believe that any woman who has not been married and divorced, according to the laws of the land and workings of men, should be permitted to marry no matter what her situation may have been. The following parables should make one question whether such belief is really proper. aW-8:19

V Their were two girls who were both brought up in Christian homes whose names were Ruth and Vanity. Ruth was named after the Ruth in the Bible who had such an excellent Spirit. Ruth and Vanity were very close friends and were almost exactly the same age. Ruth against her parents wishes married a non Christian who had a very appealing way about him. Ruth had considered just living with him unmarried, but felt that would be a greater sin than if she married him. Ruth also hoped that her husband would soon become a Christian. Yet only three months after their wedding they met some difficulties and her husband divorced her. Ruth is heart broken because she did not want to separate so easily, and because she now legally is a divorced women. Now Ruth questions whether she ever can get remarried because she legally is a divorced woman. aW-8:20

V Now concerning Vanity she also fell in love with a non Christian. Vanity then against her parents wishes, quite carelessly moved in with him and lived with him unmarried for nearly three years. After this, Vanity became quite unreasonable with the man she lived with, afterwhich he told Vanity she must move out. Now Vanity is very glad she never got married as did Ruth, and feels that since she never was married, God will now allow her to marry one from among God's people. Vanity also feels very sorry for Ruth because she believes that God would not permit Ruth to marry another because of the fact that Ruth was married, and was put away by her husband. How does a just God who is never confused or mocked look on such a situation? aW-8:21


V Their also were two other girls named Jane and Jezebel. These two girls unlike the above two girls were brought up in a non Christian environment and had little religious training and both were quite ignorant. Jane and Jezebel were almost the same age and were very good friends. These girls both fell in love with non Christians like themselves. Jezebel then just moved in and lived with her boyfriend without being married, although her boyfriend really wanted to get married, and her parents also encouraged her to do so. After Jezebel had lived together with her boyfriend unmarried for nearly three years, Jezebel became quite unreasonable with him, for which cause he told wicked Jezebel to move out. aW-8:22

V Now concerning Jezebel's friend Jane, she was a little more conscientious than Jezebel, thus she rather than just moving in with her boyfriend married the one to whom she was attracted. Yet only three months after Jane's wedding her husband quite carelessly turned against her, and against Jane's wishes divorced her, for which cause Jane was very broken hearted. aW-8:22.5

V Some years after Jane and Jezebel had both separated from their men, they attended some evangelistic meetings together and both found the Lord. Now Jezebel who was encouraged to not live together unmarried but who yet for almost three years carelessly did so, is told because she never was married, she is a liberty to marry one from among God's people. While Jane is told that since she was married for a very short time and divorced she cannot marry but must remain single, unless perchance she could be united with her previous husband, who now has married another and appears to be permanently unavailable. How does a just God who is never confused or mocked look on such a situation? Clearly God, whose workings are just and upright and not subject to the workings of mere man, classifies these girls according to His own righteous standards and not according to mere man's doings. aW-8:23

One should here again remember that vows in themselves are quite unimportant and consider it matters more what God desires to be together and ordains should be together, than what mere man has brought together by his mortal vows or promises. aW-8:24

Note the two above parables focus on women more than men, because these parables are intended especially to help understand when a woman truly is in that state wherein she should not remarry. Yet one should consider the principles included in the above parables could also largely apply to men. aW-8:25


Considering that God in the Old Testament required the man who humbled a daughter to marry the one whom he humbled, for what reason should not the same be encouraged or expected in the New Testament of the one who humbles a daughter? Yet it must also be remembered if the daughter's father disapproved of such marriage, such marriage would then not be required. aW-8:28




V Chapter 9


Considers How Improper Marriages, Divorces, and Remarriages, Such as Might Have been Done Among Non Christians, Should be Dealt with When Such as are Involved in them Turn to God and His People

Considers what Marriages Cannot be Acceptable to God and thus Should be Dissolved.

Considers What Individuals Might be Required to Remain Single, If they Cannot be Reunited With Their Past Mate.


It is clear that adultery and fornication are the intimate relations between two who according to God's laws are not lawfully married. If two mates in God's sight are properly married then their relations obviously cannot be considered adultery or fornication. The purpose of this chapter is to understand what marriages God does or can accept, and to understand what marriages He will not accept. aW-9:1


Firstly we will consider some Scriptures that reveal that man can be under a certain amount of ignorance or unbelief which when under, he is not as accountable or guilty as if he had been taught and had known the truth. Following are some such Scriptures; aW-9:2

(1 Tim 1:13) "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." aW-9:3

(Luke 12:47-48) "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. {48} But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes...". aW-9:4

(Luke 23:34) "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." aW-9:5

(Acts 3:17) "And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." aW-9:6

(1 Cor 2:7-8) "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: {8} Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." aW-9:7

(James 4:17) "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." aW-9:8

Although man by God's Spirit can receive much direction and often his ignorance might be because of not applying himself to know the truth, yet note how the above Scriptures yet clearly reveal man can yet be under a certain ignorance, which if under they are not as accountable and guilty as if they had known the truth. In considering a non Christian who never truly understood the laws of God, and more ignorantly was involved in improper marriages and divorces, such an one clearly would not be as a accountable as the one who from among God's Holy nation or people against the will of God and permission of his brethren, divorced his mate or took an improper mate. It is true that possibly most people, world around, are taught by word and mouth that marriage is a permanent commitment, yet by example and practice which teaches much louder than does word, many so called Christians teach, that God does not necessarily require marriage to be a permanent commitment. Many individuals, world around, by the example of their superiors are even taught that what God says does not really matter. aW-9:9


V Apostle Paul in speaking of mankind living in a way to avoid fornication says, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1 Cor 7:2). Paul even speaking of those that are married says, "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." (1 Cor 7:5). Considering how the first above Scripture reveals that being unmarried can increase one's temptation for fornication and therefore encourages each one to have their own mate, it is quite clear that God would not with little or no reason, require one of His children to remain single, and thus be in that situation were temptation to fornication could be increased. God would not require one of His children to remain single with the main reason being, to chastise or avenge them for being divorced. If a parent would give their child a pet and tell their child if they are not kind and loving to their pet, they will not allow them to have any pet at all, their object would not be merely to make their child miserable and get vengeance on them if they were unkind to their pet, but rather their object would be to motivate their child to be kind to their pet. Thus it is with God's laws concerning marriage, their object and purpose is to motivate marriage partners to be kind and loving to their spouses and to make marriage a secure union, rather than to merely punish and get vengeance on those who are divorced. Some individuals may be in a divorced situation even though they endeavored earnestly to avoid it. God who knows everything, clearly knows if one mate in a divorce situation was earnestly endeavoring to be a peace maker and yet was rejected! In the Old Testament Abigail, who had a very beautiful spirit and character had a very contrary and churlish husband named Nabal. Although Nabal never divorced Abigail, God yet struck Nabal so that he died after which Abigail then was taken to wife by King David (1 Sam 25:2-45). aW-9:10

If a child assuredly knows he cannot get a particular thing which he really wants, he normally will accept that restriction and will not continue thinking about getting that thing which he so strongly wanted. But if a child thinks their possibility is a way that he can get what he strongly wants, he will tend to continue to think about getting that thing, and likely will start to covet it earnestly. Thus it also is with us adults, if a man or a woman would believe their possibly would be a way to get another mate which they might want, they would tend to think about getting that mate and might start to covet that mate earnestly. Paragraphs 5:42-47 clearly reveal that if a woman among God's people who was put away was permitted to marry other man, many opportunities of mate exchanging would result creating many temptations, whereby family security would be much damaged, parents having less secure mates and children having less secure parents. Yet because of God's law which forbids divorced women from remarrying such temptations and insecurity are now avoided. It is obvious that God is not more strict concerning divorce and remarriage and having only one wife in the New Testament, to merely thereby additionally punish and revenge those who are divorced by requiring that they remain single, while rather it is clear such laws of God are intended to help mankind experience secure mates and secure families. aW-9:11

Although God's matrimonial laws are ordained to help create peace and order, yet if one would go against the will of God and His people and marry one who he should not (possibly even causing a divorce), thinking that years later for the sake of peace and order, God then would sanction their marriage, they should consider that God's law which punishes willful disobedience rather than rewarding it, likely would never sanction such a marriage. Yet in considering whether God might require one to remain or become permanently single one should not forget how Paul encouraged each one to have their own mate, to thereby help avoid fornication, and consider that God would not with little or no reason require one to become or remain permanently single. aW-9:12


