This study by Stephen E. Jones is presented in its entirety with
The names "Yahweh" and "Yahshua" have been inserted where appropriate
with brackets to show that these names were not used in the original
writing of Mr. Jones.
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Table of Contents
The Law of Hammurabi.............................................1
[Yahweh] Corrects the Law of Hammurabi...............3
[Yahweh's] Law on Divorce and Remarriage............4
"Put Away" Does Not Mean "Divorce".....................6
Did [Yahshua] Ban Divorce?.....................................7
Did [Yahshua] Ban Remarriage After Divorce?........9
The Meaning of Fornication.....................................11
Did Paul Ban Remarriage After Divorce?................12
The Three Premises of this study..............................15
The Bible Says:
Divorce and Remarriage
is Not Adultery
To most sincere believers today, the title of this booklet is downright outrageous. Church opinion has long favored the teaching that remarriage after divorce is adultery, based upon a single mistranslated word in Matthew 5:32 and some assumptions which we will show to be incorrect.
The result? A great many people today who are divorced and remarried are being expelled from their churches. Others are being refused leadership positions or are being plied with a load of guilt for "living in constant adultery." It is tragic, and so very unnecessary. Many times it turns people away from [Yahweh] altogether, either in rebellion against what they feel is an injustice in Scripture, or else through discouragement over their own inability to remain single for the rest of their lives.
In order for us to gain a better understanding of the entire question, we must go back to the beginning, to the days before [Yahweh] gave His holy Law to Israel. We shall look first at the ancient Babylonian Law Code and then compare it with [Yahweh's] Law in this matter of divorce and remarriage.
The Law of Hammurabi
The oldest known law code from Mesopotamia is the Code of Hammurabi. Historians date this king of Babylon between 2400 and 2100 B.C. The book of Jasher dates him (alias, Nimrod) from 1908-2123 A.M., which is B.C. 2092-1877, if the fall of Adam occurred in 4000 B.C.
According to Hammurabi's Code, a marriage was a simple contact, valid only if it was written, sealed (signed), and witnessed (Par. 128). Divorce was allowed, but treated in various ways, depending on which party broke the contract. If the wife were guilty, he could divorce her with the words, "I put her away," and he could send her away empty-handed (Par. 141).
The wife too had the right to divorce her husband, if her husband had violated the marriage contract. However, this was a risky thing to attempt to do, because if the court should find HER to be the guilty party, she was executed (Par. 142, 143). Thus, another serious consideration for her was whether or not she could obtain justice in the court.
When the husband was at fault, the law was quite generous with her and took pains to provide for her support. If she had no children, her husband was to give her her dowry and the equivalent of her bride-price (Par. 138). The dowry was the portion of her father's wealth given to her when she was married. Although she brought the dowry with her into her husband's house, it was tied to her for life and was never considered to be the property of her husband. It was her security in case of disaster or divorce. After her death, it was to be divided among her children , but never to go to her husband, even if her outlived her.
The bride-price was usually a lesser amount, which the suitor gave to the bride's father to secure the marriage. It was usually one mina of silver (60 shekels, or the equivalent of 120 day's work at common labor).
The Dowry and the bride-price was her means of support after her divorce. If her husband had given her father no bride-price when he married her, he still had to give her one mina if he were rich and 1/3 mina if her were poor (Par.139, 140).
On the other hand, if the divorced wife had children, and if the husband were the guilty party. it was handled differently. She received her dowry, of course, but in place of the bride-price, she was instead to have use of his property and food from his field or garden. This provision served as alimony and child support. Further, if he should decide to give any inheritance to the children, she was to receive a share equal to one son (Par.137).
If a man should be captivated and deported, his wife could only remarry if she had lost her means of support. However, if he returned from captivity, she had to return to him, leaving any children of her second marriage with their father (Par. 133, 135).
If a man simply deserted his wife, she had the right to remarry, and if her former husband returned he had no claim on her (Par. 136).
The only prohibition on divorce, other than when no one had violated the marriage contract, was when the wife was incurably sick and in need of care. In such a case, the husband may not divorce her, although he could take a second wife (Par. 148).
[Yahweh] Corrects the Law of Hammurabi
[Yahweh's] Law had been in existence since the creation and was thus much older than the Code of Hammurabi. Adam had been given dominion over the earth at the time of creation (Genesis 1:26-28), and this right to rule the earth under [Yahweh] was one of the foremost features of the Birthright. Just as Adam was the lawful King of the earth while he lived, so also was Methuselah and Noah after him.
