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Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:17-22 – Sell and Give to Poor

Mark 10:17-22 – Sell and Give to Poor

|| Matthew 19:16-22;[1] Luke 18:18-23

MK10:17 Now after Jesus had continued on his travels, a man came running up to him and fell on his knees. He pleaded: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” MK10:18 Then Jesus said to him: “Why do you call me ‘good’?[2] No one is ‘good’ but One – the God![3] MK10:19 You know the commandments? ‘Do not murder! Do not commit adultery! Do not steal! Do not testify falsely! Honor your father and mother!’” [Exodus 20:12-16][4] MK10:20 Now the man answered Jesus: “Teacher, I have kept all of these[5] [commandments] since I was a child!” MK10:21 Jesus studied him with loving concern[6] and then said: “You lack one thing. Leave now and go sell every thing you possess and give the money to the poor[7] – then you will have treasure in heaven. [Afterward] return, [[shoulder your own stake,]][8] and then follow me.”[9] MK10:22 Now this statement made the man very sad[10] and so he left grieving, for he had many possessions.

*

[1] Matthew 19:16-22: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Why do you call me ‘good’: Had Jesus been God himself he could not have even posed the question, for the answer would be obvious. While Messiah is called the “Righteous One” he is never called “Good.”

[3] No one is ‘good’ but One – the God: Jesus is in no way “God.” Whatever goodness Jesus possessed he received from the Absolute Source of all Goodness – the God [HO THEOS]. Only “the God” is perfect and absolute goodness. All others must receive from His goodness.

[4] Exodus 20:12-16: Jesus quotes from the Ten Commandments. We note he omits two commands that many would consider premier – God’s Name and the Sabbath.

[5] I have kept all of these: He had never murdered, never committed adultery, never stolen anything, never lied as a witness, and always cared respectfully for his parents. By any basis of judgment among civilized nations, this Jews was an outstanding human being.

[6] Jesus studied him with loving concern: Or, KJV: beholding him loved him; BER: looking at him, prized him dearly; PME: looked steadily at him, and his heart warmed toward him. The Greek is EGAPESEN and may be without emotion or sentiment. Jesus is interest and concerned about the man and now takes positive action to seek his highest good – even though this may not be received well.

[7] Go sell every thing you possess and give the money to the poor: Jesus has said the same to his “little flock” of personal disciples. See notes on Luke 12:32, 33. This rich man must do this BEFORE he even becomes an intimate follower of Jesus. It is a challenge for all Christians do research the words riches, money, and possessions. See notes on Acts 4:32-37 and 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

[8] Bracketed words are recognized as not adequately supported.

[9] And then follow me: The man must first do all that Jesus asked, and only after that, even begin to follow him.

[10] Made the man very sad: Or, countenance fell, brow darkened, face clouded, somber look.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:1-12 – Pharisees Debate About Divorce

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:13-16 – Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

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Additional reading

  1. Memorizing wonderfully 63: 1 Corinthians 6:9 – Be not deceived for The Kingdom of God
  2. Thought for today in CoViD times: He looked round about (Peter Banyard)
  3. Today’s thought “Peace, peace, when there is no peace” (July 18)
  4. Today’s thought “You stiff necked people” (April 30)
  5. To remember (or not to forget): God is!

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Related

  1. Is Your Heart Set On The Things Of This World? Or Are You Investing In Eternal Life?
  2. Scriptural Meditation- Mark 10:21
  3. Let Them Come!
  4. Astonishing Words About Wealth
  5. The Peril of Having Too Much – Mark 10:17-22
  6. The Rich Young Man
  7. Far More Wealth
  8. Mammon
  9. Good isn’t Perfect, Perfect isn’t Good
  10. Super Quick Bible Study: Good vs. Decent
  11. This Mile’s for You
  12. Questions of the Soul
  13. Goodness Gracious
  14. Money in Mark’s Gospel
  15. Who Rules Your Life?
  16. Who Are You Serving?
  17. Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-31) Sunday School Lesson and Activities
  18. Being Needy for Jesus
  19. Come, Follow Jesus!

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:1-12 – Pharisees Debate About Divorce

CHAPTER TEN:
DIVORCE, CHILDREN, MATERIALISM, BAPTISM,
AND A RANSOM

[“Child-like Service”]
Key word: Minister

Mark 10:1-12 – Pharisees Debate About Divorce

|| Matthew 19:1-9[1]

MK10:1 Now Jesus left from there and arrived along the border of Judaea on the other side of the Jordan. And the crowds gathered again, and as was his custom he began to teach them. MK10:2 Pharisees were also there and trying to test Jesus they asked him: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” MK10:3 So Jesus began to answer them, asking: “What did Moses command you?” MK10:4 So they answered: “Moses permitted a divorce certificate so a man could dismiss his wife” [Deuteronomy 24:1] MK10:5 Now Jesus responded and said: “Because of the hard-heartedness[2] of you [men] Moses wrote such a commandment. MK10:6 However, from the beginning of [human] creation ‘the God made [humankind] male and female. … MK10:7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and [[and stick to his wife]].[3] MK10:8 And the two will be one flesh, and so they are not longer two, but one flesh.’[4] [Genesis 1:27; 2:24] MK10:9 Therefore, whatever the God yoked together, let no one separate.” MK10:10 Now later in the house the disciples asked him the same question again. MK10:11 So Jesus told them: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.[5] MK10:12 Also, if a woman ever divorces her husband[6] and marries another – she commits adultery.”

