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What about divorce and remarriage?

First and foremost, we must remember that divorce and remarriage should NOT be taken lightly It is permitted for the faithful partner only when the divorce was on biblical grounds. In fact, the purpose for a biblical divorce is to make clear that the faithful partner is free to remarry, but only in YHWH (Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39). Since divorce is only a concession to man's sin and is not part of God's original plan for marriage, all believers should hate divorce as God does.

Romans 7:1: Or do you not know, my Brothers (for I am speaking to them that know Torah) that Torah has dominion over a man as long as he is alive? 2. Just as a woman, by Torah, is bound to her husband as long as he is alive: but if her husband should die, she is freed from the Torah of her husband. 3. And if, while her husband is alive, she should adhere to another man, she would become an adulteress: but if her husband should die, she is freed from Torah; and would not be an adulteress though joined to another man. (AENT)

Footnote: In these three verses "Torah" is intended as "Instruction" as in the instruction pertaining to marriage alone, not the whole body of the Covenant. When a marriage partner dies, the surviving spouse is no longer contractually bound to the marriage covenant, but this does not mean that the rules of marriage no longer apply to the survivor, or to the rest us....

1 Corinthians 7:39: A woman, while her husband lives, is bound by Torah; but if her husband sleeps (in death), she is free to marry whom she pleases, (yet) only in our Master. (AENT)

Footnote: It is not enough to recognize YHWH to find a suitable mate, but to recognize the way He opened the path to salvation, foretold in His instructions, Torah.

Those who divorce on any other grounds have sinned against God and their partners, and for them to marry another is an act of "adultery" (Mark 10:11-12). This is why Paul says that a believing woman who sinfully divorces should "remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband" (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). If she repents from her sin of unbiblical divorce, the true fruits of that repentance would be to seek reconciliation with her former husband (Matthew 5:23-24). The same is true for a man who divorces unbiblically (1 Corinthians 7:11).

The only time such a person could remarry another is if the former spouse remarries, proves to be an unbeliever, or dies, in which cases reconciliation would no longer be possible. The Bible also gives a word of caution to anyone who is considering marriage to a divorcée. If the divorce was not on biblical grounds and there is still a responsibility to reconcile, the person who marries the divorcée is considered an adulterer (Mark 10:12).

Let's examine this a little further:

Okay, according to Scripture, the ONLY reason one may divorce is when one or both spouses commit adultery (Mark 10:11-12).

Exodus 20: 14 "You shall not commit adultery"....

However, YHWH gave us free will, and if a spouse simply chooses to end the marriage, the other party is not guilty. In other words, if your wife has chosen to leave you, that's HER problem and she will stand before YHWH on Judgment Day to explain herself. If she is leaving you because you are abusive, then He will surely take that into account, because He is a fair and just God who always told His people to treat everyone fairly, as seen throughout the Scriptures.

In the Torah, YHWH laid down some laws in order to protect the rights of divorcees, especially women (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Y'shua pointed out that these laws were given because of the hardness of people's hearts, not because they were His Father's desire (Matthew 19:8).

Regardless as to the reason for the breakup of a marriage, the bottom line is, YHWH says He HATES divorce:

Malachi 2: 13 Here is something else you do: you cover ADONAI's altar with tears, with weeping and with sighing, because he no longer looks at the offering or receives your gift with favor. 14 Nevertheless, you ask, "Why is this?" Because ADONAI is witness between you and the wife of your youth that you have broken faith with her, though she is your companion, your wife by covenant. 15 And hasn't he made [them] one [flesh] in order to have spiritual blood-relatives? For what the one [flesh] seeks is a seed from God. Therefore, take heed to your spirit, and don't break faith with the wife of your youth. 16 "For I hate divorce," says ADONAI the God of Isra'el, "and him who covers his clothing with violence," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and don't break faith.

Let's dig even deeper, using the Aramaic English New Testament:

Matthew 5: 31. It has been said that he that puts away his wife will give to her a writing of divorce. 32. But I say to you that any who puts away his wife aside from a case of fornication makes her commit adultery, and he who takes a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:3-12: And the Pharisees drew near to him there, and were tempting him and saying, "Is it Lawful for a man to put away his wife for any cause?" But he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that He who created from the beginning, He created them male and female? And he said, Because of this, a man will leave his father and his mother and will be joined to his wife, and they will be both of them one flesh. Henceforth, they will not be two, rather one flesh. Therefore, what Elohim has united, man should not separate. They said to him, "Why then did Moshe command to give a letter of divorce and to put her away?"