Firstly considering that many Scriptures speak of men taking a wife, while no Scriptures speak of a woman taking a husband, and secondly considering that God in the New Testament has given man the right to marry another wife, if his wife commits adultery, while a woman is not permitted to remarry as such, it is clear that God has given men a greater right to take and have a wife than he has given woman to take and have a husband. As considered earlier in chapter 3 God may have given man a greater right as such, because man may possibly have a greater need for a wife than woman has for a husband. Considering all Scriptures and aspects it is clear that God, who in the Old Testament allowed men to have more than one wife, in the New Testament also has given man a significant right to have a wife, and quite clear that their are few situations if any, wherein God, would not allow a man to have any wife at all, even though he might be rejected and divorced by a previous wife. Considering all aspects and considering how God gives man a significant right to have a wife, it is quite obvious that God would not require a man upon becoming a Christian, to become single and remain permanently so, because of particular marriage partners he was involved with in his non Christian past and ignorance, which partners have now rejected him. Note if such a man's past partners were, or are involved with other mates, they in one respect would be committing adultery against him, for which cause alone, such an one should be permitted to keep his present wife or marry another! aW-9:13

The Scriptures do not tell what a husbands responsibility or restrictions would be if his wife would treacherously and seemingly permanently leave her husband, while yet remaining single and free from fornication or adultery. In that particular situation, would the husband then need to remain single until his past contrary wife committed adultery or died? Possibly the Scriptures do not speak on such because that would be such a rare situation. The Scriptures neither do tell what a husband or wife's responsibilities or restrictions would be, if in a time of war they would become separated from their mate, and for many years would not know whether or not their mate is alive. Should such ones remain single the rest of their lives, because perchance their partner is yet alive and possibly kept in some far country in a prison camp? Possibly the Scriptures neither speak on this matter, because this also is such a rare situation. aW-9:14

Although God has given man the right to put away an unfaithful (adulterous) wife and marry another, yet if a man would be unloving and contrary toward his wife and thus place her in a position where affections for another would be more likely, if his wife would then commit adultery, in that situation the husband before being allowed to remarry should be required to thoroughly repent of his earlier behavior toward his wife, and be required to confess his sin to his wife and give his wife much opportunity to repent of her sin and return to him. Then if such was sincerely done and his wife would yet refuse to return to him, it appears such an one should then be allowed to marry another in due time. aW-9:14.5


V Since man in most all situations appears to be permitted to marry and have a wife, this chapter will focus more on understanding a divorced woman's position or limitations with regard to remarriage than a divorced man's position with regard to such. Yet this chapter should also be very helpful in further understanding a divorced man's position or limitations with regard to remarriage. It is clear that a woman who was divorced being in and among God's people and knowing God's matrimonial laws may not remarry. Yet concerning a woman who was divorced and possibly remarried before being a part of God's people and before knowing God's laws, if she would turn to God and His people, how should she then be dealt with? aW-9:15


In considering those women who are put away (divorced), it must be considered their are two classes of divorced women, the one class being those women who were treacherously put away by their husbands, which would be the more innocent class, and the second class being those women who were deservingly put away by their husbands, because of them being involved with fornication or adultery. aW-9:16

Concerning the more innocent class of divorced women, which are those women who were treacherously put away by their husbands, it appears their are three main reasons why God has ordained such should not remarry, which are as follow; aW-9:17

firstly to maintain an open way, so if such a woman's husband would repent, that there could be reconciliation between them, aW-9:18

secondly to cause a woman to fear being put away in any way, and thus motivate women to endeavor to please their husbands, aW-9:19

thirdly to avoid the additional temptations, additional exchanging of mates, and family insecurity that would result among God's people, if divorced women as this were permitted to remarry. Note paragraphs aW-5:42-48 clearly reveal numerous complications and difficulties that would result if divorced women as this could remarry, which paragraph should possibly be reread. aW-9:20

These three particular reasons at times will be referred to as the "must stay single reasons". aW-9:21


V Following is a parable concerning a couple which were both Christians when they married and which had a Christian wedding among God's people; aW-9:22

V Their was once a boy named Jerry and a girl named Joann who both were converted and were both a part of God's people. When Jerry was 22 years old he and Joann fell in love with one another after which they had a Christian wedding and were married. Jerry in undertaking this marriage was not ignorant about God's laws concerning marriage. Jerry had been taught that he in taking a wife would never be allowed to put her away and marry another, unless his wife would commit fornication or adultery. Jerry had also been taught that if he ever put his wife away for any reason other than adultery and married another, he would have to put away the second wife he had taken and be reconciled to his first wife, to again be acceptable to God and His people. Jerry thus knew in marrying Joann he would be bound to Joann for all his life, unless Joann would commit fornication or adultery. His wife Joann also was not ignorant concerning God's laws about marriage. Joann had been taught that if she ever committed adultery, Jerry could lawfully take another wife, which if he actually did, she would need to permanently remain single. Joann being aware of such was very careful to abstain from any occasions or situations that could lead to her committing adultery. Joann was also taught that if Jerry ever treacherously put her away (no matter why he did so), if she could not be reunited with Jerry, she would need to remain single as long a Jerry lived. Joann knowing such clearly did not ever want Jerry to divorce her, and thus did her best to be and reasonable and pleasing to him. Joann was comforted in that God's laws concerning matrimony would never permit Jerry to put her away, if she remained free of fornication, and was concerned that Jerry as well as herself would remain true to God and keep His laws. aW-9:23

V Yet after Jerry and Joann were married several years they became somewhat careless and got into some difficulties in their marriage, and one sad day Jerry treacherously put Joann away and married another whom he had been attracted to. Jerry after he had divorced Joann, yet quite clearly knew that to again be acceptable to God and His people he would need to separate from this other wife he had taken. Jerry also knew that Joann was now required to remain single unless she could be reconciled which him, which in a way was a comfort to him, but yet made him feel quite guilty and to have quite an obligation toward her. After that Jerry had put away Joann, she kept praying for her past husband and was willing to take him back as her husband, if he truly repented, just like God was willing to take back adulterous Israel if they truly repented. The Church also was praying that Jerry would repent, and was praying that Jerry and Joann could again be reconciled. Joann never showed any bitterness toward Jerry and always showed him love, and after some time had passed he came into some real difficulties with his new marriage and sought the face of God and repented, afterwhich he and Joann were reconciled. aW-9:24

The above parable is intended to reveal how God's laws with regard to dealing with a marriage and divorce likely are intended to work. As said before, three likely reasons why a woman is not permitted to remarry, even if her husband would commit adultery and treacherously put her away, are initially to cause a woman to fear divorce and thus do her best to be pleasing and upright to her husband, secondly to keep an open way for a woman and her rightful husband to be reconciled, and thirdly to avoid the complete exchanging of mates and family insecurity that could otherwise occur among God's people. Note how nicely these three reasons apply in the above situation wherein Joann and Jerry were both a part of God's people, who had been properly taught and were aware of God's laws concerning marriage. Note these three particular reasons were referred to above as the "must stay single reasons". aW-9:25

In this article when the writer speaks of one being married or divorced in a non Christian situation, he thereby means marriage or divorce situations wherein both mates involved were non Christians who never really understood the laws of God and never were a part of God's people. The writer in this chapter will often use the term "non Christian situation". aW-9:26

Now we will again consider the above parable, but it the way of Jerry and Joann having been married and divorced in a non Christian situation. In considering Jerry and Joann as such, it was some time after Jerry had married Joann, that Jerry treacherously put away Joann both yet being non Christians. Soon after this Joann then attended some evangelistic meetings and became a Christian. Now in this situation should Joann be required to remain single unless reconciled to Jerry who is yet a non Christian who has never known and understood God's matrimonial laws and who might be married to another? Now in this situation how do these three "must stay single reasons" apply? Concerning the one particular reason, which pertains to causing a woman to fear divorce and thus do her best to please her husband and avoid divorce, that reason obviously could not apply here, because in this situation Joann was divorced before she really knew and understood God's laws concerning marriage, and thus that particular reason in this situation could not have it's allotted time and opportunity to do it's work in Joann's life. Concerning the second particular reason for which a woman should not remarry, which pertains to a woman remaining single so that she can be reconciled with her previous or rightful husband, that reason neither applies so effectually in this situation, because Jerry in this situation is yet a non Christian who has never really known and understood God's laws concerning marriage, and thus is not so effectually convicted of his sin of putting Joann away and does not understand his need to return to her, and really would not understand why Joann is remaining single for him. aW-9:27

In some non Christian situations as this, God may never have had acknowledged or accepted Jerry as being joined to Joann and in that situation their would be no reason for Joann to remain single with the intent of being reconciled to him. Or in some situations Jerry may have had another wife before he married Joann, or Joann may have had another husband before she married Jerry, and thus in such situations Joann would not even know which mate she should endeavor to be reconciled with, and who she thus should really be remaining single and available for. aW-9:28

The third important reason God does not allow a woman who was divorced among God's people to remarry is to avoid the additional temptations, exchanging of mates, and matrimonial insecurity that would result among God's people or nation, if such remarrying was permitted among them. How does this particular reason apply to Joann who was divorced before she was a Christian and really understood God's laws? This question and situation was considered before in paragraphs 5:54-55 which paragraphs spoke of Egypt and a particular anti theft law, somewhat as follows; aW-9:29

