Why did Yeshua allow Moses to permit divorce?

Marriage - Divorce signpost in a beach background

In the study below, we will discuss why Moses added the divorce clause to the Torah, and why Yeshua permitted it and what he had to say about it. (For the record, I am not divorced and thus have no dog in the fight. I am simply analyzing what the Bible has to say to say on the subject and attempting to accurately report my findings. — Natan)

Matthew 19:8, Moses permitted. From Yeshua’s statement here, it would seem that Elohim gave Moses certain freedom and latitude to redefine certain Torah principles to accommodate the needs and realities of fallen and sinful man.

In the case of marriage, even though it was Elohim’s highest ideal for a man to leave his parents and cleave to one wife for the rest of his life or until she died (Gen 2:24), the reality is that man too often is incapable of living up to the Creator’s highest ideal because of the hardness or sinfulness of his heart. It is important to note that YHVH gave the marriage command before the fall of man had occurred (Gen 2:24 cp. Gen 3:1–6). In light of the fact of the fall of man when sin entered the world thus negatively affecting the marriage relationship, YHVH allowed Moses to permit divorce under certain circumstances (see Deut 24:1–4).

Had Moses not made allowances for the sinfulness and hardness of the human heart and forbad all divorce in Israel in an effort to strictly adhere to YHVH’s highest letter-of-the-law ideal for marriage, then the societal results might have been unimaginably chaotic. For example, people would have been compelled to remain in abusive, criminal, adulterous, irreligious or even anti-religious relationships or in situations of abandonment or substance abuse. What kind of impact would this have had on the children and on future generations?

Not only that, had people been compelled to remain in ice-cold marriages, this would have negatively impacted the expansion of the human population.

In ancient Israel, ideally everyone was an Israelite (either natural born or grafted in) meaning that it was theoretically impossible to get into a marriage relationship with a heathen or an idolator. If this were always the case (and it would be naive to assume that it was), then YHVH’s ideal standard for marriage could have been the rule and not the exception.

However, because of sin, humans seldom live in ideal circumstances where Torah’s principles are followed perfectly to the letter and the spirit; therefore, from time to time some allowances have to be made.

For example, today what is one to do when one spouse in a marriage comes to faith in Yeshua, while the other spouse remains an unconverted sinner? Paul discusses this problem in 1 Cor 7. The disposition of the unconverted spouse vis-à-vis the converted one will determine the outcome of the situation. Sometimes the couple can continue in a state of peaceful coexistence, and sometimes not.

The understanding presented here regarding marriage and divorce in no way justifies the dissolving of marriage for any or all reasons. The Scripture explicitly and implicitly indicates the criteria for a biblically-allowed divorce. (That subject is beyond the scope of this present discussion.)

Needless to say, too many believers—even purportedly Torah-pursuant ones—have grossly misapplied the biblical marriage principles to justify their illicit divorce procedures. This, again, is a subject for another discussion.

Matthew 19:8, Divorce your wives. Most churches allow for divorce, but some do not permit remarriage under any circumstances. This may seem like an extreme position; however, those who advocate this can make a strong case that this is the Bible’s position.

Some churches teach that divorce and remarriage is acceptable in some instances, but not in others. This is where it gets confusing and depends on one’s interpretations of many clear as well as some unclear biblical passages. The truth is that each marriage and divorce case is unique. Each situation needs to be evaluated case by case based on biblical guidelines. My thoughts (below) on the subject of divorce and remarriage are only general in nature.

Some churches take the approach that all sins can be forgiven except the sin of divorce and remarriage. This would mean that divorce and remarriage is the unpardonable sin for which the blood of Yeshua is ineffective. This is a biblically untenable position.

The Scriptures say that YHVH hates divorce (Mal 2:16). Why? Because he had to divorce his own (spiritual) wife, Israel, because of her adultery against him (e.g., Jer 3:8). But he’s going to remarry her again, but this time it will be to redeemed Israel, which is a new, spiritually regenerated bride. Furthermore, Yeshua died to pay the price for Israel’s capital sin of adultery. On our website (http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/divorce.pdf), I have a teaching about the prophetic implications of divorce where I discuss this issue.

The Torah allows for divorce and remarriage following certain protocols (Deut 24:1–4). Yeshua acknowledges this in the Gospels and accepts this fact due to of the hardness of people’s hearts (Mark 10:4–5).

