Matthew 19:6-10

Mat 19:6 (KJB)
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Jesus now confirms the fact that after marriage the couple is one flesh. They are in union both spiritually and physically. They are to walk in the same direction. Their bodies belong to each other. (1 Cor 7:4 KJV) The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. However, being married does not negate the fact that a person is an individual and may have different ideas than their spouse. Marriage is the most deepest and intimate of all human relationships. Then Jesus goes beyond the human aspect of marriage and states that it was God who joined Adam and Eve, and in every marriage, there is a God-joined aspect. Even where marriage seems to be out of God’s will, that is still a marriage in the sight of God. Then the phrase “let not man put asunder.” The word “asunder” in the Greek carries with it the idea of “separate, divide, or divorce.” The words “let” and “asunder” are one word in the Greek and that word is in the Imperative Mood making it a command. In other words, the command of God is not to divorce, it is not a suggestion. If man divorces his wife, then he violates the command of God and adulterates the marriage.

Mat 19:7 (KJB)
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

The Pharisees then quote Deuteronomy 24:1. (Deu 24:1 KJV) When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. The word “uncleanness” in Deut. 24:1 does not specifically signify adultery but can also be understood to be “shame.” The Pharisees had used a multitude of excuses to grant a divorce such as inability to bear children, any type of wrong behavior, talking with a man that was not her husband, inability to cook, etc. Divorce had become an issue in the time of Moses and by the time of Christ, 1450 years later, it had become a common practice to divorce for any reason a man saw fit. Moses gave the wife a writ of divorce as a protection for her and it allowed her to remarry. The real point here is that the Pharisees wanted to see if Jesus would somehow usurp the authority of Moses on this issue.

Mat 19:8 (KJB)
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

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.

Mat 19:9 (KJB)
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

The word for “fornication” is the Greek word “porneia” which carries a very wide range of meaning. In fact anything from sexual sin to idolatry to political fornication. (Rev 19:2 KJV) For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. If you remember, the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus and they asked Him about divorce for “every cause.” Porneia carries with it a wide meaning and can be applied to almost every situation in a marriage where fidelity comes into question. If a woman talks with another man, she could be accused of porneia, if she laughs with friends and there is a man present, she could be accused of porneia. It could be applied to many situations and this is why Jesus gave that exception clause because that exception clause completely refutes and negates the Pharisees’ belief of divorce for every cause. Then Jesus places a very important principle on the end of this verse and that is if a person divorces their wife and then marries another commits adultery and remember under mosaic law, adultery is met by stoning. Jesus also states that if a man marries a woman who is divorced, then whether she has a writ of divorce or not, it is considered adultery in the eyes of God. In the time Jesus walked the earth, just like today, divorce and remarriage was rampant and Jesus is telling them that it is adultery to marry a person whose spouse is still living. Moses allowed remarriage but Jesus is stating that it is adultery.

Mat 19:10 (KJB)
His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

Since the disciples were raised under this type of teaching, it was hard for them to digest the reality that it was truly difficult to dissolve that heavy yoke of marriage and that a man should think very seriously about marriage and its tenets before they get married and not after. Then the disciples said if the situation is like this, then it is good not to marry.