If Egypt would have an anti theft law that would penalize the one who stole by cutting off their hand, Egypt quite obviously would have a good order with regard to thievery, that is if they consistently upheld their sobering law. Yet Egypt's theft security obviously would not be jeopardized or destroyed by Egypt giving those who stole before coming to their country and knowing of their anti theft law, that expectable liberty to keep their hand. Concerning Joann who here was divorced (and could have been remarried) before being a citizen of God's Holy Nation, one should consider that if Joann after becoming a citizen of God's Holy Nation would be allowed to remain married or to remarry, such liberty would not destroy or jeopardize the matrimonial security of God's people, just like Egypt giving the ignorant thief the liberty to keep his hands did not destroy or jeopardize Egypt's theft security. aW-9:30

Since all three "must stay single reasons" do not apply as such, for the woman who was treacherously put away in a non Christian situation, it does not appear that a woman treacherously put away as such should be required to stay single as should a woman who was treacherously put away in the situation of her and her husband having been a part of God's Holy nation. Yet this will become clearer as further aspects are considered below. aW-9:31


Concerning those women who were put away, yet not treacherously like the women studied above but rather were deservingly put away because they committed adultery against their husbands, it appears their are two main and vital reasons (rather then three) that God ordained such women are not permitted to remarry but rather must stay single, which are as follow; aW-9:32

firstly to avoid the additional temptations, additional exchanging of mates, and family insecurity that would result among God's people, if divorced women as this were permitted to remarry. Note paragraphs 5:44-47 clearly reveal many complications and difficulties that would result if a woman divorced as this could remarry, which paragraphs possibly should be reread. aW-9:33

secondly to give women reason to fear committing adultery, rather than allow them to in one respect be rewarded for their transgression. Note paragraph aW-5:45 clearly reveals that if a woman as this were permitted to marry another she might be being rewarded for her transgression rather than penalized. (Note one of the three must stay single reasons mentioned above do not apply in this situation. Note since the wife in this situation is the guilty mate instead of innocent mate the husband here could lawfully have married another and thus to attain reconciliation is not one of the reasons the wife here must stay single.) aW-9:33.5


Now with respect to the non Christian woman, who before turning to God and really understanding God's laws, committed adultery and thus initiated their divorce, if she would turn to God and His people, should she, if single, be required to remain single, and if already remarried be required to separate from her present husband? In considering this question, it should be considered that the first above "must stay single reason" which pertains to protecting and keeping family security among God's people, largely would not apply to her, just like the anti theft law of Egypt, spoken of above would not apply to one who had stole before being a citizen of Egypt and knowing Egypt's laws. Now with respect to the second above "must stay single reason" which pertains to causing a woman to refrain from committing adultery because of knowing she rather than being permitted to marry another likely would be required to remain single the rest of her life, that reason could neither apply here, because in this situation this woman was divorced before she really knew and understood God's laws concerning marriage, and thus that particular reason in this situation could not have it's allotted time and opportunity to do it's work in her life. aW-9:34

Since the "must stay single reasons" in this situation do not apply as such, it does not appear that a women who initiated her divorce as this in her non Christian past and ignorance, should be required to remain single, as should the woman who together with her husband was a part of God's Holy nation and being aware of God's laws yet committed adultery and thus was put away. Yet this will become clearer as further aspects are considered below. aW-9:35


V If God's people keep His matrimonial laws, it will help instigate peace, justice, and order among them, for God has ordained these laws for that purpose. Because of God's matrimonial laws, God's people can experience a secure place in life, parents having secure mates and children having secure parents! Now concerning those marriages, divorces, and remarriages among non Christians and unbelievers, which marriages, divorces, and remarriages were not at all done according to the laws God has ordained for man, if those non Christian's involved in them would get converted and turn to God and His people, how should their present marriage then be judged or dealt with? As the underlying purpose or spirit of God's matrimonial laws is to create peace, justice, and order, it appears all such past improper marriages must be dealt with in the way that would best fulfill the true purpose of these laws, which purpose is to create peace, justice, and order among mankind. It appears simply endeavoring to undo all marriages among those converts who turn to God, which marriages would not have been lawful within God Holy nation, would not help such converts find that peaceful, just, and orderly place in life which the actual purpose of God's matrimonial laws is to provide, but rather could result in unwise separations (divorces) and cause much confusion, stress, and heartache. aW-9:36


V Following is a parable concerning a situation which easily could occur among non Christians and unbelievers; aW-9:37

V Their was once a woman named Sue who was brought up in a non Christian environment. Sue not being a Christian and living a life without the fear of God and his laws, was married three times. Sue had divorced her first two husbands because of being attracted to other men whom she then married. Sue had been married to each of her first husbands for only two years. Sue's third husband's name was Tom, who also was brought up in a non Christian environment and also was living a life without the fear of God. Tom like Sue was married before, but had divorced his first wife largely because he was attracted to Sue. Now after Tom and Sue were married for nearly twenty years and after having four children, all of their family together attended some evangelistic meetings. In these meeting Tom and Sue both felt sorry for their past lives and truly repented of their sins and found the Lord. Tom and Sue know their past partners are all non Christians and have all taken other mates. Now Tom and Sue both are wondering how God looks at their present marriage involving themselves and their four children. Tom and Sue now want to do exactly what God wants them to do with regards to their marriage, and both want to baptized in the name of Christ and be excepted as a part of God's nation and people. In a situation as given in this parable, what would God's matrimonial laws, whose underlying purpose is to create peace, justice, and order among mankind, ordain should here be done? Would asking Tom and Sue to dissolve their marriage and asking them to divide their children and live single lives, truly help create that peace, justice, and order which God's matrimonial laws were established to help create? Firstly considering how God in the Old Testament gave man a clear right to have a wife or wives, and secondly considering that God in the New Testament gives man liberty to have a wife insomuch that he allows man in the New Testament to put away an unfaithful wife and marry another, would God then ask Tom to put away Sue and remain single, since he in his past unbelief and darkness had divorced and remarried as such? If God would allow Tom to have a wife, who could Tom have for a wife that would make for more peace, justice, and order than if he continued to have Sue for his wife? Would God here ask Sue to separate from Tom and remain single, because of those divorces and marriages she was involved with in her non Christian past and ignorance? aW-9:38

V As often said before, it appears the main reasons why a woman among God's people who was put away should remain single are, initially to cause a woman in awareness of law, to fear being put away, and thus be motivated to please her husband, secondly to permit and promote a women's reconciliation with her rightful husband, and thirdly to avoid the many additional possible temptations, possible mate exchanging, and matrimonial insecurity, that would result among God's people if such women were permitted to remarry. Now in considering Sue's above situation it must be considered how these reasons therein, largely do not apply as reasons for Sue to separate from Tom and remain single. In considering Sue's situation, one should firstly consider that if Sue would here separate from Tom, such would have very little value with regard to promoting a reconciliation with a rightful husband, (likely none of Sue's past husbands would feel convicted to be reconciled with Sue, and possibly Sue was not a first wife to any of her husbands and Sue might not even know to whom she really should be reconciled), secondly consider that Sue was divorced before she even really knew and understood God's matrimonial laws, which laws one purpose was to cause her to fear divorce and thus avoid it, and thirdly consider that if Sue continued to be Tom's wife such would not create additional temptations, additional mate exchanging, or create matrimonial insecurity among God's people! aW-9:39

V One should rather consider that if Sue would be required to separated from Tom and remain single such could result in much difficulty and insecurity for both Tom and Sue and their children, being the very opposite of what God would desire. Oh may God's laws be understood and followed by their underlying purpose rather than by the dead letter! May God again make His people able ministers of the New Testament as Apostle Paul speaks of saying, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (2 Cor 3:6)! The writer hesitates to use the following Scripture because it could so easily be wrongly applied, yet he feels in this situation it very possibly could apply; "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3). One should here consider that the partners within a marriage which God will allow and sanction, are not committing adultery. aW-9:40


V In considering how marriage situations like Tom and Sue's should be dealt with the following seven aspects should be remembered;

V firstly Paul's statement should be remembered which reads " "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1 Cor 7:2), and therewith considered that God would not with little or no reason require a woman to remain single or to separate from her husband and remain single. aW-9:41

V secondly it should be remembered that it is quite obvious that God would not require a convert woman, who in her non Christian past and ignorance was divorced and possibly remarried, to remain single or to separate from her mate and remain single, strictly for the purpose of punishing or avenging her for her past faulty divorce and remarriage. aW-9:42

V thirdly it should be remembered that those clear and vital reasons for which a woman divorced among God's people should not remarry, basically do not apply to a woman divorced in a non Christian situation. This fact should be soberly considered. aW-9:43