However, during the days of Noah, Nimrod (Hammurabi) usurped the throne with the support of his army. Eventually, Shem and his son Eber went to Canaan and built the city of Jerusalem. Here Shem appears under the title of Melchizedek, the 'King of Righteousness." Thus, the true Kingship over the earth, the legitimate Birthright, belonged to the Biblical Patriarchs, who continued to observe the Laws of [Yahweh] and rule the people by its system of justice.
[Yahweh's] Law had been in existence since the creation and was much older than the Code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi (Nimrod) altered [Yahweh's] Law to suit his own understanding of right and wrong. Both laws existed side by side during the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but Hammurabi's Code was the common law of most of the world, including Canaan.
During Israel's sojourn in Egypt, [Yahweh's] Law was largely forgotten. Thus, it became necessary for [Yahweh] to teach the people His Law once again.
If [Yahweh] had given lawful judgments on every different situation that was to arise in the course of history, the Law books could not have been borne by the entire nation of Israel. So we must realize that to some extent, rather than being an exhaustive Law Code, [Yahweh's] gives the basic moral principles in the Ten Commandments and then continues with only a few hundred specific statutes to define those
principles. Often, [Yahweh] merely corrects the errors of the Hammurabi Code, and where there was nothing to correct, [Yahweh] did not elaborate, since custom already dictated that which was right. It is our job now to study the principles given to us and apply them to every situation that we face today.
[Yahweh's] Law on Divorce and Remarriage
A conditional contract (covenant) is one that specifies conditions which both parties must fulfill; and if one party breaks the contract, the wronged party may sue at law for damages or annulment of the contract. By definition marriage contracts are conditional contracts. It was always so in ancient times, and in this respect the Code of Hammurabi is in total agreement with the Law of [Yahweh].
Divorce - that is, a complete break in the marriage contract - is lawful, because virtually all marriage contracts involve vows made by two parties. In [Yahweh's] marriage to Israel at Mt.. Sinai, Israel (the bride) agreed to submit to His authority and obey His Laws (Ex. 19:3-8). [Yahweh], on the other hand, agreed to give them the Kingdom and the blessings of the Birthright. These included honor, protection, sustenance, and children (Gen 12:1-3).
Israel violated this contract, being incapable of full obedience, and refused to repent; and thus, her Husband divorced her and sent her out of His house (Jer. 3:8; Hosea 2:2).
Because [Yahweh] Himself is a divorcee, we can safely say that divorce itself is not a sin. It is the result of sin, or violation of the contract. It is the final solution to the problem when all else fails, and when reconciliation is impossible.
[Yahweh's] Law on divorce and remarriage is given in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
1 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.
2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
3 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 [Yahweh]; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which [Yahweh] your [Mighty One] giveth thee for an inheritance.
From verse 1 we see immediately that [Yahweh] recognizes there must be a cause of divorcement. It is not specified in any detail, other than finding something unclean in her. Some insist that means divorce is only lawful in case of adultery. But the penalty for adultery is death - not divorce.
Others say it means divorce is only lawful if the husband discovers that his wife had had illicit sexual relations with someone else before they were married. However, such a situation also calls for the death penalty, and his is elaborated upon in detail in Deut. 22:13-21.
Thus, the grounds for divorce in the 24th chapter must be something else. Since the grounds are not specified, it would appear that the common law needed no modifying here. Thus, it is helpful to look at the Code of Hammurabi for a list of the grounds for divorce.
The Code specifies cruelty, slander, waste of family assets, and running up needless debts as being grounds for a man to divorce his wife. This is in addition to any other violation which may have been written into the contract.
The wife, too, could divorce her husband for those same offenses, but in addition to them, she could divorce him for lack of support (i.e., food, clothing, and conjugal relations; compare with Exodus 21:10,11).
We may conclude, then, that the grounds for divorce were probably the same in both law codes, as [Yahweh's] Law passes over the question without modification.
However, the divorce PROCEDURE differs in one very important area. Whereas the Code of Hammurabi allows either the man or the woman to divorce the spouse with a verbal statement, [Yahweh's] Law demands a written document, the "bill of divorcement." Hammurabi was careful
to mandate that the marriage contract be written (Par. 128), but divorces were purely verbal. This was bound to cause problems in some cases, so [Yahweh] solved the problem by making divorces written as well.
