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#4. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE TODAY WITH REGARDS TO MEN

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Introduction 4

This is a bible study about divorce and remarriage with regards to men. As we have not previously assumed that men and women are treated the same as far as divorce and remarriage is concerned (See Intro 3), then for the purpose of this section, we will again begin by assuming that they are treated differently. If our assumption in wrong, then we will let the analysis of God's word reveal it.

#4.1 A HUSBAND WHO PUTS AWAY HIS WIFE, EXCEPT FOR FORNICATION, COMMITS ADULTERY IF HE REMARRIES

MATTHEW 19:9
9 And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away commits adultery.

MARK 10:11
11 And he said to them, Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her.

LUKE 16:18 (Jesus)
18 Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away from her husband commits adultery.

Note: Jesus gave certain commands before he gave these explanations (Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11):

(Matthew 19:6) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."
(Mark 10:9) "What therefore God has joined together, do not let man separate."

He then explained the reason for these commands. If the exception clause, "except it be for fornication," (Matthew 19:9 KJV; See #5 Fornication), does not apply, these scriptures all agree that if a man puts away his wife, and marries another, he commits adultery against her. Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Mark 13:31) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Matthew 19:9) "Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery:"
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man ... does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... He is proud, knowing nothing,".

#4.2 A MAN WHO MARRIES A DIVORCED WOMAN COMMITS ADULTERY

MATTHEW 5:31-32 (Jesus)
31 It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her who is divorced1 commits adultery.

MATTHEW 19:9 (Jesus)
9 And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away1 commits adultery.

LUKE 16:18 (Jesus)
18 Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away1 from her husband commits adultery.

Note 1: The word translated her who is divorced1 (Matthew 5:32) (Gr. ἀπολελυμένην, Gtr. apolelumenen) is the same word that is also translated her who is put away1 (Matthew 19:9 KJV; Luke 16:18). It is the accusative, singular, feminine, perfect, passive participle of the verb "apoluō", "I put away", "I send away", or "I loose". The verb "apoluo" comes from two words, "apo" meaning "away from", and "luo" meaning "I loose", or "I untie". The use of this verb as meaning divorce in some contexts is confirmed by its use with the phrases, "a writing of divorcement" (Matthew 5:31; 19:7), and "a bill of divorcement" (Mark 10:4). Because the word "apolelumenen" is a perfect tense in the Greek, it literally means "a woman who was put away in the past, and is still put away in the present", so the English translations of this word convey the correct meaning as accurately as can reasonably be expected. These three scriptures all agree about one fact, that whoever marries a woman who is put away or divorced from her lawful husband in the sight of God, commits adultery. The "except for fornication" applies to a man who puts away his wife because of fornication in their relationship, such as incest (#5.2), or their relationship being adulterous (#5.3). Therefore, every man who is married to a woman, who has a lawful living husband in the sight of God, even though she is divorced from him according to secular law, is living in adultery according to these scriptures. We see an example of this in the New Testament when John the Baptist rebuked king Herod for having his brother Philip's wife, Herodias (Matthew 14:3-4; - Mark 6:17-18; Luke 3:19). This was unlawful while the brother was alive (Leviticus 18:16; 20:21), but was permitted, or even required, when the brother was dead (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Matthew 22:23-28). Another example is the fornicator in the Corinthian church, who had his father's wife (1 Corinthians 5:1), who Paul instructed to be turned over to Satan, "so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (1 Corinthians 5:5); which showed that the man had temporarily at least lost his salvation. Both of these were also living in fornication within an incestuous relationship (#5.2). All this confirms the fact that a man cannot marry a divorced woman, while her first husband lives, as he would be committing adultery with her. Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Luke 16:18) "whoever marries her who is put away from her husband commits adultery.
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man ... does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... He is proud, knowing nothing,".

Note 2: We can confirm this by examining the Old Testament types of priest and high priest, and who they could, and could not marry:

(Leviticus 21:13-14) "And he (the high priest) shall take a wife in her virginity.
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."

Here, the high priest was only allowed to marry a virgin, but not a divorced woman. Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 8:1), and as such he can only take a virgin bride. This is why Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, as part of the bride of Christ, "I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:2). Therefore, in order to marry the "High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus:" (Hebrews 3:1), the church has to be a pure virgin bride. Similarly we can examine who the priests could, and could not marry:

(Leviticus 21:7) "They (the priests) shall not take a wife who is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband; for he is holy unto his God."
(Ezekiel 44:21-22) "Neither shall any priest ... take for their wives a widow, nor her who is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before."

Twice here it is confirmed that a priest cannot marry, "a woman put away from her husband;" (Leviticus 21:7), or "her who is put away:" (Ezekiel 44:22), showing that a priest under the Levitical law could not marry a divorced woman. Why not? Because the priest offered the bread of his God, and he had to be holy (Leviticus 21:6). How could he be considered holy, married to a divorced woman, when Jesus called it adultery? During the restoration period, Nehemiah drove out one of the priests who married outside of the permitted marriage laws (Leviticus 21:14; Ezekiel 44:22):

(Nehemiah 13:28-29) "And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites."

In the New Testament, Christians are called "a holy priesthood," (1 Peter 2:5), and "a royal priesthood," (1 Peter 2:9), who offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise to God. In this sense, we are the spiritual fulfilment of the Old Testament type of Levitical priesthood, so how much more should our lives be holy and righteous before God? If the Old Testament type of the priest could not marry a divorced woman, how can our standard be less than that?

#4.3 A HUSBAND WHO PUTS AWAY HIS WIFE, EXCEPT FOR FORNICATION, CAUSES HER TO COMMIT ADULTERY IF SHE REMARRIES

MATTHEW 5:31-32
31 It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her who is divorced commits adultery.

Note: Suppose that a perfectly good Christian wife is divorced by her husband for no fault of her own. This verse (Matthew 5:32) states that, if she remarries, her husband is the cause of her adultery (See #3.4 for a fuller explanation). If it is a sin to commit adultery, then it must also be a sin to cause anyone to commit adultery. This would mean that any divorce, "saving for the cause of fornication," (#4.4) would be a sin, and Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Mark 13:31) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Matthew 5:32) "whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery:"
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man ... does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... He is proud, knowing nothing,".

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