In the Old Testament, marriages were not dissolved, but had to be dissolved through the courts of law. This means that the husband could divorce his wife only if he paid a fine; otherwise he could get rid of her entirely by divorcing the woman. If a man wanted to leave his wife, he had to prove, among other documents, that he had “done her wrong” (Deuteronomy 23:2,3).
Later in the Bible, the law of divorce came about when the law of monogamy was forgotten. The law of monogamy existed on the earth at this time that all the children were born to one father. When the law of monogamy was forgotten, all the children had to be born to one mother! (Genesis 2:22).
After the law of monogamy, each generation had to adopt the law of monogamy: If a man married a woman and then divorced her, he had to pay the penalty for divorce from his first wife; and if he married a woman and then divorced her and married another woman, he had to pay the penalty for divorce from another man. Thus there were penalties for each sin that was committed.
The Bible does not say that God decreed that men who were monogamous should be separated from their wives – it is not part of our salvation – but that the law of monogamy required that. There was some disagreement among the Jewish community as to the law of monogamy (2 Maccabees 6:12-15; Zechariah 4:8), but the majority of Jews felt that the laws given in 1 Corinthians 6:9-13 were the law of monogamy (1 Timothy 1:9-13; Titus 2:12-13).
The Bible does not forbid husbands in general from divorce, but does seem to forbid certain kinds of divorce. There may be exceptions, but this is the general understanding.
In the New Testament there is a clear command that the husband may go to the wife’s father and present her with a divorce decree. This command is expressed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-13 and 1 Corinthians 7:19-21. This decree of divorce was given out as a gift to all the Jewish women; but it is also mentioned in Matthew 5:39-40 for all who were of the Gentile tribes, for this very reason, that Jesus chose to do the Jewish women the favor of putting out the Gentile men’s eyes to worship the Gentile gods
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