The issue of divorce and remarriage becomes confusing, since in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 no one knows the exact meaning of the word “fornication.” Even the Jews of Yeshua’s time debated about its meaning, and the two Pharisaical schools of the day defined pornea (Greek) or ervah (Hebrew, see Deut 24:1, uncleanness) differently.

Luke 16:18 is an interesting passage. Some Bible teachers have proffered the idea that in the Hebrew (if we were to employ a method called back-translating—a somewhat questionable approach to biblical exegesis), the “and” in “and marrieth another” can mean “in order to marry another,” thus showing evil and lustful intent on the part of the one leaving the marriage to marry another person. In that case, it would be adultery. But if their hearts were hard and they had irreconcilable differences, then it would seem that a properly executed divorce would be permissible. Admittedly, this is speculative, but it could be a possible way to interpret Luke 16:18 such that the words of Yeshua don’t contradict the Torah, which allows for divorce—something Yeshua himself admits (Matt 19:8). That a Hebrew meaning could be read into the Greek word for and is possible, since testimony from several of the early church fathers indicates that Matthew was originally penned in Hebrew.

In our congregation, as a pastor, over the years I have married very few people, and have turned down more marriages then I have performed because I had questions about the legal legitimacy of the new marriage (in the case were previous marriages were an issue). When in doubt, I tell the parties involved that they can obtain a legal civil marriage from a judge and we will accept it in our congregation. I will marry them only if I have no doubts that their marriage fits biblical standards of righteousness in accordance with the Torah. Even this, in some cases, can be a very tough judgment call to make.

If a person is currently in a questionable marriage situation when they come to a knowledge of the Torah, I will tell them to repent of their past sins, pray for the blood of Yeshua to cover them, and then go on and live righteously “till death do you part.”

When Yeshua met the woman at well in John 4 who had been married to five husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband at the time, he didn’t condemn her. He basically told her that he was the Messiah, that he could meet her deeper spiritual needs that when met would likely result in the resolution of her personal relational issues. That is my approach as well. Whatever marital state a person is in when I meet them, I instruct them to live according to the Torah and follow Yeshua relying on his grace.

Adultery in the marriage is a difficult situation. Paul is very clear that adulterers will not be in the kingdom of Elohim (1 Cor 6:9); that is, they will not have eternal life, unless, of course, they repent as David did in his affair with Bathsheba. When adultery occurs in a marriage, there needs to be repentance and reconciliation—especially if believers are involved. Reconciliation may require that both receive marriage counseling from a biblically-based marriage counselor. The need for this is even more critical if there are children involved.

A major problem arises when one of the parties refuses to repent and reconcile. At this point, separation or divorce may result. For the party who wants to reconcile, even if separation or divorce occurs, one needs to move slowly and never jump quickly into another marriage. One will need to pray for the unrepentant spouse (or ex-spouse) in hopes that YHVH will soften the ex-spouse’s heart, bring a spirit of repentance to all the parties resulting in reconciliation. If after a period of time (perhaps several years) reconciliation seems impossible (especially if the party who refuses to reconcile remarries), then I believe that one is free to remarry, but they must do so following biblical criteria.

Clearly, the Torah allows for divorce and remarriage (see Lev 21:7; Deut 24:1–5). Yeshua acknowledges the reality of divorce. Why? Because it is not a perfect world and people become hard of heart. Issues such as fraud, adultery, abuse, abandonment, criminality, substance abuse (e.g., drugs and alcohol) often arise that make a marriage impossible. Good and well-intentioned people sometimes fall victim to bad people and bad situations. That’s just the reality of the human condition whether we want to admit it or not—even if it goes against YHVH’s highest ideal for marriage or not. As such, we have to deal with the realities.

If you have read my Torah teachings, you’ll see that there is a possibility that Moses divorced Zipporah and remarried the Ethiopian woman. In ancient times, many men didn’t divorce their wives, they just married another wife and kept adding wives. Although polygamy was not YHVH’s ideal, he nevertheless tolerated it, though it caused no end of problems and grief for families and marriages. I see modern divorce to be similar to polygamy. Instead of keeping the disfavored wife, “moving her to the back burner” of the family situation and getting a new wife, one simply divorces one’s wife and gets a new one. In a real spiritual sense, one is still spiritually and emotionally attached to their former spouses after they’re remarried. This is similar to polygamy except one is not living with one’s ex-spouses.

