Mark 10:1-5

Mark 10:1 (KJB)
And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

Jesus had been safe in the area of Galilee where He had ministered for over a year but now as the time draws near for Him to go to the cross, He now travels into the coastal area of Judaea. He probably came through the region of Peraea which was east of Jordan. He had avoided Samaria by going this way and He would not return again to Galilee until after His resurrection. Here Jesus was now re-entering His public ministry because the private teaching of the disciples was over. So Jesus began to teach the people again as they once again began to gather before Him.

Mark 10:2 (KJB)
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

As usual wherever Jesus was ministering, the Pharisees were also present and this time they were trying to trap Him by drawing Him into one of their debates. The opinions on divorce were varied and many held differing opinions on the subject. The Jews held marriage in high esteem and as a sacred obligation. There was no debate over the legitimacy of divorce because it was recognized by everyone. The big question which was being debated was for what reason or reasons could one obtain a divorce. The Jewish scholar Hillel debated that a wife who burned dinner would be sufficient cause to obtain a divorce. Thus the reasoning for divorce had dwindled to any excuse by this time. These Pharisees were either from Jerusalem or they were local religious leaders.

Mark 10:3 (KJB)
And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

Jesus was not the least bit intimidated by their question and once again He takes them back to the Scriptures and not to their commentaries. He wanted them to respond by telling Him what Moses taught because the writings of Moses were Scripture and that was the authority.

Mark 10:4 (KJB)
And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

The Pharisees responded to Jesus by stating that Moses gave a bill of divorce to allow the wife to be put away or divorced. They had answered the question without even giving any of the restrictions placed upon divorce. The bill of divorce was a protection for the wife because it had to have the exact reasons for the divorce so she could not be accused with false or abusive accusations. The more vile a woman was made to sound, the more righteous her husband would look in the divorce.

Mark 10:5 (KJB)
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

One of the reasons that Moses allowed divorce was because if there would have been marriages that were broken up and there was no official divorce, then both spouses would become guilty of adultery by going to be with someone else and adultery carried with it the death penalty. So Moses allowed a writ of divorce to be given to the wife so people would know that the matter had been adjudicated and was brought before Moses. The other reason that Moses allowed divorce was because of the hardness of their hearts. There would be an unforgiving spirit among the people resulting in their hearts being hardened in sin. Then eventually God Himself would divorce Israel itself and this situation was the precursor to that event. (Jer 3:8 KJV) And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. Then Jesus confirms the fact that from the beginning, that is, from the time of Adam and Eve, divorce was not the way of dealing with problems in marriage and it is still not the way today but because of easy no fault divorces, couples can be divorced by noon and in the bars by nine.