*

[1] Matthew 19:1-9: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Hard-heartedness: Or, perversity. Jesus means the hearts of Jewish husbands. Matthew states that this was a concession by Moses, and not something that came from God. Tradition had evolved the original divorce statement into virtually anything in the wife that displeased her husband. This was true of many cultures where a man only had to raise two fingers to dismiss a wife he was displeased with. Jewish law did not permit a woman to divorce her husband.

[3] Bracketed words are recognized as not adequately supported.

[4] One flesh: Jesus creates a conflate, that is, a combination of two verses into a single paraphrase or quote. He combines Genesis 1:27 with Genesis 2:24.

[5] Commits adultery against her: It is the innocent victim who is ‘adulterated.’ On the occasion of this discussion Jesus does not state the only grounds for divorce as he does elsewhere.

[6] A woman ever divorces her husband: This had to shock all those listening as under Jewish law a woman could not divorce her husband. Roman law did permit this and it is to Romans he writes. The saying in the ancient world was ‘the further one goes west the more liberated the woman becomes.’

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Preceding

Matthew 5:31-32 – 3. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:1

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:49-50 – Have Salt and Keep Peace

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Review Questions on Chapter Nine

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s exhortation on Mark 10 With God all things are possible
  2. Today’s thought “Is it lawful to divorce … for any cause” (July 18)
  3. Today’s thought “The times of ignorance” (November 5)
  4. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  5. Cohabitating Seniors and the Meaning of Marriage
  6. Parenting in changing times
  7. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  8. About marriages and divorces
  9. What Does The Bible Say About….Fornication?
  10. Two synods and life in the church community

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Related

  1. Mark 10 on their way to Jerusalem
  2. Mark 10 Jesus teaches on divorce and marriage
  3. Jesus Teaches About Divorce (Mark 10:1-12)
  4. Abuse, Divorce, and Remarriage
  5. 7th week of ordinary time-cycle-2 Friday gospel-reading – Mark 10:1-12
  6. I Thee Wed: Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage and Divorce – Mark 10:1-12
  7. More Stubborn than Righteous
  8. Permission to Be Hard?
  9. God’s Family Plan
  10. Oct 3, 2021: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
  11. With This Ring!
  12. Forming Institutions – Marriage
  13. A Mark 10 Study

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:16-24 – Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

|| Mark 10:17-25; Luke 18:18-25

MT19:16 And, look! a [young] person[1] approached Jesus, asking, “Teacher, what good shall I do[2] so that I might have everlasting life?”[3] MT19:17 Jesus told him, “Why do you ask me about some ‘good’?[4] [Only] One is ‘good’.[5] But if you wish to enter Life,[6] observe the commandments.”[7] MT19:18 This person answered, “Which [commandments]?” Jesus responded: “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false testimony,’ MT19:19 ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Exodus 20:13-16] MT19:20 The young man told Jesus, “I have guarded myself regarding all of these.[8] What more am I lacking?”[9] MT19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish perfection[10] leave and sell your belongings[11] and give to the poor[12] – then you will have treasure in heaven – and [then] come be my follower.”[13] MT19:22 But having heard this statement the young man departed very depressed,[14] for he had many possessions.[15] MT19:23 Now Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you this truth: Rich people will only enter the Realm of Heaven with great difficulty.[16] MT19:24 In addition I tell you this: It is easier for a camel to enter through a needle’s eye[17] than for rich people to enter the Realm of Heaven.”

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[1] A [young] person: Revealed in verse 20.

[2] Teacher, what good shall I do: Mark 10:17 adds, “… a certain man ran up and fell upon his knees before him and put the question to him: ‘Good Teacher, what must I do…’” He addresses Jesus as “Good Teacher.” Luke 18:18 adds, “… a certain (religious) ruler.” Therefore, a young rabbi. The Received Text (KJV) has, “Good Teacher.”

[3] Everlasting life: The Greek is ZOEN AIONION. Or, KJV: eternal life; RHM: life age-abiding; TCNT: immortal life; BECK: everlasting life. See word studies else where by researching AION or everlasting life.