One could easily imagine a situation where a man divorced his wife verbally, whereupon she remarries - only to he her former spouse fly into fit of jealous rage. He might then deny his verbal divorce and accuse her and her new husband of adultery. Since adultery called for the death penalty, this was a very serious charge.
Justice is safeguarded by the written bill of divorcement, which a divorced wife may produce to prove that her former husband no longer has any claim upon her. It is her security and her license to remarry. For this reason, Deut. 24:2 follows on the heels of verse 1, stating that once she has those divorce papers, she is free to remarry. Conversely, if she were to remarry without those divorce papers, she would be committing adultery.
Hammurabi's Code had allowed women to remarry if their husbands had been taken captive, so long as the wives had no means of support. Then, if and when he should return from captivity, his wife had to leave the latter husband and any children by him, returning to the former husband. This law attempted to solve a social problem of the day, but just as often, it created further difficulty and heartache.
The system of welfare built into the Laws of [Yahweh] provided for the support of a wife whose husband was captivated, so she was not to remarry while her husband was still alive. Thus, his possible homecoming would be a joyous affair, rather than a cause for further grief.
Since the Code did allow remarriage to a former husband in this case, [Yahweh's] Law pursues the subject a fit further in Deut. 24:3,4. There, He forbids marriage to a former spouse, at least after she has remarried. This law also shows that [Yahweh] recognizes the validity of the second marriage, as well as the binding nature of the bill of divorcement.
"Put Away" Does Not Mean "Divorce"
The term "put away" generally comes from the Hebrew words shalach ("to send away") or garash ("to drive away"). The words differ only in intensity. In reference to a husband and wife, it refers to the act of separation, where a man sends his wife out of the house.
The term "divorce" is from the Hebrew word kerithuth. This word refers to the procedure by which the marriage relationship is lawfully terminated. It is used only 4 times in the Old Testament, and each time it is used in the full phrase, "bill of divorcement" (Deut. 24:1,3; Isaiah 50:1; Jer. 3:8).
In the New Testament the Greek word for "divorce" is apostasion. Apo means "away from;" stasis means "standing, established (by law)" referring in this case to the written marriage contract. We can see then that the Greek word apostasion signifies more than a mere separation, or "putting away." It is the lawful disestablishment of the marriage contract, accomplished by the written bill of divorcement.
There are those who teach that a true divorce is unlawful in the eyes of [Yahweh], an therefore what we term "divorce" is really only a SEPARATION in His eyes. Thus, remarriage would be adultery against the separated spouse. However, as we have seen, the phrase "put away" refers to lawful separation, while the word "divorce" refers to the actual lawful termination of the marriage contact. The fact that [Yahweh] allows not only a "putting away," but divorce as well shows that it is not a sin to get a divorce, so long as there is just cause to cancel the marriage contract.
[Yahweh's] Law states that a bill of divorcement (kerithuth) must always accompany the act of separation, or "putting away" (shalach or garash). Without such a written document, the act of putting away does NOT constitute a lawful divorce in the eyes of [Yahweh] , and she is not free to remarry.
Thus we see that the two terms are not synonymous, although by law they always were to go together. If the two words meant the same thing, it would not have made sense to talk about putting away and divorcing in the same sentence in Deut.24:1. This may seem like nitpicking, but this point will take on great importance when we attempt to understand [Yahshua's] words in Matthew 5:32.
Did [Yahshua] Ban Divorce?
In Mark 10:2-9, the Pharisees asked [Yahshua] if it were lawful to put away one's wife. [Yahshua] asked them in turn what Moses had said. They answered that Moses had commanded them to write a bill of divorcement and to put her away.
[Yahshua] then replied, "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." He went on to explain that divorce did not follow the perfect order of creation that was set up at the beginning.
In other words, divorce is not a good thing, but because men's hearts are hard, it is necessary that provision be made for handling broken marriage contracts. For the same reason, [Yahweh] instituted the death penalty for first-degree murder. From the beginning it was not so, for [Yahweh] created us to live together in harmony. But for the hardness of men's hearts, it became a very necessary judgment to curb such violent crime.
The fact is , ALL LAWS exist only because of the hardness of men's hearts. If all men were perfect, there would be no need for laws, for the laws would be written in our hearts. We would be totally incorruptible.