V forthly concerning a divorced woman who had already married another man, before turning to God and His people, it should be considered that their is much difference between the woman who being a non Christian had married another husband largely in ignorance and confusion, and the woman who being a part of God's people knowingly against the will of God and her brethren took a unlawful husband. One should here again remember the parable concerning a certain child being required to get rid of a particular kind of pet because he purchased it directly against his fathers command, while the same father yet allowed his adopted child to keep that very kind of pet, because this adopted child had that very kind of pet as a very precious companion to him before he even was adopted. aW-9:44

V fifthly it should be remembered that God in the Old Testament allowed man to have more than one wife and in the New Testament allows man to put away an unfaithful (adulterous) wife and marry another, and therewith considered how God thus has given man a significant right to take and have a wife and rarely would require a man to remain single, aW-9:45

V sixthly it should be considered, if God would not require a man who has turned to God and his people to become and remain single, who should he be married to which would make for more peace and order than if he kept the wife he had when he turned to the Lord, and especially so if she turned to Lord together with him? Note Paul in 1 Cor 7:12-15 encouraged one to keep the mate they had, when they turned to the Lord even if such mate did not turn to the Lord together with him. aW-9:46

V seventhly it is of utmost importance that the underlying purpose of God's matrimonial laws is remembered, which is to create peace, security, and order among mankind, creating secure marriage partners and secure children. aW-9:47

Note the next chapter considers marriage situations which include partners from among God's people, and gives numerous other aspects to consider in dealing with such situations. aW-9:47.5


Considering all the above it becomes quite obvious to the writer, that in situations like Tom and Sue's situation or similar situations, such couples should not be required to separate. Considering all the above it becomes quite clear, concerning the convert woman who in her non Christian past was divorced and possibly remarried, that she upon turning to God and His people should not be required to remain single, and if remarried should not be required to separate from her present husband and remain single. aW-9:48


V Now after a couple has turned to God and His people and their present marriage has been judged acceptable by God and His people, from that point forward the same marriage laws would apply to their present marriage as if they were married among God's people, no matter what this couples past marriage or divorce involvements might have been. Thus after a couple has turned to God and as a couple are accepted as a part of God's people, if then the husband would treacherously put away his wife, he would be required to return to her, and his wife would need to remain single with the intent of being reconciled to him, and concerning all other marriage laws that God has ordained for His people, such laws would now fully apply to this couple just as if they had been married in and among God's people. aW-9:49

V When couples turn to God and His people, even if their present marriage can be accepted, they yet should now be made aware of God's matrimonial laws as God ordained for His New Testament people and now need to commit themselves to being faithful and obligated to one another according to such laws. If a couple who never made any commitments to one another with their heart or mouth, would turn to God and His people, such mates clearly would be unmarried. Such couples would now need to make that commitment to one another, of being faithful and obligated to one another such as God's law requires of those who are married, or else they should separate. aW-9:50

Although possibly in some particular marriage situations, when a non Christian couple turns to God, their marriage would not be acceptable to God and thus should be dissolved, the writer is not aware of any example in the Scriptures wherein a couple who turned to God and His people, were required to dissolve their marriage. In the situation where a man was married to a wife for many years, and had divorced her and married another just prior to becoming a Christian, very possibly God would ordain that he in that situation should return to his previous wife if she was available and wished him to do so. aW-9:51


The Scripture as given in the following paragraph, although possibly not so vital concerning this subject, is yet given as something that possibly should be considered; aW-9:52

(Mark 10:29-30). "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life." The above Scripture likely is mainly speaking of one upon becoming a part of God's people entering into a warm Christian family including Spiritual brethren, and children, yet such Scripture may also be worthy of consideration in considering whether or not God may require converts who turn to Him and His people to become or remain single. Such Scripture clearly does reveal God has a good plan for those who turn to Him and His people. The following question, although possibly not so vital concerning this subject yet likely is worthy of consideration; Would God exclude those who turn to Him and His people from having any opportunity to experience the good and secure matrimonial plan He has established for His nation and people, because of marriages and divorces they were involved in before being a part of His nation and government? aW-9:53




M Chapter 10


Considers How to Deal With Different Marriage Situations.


Concerning a convert woman, whose husband put her away, because she turned to God and His people against his wishes, it appears such a woman should be classified the same as a woman who was treacherously put away in a non Christian situation. It appears such a woman should have the same liberty to remarry as the woman who was treacherously put away before ever turning to God and His people. As often said before, it appears three main reasons why a women who was treacherously put away must remain single are, initially to cause a woman to fear divorce and thus be moved to be pleasing and upright to her husband, secondly to permit and promote reconciliation, and thirdly to avoid additional possible temptations and mate exchanging, and avoid matrimonial insecurity among God's people. Just like such reasons largely do not apply as reasons for a woman divorced in a non Christian situation to remain single, so they neither apply to a woman who was put away because of turning to God and His people. aW-10:1


The following Scripture, quite possibly is giving permission for a woman who was put away by her husband for becoming a Christian, to remarry reading; "And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him... But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." (1 Cor 7:13&15). Although a woman normally does not have the right to remarry such as a man does, note how Paul in this particular situation, emphasizes that the woman had the same liberty as the man. Yet by this Scripture alone it is difficult to prove that it is lawful for a woman as such to remarry. There is some possibility, that Paul in this Scripture simply meant that the believing partner can quite freely let their unbelieving partner separate from them if they wish to do so, because they are not bound to remain together in that situation. aW-10:2


Now we will consider the situation as in the following parable; There once was a woman named Rachel who turned to God and His people, without her husband whose name was Ray doing so. In this situation Rachel's husband Ray was pleased to dwell with Rachel even though she was a Christian while he was not. Yet two years afterwards non Christian Ray treacherously put Rachel away and married another. Should Rachel in this situation be permitted to marry another? How would the must stay single reasons here apply which in short are, initially to cause a woman to fear being put away, secondly to permit and promote a women's reconciliation with her rightful husband, and thirdly to avoid the many additional possible temptations etc.. that could result if divorced women could freely remarry. In considering Rachel's situation one should consider the must stay single reasons would now more fully apply to her, than if Ray had immediately put her away for the cause of her becoming a Christian. Yet the must stay single reasons obviously would not here apply to Rachel like they would apply to the woman who together with her husband was a part of God's people after which she treacherously was put away. To the writer it appears that possibly in some situations a woman in Rachel's situation should be allowed to remarry and possibly in others she should not be allowed to remarry. One should here remember that the partners in any marriage which God will sanction are not committing adultery. aW-10:3


Now concerning a daughter who being a part of God's people, against her parent's and brethren's wishes married a non Christian, it appears she should be required to separate from such mate because God cannot accept such a marriage. Note paragraphs 6:15-18 pertained to the same situation with regards to a son and quite clearly revealed why such ones should separate. Now concerning the question whether a daughter as this should be permitted to later marry another, it should firstly be considered that the one "must stay single reason" whose purpose is to promote reconciliation would not apply here, secondly consider that the other "must stay single reason" whose purpose is to cause a woman to fear being put away and thus motivate her to be kind to her husband neither applies here, and thirdly consider that the last "must stay single reason" which pertains to preserving matrimonial security among God's people neither applies here. Concerning a marriage as such God may never have acknowledged their vows and their marriage was largely invalid. This situation may not be much different than if this girl had lived with this non Christian man unmarried. Yet in the situation of a daughter having lived together with a man unmarried that is a very serious offense, and how should such a girl be dealt with? Should a girl that has lived together with a non Christian man unmarried be allowed to marry another after having lived as such? To the writer it appears possibly she should be permitted to marry another, but she clearly would need to have a thorough repentance first. aW-10:4


V In judging how divorce and remarriages situations should be dealt with, each situation needs it's own personal consideration just as did those marriage situations in Ezra's time (Ezra 10:14). In judging such situations it is important that the basic principles of God's laws concerning marriage and divorce are properly understood. If God's laws concerning marriage are not properly understood, it is largely impossible to properly and justly deal with those individuals who have been involved in divorces and remarriages, and such individuals may either given a wrong liberty or may be placed under a yoke that those who require such of them could hardly bear. aW-10:5

Many marriage situations could arise that are not particularly defined in the Bible nor in this article. Yet God has a way in the matter. One needs to be careful not to go too much strictly by the dead letter of the law, yet he must fully go by the true purpose of the law. God's law as given by Moses required that the adulterer or murderer should be put to death, yet in King David's situation of adultery and largely murder, God knowing David's heart and situation and possibly the people's need of David and knowing all things, through prophet Nathan said to David, "...The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." (2 Sam 12:13). It appears at times the spirit of the law allows an exception to the dead letter of the law. The people of Israel generally had judges set up to hear and advise each particular situation, because the letter of the law could not properly answer the need of each situation. aW-10:6

May God's people today be able to rightly judge how to deal with the many situations which they might encounter. With prayer and fasting and wisdom may God's will be sought for and found. Many Old Testament Scriptures speak of times when God's people inquired of God, and He clearly revealed what His will was on the matter. May God also clearly reveal His will to His people today. aW-10:7