[4] Why do you ask me about some ‘good’: This response has resulted in much commentary. If Jesus were “God” one wonders why he would resist a title with the word “good” in it. The Lesson of Eden is that only Yehowah can determine what is ‘good’ and this is not the responsibility of Messiah. Research the word good or AGATHOS (from which the name Agatha comes). Note that the Nazarene’s response is to point to the Ten Commandments and the Law. He does not originate his own philosophy.

[5] [Only] One is ‘good’: Or, KJV: none is good but one, that is, God; ASV: One there is who is good; KNX: God is good, and he only; WMS: there is only one who is perfectly good; ABUV: One is the Good. The subject is absolute or ultimate Good. No one would argue that Jesus was no a “good man.” Note John 7:12. Compare also how others are described as “good.” (2 Samuel 18:27; Proverbs 14:14) Jesus recognizes there are good people (Matthew 12:35; Luke 6:45; Romans 5:7). Surely Jesus refers to his Father, Yehowah.

[6] To enter Life: It may be argued that “Life” here is something like John 5:24 and 1 John 3:14. Thus “Life” means the new Life within the Realm of Heaven – the Church. Others will limit it to that future Life though both may be include.

[7] Observe the commandments: It is possible Jesus speaks to a young Jewish rabbi. Note the commandments Jesus lists. It will startle some what he has omitted in a list of his own choosing: the Name and the Sabbath. Jesus goes on to quote Exodus 20:13-16 then skipping back to Exodus 20:12. He also quotes what he calls late the Second Greatest Commandment: Leviticus 19:18.

[8] I have guarded myself regarding all of these: The KJV version adds: “… from my youth up.” Or, ASV: all these things have I observed; WEY: carefully obeyed.

[9] What more am I lacking: Or, NEB: where do I still fall short; BER: how do I still fall behind; WEY: what more is required. One wonders if there is some self-righteous hypocrisy here. However, Paul himself claims such rigorous righteousness or obedience to the law (Philippians 3:6).

[10] If you wish perfection: Or, KNX: if thou hast a mind to be perfect; NEB: if you wish to go the whole way; NASB: to be complete. To the Nazarene spiritual perfection will involve charity. See notes on Matthew 5:48. – Perfect: This is the Greek word TELEIOI from TELOS (= “end”) and may be rendered “complete, mature, fulfilled.”

[11] Leave and sell your belongings: Or, RHM: withdraw! sell thy substance; go and sell your possessions. Note how in Luke 12:32, 33 Jesus tells his “little flock” the same thing. Note their response in Acts 2:44, 45; Acts 4:34-37.

[12] Give to the poor: The man could divest himself of his possessions in any manner of ways: giving it to his family, hiding investments. Jesus gives no hint that he expects the man to contribute to him though never was there a poorer man on earth (2 Corinthians 8:9). The young rabbi must say goodbye to all his belongings – strip himself from material attachment and desire.

[13] And [then] come be my follower: Note he must do this before becoming a follower or disciple of Jesus. It is possible “follower” means a member of the Nazarene’s private entourage of apostles.

[14] The young man departed very depressed: Or, KJV: he went away sorrowful; NASB: he went away grieved; KNX: sad of heart; RIEU: in gloom; WMS: in deep distress; PME: crestfallen. We watch our Lord’s eyes as he follows the young man as he leaves and we note a slight expression of pity. We would like to know the future of this young rabbi. Did he follow later, become an angry opposer screaming for crucifixion, or merely indifferent. We wonder at his death what thoughts he must have had.

[15] Many possessions: Or, NASB: owned much property; NEB: a man of great wealth; BECK: very rich.

[16] Rich people will only enter the Realm of Heaven with great difficulty: Perhaps of all the teachings of the Nazarene this is the one most disliked by western capitalist society. While the world struggles to be rich Jesus warns of the great difficulty in such conflicting lifestyles and ideals. Compare the notes on Matthew 5:42 and Matthew 6:25. Or, KJV: a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven; ASV: it is hard for a rich man; MON: a rich man will find it difficult. Though the celestial realm of God is the final goal, Jesus makes it clear that it will be very hard for a rich person to become a Christian and gain membership in the Realm of Profession. Note Paul’s counsel to the rich at 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Throughout the Gospel Age there have been wealthy Christians who gave all to help others, while others used their riches to forward the Gospel message. Research the words rich and riches. In Bible terms “rich” means having a surplus (Mark 12:44; 2 Corinthians 8:14).