Paul wrote in 1Timothy 1:9, "the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient." Thus, so long as there are unrighteous men on the earth, the Law must remain in effect, in order that we may have some restraint on men's lusts and wickedness.
We conclude, then, that [Yahweh's] Laws on divorce are absolutely necessary, in order to govern men justly. When a marriage contract has been broken, and especially if one or both parties refuse to repent and restore the lawful order, divorce may well be the only solution. [Yahweh] does not expect the innocent party to honor the contract when the guilty party refuses to do so. The contract is always conditional.
Thus, [Yahshua's] statement, "For the hardness of your heart," should not be construed to mean that divorce itself is a sin. Remember that [Yahweh] Himself is a divorcee, according to Jeremiah 3:8, and yet He did not sin in divorcing Israel.
Nor must we believe that the people twisted [Yahweh's] arm and forced Him to allow divorce. If divorce were a sin, and [Yahweh] allowed it, then [Yahweh] was legalizing sin. This would be a serious accusation for mortals to make, especially in view of the testimony of David in Psalm 19:7 that "The Law of [Yahweh] is PERFECT, converting the soul."
Did [Yahshua] Ban Remarriage After Divorce?
Matthew 5:31, 32 is by far the most important passage
used by most people to prove that remarriage after divorce is adultery.
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give
her a writing of divorcement;
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.
As interpreted by the King James translation, it would appear that [Yahshua] positively condemned divorce and remarriage, thus showing [Yahweh's] Law to be inferior to divine moral standards. If divorce indeed causes one to commit adultery, then divorce itself would be a sin, according to [Yahweh's] Law of liability. Remarriage, too, would constitute adultery. However as we will show, neither is a sin.
First of all, this passage is a part of His "Sermon on the Mount," which is for the most part a commentary on Bible Law. In verses 17-19 He disclaimed the idea that He was trying destroy or undermine the Law. Further, He positively condemned those who would break the shortest commandment and teach others to do so. From this alone it should be clear that [Yahshua] did not abolish [Yahweh's] Laws on divorce and remarriage.
Then in verse 20 [Yahshua] said that our righteousness
musts EXCEED that of the Scribes and Pharisees. With that in mind, He began
to give us examples of Bible Law to show how they fell short of the Law's
righteous standard. They did not keep the true spirit of the Law and misinterpreted
it in many ways.
1. Thou shalt not kill (vs. 21-26)
2. Thou shalt not commit adultery (vs 27-32)
3. Thou shalt not bear false witness (vs 33-37)
4. An eye for an eye (vs 38-42)
5. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (vs 43-48)
In each case the Law in question is introduced with the following format: " It has been said (interpreted in the synagogue)...but I say to you..." This is not to be construed to mean that [Yahshua] is putting away
all of these divine Laws, or that He is replacing each of them with something different or better. It is not the Law of [Yahweh] He is descrediting; it is the Pharisaical interpretation of the Law and a legalistic spirit that He is disagreeing with.
In other words, [Yahshua] did NOT put away the Law on murder when He said, "Thou shalt not kill...but I say unto you..." Nor did He make it lawful to commit adultery, so long as you don't look upon another woman with lust while you do it.
In a nutshell, then, the purpose of the "Sermon on the Mount" was to improve upon the Law's interpretation and application. The true spirit of the Law had been lost through the traditions of the elders. With that context in mind, and knowing that [Yahshua] did not destroy the Law, let us look at Matthew 5:31, 32 in greater detail.
These two verses are a part of His comment on 'Thou shalt not commit adultery," so the final thrust of His comment is to define adultery in relation to the laws of divorce and remarriage. Verse 31 simply refers to Deut. 24:1, where [Yahweh] demanded that men give their wives a WRITTEN bill of divorcement before they could lawfully put away their wives. Verse 2, of course, allowed divorced wives to remarry after a lawful divorce.
So let us take another look at Matthew 5:31, 32, inserting
a few key words in the original Greek, so that we get a proper translation
of the passage.
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement (apostasion).
32 But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluo, Lit. "put away") committeth adultery.
To paraphrase this: The Law says that she commits adultery if she remarries without a written bill of divorcement. BUT I SAY UNTO YOU that whoever puts her away (without divorce papers; that is, unlawfully) causes her to commit adultery (if she remarries under such conditions). Thus he who
simply put her out of his house without divorcing her properly is JUST AS LIABLE AS SHE IS. And whosoever marries her that has been put away (without divorce papers) also commits adultery, because he is marrying another man's wife.