 

25 thoughts on “Why did Yeshua allow Moses to permit divorce?

  1. Boaz REDEEMING Ruth and marrying her (as her kinsman-redeemer) is also a prophetic picture of Yeshua redeeming us so he can “marry” (become as one) believers in the next age to come.

    • This is why their son, Obed, was part of the ancestral lineage of both King David and Yeshua (as detailed in Matthew 1).

    • Just as Boaz redeemed Ruth and raised up a child to receive his inheritance of land, so Yeshua “redeems” us and marries us to raise up a New Man, so we can receive our “inheritance” in the land to come (New Jerusalem)!!

  2. Dont yousee that because God hates divorce and Jesus said that it was Moses that permitted it it was NOT GOD’s Will MEANS just that God hates divorce so why would He permit something He hates? Jesus tore up Moses permit to divorce and remarry , calling it instead what it is ADULTERY Luke 16:18, Mark 10: 11-12. The only putting away He allows is in KIDDUSHIN ( Betrothal ) see Mary and Joseph ( Jesus ‘s earthly parents) once the second stage has been done GOD HAS JOINED ….DIVORCE iS NOT ALLOWED.

    • Look, I don’t want to argue about this. You’re free to believe what you wants on this subject. I gave you the scriptures and the biblical reasons and answered your questions in my article. You’re free to agree or disagree, but I won’t argue.

      The fact is that YHVH Elohim divorced Israel, which is why Yeshua had to die on the cross. Bet you never heard that before, have you? Well, this is the backstory of the message of the gospel which I discuss at length in my article at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/divorce.pdf. So Elohim hates divorce because Israel committed adultery against him. It happened to him.

      Yes, Elohim hates divorce because of the sinful and hard heart of men, and sadly divorce happens. Often divorce is a result of some. Sin can be forgiven. Same with the sin of murder, theft and all sin. YHVH hates it all, yet it happens and it has to be dealt with. There is mercy and grace for the sinner at the foot of the cross. This doesn’t excuse the sinner of his sin. A price still has to be paid for the sin. And there is still forgiveness for the sin. Isn’t that what the message of the gospel is all about?

      Too many people view the Bible from the perspective of their own personal hurts and painful experiences and morph the Words of Elohim to fit that. That’s not how we arrive at the truth of the Bible.

      Thankfully, I haven’t had to go through the pain of divorce, nor was I raised in a family where there divorce.

      Blessings and thanks for reading and commenting.

  3.    All the rest of scripture teaches that marriage is until death. But this passage (Deut. 24.1-4) must be talking about something different because it says even if the second man dies (the end of any marriage) the first man is not to take her to be his wife (he had proclaimed her to be unclean).

         All the rest of scripture also teaches that to marry a divorced woman who’s husband is still alive is adultery. But this passage (Deut. 24.1-4) says this woman is free to go and marry another while the first man is still alive.

          So to interpret this passage as God saying it’s ok to marry a divorced woman, who’s husband is still alive, makes God to be saying two opposite things. This makes God out to be a liar. We know God cannot lie and will not go against his word. Therefore it makes much more sense to read this passage with the understanding that it is talking about the first husband as only engaged or betrothed. How can that be?

    [Edited out by Natan]

    • Hello Tony,

      You are free to disagree with me. That’s how we all learn and grow into our understanding of the Bible—the Word and will of YHVH Elohim, but please respect the rules of this blog (as stated on the front page). It is not permitted to use my blog as a vehicle to promote your blog. So if you disagree with me, make your point and give the scriptural reasons for your opinion. After that, I will be the one to decide whether to promote a person’s blog, video or website or not. Please show respect by adhering to the rules of my blog. Blessings!

      • Sorry Natan, I came directly to this page from a web search and read what was here and replied. I did not see any instructions or rules. I was also trying to keep my reply short so that it was not to much to read unless a person wanted to see more. Should I post more and just not put any links?

      • The blog rules are listed on the blog’s front page.

        You’re welcome to post your comments here as long as they’re concise and to the point and not full-length articles. If you feel that you have an article or website that you’d like to share with our blog readers, email the links to me ahead of time, and I’ll review them and then decide whether to post them or not.

