November 4, 2020

Matthew 5
Divorce vv.31 & 32 – Part 4

Then he warns them that divorce for “any reason” is not on the table. In fact only “sexual immorality” is reason for divorce. Apart from the exception, a man is not free to remarry. And the same principle applies to a woman. Jesus says in Mk. 10:12, if she takes the initiative and divorces her husband “for any reason” (implied) she too commits adultery if she remarries.

The critical issue here is both the protection of the woman (in a man’s world) and the family. Anything that fractures the family is seen as an evil. Divorce is a kind of self-imposed relational schizophrenia. God “hates” it (Mal. 2:16 RSV).

To appreciate God’s hatred of divorce one must examine Mal. 2:10-16. I know this is a “casual commentary”, not given to academic analysis of the text, but it must be said that this passage is very difficult to interpret from the Hebrew. It leaves room for diverse opinions.