[Yahshua] is here condemning men who put away their wives Babylonian style (verbally), instead of putting them away in the manner prescribed by [Yahweh's] Law. Under the laws of liability, this would make him guilty of adultery if she were to remarry.
So we see that the whole point of this commentary is to bring out a point of Law that had not been covered by the Pharisees in their interpretations.
But what of the phrase, "saving for the cause of fornication" What does this mean? Most people assume it means that if a wife commits adultery, then it is lawful to divorce her. However, it does NOT say, "except for the cause of ADULTERY." Further, the penalty for adultery was death--not divorce.
So what is meant by "fornication?" Why is it all right to put away one's spouse without divorce papers in a case of fornication?
The Meaning of Fornication
The most common type of fornication is prostitution (Ex.22:16). this is where a man has sexual relations with an unmarried woman. The solution is marriage or separation.
However, the word also covers other forms of unlawful sexual relations. In Hebrews 12:16 Esau is called a fornicator; yet there is no record in Scripture of his buying the services of a prostitute. But Genesis 26:24 does say that he married Hittite wives. From the account in Scripture, this obviously went against [Yahweh's] command not to take a wife from among the Canaanites. Thus, it may be classified as an unlawful marriage.
We find the term "fornication" used again in 1Cor.5:1.
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.
Thus we see that Paul uses the term "fornication to describe another unlawful marriage or sexual relationship that had been forbidden in Leviticus 18:7,8, namely, incest.
In Jude 7 we read of the people of Sodom an Gomorrha who had given themselves over to "fornication," going after 'strange flesh." This, too, is obviously a sexual sin, and yet the only thing we have on record of their sexual tendencies is homosexuality, or "sodomy" (Gen. 19:4-8).
Each of these examples have one thing in common: they are unlawful sexual relationships, and therefore, there is no LAWFUL marriage contract to bind the two parties together. In other words [Yahweh] does not recognize the "marriage" in the first place, It is void from the start.
Thus, when [Yahshua] says it is alright to "put away" (separate without divorce papers) one's spouse in the case of fornication, the reason is quite obvious. There was no lawfully binding marriage contract in the first place, so how can one appeal to the Law of [Yahweh] to have it voided? [Yahweh] requires no such divorce papers.
However, if the couple had obtained a marriage license from a humanist government such as those of the world order, then they would have to petition it for a divorce as well, because humanist governments recognize many marriage relationships that [Yahweh's] Law does not.
[Yahweh] does not recognize relationships which are homosexual, incestual or otherwise forbidden as in the case of Esau, even if the parties sign a marriage contract. Another case where divorce papers are unnecesary is in the case of prostitution. Since prostitutes do not enter marriage contracts with a client, the solution is separation, not divorce.
Did Paul Ban Remarriage After Divorce?
Since some have been taught that Paul banned remarriage
in 1Cor.7:10,11, we shall study this passage to show that Paul actually
wrote that remarriage is NOT a sin.
10. And unto the married...let not the wife depart (chorizo) from her husband;
11. But and if she depart (chorizo), let her remain unmarried (agamos), or let her be reconciled to her husband; and let not the husband put away (aphiemi, "to dismiss") his wife.
At first glance it might appear that Paul is speaking
of divorce and remarriage. However, the word apostasion does not
appear here, since he is not discussing divorce, but rather the problem
of separation, as we see from verse 1.
1. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Thus, the subject of this discussion is whether or not to abstain form sexual relations and marriage itself. Apparently, Paul had previously taught them that "it is good for a man not to touch a woman," but the Corinthian church had misinterpreted it to mean that sexual relations prevented Christians from attaining to a truly spiritual life. Thus, the young people were being discouraged from marrying, and some of the married couples were even separating.
So here, Paul corrects their error. He had told them that it was good not to marry, it is true, but NOT because marriage itself was a sin or a hindrance to one's personal relationship to [Yahweh]. Rather, it was because of two things: (1) the "present distress" discussed in verse 26; and (2) to be able to devote more time and energy to spreading the Gospel (vs. 32-35).
In those days a man never knew if he were going to be imprisoned or executed and his family with him. So because of the dangerous political climate, it may have been a good idea not to marry, if a person could bear the incontinence.