        There is much good but also bad and ugly stuff out there on the internet, and since we keep a clean, holy and righteous “house” here, and I’m the gatekeeper, this necessitates my reviewing everything before posting to insure that it glorifies Yah and upholds his Written Word. Many tender sheep come to this blog, and I don’t want anything to be a stumbling block to them. I’m sure you can appreciate this, and thank you for respecting and understanding.

        I would like to hear what you have to say on divorce and remarriage issue. This is a very dicey subject that affects so many people. I’ve been studying these issues from a whole-Bible, Torah perspective for decades, but perhaps I’ve missed something, so I’m willing to hear and learn. Thankfully, I don’t have a dog in the fight, since I’ve never been divorced, so my perspective isn’t (hopefully) jaded on the subject. Blessings!

  4. You seem to accommodate the sin of adultery using man’s reasoning (“…man too often is incapable of living up to … ” “it would seem … to accommodate the needs and realities of fallen and sinful man.”) rather than exhort against it. Maybe you could give verse references to not being held accountable.
    You say:
    “It is important to note that YHVH gave the marriage command before the fall of man had occurred (Gen 2:24)” This verse seems more like a comment about God’s new creation of a help meet/suitable for man, than a command. Sort of like saying “therefore the man has two hands because I made him that way.” And if we are talking about a marriage command, Jesus gave a marriage command (Matt 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.) this was way after the sin caused fall.
    How can we “Let NOT man put asunder”? I see you make an effort to do so by not presiding over a marriage ceremony that you think should not be taking place. However people do “Let or condone putting asunder” by accepting respecting speaking of such adulterous unions as husband and wife God condoned marriages. You say: “…we will accept it in our congregation ,,, ”

    “Had Moses not made allowances for the sinfulness and hardness …” The allowance Moses made was for not keeping your word/promise, the allowance was not to undo a consummated marriage-till-death which he already conveyed by two examples in Deut.22. Moses also covered adultery and fornication (sex before marriage) in that same chapter.

    • I hear what you’re saying, but your argument is not with me, it is with Moses, and Yeshua’s acquiescence to Moses’ allowance of divorce and remarriage, even though that was not Elohim’s highest ideal for man from the beginning. I didn’t write the Bible.

      I explain this in the article. There’s nothing more that I can say on this subject. Clearly, Yah hates divorce, and marriage to one woman until death do us part was and is still his highest and best ideal for humans, but humans are fallen creatures, and the reality is less than ideal. What more can be said?

      Praise YHVH for Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross for mans’ failure to achieve Elohim’s high water level of righteousness in so many areas including marriage and divorce.

      Now let me say this: woe be to any redeemed believer who knows YHVH’s commands, yet who get divorced and remarried anyway!!! I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes on judgment day.

      Beyond this, we will have to agree to disagree on this issue. Blessings.

      Oh, one more thing. I have a question or two for you. In Romans 12:2, Paul talks about “the good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim.” The Greek grammar actually suggests here the idea of comparative, nominative or superlative, that is, good, better and best. So what is the good, better and best will of Elohim when it comes to his commandments including marriage? Do humans always live up to the best? Or do they sometimes fall short of that highest ideal? Is there grace if they fall short, then repent and resolve to not make that mistake again? Will they be more blessed if they walk more in Elohim’s perfect will and less blessed if they don’t? How often are you walking in his best will in all areas of your life? Yeshua said that with the same measure we judge others, we will be judged ourselves (Matt 7:2). Though not in the Bible, someone somewhere said, “There for the grace of God go I.” Don’t know about you, but I need that grace all the time until I die because I’m probably seldom walking in his perfect will although that is my goal!

      • I have not notice that in what God requires of us. Would you give some scriptural examples of Good, Better, and Best ways of obeying God?

      • I just did in my article on divorce.

        But we’ll give you some more examples.

        Polygamy is another example. This was not YHVH’s perfect will for marriage, and it always caused family strife, yet he permitted it for socio-economic reasons in that ancient culture.

        Putting unleavened bread out of your house during Chag HaMatzot is another example. He told the Israelite to deleaven their houses using the complete spelling of the Hebrew word HaMatzot with the vav included in the word matzot, and then in part two of the command he used the defective spelling (minus the vav) showing that despite their best efforts to deleaven their homes, they’d likely fail to get all the leaven out. I don’t know about you, but almost every year when I deleaven my house, I find some leaven that I missed. I still need his grace!!!

