Exception Clause And Excuses

Is there an exception clause in the bible for divorce and remarriage?

Men of today are like the pharisees of old. They are looking for a loophole in God’s Word to get a divorce and remarry another spouse that they think is better then the one they have.

People that call themselves Christians look at the Word “except it be for fornication” and they see “except it be for adultery” or “except it be for sexual immorality”.

In Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 adultery is substituted for fornication.

What does fornication really mean?

It is the unlawful sexual connnection between unmarried persons.

Here in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 adultery is substituted for fornication.

What does the word fornication really mean?

It is unlawful sexual connection between unmarried persons.

Fornication and adultery are two different words and two different sins.

We see this in the following verses of scripture:

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Mark 7:21
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murder

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Adultery is committed by a married woman that has had sexual relations with a husband.

Forinication is committed by a woman that is single, an unmarried person. (1 Corinthians 5:1-11)

This exception clause is only found in the book of Matthew and is not in the other gospels.

Why is this?

Matthew wrote to the Jews on this matter of espousal or betrothal in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.

This espousal/betrothal is not for us gentiles.

Mark 10:1-12 and Luke 16:18 are for us gentiles (in the flesh only as those who have been born again are the Israel of God in the Spirit – Galatians 6:16) then and today.

Luke 16:18
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 cover the Jewish betrothal of a Jewish woman and a Jewish man that seeks to be married.

To show you that there is a difference in a married woman and an espoused woman look at Deuteronomy 22:22-23.

Deuteronomy 22:22
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
Deuteronomy 22:23
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

If you notice that these scriptures mention two different women.
One is married to a husband and the other is betrothed to a husband.

The married woman is a wife who has had sexual relations with her husband. The other woman is a betrothed wife, a virgin that has never known a man in sexual relations.

A married wife has lived with her husband. The betrothed wife is still a virgin and has not lived with a man.

The married can commit adultery whereas the betrothed wife commits fornication.

Deuteronomy 20:7
And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

Notice the words here – “a betrothed wife” and “but he hath not taken her”.

Once a husband “took unto him a wife” they were no longer betrothed because they have become “one flesh”. This is because they have had sexual relations with one another.

The man after this could not divorce his wife. (Deuteronomy 22:13-20 and Matthew 19:6)

As I said an espousal or betrothal is a period of time between the purchase of a wife before the marriage. That is what espousal or betrothal means.

The man purchases his wife from the woman’s father. This Joseph did in order to marry Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, ous Lord.

This is an example of what I have in my weak way tried to explain to you who may be reading this article.

When Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together – sexual relations – she was found to be with child. When Joseph found out that Mary was with child, “he was minded to put her away privily.” (Matthew 1:19)

To all appearrances Mary was guilty of fornication in the eyes of the world. Joseph had full intention of divorcing Mary.

To show you that adultery and fornication are two different words lets look at the greek.

In the greek “adultery” is “Moechia”.

In the greek “fornication” is “Porneia”.

Again, I say, under Jewish law, when a Jewish man desired a Jewish woman, he had to purchase her from her father. Once the purchase was made under Jewish law they became husband and wife, but the purchased wife remained with her father for a period of time to make sure that the woman remained chaste

All of what has been written, pictures how Jesus Christ our Lord bought His Church bride (Acts 20:28)

Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Christ has purchased His church bride and this espousal or betorthed period has lasted for over 2,000 years. But the Lord Jesus is coming for His church bride, which will become His wife at the wedding in heaven as we read about in Revelation.

God bless all who read this article.

By C. Waller

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