In verse 5 Paul makes it clear that it was not right for married couples to separate, or even to abstain from normal sexual relations, except during times of prayer and fasting. (People lose most sexual desire during fasts anyway.)
In verse 7-9 he tells unmarried people that if they can take a life of celibacy, they may do so; but if they do NOT have that gift, "it is better to marry than to burn (with lust).
Regarding the same subject, Paul then turns his attention to married couples and especially to those couples who had already separated, thinking this was the spiritual thing to do. Paul's verdict is, "Let not the wife separate (chorizo) from her husband" in verse 10. But if she does not heed his advice here, Paul says she must remain agamos, or be reconciled to her husband.
Most people are taught this means the wife should not divorce her husband, but if she does, she must remain single for the rest of her life, or else come back and remarry her former husband. However, as the context shows, this passage is referring to the problem of separation , rather than to divorce. The Greek word apostasion is not use here.
The word translated "unmarried" is agamos, the negative form of gamos. Gamos sometimes refers to the STATE of being married, but it usually refers to the occasion when the marriage contract is put into effect--that is, the ACT OF GETTING MARRIED.
Agamos, then, being the negative form of the word gamos, can mean either: (1) the unmarried STATE, or (2) the ACT of not drawing up a marriage contract with someone.
The way it is translated in the King James version, verse 11 is assumed to mean, "let her remain in the unmarried STATE." However, it is more likely to mean, "Let her not get married to anyone else," since she is only separated from her husband.
So if we were to paraphrase this passage, we would see that Paul is saying, "let not the wife separate from her husband, thinking that this is pleasing to [Yahweh]. But if she does, she should not get married to anyone else, because she is still under contract with her original husband.
Later in this same chapter, Paul does deal with the question
of divorce and remarriage. He does not use the technical words for divorce
and remarriage, but rather the descriptive terms, "bound" and "loosed."
To be bound by Law means to be married by contract; to be loosed means
to be loosed from that contract (i.e., divorced or widowed). 1 Cor. 7:27,
27 Art thou bound (by law) unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed (from the bonds of marriage). Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.
Few verses are plainer than these. I you are married, do not seek a divorce. If you are divorced or widowed, do not seek a wife (because of the "present distress" mentioned in verse 26). But if you do marry, YOU HAVE NOT SINNED; and if a virgin marry, she has not sinned either.
In other words, Paul says, remarriage after a divorce is NOT a sin. Thus, divorce and remarriage is NOT adultery.
The Three Premises of This Study
For those who honestly dispute this conclusion, I offer some suggestions here, All logical conclusions are only as true as their premises. This particular study rests upon the following three premises:
1. Marriage is a conditional contract. We showed that [Yahweh] married Israel at Mt. Sinai and treated Israel as a married wife, until He divorced her (Jer.3:8) for insubordination and disobedience. If marriage were unconditional, then [Yahweh] could not have divorced her without tainting Himself with sin. Therefore, it must have been conditional.
2. "Put away" is distinct form "divorce." We showed how the Law mandates that a man must give his wife divorce papers before putting her away. One is the legal act of terminating the marriage; the other is the act of sending her away. This Law was set up to correct the historical injustice left by the loophole in the Hammurabi Code.
3. [Yahweh's] Law was not abolished. [Yahshua] said this in Matthew 5:17-19, Paul said this in Romans 3:31, and John defines sin in terms of violation of [Yahweh's] Law in 1 John 3:4.
You may disagree with some minor parts of this study, and that is your privilege. But if you find these three premises to be true, then you must agree that remarriage after divorce is not adultery.
We have seen, then, that not only did the Code of Hammurabi permit divorce and remarriage, but so did [Yahweh's] Law. The main difference was the legal procedure of obtaining a proper divorce, in order to protect the women involved.
We have also seen how [Yahshua] added teeth to [Yahweh's] Law by proclaiming that he who puts away his wife without a written bill of divorce causes her to commit adultery, and thus he is fully liable for her sin before [Yahweh]. Finally, we have seen how the Apostle Paul also understood that a remarriage after divorce is not sin.
Common belief on this subject has put many people into bondage, either by forcing divorced people to remain single when they are unsuited to such a life, or else by placing on their shoulders a load of guilt for remarrying. I hope that this brief study will release many from the hard bondage of church tradition into the glorious liberty of [Yahweh's] Law.