        Moreover, the Israelites didn’t keep the Feast of Tabernacles perfectly, if at all, from after the time of Joshua until the time of Nehemiah at the return of the exiles, and that included during the time of David——a man after Elohim’s own heart, yet YHVH still graciously blessed Israel for hundreds of years, until their sins were so egregious that he had to bring judgment on them.

        These are just a couple of examples in about a minute off the top of my head.

        Let me ask you another question. Is there anyone out there who can keep the Torah perfectly? Do you? I don’t. I do my best, but only Yeshua was perfect. Grace is not license to violate Torah; however, grace covers us, though, when we don’t live up to the commands of YHVH perfectly because of a lot of factors that we may or may not have control over.

        YHVH called them “the children of Israel,” not “the mature, walking in Torah perfectly adults of Israel.” We are no different. Do you have kids? I have four. When they were learning to walk and fell down, I didn’t wack them over the head and tell them they didn’t do it perfectly. I helped and encouraged them and praised them for trying, and I rejoiced when they finally walked. They didn’t even run at first. It took a while. Same with riding a bike, learning to read and write, etc. Is our Heavenly Father any different with us? Think about this, please!

        We will stumble as we’re learning to obey our Father’s commands. That’s why we need the imputed righteousness of Yeshua past, present and future to make up for our lack. Our weakness doesn’t excuse our violation of his laws, but we will stumble and not live up to them perfectly despite our best efforts. That’s why we need the righteousness of Yeshua imputed to us, and that’s why the saints will be casting down their crowns at his feet in the New Jerusalem because they know they don’t deserve to be in his presence in their glorified state. Peter says that the righteous are scarcely saved despite their good works. That means we’re hardly ever living up to Torah perfectly or walking in YHVH’s perfect will. That should be our aim though.

        Yeshua told his disciples in Matt 5:48 to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Bad translation from the Greek. It should be “be becoming perfect” to reflect the present progressive tense. It’s a process, man!!!! and we need his grace along the way.

        Same with divorce and remarriage occurs before people are saved.

        Blessings!

      • I believe it is like Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. And our only true righteousnesses is in and through Jesus Christ and his atoning death, a free gift for us that can not be earned.
        You said I can email you, but you gave no email address and searching your site I can’t find any.
        It looks like you don’t want to hear any more from me and are cutting me off.
        The religious leaders did not like many things Jesus said, because they did not like the truths he proclaimed. They wanted to hang on to their beliefs.
        MARRIAGE IS LIFE LONG (That is as long as both live)       Mark.10: 11,12 And he said unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commiteth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commiteth adultery.

        So is it adultery over and done in the past? Or is it Ongoing Continuing Adultery?
        The Quotes below are from Daniel R. Jennings book Except_For_Fornication.

        Inquiring into the clear passages. Jesus says if a person enters into a remarriage state then he or she “commits adultery”. The question is how do they commit adultery? Is it once (at the time when they first enter into the new marriage) or do they “commit” adultery continuously so long as they are in the new marriage? Looking at the Greek in these passages gives us the answer to this question. The Greek verb for “commits adultery” is in the present tense. The present tense in Greek generally indicates that something happens continuously in an on going manner. When a Greek verb is written in the present tense it implies that it has, continued from the moment that it began up until the present and is still continuing. Page 113

        In Luke 16:18 Jesus declares:
        Whoever puts away (present continuous tense) his wife, and
        marries (present continuous tense) another, commits adultery
        (present continuous tense) and whoever marries (present
        continuous tense) her that is put away from her husband commits adultery (present continuous tense) Page 117

        This passage is really saying:
        “Whoever, continues to put away his wife, and enters into a continuous and ongoing state of marriage with another, commits adultery continuously: and whoever enters into a continuous and ongoing state of marriage with her that is put away from her husband commits adultery continuously” Page 118

      • Hello Tony,

        I have not said anything to this point, but since you’re pressing the issue, I must do so. You have made several false accusations or assumptions against me thus far in your comments to me. I let it go at first, but in the latest comment, you’ve made three more. This is not only disrespectful, but it’s not helpful to having an honest and respectful conversation.

