Here is just a short reference tool for you if you have ever struggled with or been asked about divorce and remarriage. To be honest, it’s very plain in Scripture. This short post will explain it. By the way, this is God, Jesus Christ, speaking.
“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 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. 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.”
What I am about to explain is called the Exception Clause, found within the verses above. This is usually brought out as an excuse for divorce and remarriage. As you will soon see, it is clearly incorrect logic. It is also very important to include all the contextual verses I have included above for reference to such statements as “hardness of their hearts” and “from the beginning it was not so.”
What is the difference between the two following example sentences?
1. Whosoever goes over the speed limit, except for an emergency, and runs through stop signs, is a lawbreaker.
2. Whosoever goes over the speed limit, and runs through stop sings, except for an emergency, is a lawbreaker.
That was easy to see since I highlighted the text. But what is REALLY different? Does it make any difference where the exception clause is located within the sentence? The following alteration of God’s Holy Word in Scripture is the misconception used to justify divorce and remarriage. Mostly people do not intend to alter God’s word, but since their mind is already made they choose not to think about it very deep. This is how it would look:
Whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another, except it be for fornication, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
If the verse did look like that it would be ok to remarry in the case of fornication. Let’s break the verse into parts:
A. Whosoever shall put away his wife,
This “put away” is actually just a separation for a season of time, not a legal divorce.
B. except it be for fornication,
Fornication is a term for sexual immorality. This is the only exception for a husband and wife to separate. (Refer to I Corinthians 6 about fleeing fornication) Take special notice that this exception is only for separation; it is not for the words that follow:
C. and shall marry another, committeth adultery:
Clearly it is always wrong to get remarried.
D. and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”
This just clarifies that there are no exceptions for remarriage.
Acknowledgements: I want to say a special thanks to Ray Mummert for explaining this to us in a youth Bible Study in 2011.