To the Pharisees, the ending of a marriage was the husband’s right.The Deuteronomic provision for the wife of a hard-hearted husband (protecting her from his treacherous intentions, Deut.
Their position included an interpretation of the difference between the Masoretic and Septuagintal (LXX) texts of Genesis .
They argued that the inclusion of “two” in the Septuagint (or a text similar to it) properly conveyed the sense of the original. This would prohibit both polygyny and remarriage, practices which made sense and were occasionally required by a full application of the Law and the Prophets in a fallen world.
It is unlikely that this book will end those controversies, but the continuing confusion calls for new ways to resolve them.
With that aim in mind, we look at the teachings of Jesus in the order in which He spoke them.
The conservative school of Shammai thought the man’s right to divorce was limited to the case of a wife who had committed something nearly equal to adultery.
Both schools were concerned for the rights of the man and had little concern for the woman, thus reversing the concern of the Bible. During the days of Christ’s majority, the son of Herod the Great, Antipas, had an affair with his half-brother Philip’s wife, Herodias.
It is ironic that there should be so much controversy over the import of the teaching of Jesus on divorce/remarriage.
In His great Sermon, Jesus explicitly sets about to rectify contemporary ethics, which He sees as debased by Pharasaical Scripture-twisting (Matt. He saw His job as one of clarification, and a summary look at the state of divorce ethics in the days of Jesus shows that clarification was indeed needed!
Together, Herod and Herodias divorced their covenant partners in order to devote themselves to each other.
They cared little for the rights of either men or women who got in the way of their lust.
The second thing that stands out is that Jesus is loyal to the Old Testament Law.