        First you accused me of using man’s reasoning when all I have done is to quote the full counsel of YHVH’s word on this subject as best I know how (rather than merely cherry picking a few verses out of the Bible to make my point), and I have tried to reconcile these difficult Scriptures with each other. I know the Torah and the historical background from ancient sources of these arguments and discussions, and so I bring these facts to bear on my discussions. Most Christian scholars do not know these things, since they are operating under the false assumption that the Torah has been done away with and so why study it in depth? Moreover, most of them are unaware of the ancient Hebraic cultural context in which these biblical instructions were penned, so they’re unable to bring this info to bear on the subject as well. So quoting linguistic scholars on a subject who have little or no Hebraic or Torah background understanding can be helpful, but it’s not the full picture that we need to see when trying to understand such complicated subjects as divorce and remarriage. Let me give you some specific examples of what I mean:

        A) Torah linguistic and OT context: In taking into account the full counsel of YHVH’s Word (from Genesis to Revelation) pertaining to the subject of divorce and remarriage, we have to consider the following things: In Deut 24:1-4, what was a get/bill of divorcement in ancient Hebraic culture and what does the Hebrew word ervah mean? Why did Elohim hate divorce so much (Mal 2:16)? We have to explain the divorce and remarriage of YHVH with the people of Israel (both the northern and southern kingdoms) and what that has to do with the gospel message and how does this relate to Yeshua’s death on the cross so that Torah laws would not be broken?

        B) Linguistic and cultural context: What does the Greek word pornea really mean? Can we know? What was the debate among the two Pharisaical schools of Yeshua’s day (the School of Hillel and the School of Shemai) as to the different interpretations of the meaning of the Hebrew word ervah and how does that relate to the Greek word pornea?

        I discuss all of these things in my various published and online writings, and you didn’t even bring them up, which indicates that you probably aren’t even aware of these issues, yet they figure into an intelligent and holistic discussion of the subject of divorce and remarriage. Cherry picking a couple of verses out of the whole context of Scripture isn’t helpful at arriving at the biblical truth of a matter.

        Second and thirdly, you’re accusing me of shutting you off and not allowing you to communicate with me via email. This is absolutely preposterous. Again, my contact info is very public. I get emails and phone calls from around the world regularly from people who have done due diligence to find my contact info.

        Fourthly, you accuse me of being like the Jewish religious leaders who opposed Yeshua. I find this last accusation to be particularly offensive. How is it that in using Yeshua’s own words as well as those of Moses in the Torah this makes me resistant to Yeshua? Where is the logic in this? Frankly this blows me away. In response, I’m compelled to ask you this: How well do you know the Torah? How long have you been studying it? How long have you been living it and obeying it as best you can? Doing so or not doing so has tremendous implications and ramifications on a person’s understanding of Scripture. The Torah is the foundation for the rest of the Bible. If we don’t understand it, then the rest of our understanding of Scripture is likely to be skewed.

        To address your first accusation, I give you Scriptures, not men’s reasoning. Honest and godly people can have disagreements about Scriptures and agree to disagree without being disagreeable, or without attacking each other. To be able to do so is the high watermark of biblical love and spiritual maturity.

        Moreover, you have failed to address the Scriptures and issues that I bring up. Instead, you attack me. Have I attacked you in anyway? To this point, no. Now, I am holding you accountable for your sloppy mishandling of Elohim’s Word, and am calling you out on a couple of things, since you’ve steered the discussion into these waters and away from just dealing with the issues. I have tried to answer your questions by bringing up Scriptures relevant to the discussion and simply deal with the issues without getting personal. If you disagree with me, that’s fine, but don’t resort to ad hominem attacks. This in no way advances the cause of truth. Doing this is producing smoke and not light, and only brings discredit to the attacker. I won’t tolerate this kind of behavior on this blog. Period.

        Next, my email address is on our website at hoshanarabbah.org. It has been there for years. I think there’s even still a phone number there if you want to call. It’s no secret for those who care to take the time to look.

        Third, to this point, I have not been cutting you off, as YHVH is my witness. If so, I’d not have allowed your comment to come through in the first place much less continue this discussion.

        Since all you want to do is to accuse and mischaracterize my statements, and not actually answer my questions and properly address the issues, you leave me with no choice but to close down this discussion. As such, I will take no further comments on it, since it has now turned a corner and gone down a path that is not conducive to discovering the light of Truth. By your words and actions, you’re obviously not a real truth seeker, but one who relies only on prooftexting. Therefore, there’s nothing more that I can say, so why bother?