If a woman was not aware that her husband was at liberty to marry another if she committed adultery and because of such ignorance was less fearful of committing adultery and thus committed adultery, was her adultery done in a significant ignorance? Should she be required to remain single all her life because her husband married another? aW-10:8

When the people of God are in a time of darkness and grave lukewarmness, and some from therein would get involved in improper marriages, could their marriages be classified somewhat as those marriages among unbelievers or non Christians? If in such a time God's people would not deal properly with a young sister who was discouraged and confused, which sister then would go and marry among non Christian's and possible become involved in several marriages or divorces, if she later would turn to God together with her husband, how would God ordain that she should deal with her present marriage situation? To the writer it appears that possibly they should not be required to separate. If she would return to God and His people in a single state, although divorced, should she be allowed to marry another? aW-10:9

V Concerning all marriage situations, they need to be judged by the purpose of God's matrimonial laws and great care needs to be taken before separating a marriage, yet wrong liberties neither dare be given. In considering how to deal with divorce and remarriage situations the following aspects should be considered, aW-10:10

V firstly it should be considered God's matrimonial laws are established to create peace, justice, and order, among men, and to create secure marriage partners and secure children. aW-10:11

V secondly it should be considered that concerning women among God's people who together with their husbands were a part of God's Holy nation, if they are put away they largely without exception should not be permitted to remarry. aW-10:12

V thirdly in considering whether a woman might be required to remain single or become single, one should consider how well the must stay single reasons would apply as being reasons for which she should remain single or become single. aW-10:13

V forthly it must be considered and remembered that laws must be upheld or disorder results, and considered willful disobedience dare not be rewarded but rather should be punished. aW-10:14

V fifthly the question should soberly be considered, if the permission that is given here, would now be expected by others, would such result in additional temptations and less secure marriage partners in the future? aW-10:15

V sixthly it should be considered that vows alone or in themselves are quite insignificant and considered it matters more what God desires to be together and ordains should be together, than what mere man may have brought together by their vows or promises which vows God may never approved of or counted to be valid. aW-10:16

V seventhly it should be considered that in dealing with divorces and remarriages, it clearly makes a difference if they were done before this couple was a part of God's Holy nation or earthly government instead of after they were a part of God's earthly government. One should again remember the parable concerning Egypt's theft security not being jeopardized or destroyed, by giving the one who stole before being a citizen of Egypt and knowing Egypt's anti theft laws, the expectable liberty to keep his hand, which hand should now be cut off if he steals. aW-10:17

V eighthly it should be remembered that the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life, and just like King David was not put to death for his sin, their likely are exceptions to the letter of the law. aW-10:18

V and lastly it should be considered that concerning any couple whose marriage God can accept, for what ever reason He might accept it, that couple is not committing adultery. aW-10:19




M Chapter 11


Considers the Beliefs of Christians of the Past Concerning the Subject of Divorce, Remarriage, and Adultery


In the wedding vows which the writer made when he was married, he was asked to vow that he would keep himself only to this marriage partner as long as she lives. The writer was asked the following; "Will you, in the presence of God and these witnesses, take [wife's name], the sister by your side, to be your wedded wife; will you love and cherish her, provide and care for her in health sickness, in prosperity and adversity, and exercise patience, kindness, and forbearance toward her, and live with her in peace as becomes a faithful Christian husband, and keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?". In considering this vow especially note the wording "Will you.... keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live" Considering that it is clear that God in the New Testament does allow man to put away his wife and marry another for the cause of fornication or adultery, why should man in his marriage vows be asked to vow that he will keep himself only to this partner as long as she and him live? The above vow does not appear to be properly based on the permission that Christ gave to men concerning remarriage. Since Jesus clearly revealed that one in the New Testament may put away his wife and marry another, for the cause of fornication or adultery, it appears one should vow that he will keep himself only onto this marriage partner as long as she lives, and remains free of fornication or adultery, rather than vowing as the writer did above. aW-11:1

The writings of Menno Simons, John Holdeman, and early Mennonites groups as given below, quite clearly teach that Christ gave liberty for one to put away his mate and marry another in the situation of their partner committing adultery. Yet these writers do not seem to have really recognized that although God in the New Testament gave men among His people liberty to remarry as such, that yet concerning women He did not give such liberty. aW-11:2


The following writings, concerning this subject, are found in the Martyrs Mirror.

“In accordance with this first institution, and agreeably to Christ's ordinance, Matt 19:5, the marriage of Children of God (who are not too nearly related by consanguinity) must be entered into after prayer, and kept inviolable, so that each man shall have his own, only wife, and each wife her own husband; and nothing shall separate them, save adultery (First Confession, Page 32). aW-11:3

“...thus re-establishing marriage between one man and one woman, and so inseparatibly and firmly binding the bond of matrimony, that they might not, on any account, separate and marry another, except in case of adultery or death (33 Articles of Faith, Page 401). Note how this teaching does not clearly restrict this liberty of remarriage as being for men only. aW-11:4


Menno Simons in his book entitled “The Complete Works of Menno Simons” published by Herald Press, writes as follows concerning this subject;

We acknowledge, teach, and assent to no other marriage than that which Christ and His apostles publicly and plainly taught in the New Testament, namely, of one man and one woman (Matt 19:4), and that they may not be divorced except in case of adultery (Matt 5:32); for the two are one flesh, but if the unbelieving one depart, a sister or brother is not under bondage in that case. 1 Cor 7:15. (Page 200). aW-11:5

“I have likewise asserted that in this kingdom and under this King no other marriage is in effect save that between one man and one woman as God in the beginning ordained in the case of Adam and Eve, and as Christ has once more formulated it that these two shall be one flesh, and that they shall not divorce except for the cause of fornication. Matt 5:32”. (Page 217). aW-11:6

“Some object to this, saying that there is no divorce but by reason of adultery. This is just what we say, and therefore we do not speak of divorce but of shunning, and that for the aforementioned reasons. To shunning Paul has consented, although this is not always coupled with adultery, but not to divorce. For divorce is not allowed by the Scriptures except for adultery. Therefore we shall not to all eternity consent to it for other reasons”. (Pages 478-479). aW-11:7

“In the fourth place, if a believer and an unbeliever are in the marriage bound together and the unbeliever commits adultery, then the marriage tie is broken, And if it be one who complains that he has fallen in sin, and desires to mend his ways, then the brethren permit the believing mate to go to the unfaithful one to admonish him, if conscience allows it in view of the state of the affair. But if he be a bold and headstrong adulterer, then the innocent party is free-with the provision, however, that she shall consult with the congregation and remarry according to circumstances and decisions in the matter, be it well understood” (Page 1041). aW-11:8

“In the fifth place, concerning a believer and a nonbeliever-if the nonbeliever wishes to separate for reasons of the faith, then the believer shall conduct himself honestly without contracting a marriage, for as long a time as the nonbeliever is not remarried, But if the nonbeliever marries or commits adultery, then the believing mate may also marry, subject to the advice of the elders of the congregation”. (Page 1042). aW-11:9


The following writings, concerning this subject, were written by John Holdeman and are found in one of John's books which is entitled “The Mirror of Truth”; aW-11:10

“In this marriage union the husband is the head and it is his duty to care for his wife both naturally and spiritually, and to love her as his own body; and he shall never forsake her as long as he lives, if she remains true; and one may under no circumstances marry another, except for fornication.” (Page 405). aW-11:11

“Under the Gospel a bill of divorce to marry another is not permitted except in the case of fornication. (Page 413). aW-11:12

“Holy matrimony is founded so firmly that that which God has joined in this manner, man shall not separate. But where a husband or wife commit adultery, even the Gospel permits a bill of divorcement, because such a person has broken the bond of marriage and has made himself one flesh with an adulterer; and for that reason such a defiled person is no longer one flesh with the holy part or person with whom he was joined in one flesh. To live as before, with such an adulterous person without repentance would be adultery. But if people continue to live in this sanctity of matrimony, whereunto they were joined in God, there is no cause for separation. And for no other reason, except fornication may divorce or annulment and remarriage be allowed in the Church of God;...". (Page 414). Note how this teaching does not clearly restrict this liberty of remarriage to men. aW-11:13


It is the purpose of holy matrimony to fill the world with men of peace. Matrimony was instituted to make people happy; but sin and the hardening of the heart has made many unhappy marriages” (Pages 414). aW-11:14

“A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, unless he breaks the union through whoredom. If a husband or wife has sexual relations with some other person, these will become one flesh with each other, and such a husband or wife then severs himself from his spouse; and therefore they no longer are one flesh, but separated as two.” (Page 420) aW-11:15


Note how the above quotes with one voice clearly give liberty for remarriage for the cause of fornication and adultery. In considering the above quotes, why should one in marriage be required to vow to keep himself only to his wife as long as she lives, as such vow gives no room for divorce and remarriage for the cause of fornication as the above quotes give and as Jesus gave? This aspect should be soberly considered. Although I (the writer of this article) do not believe the Scriptures give women the same liberty to remarry as men, the above writings yet do not show this difference. Thus in one respect my conclusion and belief concerning divorce and remarriage is more conservative then the above writers belief on divorce and remarriage. aW-11:15.5


