Unfortunately, we must discuss divorce when discussing marriage. The fact is, we see divorce in the Scriptures but there's often questions that still revolve around this subject. This article is going to focus on why divorce is allowed for some things, why it's recorded in Scripture like it is, and why there are some questions that are not answered. We'll then try to conclude how this looks in our lives.
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The marriage covenant with Abraham was to man and YHWH. This is the book of Hosea. We also see it in Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. Galatians 3 says the "seed" is Y'shua Mashiyach and we know He is YHWH made flesh.

Jesus came to purify a "woman" who was not pure (His people - church), she is a whore. Think about the imagery in the Gospels of those He interacted with. While there's interactions with healing of men, there's a focus of forgiveness of women in adultery and uncleanliness. Messiah came to purify the bride but that purification is not supposed to be over and over (Romans 3:24-25; 2 Peter 1:9; Hebrews 10:28-31). This purification is why we can only have the Father, YHWH the groom, through the Messiah - He purifies us. After being purified, we are supposed to act like a virgin. This is why Paul is discussing faithfulness, subjection, respect, love, without spot and wrinkle (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Polygamy was not a design of YHWH but we see imagery in how a man would have multiple wives but a wife only one husband. Due to this, only a husband could divorce a wife for adultery and a husband was commanded to set a wife free if the husband did not provide three things: love, clothing, food. The recordings of polygamy may be an image of Yah's marriage to two wives (Israel and Judah) or that we are a multitude while we have only ONE God, one husband. As a note, two wives was not YHWH's original intent as He only married one at Sinai.

Through Scripture we see references of YHWH's promise to fulfill the obligation of the husband: love, food, clothing. These obligations are noted in Exodus 21:10-11. While the context of the obligations pertains to the rights of a slave who is married to her master, it was well understood that they involved all marriages. When we look at how Yah treats His "bride", we see these things are provided and often in abundance. On the other hand, we see a regular occurrence of the bride of God taking the gifts and offering them to another man, another god. This is why idolatry is called adultery.

Y'shua and Malachi emphasized that divorce was never part of Yah's plan, and that it is a result of sinfulness. The sinfulness does not lie in the process of divorce but in the breaking of the marriage covenant. Ezekiel shows that Israel broke her marriage covenant vows while God kept them to the letter and even beyond, so YHWH was righteous in divorcing her. Is Israel and Judah done? Is this replacement theology?

Remarriage after divorce was possible within the law. Deuteronomy 24:1-2 specifically showed that a person may remarry, and even implied that this is true for the guilty as well as the innocent partner as long as they had not married another man. If they marry another and then are widowed or divorced, her first husband is not allowed to married her again. It is very apparent, based on Jeremiah, these marriage and divorce laws are based around God and how He works with His bride.

After His divorce with Israel (Hosea 2:2; Jeremiah 3:8), Jeremiah struggles with an appearance of YHWH having divorced Judah, sending her into captivity. Judah appeared to fit the situation described in Deuteronomy 24:1-2 almost exactly. She had been divorced because of her adultery, and then she had gone off to marry one of her lovers such as Syria, who she hoped would protect her from Babylon. When she had been rejected by Syria, she wanted to come back to her first husband. Jeremiah sees the problem based on divorce law in Jeremiah 3:1:
'If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again?', and he applies this to Judah: 'You have lived as a prostitute with many lovers; would you now return to me?'.

Jeremiah then proclaims a
renewed covenant, not based on the ark or the laws of Moses, the current (of Jeremiah's day) marriage covenant of Israel and Judah, but a renewing of the one to be fulfilled later. This is pointing back to Abraham and his seed (Galatians 3).

While Jeremiah struggled for answers whether or not God divorced Judah, Isaiah could not find such evidence (Isaiah 54:6-7).

Whether divorced or not, under the renewing of the covenant, the one put on "pause" 430 years after it was made, until the promise would come (
Galatians 3), Israel and Judah are not left out. After all, we are grafted into this tree (Romans 11:11-31)

You're probably thinking, "This is all cool but what does this have to do with divorce of man and woman?"

The fact that there was abuse during the time of Scripture doesn't really need to be mentioned. Mankind has not changed. Yet, the Bible gives no direct prescription to divorce for abuse. Does this mean you cannot divorce for abuse?

The Bible appears to be a book about the marriage of YHWH and His people. This means the recording of reasons for divorce would revolve around this marriage. The people of Yah cannot abuse their Husband and YHWH would not abuse His bride. Therefore, recording of divorce for abuse is not there.

The Bible is not about us, it's about the church and YHWH. I've been attending a marriage group at our church and it's bothered me that the teachings are focused on man when nothing about anything is about man; it's about YHWH. I believe it's evident in this series on
Biblical Marriage. I've always warned about man centered Bible teachings. He didn't spare Israel for Israel's sake, He did it for His Name. Y'shua Mashiyach did not die for us, He died for YHWH's name (John 12:27-28). Salvation is for YHWH's name. Marriage is a living prophecy of YHWH with His people just as Hosea was a sign of how it's all wrong. We look at the Bible as a book about us but it's a book about YHWH and the marriage, if we really want it. This is why it doesn't answer all our questions, because it's not really about us; though it affects us.

After being made pure through Messiah, if we do not continue with an effort of purity (a real effort not words (Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31; Matthew 15:7-9)) we are adulterous and Yah has the right to divorce us without blemish to His Glory. If we decide to leave, His Glory is not harmed. Yet, if we strive, He will not let us go. The reason Paul talks about the coming of one flesh (Ephesians 5:31) is because we are to join ourselves to YHWH. We are supposed to leave the examples that our father and mother gave and cling to Him.

Fortunately, Deuteronomy and Messiah does not say we MUST divorce for adultery. So, if you're asking the question of if YHWH will just divorce the first time you commit "adultery" with Him the answer would be, no. Remember that YHWH strived with both Israel and Judah for decades while they were in their adultery. Yah has not changed. He will strive with us but if we continue to worship our own likings, our own pleasure, looking to our own strengths, He has the full right to divorce us. It may not happen until our death but He has the full right to do so and history tells us He will.

The question would be, "Why would we want to play the adulterous bride to a "Husband" and good to us as Yah?"

Let's remember, as well, since these instructions seem to point toward YHWH and the marriage to His people, Paul tells the Corinthians that they are to remain with their sinning (unbelieving) spouse if that spouse wants to remain. They are freed if that spouse decides to leave. This stands outside of adultery but it looks like this. YHWH will not leave us for our falling into sin. What is made clear though is He has the full right to leave us for adultery, which is idolatry. We need to remember that we're told idolatry is more than worshiping a pagan idol. Idolatry is putting trust in ourselves (Luke 12:16-21), putting ourselves above Yah in our actions (Matthew 18:21-35), worship of money in that we strive for that over the things of YHWH (Matthew 6:24; Matthew 10:17-31; 1 John 3:16-18; etc), and even if we worship an image of who we want YHWH to be (Exodus 32).

So, now we see why YHWH only allows divorce for adultery and a lack of care provided by your spouse. We also see why a person is free from their marriage obligations if their spouse divorces them. Since we now know that this language revolves around YHWH and His people, we understand why divorce for abuse is not discussed.

As mentioned at the beginning of this study, Israel history tells us that they viewed Exodus 21:10-11 as marriage in general and not only for those who married slaves. I don't believe I would be stepping outside my bounds in saying abuse can be covered in the commands of Exodus 21:10-11 as well. I do not say this lightheartedly either. It's my belief that I will stand for any wrong direction I give others.