        Blessings and I wish you well. Shalom.

      • Dear Mr. Lawrence
        I’m Sorry I was negligent in answering your questions. I will go back and try to answer them one at a time what I think you are asking.
        You ask a question based on the supposed truth you seem to think you just proved by your statement. “the good and perfect and acceptable will of Elohim.” The Greek grammar actually suggests here the idea of comparative, nominative or superlative, that is, good, better and best. So what is the good, better and best will of Elohim when it comes to his commandments including marriage?

        So first from your statement: (“the good and perfect and acceptable will of Elohim.” The Greek grammar actually suggests here the idea of comparative, nominative or superlative, that is, good, better and best.)

        If this is a “good, better and best” proof text then why is “perfect” in the middle? is it the better? or the best? I find this example confusing trying to understand it as you present it. I can see how you might reason this to be as you say, but it seems more like the Hebrew custom of repeating something to emphasize it. That is why I asked for other examples of your interpretation of “good, better and best” to which you replied “I just did”

        Now sense your question,”So what is the good, better and best will of Elohim when it comes to his commandments including marriage?” seems to hang on your thinking there is a “good, better and best”. What is your scriptural answer to your question? And that answer would be more proof for me to see your scriptural reasoning of “good, better and best” of what is acceptable to God in keeping His commandments.

        Jesus gave an example of two sons and asked which did the will of the father.
        Matt 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

        But this is only an example of who did and who did not do the will of the father.

        Sorry, I don’t have the answer you were hoping for but I look to hear what your answer is.
        I will look for other questions you asked of me, and because I’m slow, I will respond to them one at a time.

        Thanks for your thoughts,
        tony walker

      • My statement, ““the good and perfect and acceptable will of Elohim” is a misquote of Romans 12:2. I will fix that typo. The Scripture reads, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Perfect is at the end of the clause, not in the middle as I incorrectly wrote. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

      • Dear Mr. Lawrence

        You ask:
        “Do humans always live up to the best? Or do they sometimes fall short of that highest ideal? Is there grace if they fall short, then repent and resolve to not make that mistake again? Will they be more blessed if they walk more in Elohim’s perfect will and less blessed if they don’t? How often are you walking in his best will in all areas of your life? “

        Quite a pack of questions.
        1 “Do humans always live up to the best?”
        tw reply: If we did there would be no sin and no need for Christ to die.

        2 “Or do they sometimes fall short of that highest ideal?”
        To fall short, is that sin or not? In the example I gave of the two sons and who did the will of the father Matt 21:28, It seems that God’s concern is more about doing His will, than what our first thought might have been. So even though the first son’s answer may have fallen short his action did not.

        3 “Is there grace if they fall short, then repent and resolve to not make that mistake again?”
        Again, is “fall short” sin? And “that mistake” is that again another way of saying “sinned”? Yes there is always a place of mercy and forgiveness for sin we quit and ask to be forgiven for. But it does no good to say “sorry, please forgive me” If we do not stop doing the sin.

        4 “Will they be more blessed if they walk more in Elohim’s perfect will and less blessed if they don’t?”
        Here you use the word “perfect”, Are you are thinking “perfect” is “best” of your “good, better, best” thinking? My thinking is they will be blessed if they do the will of God and not blessed if they do not do the will of God. Two scriptural examples I can think of , one is the man given one talent Matthew 25:24, he evidently did not do the will of his master, and the second example is of the tithing of small seed but not doing the more important things Matthew 23:23, they were not doing the will of God, and Jesus was rebuking them, NOT blessing them less.

        5 “How often are you walking in his best will in all areas of your life? “
        Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
        I am not one that have seen any one that is able to live with without sin and that includes me. Sin is not doing the will of the Father, It is only through the daily working of Christ in me that I have any claim to perfection.