If a woman who was treacherously or unjustly put away by her husband was actually permitted to remarry, why did Jesus in Matt 5:32 so clearly teach that one who treacherously puts away his wife causes his wife to commit adultery as well as the one who then marries her, and in Matt 19:9 so clearly teach that when one treacherously puts away his wife, the man who then marries his wife commits adultery? Such Scriptures here follow; aW-11:16

(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." aW-11:17

(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." aW-11:18


One should also consider that those Scriptures that teach that one is bound to their mate as long as their mate lives, clearly focus on the woman being bound to the husband as such, rather than the husband being bound to the wife as such. Such Scriptures follow; aW-11:19

(Rom 7:2-3) "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." aW-11:20

(1 Cor 7:39) "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." aW-11:21

One should also remember how in paragraphs 5:42-47 it was clearly revealed that many additional temptations, many additional possibilities of mate exchanging, and much matrimonial insecurity would result among God's people, if women within God Holy nation, were permitted to remarry when put away. aW-11:22


The writer in studying the subject of adultery, divorce, and remarriage quite soon became aware of several important aspects that he felt were not properly understood. This article was written because of feeling their was much confusion about this subject. The writer also before studying and writing on this subject was quite confused about it, and still has much to learn. The writer in writing this article, clearly was not merely writing what he already knew but often was learning as he wrote. It appears to the writer that in our time of 1998, many do not properly understand the restrictions or liberties that God has ordained for men and women among His people with regards to divorce and remarriage. It also appears to the writer that at this time, many do not have a proper understanding of how those who were married and divorced and possibly remarried in their non Christian past, should be dealt with when such turn to God and His people, but might feel all such would need to remain single and if married need to separate from their partner and remain single. Their are many possible situations that the writer has not written on, and many new questions could arise. In all situations God's will needs to be sincerely sought for. God will never leave or forsake those who truly desire His will, and will not cast away the sincere soul that is truly seeking His will. May the writer as well as the reader truly have a love for the truth and be open and willing for whatever it may be! May God bless the reader and the writer so that we both can experience the good plan God has for us in this present world. Yet most of all may the writer as well as the reader be found faithful at the coming of our Lord, and then be ushered into the heavenly realms for all eternity. Farewell aW-11:23




M Chapter 12

Miscellaneous Additions


Addition One

Considers the Option of Divorce When One Does Not Remarry.

Considers Matt 19:9-12, and Considers Being Single or Being a Eunuch as Spoken of Therein.


In Proverbs, numerous Scriptures speak of it being very difficult for a man to live with a contentious and angry woman. Following are such verses; aW-12:1

(Prov 21:19) "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." aW-12:2

(Prov 21:9) "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house." aW-12:3

(Prov 25:24) "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house." aW-12:4 (Prov 27:15) "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." aW-12:5


The above Scriptures acknowledge and reveal that being married and bound to a wife that is contentious and angry is very unpleasant and worse than being single. In the Old Testament it is quite clear that the one who had a unreasonable, angry and contentious wife as this could have put her away and married another. In the Old Testament even if one did not put such a grievous wife away, he could have married a second wife and to a significant extent ignored or disowned his earlier contentious wife. Yet concerning the New Testament one cannot put away his wife for causes as such and marry another. Yet in the New Testament, could one who has such a wife put her away or separate from her if he does not marry another woman? Although Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 7:10-11 teaches that a woman should not put away her husband, yet he also teaches that if she yet does so she should remain unmarried. Such Scripture is considered later. aW-12:6

Mat 19:9 reads, "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." Note Jesus here did not teach that one by putting away his wife and again becoming single, for a cause less than fornication would be committing adultery. Jesus here rather taught if one puts away his wife for a cause lesser than fornication and then marries another he is committing adultery. Although Jesus in the above Scripture appears to be disallowing the remarriage rather than the divorce, Jesus in Matt 5:32 did not say anything about man's remarriage, but simply said, "...whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery", which verse to some extent would indicate one should not put away his wife even if he stays single. Apostle Paul speaking of things similar to this says, "...Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." (1 Cor 7:10-11). Paul here quite obviously could also have added that if a man for a cause less the fornication puts away his wife that he must remain unmarried. Considering all aspects it appears one should not without good reason put away his wife, even if he stays single, because he by doing such could cause his wife to commit adultery. aW-12:7


Following is given Matt 19:9-12 with numerous comments. aW-12:8

(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." aW-12:9

(Mat 19:10) "His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry." In this verse, what really were Jesus' disciples saying? Were they saying, "if a man cannot and dare not put away his wife as such and marriage binds a man as such it is not good to marry", or were they saying, "if one has put away his wife for a wrong cause (being a reason other than fornication), it is not good to marry"? To know for sure and exactly what the disciples here meant likely cannot be done. aW-12:10

(Mat 19:11) "But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." Which ever the disciples may have meant in verse 10, Jesus in this verse referring to their statement and speaking about being single, indicated that refraining from being married and being single (also possibly being a eunuch) is not for all men. aW-12:11

(Mat 19:12) "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Note how Jesus in this verse connects being unmarried with being a eunuch. Note how Jesus in this verse indicates that not all men are able to be eunuchs or possibly able to be single, in that He speaking of being a eunuch (or possibly single life) said, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it". Apostle Paul also speaks of men being married or single, portraying much the same thought as Jesus here did saying (1 Cor 7:7-9) "For I would that all men were even as I myself [unmarried]. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. {8} I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. {9} But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." One should consider that neither Christ nor Paul thought it a light or easy thing for some to be single and indicated that being single is not for all or some men. aW-12:12



Addition Two

Considers Marriages and Divorces (Disolvements of Marriages) as in the Old Testament.

Note concerning men remarrying in that era such was not much question, as men then could have more than one wife.


In the Old Testament God allowed marriages to be dissolved for numerous reasons. Concerning the situation where a master gave his servant a wife, if the servant after his years of his servitude were expired wanted to depart from his master, the master was authorized by God to keep the servant's wife and children and thus dissolve their marriage. (Ex 21:2-4). Marriages involving women captives from other nations, were allowed to be dissolved if the husband was not satisfied with such wives (Deu 21:10-14). Situations wherein Masters had taken a maid servant as wife, or given his maid servant to their son to wife could be dissolved in such wives were not desired (Ex 21:7-11). Yet it appears these put away wives were not be abused or sold as slaves. Marriages wherein one found some uncleanness in his wife could be dissolved, afterwhich the wife in whom was found such uncleanness was allowed to marry another man (Deu 24:1-2). Men who took a wife who previously was put away by another man for her uncleanness, were allowed to also put her away if they later hated her (Deu 24:3-4). Old Testament Scriptures give numerous laws concerning divorce and divorced people. Old Testament Scriptures teach that a priest was not to marry a divorced woman (Lev 21:14), teach that a divorced woman could eat of the Holy things of her father, being a priest's daughter (Lev 22:13), teach that a divorced woman's vows, like a widows vows, were to be binding, since she had no husband to disallow them (Num 30:9), and teach that in some particular situations when one had misused his wife, such a husband should never be allowed to put away (divorce) the wife he misused (Deu 22:18-19, Deu 22:28-29). aW-12:13

Moses in Deu 24 1-2 required that one who put away his wife should give her a bill of divorcement. It appears God did not want man to put away his wife merely on a verbal or impulsive decision. It appears that God thus ordained such a serious undertaking had to be done at least in writing, rather than merely verbally. Deu 24:3-4 & Jer 3:1 teach that one dare not take back a wife who he had earlier put away. In the Old Testament two things that God required in the putting away of one's wife were, firstly that it was to be a written and firmly settled decision rather than merely a verbal and impulsive decision, and secondly that the woman could never return to her previous husband. Quite likely one was not allowed to ever take back a wife that he had earlier divorced, so that men would not put away their wives somewhat carelessly, thinking that if he wanted her back again he could possibly or likely do so. If men in the Old Testament had been permitted to put away their wife and then take her again, men in reality could have traded wives, then later traded back again, and even done so repeatedly, greatly destroying family security for the parents and the children, and clearly the land as God said, would have been greatly polluted! It appears God in the Old Testament would only allow one to put away his wife if such was a well considered, final, and permanent transaction. aW-12:14

