QUESTIONS on Divorce and Re-marriage




Hi Keith,

I visited your website and I was blessed by it. I do have two  questions and I'd appreciate it if you could provide me with scripturally sound answers:


1) Deuteronomy 24:4 prohibited a divorced and remarried woman from returning to her first husband, because such a woman had been "defiled". Is this prohibition still applicable today? Is it scripturally okay today for a divorced and remarried woman to return to her first husband in cases where the divorce was unscriptural?


I ask this question because there are believers today who say that a divorced and remarried woman/man should remain in their current marriage and not attempt to return to their first mates because such return is prohibited by Deuteronomy 24:4.


Others, however, argue that any unscriptural divorce and remarriage constitutes an act of ongoing adultery and, therefore, the divorced and remarried individual must quit the adulterous relationship and either return to his/her first mate or remain single.


I find the use of the word "defiled" in Deut. 24 very significant. The reason given for the prohibition of return of the remarried wife to her first husband is that she has been "defiled" by her marriage to the second husband. This suggests sexual defilement at the hands of the second husband.


What exactly does the Bible teach in such matters? In view of the prohibition of return to the first husband imposed on a divorced and remarried woman in Deuteronomy 24:4, is it biblically correct for a divorced and remarried person to return to their first (former) spouse?


ANSWER***We  must  understand  the  whole  context  of  marriage  and  divorce  as  under  Moses  or  the  Old  Covenant.  It  was  relatively  easy  to  get  a  divorce;  God  ALLOWED  pretty  easy  divorce  under  the  Old  Covenant.  Jesus  ran  into  this  question  with  the  Pharisees  in  Matt. 19:7,8.  Now  because  God  allowed  easy  divorce  He  had  to  put  some  kind  of  "breaks"  on  the  rolling  out  of  it  all.  If  there  was  not  some  kind  of  "breaking  system"  on  easy  [for  just  about  anything,  as  one  school  of  the  Pharisees  taught;  Jesus  in  Mat.19  seeming  to  agree]  divorce,  or  you  could  soon  see  how  crazy  it  could  become;  one  minute  getting  a  divorce  for  something  simple,  then  deciding  "well  it  wasn't  too  bad  really"  and  getting  re-married  to  the  same  woman.  Go  one  step  further,  later  she  is  divorced  again  for  a  simple  matter,  the  man  marries  another  woman,  gets  divorced  from  her,  and  decides  the  first  woman  was  better,  so  marries  her  again;  then  she  upsets  him  in  some  way  and  he  divorces  her  again,  and  decides  the  second  woman  is  better  and  re-marries  her  once  more.  I  mean  you  could  go  on  and  on  with  half  a  dozen  women  getting  married  and  divorced  and  married  again..... going  on  among  4  or  5  or  6  women,  back  and  forth.  The  whole  thing  would  be  a  travesty  and  a  complete  huge  ridiculous  game  of  marriage  and  divorce,  marriage  and  divorce  among  the  same  women.  It  would  if  not  so  serious  a  matter  be  a  huge  laughable  joke.


So  God  allowing  easy  divorce [which  Jesus  did  away  with  under  the  New  Covenant]  had  to,  needed  to,  put  a  law  in  it  that  would  not  turn  it  into  a  three-ring-circus.  


Now  under  the  New  Covenant,  such  a  law  is  not  needed.  First  divorce  Jesus  brought  back  to  NOT  being  so  easy  and  just  for  every  little  thing [the  subject  is  covered  in-depth  in  my  study  called  "Divorce  and Re-marriage"  on  my  website].  Second,  we  are  in  different  times;  Israel  was  a  nation [supposed  to  be  anyway]  under  God - State  and  Religion  was  NOT  separate  but  one  government  under  God's  laws  and  rules.  So  today  we  have  very  many  different  situations  to  apply  divorce  and  re-marriage.  Okay,  example:  Two  people  marry,  both  non-religious;  then  later  one  becomes  converted  and  accepts  Christ  as  personal  Savior.  The  other  mate  does  not  and  wants  a  divorce.  The  divorce  happens.  They  both  go  their  separate  ways.  Keeping  it  simple [could  be more  involved  in  certain  ways]  they  both  remain  single [for  whatever  reasons]  then  5  years  later  the  non-religious  one  ALSO  becomes  converted  and  accepts  Christ  as  personal  Savior.  By  some  chance  the  two  meet  again,  and  a  courtship  and  falling  in  love  with  each  other  starts  once  more.  YES,  they  can  under  the  New  Covenant  marry  AGAIN.  


The  various  situations  could  be  endless  under  a  New  Covenant  where  God's  people  are  not  a  nation  but  individuals.


We  have  moved  from  a  nation  under  God,  and  easy  divorce  being  allowed  as  Jesus  said  in  Mat.  19  for  the  hardness  of  the  heart;  to  a  New  Covenant  that  is  God's  people  as  individuals  and  not  a  nation  as  Old  Israel  was.  The  whole  spectrum  of  divorce  and  re-marriage  has  changed  from  as  under  the  Old  Covenant  to  as  under  the  New  Covenant.


2) My second question has to do with people who got divorced when they were unbelievers. If a person gets an unscriptural divorce as an unbeliever and then he or she latter becomes a believer (saved), is he permitted to remarry? I have seen this type of teaching by a Church and I find no biblical evidence to support it.


ANSWER***This  is  I  believe  explained  in  my  in-depth  study  on  Divorce  and  Re-marriage. But  whatever  is  done  as  an  un-believer,  when  you  become  a  converted  Christian,  all  the  past  mistakes,  errors,  sins,  is  washed  away.  You  have  a  clean  slate;  you  now  have  a  fresh  start.  Hence  that  person  who  in  your  story  above  is  divorced,  then  they  are  divorced,  they  are  single,  they  have  a  clean  slate,  a  new  fresh  start.  If  not  the  silly  ideas  of  having  to  live  single  for  the  rest  of  your  life;  or  trying  to  find  your  once  mate  and  converting  them  to  Christianity...... well  the  ramifications  of  all  that  just  would  blow  your  mind.  I  go  into  it  somewhat  with  examples  in  my  study  on  Divorce  and  Re-marriage.


Please  read  my  in-depth  study  slowly  and  carefully,  and  I  believe  all  answers  on  divorce  and  re-marriage  you'll  find  answered;  maybe  your  first  question  was  not,  but  it  is  now  in  my  reply.


Keith