  5. Dear Mr Lawrence;
    I located your blog as I have been doing some research and seeking information on the Biblical grounds for the allowance of divorce. The information here is interesting and helpful but I still hold a couple fundamental questions I have not found answers to. The statement that I was posed and can neither confirm or deny is this. In God’s plan, from the beginning with Adam/Eve, marriage was a union blessed by God. Intend for Gods enjoyment . Thru love of the partners procreation and growth of God’s loving kingdom. That was the plan and covenant with man. It was pointed out to me that this is pre human nature’s FALL from God covenant. So in essence it was God’s plan… and Man’s original expectation to work to plan. However; The subsequent fall to sin occured … post marriage contract.
    So, Now we have God’s marriage covenant in place with a fallen man whose hardened hearts begins many sinful ways to disgrace the marriage covenant.( between Man and Women and God) Man’s humanity places women /wives in biblical and early history position of almost being “property” and not a partner. This disrespect and human action drives (on occasions) marriages to break points. These breakpoints created situations more grievous in sin, then allowing simply to legally get away from one another.

    I was told Moses determined for the respect of spouses in intolerable or even dangerous marriage situations that God wanted love to prevail. However; God has never wanted man’s sin of hatred. ( I was told spouses would even find it easier to murder than to seek divorce – especially women killing husbands as the legal system often gave women to word). Thus Moses,enlightened by God ,understood that the marriage contract was codified pre man’s fall to sin. Thus Man’s sinful hardened heart was given this divorce “out” thru Moses asalesser of sins. Not meant as an option… it is intended to be a lesser of two sins and requires repentance etc.

    Hope this train of thought made sense. So Is there any biblical reference that explains what motivated Moses to allow man the option of divorce? If not Biblically detailed was there any documentation that supports “mans hardness of heart” post garden of Eden, as a rationale for Divorce?
    Thank you for your consideration and God Bless you .
    Peace, Joe

    • I know of nothing in the Scripture that specifically states what Moses’ motivation was to allow for divorce, except the reality that many humans cannot live up to the highest standards, principles and ideals of Elohim’s marriage principles. Therefore, in some cases, exceptions have to be made. Even though YHVH is gracious, anytime we go against the laws of Elohim, even due to human weakness and hardness of heart, there will be a price to pay. Divorce and remarriage certainly comes with a high price in more ways than just monetarily.

  6. Dear Mr. Lawrence,
    Thank you for your time and response.I understand there is no scripture which can now explain the grounds or motivation for Moses’ actionper divorce. I believe I understand and am in agreement that some exceptions have to be made. Albeit with a price. Could you give me a bit more detail into what you mean when you say “Divorce and remarriage certainly comes with a high price”? Is there a forgiveness that can be obtained for this sin? Or is your comment to be meant to infer that eternal life without God is the price to be paid?

    I am currently in a place where I feel that YHVH loves us and there is nothing we can do about that! However, Eternal life with YHVH is ours to lose thru sin. Is there any hope to one who has divorced and remarried… understanding that you are only at a position to comment without any personal connection to the situation. I am also deeply in prayer on this subject .
    Shalom and again your consideration and time is most appreciated.
    Sincerely, Joe

    • When I say that divorce comes with a high price, I’m the affects on people’s lives here and now, not on their ultimate salvation.

      If the sin of an unbiblical divorce can’t be forgiven, then that means that means Yeshua’s death on the cross isn’t able to cover some sins. At the same time, the Bible teaches that there’s no forgiveness for willful sin. Where YHVH draws the lines between between the two is his to judgment and not mine. I just praise him that I’m not facing these issues in my life. There are easy answers.

    • Dear Mr. Joseph P Morris

      I was included in the sharing of this post so I am replying.
      About Sin to be forgiven, Jesus said in Matt 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

      Scripture says who God’s Mercy is to Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God. he is God. the faithful God which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

      Proverbs 28: 13 He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesses and forsaks them shall have mercy.

      LOVE is: I John. 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God. that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
      2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

      So the Question is: Is divorce/remarriage sin and can we continue in it?
      Jesus said: Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
      Mark 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

      So if it is adultery? How do we stop the adultery? Can we just say forgive me and continue in it, and it is then no longer sin? If so can same sex marriages also do the same thing?

      What is more of a Godly witness to the world? To do that which we think is pleasing to God even though it seems very hard to us? Or to do the same as the world does concerning Divorce/Remarriage?
      And what is more of a Godly witness to our children?

      May God bless you as you act according to His will,
      Sincerely, tony walker

  7. Thank you Mr. Lawrence. Amen! We are an Easter People……. Shalom and Thank you for your time

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