In considering God's permission for divorce as in the Old Testament, it is important that one therewith considers the liberal liberty that God in that era gave to men concerning him having more than one wife. Would it have made for peace, justice, and order, for God to require man to keep a wife whom he did not desire, while yet allowing him to take an additional wife or wives where upon his affections would rest? Would a disliked wife who was kept as a second wife strictly because her husband dared not to put her away, truly be better off in that situation, than if she had been put away, with the liberty to marry another? Truly a woman who would have been kept strictly because her husband dared not put her away would have been in a very sorry or grievous situation, existing in the situation of being unwanted but yet mandatorily kept, while her husband had another wife or wives where upon to place his affections! In the New Testament, wherein man is not to have more than one wife, clearly the woman who to some extent might merely be kept because of God's New Testament laws against divorce, is at a great advantage since her husband can have no other wives! With regard to such complications, it is quite clear that it would have been less reasonable, practical, and edifying for man in the old era to have been required to keep each wife whom he had taken, like as man in the New Testament era is require to keep his wife! aW-12:15


Although God in the Old Testament did allow divorce for numerous reasons, He did not want men cruelly and without proper reason to put away their wives (Mal 2:14-16). Old Testament Scriptures teach that the righteous man even regards the lives of their beasts (Pro 12:10) and it is clear that God also would have ordained that men of that era should also have been reasonable with their wives. Yet considering all Scriptures it is clear that God in the Old Testament did quite freely allow the changing of married partners if the husband or partners thereof where not happy or satisfied with the marriage. One should consider that their is a great difference between the Old Testament husband who had put away his wife for a quite difficult problem, and with his wife being agreed thereto, than the inconsiderate husband who had put away his wife greatly against her wishes and in a very oppressive manner. Note chapter four, much more extensively considers God's laws of divorce and remarriage as in the Old Testament. aW-12:16

In the Old Testament, God's New Testament law concerning a man not being allowed to put away his wife and marry another except for the cause of fornication or adultery, could not even had fitted into their system of laws, firstly because a wife who committed such sins, generally would have been put to death rather than merely divorced, and secondly because it was not a question whether one could take another wife because one could have numerous wives. aW-12:16.5


Some individuals think that since Jesus set forth stricter standards for divorce and remarriage in the New Testament era, that men now can never put away a mate that was his rightful or official wife and marry another. Such individuals think that Jesus in giving permission for one to put away his wife for the cause of fornication was only giving permission to put away a companion who really never was one's rightful or official wife. Although it is true Jesus set forth new and stricter marriage laws, one should here remember how liberal God's old era marriage laws were, such as in allowing men to quite easily put away their wives and allowing them to have more then one wife and have concubines. One should her also remember how God allowed the disolvement of a marriage for merely a business purpose, such as when a servant in leaving his master, separated from his wife whom his master had given him while in servitude (Ex 21:2-4). aW-12:16.6

Considering how liberal divorces and marriages were in the Old Testament era, should one think that Jesus in the new era in yet allowing man to put away his wife for the cause of fornication (adultery), was only allowing one to put away a companion who never really was his rightful or valid wife? One should consider that even if man in the New Testament is allowed to put away a mate who was his real wife and marry another for the cause of fornication or adultery but not for lessor reasons, such a new law concerning divorce and remarriage is still quite strict and a quite significant change when compared with the Old Testament liberties of divorce and marriages. Should one need to believe that the changes in marriage laws that Christ established for the New Testament are so drastic that although man in the Old Testament could have many wives and divorces were permitted for many reasons and the mates could marry others, and although Jesus clearly revealed that man in the New Testament still can put away his wife for the cause of fornication [adultery] and marry another, that now in the New Testament, in the situation of one's real wife committing adultery against him and permanently leaving him, man now cannot marry another nor have any wife at all? aW-12:17



Addition Three

Considers What Christ's Liberty For Divorce and Remarriage, Such as Christ Gave For the Cause of Fornication, Really was Intended to Allow.

Considers Different Views that Some Have, Concerning This Liberty for Divorce and Remarriage.


Their are some individuals who quite strongly believe that the fornication for which Christ permitted divorce and remarriage, pertains strictly to the intimate relations between mates in an invalid marriage, whose intimate relations would be fornication, because of their marriage being invalid. Such individuals believe the fornication as in an invalid marriage is the only fornication for which Jesus allowed divorce and remarriage. It appears some who believe as such, further believe this permission to divorce and remarry for the cause of fornication largely is confined to the isolated situation wherein one's marriage is invalid because of having married too close a relative. Incest is the intimate relations between two that are too closely related to really have lawfully married. Such thus would believe that Jesus in permitting divorce and remarriage for the cause of fornication mainly was permitting divorce and remarriage with regards to improper and invalid marriages of relatives (incest). aW-12:18

Jesus in Matt 19:3-9 taught that man dare not put away his wife and marry another except for the cause of fornication, in response to some who asked whether one could put away his wife for every cause. Quite obviously Jesus in this Scripture was revealing that man could not put away his wife and marry another for insignificant errors or faults, but only for the grave fault of fornication. It is thus quite obvious that the emphasis in Matt 19:3-9, was on man being grieved with errors in his wife and desiring to put her away, rather than on what marriages are insignificant or invalid enough that they could be dissolved. Thus would not the liberty for divorce and remarriage that Christ here gave, pertain to the situation of a man being allowed to put away a grievous adulterous wife, rather than merely pertain to mates in particular insignificant or invalid marriages being allowed to divorce and remarry? If Jesus in this Scripture would have been speaking strictly and merely of man being allowed to put away an invalid wife and marry another, why would Jesus have here so strongly indicated to his questioners, that the fault of fornication on their wife's part is the only and yet valid reason forwhich divorce and remarriage can be allowed? If Jesus in this Scripture would have been speaking strictly and merely of man being allowed to put away an invalid wife and marry another, Christ really would not have been answering their question at all about faults in their wives for which a man could put away his wife, and Christ for sure would have been answering their question very indirectly and unclearly! aW-12:19


The writer also has heard of some that believe the permission that Christ gave for divorce and remarriage for the cause of fornication, pertained strictly to mates that were engaged to be married rather than those who were married. In the Old Testament engagements to be married were considered very binding and could not easily be dissolved. In the Old Testament a woman who was engaged to be married, even before being married already was largely considered to be the wife of the man to whom she was engaged. Such is spoken of in another article entitled "Jesus Christ the Son of God and Son of Man" in paragraphs aT-17:16-17. In awareness of how binding marriage betrothals were in the Old Testament, some have concluded that Jesus in permitting a man to put away his wife and marry another for the cause of fornication was speaking strictly of a permission given to those who are only engaged and not yet married. Such would believe that if one's espoused wife, would commit fornication, the husband to whom she was engaged, would be a liberty to put her away and marry another woman. Yet such would believe after a couple is married, the husband could not put away his wife for the cause of unfaithfulness or adultery and marry another. Note those who believe as this, obviously then should not allow the man who is engaged to be married, to ever sever this engagement unless his wife becomes guilty of fornication. aW-12:20

Jesus in speaking of divorce and remarriage said that the husband would cause his wife to commit adultery, if he put her away for any other reason than fornication. Thus as said earlier, even if a woman is put away unjustly or treacherously, she in remarrying would become guilty of adultery (again note, Jesus taught that if a man treacherously puts away his wife, he causes her to commit adultery). Thus if this law concerning divorce and remarriage was ordained for the engagement union rather than the marriage union, it must be admitted that if a man would be engaged to a bride and would put her away (break this engagement) for any reason but fornication, he would become guilty of causing her to commit adultery. Thus if these marriage laws pertained to the engagement union, after a woman is engaged to be married, she could never be free to marry another even if her espoused husband would commit fornication before they were married and forsake her. Those who have concluded Jesus liberty for divorce and remarriage for the cause of fornication, pertains only to putting away one's engaged mate rather then a real wife should consider these things. aW-12:21


One must carefully consider that Jesus in allowing divorce and remarriage for the cause of fornication (but not for lessor reasons) was distinctly disallowing the belief that all that was necessary to put away one's wife was to give her a writing of divorcement (Matt 5:32), and was distinctly disallowing putting away one's wife for every cause (Matt 19:3-9). Thus it is quite obvious that Jesus in such Scriptures is speaking of dealing with one's real wife, not merely speaking of one dealing with an invalid marriage or with an engagement union. Considering how liberal divorces and marriages were in the Old Testament, should one think that Jesus in being questioned about being allowed to put away a wife for every cause would all of a sudden given an answer which was to be applied merely to the engagement union (Matt 19:3-9)? If Jesus had intended that this new law for divorce and remarriage was to be applied to the engagement union, would He not have also meant that engagements in the New Testament era must be kept strictly as such and clarified what He here really meant? aW-12:22

One must admit that this permission for divorce and remarriage was not given in a way that advocated or emphasized merely the engagement union or a marriage that always was insignificant or invalid. Considering these things one has very little basis to confine Jesus' liberty for divorce and remarriage for the cause of fornication merely to invalid marriages or the engagement union. aW-12:23

One should here also remember how the word fornication as used in the Bible can pertain to any immorality or lasciviousness including adultery. Numerous Scriptures given in chapter two, and the Hebrew and Greek definitions for the word fornication, effectually reveal that the word fornication as used in the Bible can pertain to adultery or any type of immorality.

aW-12:23.4

Paragraphs 5:10-18 have already quite clearly revealed that the fornication for which one is permitted to divorce his real wife and marry another, pertains to one's wife being unfaithful to her husband after their marriage, rather than pertaining to her being found guilty of fornication before their marriage. Such paragraphs possibly should be reviewed. aW-12:23.5


Addition Four

Considers Some Writings of Very Ancient New Testament Church Fathers.