And he said to them, Because of the hardness of your heart, you were allowed to put away your wives. But it was not thus from the beginning. But I say to you that he who leaves his wife without a charge of adultery, and takes another, commits adultery. And he that takes a divorced woman commits adultery. His disciples said to him, "If such is the difficulty between husband and wife, it is not worthwhile to take a wife. But he said to them, Not every man can apply this word to himself, but only he to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who were born thus in the womb of their mother. And there are eunuchs who became eunuchs by men. And there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let him comprehend who is able to comprehend.

Y'shua is talking about the original marital arrangement that YHWH intended: As long as the first wife lives and is faithful to her husband, any other wife is to be considered an adulterous partner. He is reiterating YHWH's command that, unless the first wife commits adultery, a second partner after a valid first marriage with a living spouse is always considered adulterous!

Another consideration is this: What if the man doesn't "leave" his first wife per se, but simply allows another wife under his roof while taking care of both of them? The answer is here:

Psalm 128:1-6: Blessed are all who fear YHWH, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears YHWH. May YHWH bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children's children.

This is the idealized picture YHWH demands: A monogamous family passing on its virtues through the generations as was the case in the beginning.

Hebrews 13: 4. Marriage is honorable in all and their bed undefiled: but prostitute partners and adulterers, Elohim will judge.

1 Corinthians 6: 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters NOR ADULTERERS nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.

Mark 10: 1. And he crossed from there and came to the border of Yehuda to the crossing of the Yordanan. And great crowds went there with him, and again he would teach them as he was accustomed. 2. And the Pharisees drew near tempting him and asking if it is Lawful for a man to divorce his wife. 3. He said to them, What did Moshe command you? 4. And they said, "Moshe allowed us to write a letter of divorce and to send her away." 5. Y'shua answered and said to them, On account of the hardness of your heart, he wrote to you this Commandment. 6. But from the beginning Elohim made them male and female. 7. Because of this, a man will leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife. 8. And the two of them will be one flesh. Thus, they are not two, but one flesh. 9. Therefore, the thing that Elohim has joined, man should not separate. 10. In the house, his disciples asked him again concerning this teaching. 11. And he said to them, Anyone who divorces his wife and takes another commits adultery. 12. And if a woman should divorce her husband and becomes a wife to another, she commits adultery.

Sometimes lost in the debate over the exception clause is the fact that whatever “marital unfaithfulness” means, it is an allowance for divorce, not a requirement for divorce. Even when adultery is committed a couple can, through God's grace, learn to forgive and begin rebuilding their marriage. God has forgiven us of so much more. Surely we can follow His example and even forgive the sin of adultery (Ephesians 4:32). However, in many instances, a spouse is unrepentant and continues in sexual immorality. That is where Matthew 19:9 can possibly be applied. Many also look too quickly to remarriage after a divorce when God might desire them to remain single. God sometimes calls a person to be single so that their attention is not divided (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Remarriage after a divorce may be an option in some circumstances, but that does not mean it is the only option.

Some understand 1 Corinthians 7:15 as another "exception," allowing remarriage if an unbelieving spouse divorces a believer. However, the context does not mention remarriage, but only says a believer is not bound to continue a marriage if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave. Others claim that abuse (spousal or child) are valid reasons for divorce even though they are not listed as such in the Bible. While this may very well be the case, it is never wise to presume upon the Word of God.

We must remember, in some places Scripture is not exactly a hundred percent clear. For instance, we have no clue what all happened between the time Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden and when they started having children. Suddenly, we go from the Garden to where Cain kills Abel. What all happened in between? We cannot possibly know; we can only guess.

The same thing holds true with divorce and remarriage. It’s clear that the ONLY reason for divorce can be adultery. However, does this mean for instance, that a woman who is being beaten and abused on a regular basis by her husband is to just stay and take it? And if she leaves, she can never again find happiness with someone else, or to have someone else take care of her? In other words, SHE is being punished for having married a creep the first time around? Scripture doesn’t address this issue at all and we cannot, by all rights, ever suggest to anyone that they are required to remain in their particular horrendous situation or be forced to remain single for the rest of their lives when their situation wasn’t their fault.

We certainly must do everything in our power to adhere to Scripture. But to take it out of context or “read into” scripture things that are not discussed is very dangerous.