Considers the Six Main Scriptures that Pertain to Divorce and Remarriage.


Following are several quotes of Tertullian concerning divorce and remarriage found in a set of books called the "Ante Nicene Fathers". The following quotes are found in volume 3 page 405. Tertullian's exact writings are given in italics. aW-12:24

V Tertullian here begins speaking of Christ's prohibition of divorce. "I maintain then, that there was a condition to the prohibition which he now made of divorce; the case supposed being, that a man put away his wife for the express purpose of marrying another. His [Christ's] words are: "whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, also committeth adultery", Tertullian further speaks of how a man ought not to put away his wife for the express purpose of marrying another saying; "Put away" that is, for the reason wherefore a woman ought not to be dismissed, that another wife may be obtained. It appears Tertullian here was emphasizing that the greatest sin in divorce is when one puts away his God given wife because he fell in love with another woman and now wanted her. Clearly when one puts away his wife for such a cause and marries another God will not sanction that marriage and the partners of such a marriage are committing adultery. Tertullian also clearly teaches that it is improper to remarry if one is not lawfully and rightly divorced writing; "For he who marries a woman who is unlawfully put away is as much of an adulterer as the man who marries one who is undivorced. Permanent is the marriage which is not rightly dissolved; to marry, therefore, whilst matrimony is undissoved, is to commit adultery". Tertullian further speaking of Christ's disallowance of divorce and remarriage being a conditional disallowance writes, "Since, therefore, His prohibition of divorce was a conditional one, He did not prohibit absolutely; and what He did not absolutely forbid, that He permitted on some occasions, when there is an absence of the cause why He gave His prohibition". Tertullian further writes; "If, however, you deny that divorce is in any way permitted by Christ, how is it that you on your side destroy marriage...? ....Divorce, therefore, when justly deserved, has even in Christ a defender. ....The Creator, however, except on account of adultery, does not put asunder what He Himself joined together... ...Thus you have Christ following spontaneously the tracks of the Creator everywhere, both in permitting divorce and in forbidding it. You find Him also protecting marriage, in whatever direction you try to escape, He prohibits divorce when He will have the marriage inviolable; He permits divorce when the marriage is spotted with unfaithfulness. You should blush when you refuse to unite those whom even your Christ has united; and repeat the blush when you disunite them without the good reason why your Christ would have them separated. The writer to a very large extent appreciates this writing of Tertullian. aW-12:25

Although Tertullian writes as above, in other places Tertullian largely disallows man or woman to remarry even if their married partner dies! Two such comments of Tertullian read; "Therefore when, through the will of God the husband is deceased, the marriage likewise, by the will of God, deceases. Why should you restore what God has put an end to? Why do you, by repeating the servitude of matrimony spurn the liberty which is offered you?" "Therefore, if those whom God has conjoined man shall not separate by divorce, it is equally congruous that those whom God has separated by death man is not to conjoin by marriage; the joining of the separation will be just as contrary to God's will as would have been the separation of the conjunction". Such teachings of Tertullian are given in book 4 pages 43 & 66. Athenagoras another early writer in book 2 page 147 also appears to promote such. aW-12:26

In the Old Testament when one wanted to be of special service to God he could volunteer to be a Nazarite. Yet God did not have a law that required particular ones to be Nazarites but wanted such to be a voluntary commitment. Although Apostle Paul encouraged single life for the sake of the Gospel, it appears that possibly Tertullian and other early church fathers, in encouraging single life, for the sake of the Gospel, almost began to demand it, where as God rather ordained single life to be a voluntary commitment. Man should be careful lest he require of man that which God wants to leave to his voluntary choice. The Catholic Church in requiring their priests to be single, is similar to the Jews having had required particular ones to be Nazarites. aW-12:26.5

The Pastor of Hermas in Book One pages 21 & 22 writes "...But if the husband know that his wife has gone astray, and if the woman does not repent, but persists in her fornication, and yet he husband continues to live with her, he also is guilty of her crime, and a sharer in her adultery". This writer named Hermas for some reason stresses that the husband should not take back an adulterous wife frequently if she repents, but only once. Hermas writes "For there is but one repentance to the servants of God". Hermas also writes "In case, therefore, that the divorced wife may repent, the husband ought not to marry another, when his wife has been put away" Hermas does not state what he felt the husband should do concerning marrying another wife, if his wife had been unfaithful more than once. Hermas also teaches that concerning all or some aspects of marriage, the man and woman are to be treated the same way, he writes "In this manner man and woman are to be treated exactly in the same way" Hermas on page 22 yet clearly gives permission for remarriage if one mate dies in the following question and answer "If a wife or husband die, and the widower or widow marry, does he or she commit sin?" "There is no sin in marrying again" said he; "But if they remain unmarried, they gain greater honour and glory with the Lord; but if they marry, they do not sin." aW-12:27

The writer has included the above writings of the early Church Fathers because he has heard comments that none of the early Church Fathers believed in divorce and remarriage being allowed for the cause of fornication. The writer feels one must be careful in using these writings as a basis for doctrine as numerous things about them seem to be somewhat or quite questionable. aW-12:28


V There are six main Scriptures that speak about divorce and remarriage which are Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2-3, 1 Cor 7:39, Matt 5:32, and Matt 19:9. These six Scriptures have been given in paragraphs 5:1-4 & 5:7-8. Out of these six Scriptures, four particularly teach or indicate that man is not bound to his wife for life, in the case where she commits adultery or fornication. Concerning the four Scriptures which give such liberty, Matt 5:32 & Matt 19:9 speak of divorce and remarriage being permitted for the cause of the wife being guilty of fornication, and Rom 7:2-3 & 1 Cor 7:39 clearly speak of the wife being bound to the husband for life, but yet do not teach or indicate that the man is bound to his wife for life. aW-12:29

Yet out of these six main Scriptures, two do not particularly indicate or advocate that man can put away his wife for the cause of fornication and marry another. Such two Scriptures follow; aW-12:30

(Mark 10:11-12) "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. {12} And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." aW-12:31

(Luke 16:18) "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." aW-12:32

The writer does not know why Jesus in these two verses does not particularly advocate or indicate the aspect of man being allowed to put away his wife for the cause of fornication or adultery and marry another. One should consider that when one is questioned about a particular subject, he does not necessarily always lift out every aspect or possibility. Yet one should notice how in both of these two verses the aspect of marrying another is quite closely knit to the putting away of a wife. Clearly if a man puts away his wife, so he can marry another he is committing adultery. Possibly such is what Jesus was emphasizing in these two verses. Jesus in teaching that the man who puts away his wife to marry another commits adultery, clearly would not be contradicting his other teachings concerning divorce and remarriage yet being permitted for the cause of one's wife committing fornication or adultery. It may be worthy to here remember how Tertullian stated there was a condition to Christ's prohibition of divorce and remarriage, and to remember how Tertullian advocated that Christ especially condemned those who put away a wife for the express purpose of marrying another. aW-12:33


1 Timothy 4:1-3 speaking of the last days speaks of some departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and forbidding to marry. Although this Scripture does not mean there are no restrictions to marriage or remarriage, yet this Scripture does clearly reveal that there will be a spirit in the latter days that will wrongly forbide marriage. How many have been affected or deceived by that spirit? The writer again wants to remind the reader that this writing by no means was written to encourage men to put away their wives for the cause of fornication and marry another instead of being reconciled with them! This writing rather was written in an endeavor to learn and reveal what God's marriage laws really mean and stand for. It is not only important to know how to deal with marriages and divorces among God's people but also is very important to know how to deal with divorces and remarriages among non Christians when they turn to God and His people. Through properly understanding the marriage laws God has ordained for His own nation and people one can also much better understand how to deal with marriage and divorce situations among non Christians when they turn to God and His people. One should consider if Apostle Paul would labor in our day wherein possibly 50 percent of the people are divorced and remarried, and turn large amounts of people to Christ as he did in his day, would God whose marriage laws were established to create peace, justice, and order among His people, require that most or all of these second marriages be dissolved, the mates remain single, and the children be torn apart? The reader should remember the parable concerning Tom and Sue as given in paragraphs 9:38-39 and possibly reread them. Much of chapter 9 pertained to properly dealing with marriages among unbelievers when they turn to God and His people. May the reader and writer honestly desire and be open for God's will concerning this subject and all subjects, or else God may take away from us the little we have, and allow us to go onward in darkness and confusion. Oh may God be merciful to us, save us, sanctify us, teach us, and unite and bless His scattered children in a new way! The writer desires the prayers of the saints. Farewell. aW-12:34





9/24/98