[17] Camel to enter through a needle’s eye: The Lamsa translation of the Aramaic has this ‘a rope through the needle’s eye.’ Some understand it is the difficulty a camel has in crawling through a very narrow gate to enter a city. It must get on its knees and move forward with difficulty. The Nazarene does not say it is impossible nor does he rule it out altogether. He just says it will be difficult for a rich person to give attention to discipleship while torn over riches. The conflict between love and greed is the struggle between self and others.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

 

 

“3  Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’, {Gen. 1:27 }5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? {Gen. 2:24 }6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”” (Mt 19:3-9 NIV)

“1  Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied. 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” 5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’. {Gen. 1:27 }7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, {Some early manuscripts do not have and be united to his wife. }8 and the two will become one flesh.’ {Gen. 2:24 } So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”” (Mr 10:1-12 NIV)

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“26  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, {Hebrew; Syriac all the wild animals } and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Ge 1:26-27 NIV)

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Ge 2:24 NIV)

“”This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke.” (Nu 19:2 NIV)

“Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke” (De 21:3 NIV)

“”Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up.” (1Sa 6:7 NIV)

“and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”. {Lev. 12:8 } (Lu 2:24 NIV)

“”Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’” (Lu 14:19 NIV)

“If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,” (De 24:1 NIV)

“About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”” (Ge 38:24 NIV)

“And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.” (Ex 34:16 NIV)

“When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.”” (Ho 1:2 NIV)

“”‘Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.” (Le 19:29 NIV)

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.” (1Co 5:1 NIV)

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;” (1Th 4:3 NIV)

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1Co 6:18 NIV)

“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7 NIV)

“While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women,” (Nu 25:1 NIV)

“”Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.” (Ho 2:2 NIV)

“I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery.” (Ho 2:4 NIV)

“But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” (Mt 5:32 NIV)

“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”” (Mt 19:9 NIV)

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.” (1Co 5:1 NIV)

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Eph 5:3 NIV)

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“1 ¶ Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her.” (Ge 34:1-2 NIV)

“6 ¶ Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. 7 Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful thing in {Or against } Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.” (Ge 34:6-7 NIV)

“But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”” (Ge 34:31 NIV)

“24 ¶ About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!” 25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognise whose seal and cord and staff these are.” 26 Judah recognised them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again.” (Ge 38:24-26 NIV)

“7 ¶ and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No-one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”” (Ge 39:7-9 NIV)

“16 ¶ “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.” (Ex 22:16-17 NIV)

“28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. {That is, about 1 1/4 pounds (about 0.6 kilogram) } He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” (De 22:28-29 NIV)

“He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.” (Mr 10:11 NIV)

“”Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Lu 16:18 NIV)

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Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – Grounds for Divorce

|| Mark 10:1-12

MT19:3 And now Pharisees approached Jesus to tempt him,[1] asking, “Is it permissible to divorce[2] a woman for any cause?”[3] MT19:4 Jesus responded to their question by saying, “Did you never read[4] that the One who created male and female[5] [Genesis 1:26, 27] from the Beginning[6] made them MT19:5 and He said:[7] ‘On account of this a man will leave behind his father and mother and he will stick[8] to his woman; and the two will become one flesh’? [Genesis 2:24] MT19:6 So, they are no longer two but one[9] flesh. Therefore, whatever The God[10] has yoked together,[11] let no person divide them.”[12] MT19:7 Now the Pharisees asked him, “So why does Moses command a paper of dismissal and divorce?”[13] [Deuteronomy 24:1-4] MT19:8 Jesus answered them, “Moses conceded the divorcing of your women because of your hardheartedness.[14] But it was not so in the Beginning. MT19:9 I tell you this: that whoever divorces his woman[15] not for the reason of sexual immorality[16] and marries another,[17] commits adultery.”

*

[1] To tempt him: See Matthew 16:1 where they first test him.

[2] Is it permissible to divorce: One wonders why the Pharisees ask this question as a test of Jesus. It is possible that because there was considerable disagreement on this subject among the Jews, they had found a perplexing question very difficult to answer without offending someone (Shammai versus Hillel schools of thought). We are very interested in how Jesus will handle this. Will he compromise? Will he rationalize an answer favorable to all? The question may also be rendered: RSV: Is it lawful.

“Divorce” in Hebrew carries several meanings: Deuteronomy 22:19, “send away”; Leviticus 22:13, “drive out”; Deuteronomy 24:1, 3 “a bill of divorcement” means literally in Hebrew, “a book of cutting off.” Regarding Jewish divorce see Josephus (Jewish Antiquities, XV, 259 [vii, 10]; 4. 8. 23). Note that in Malachi 2:16 Yehowah says, “I hate divorce.”

[3] For any cause: The problem resulted from the Jewish interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Jewish men could divorce for almost any reason. This could include, according to at least one rabbi, that if a man found a more desirable and lovely woman. Note, however, that the Law did not provide for a woman divorcing her husband. On this compare the notes on Matthew 19:9.

[4] Did you never read: This introduction has a degree of cutting sarcasm to it: these are pompous and arrogant teachers of the Law who have studied the Torah completely. Jesus is not unaware of their hidden agenda.

[5] The One who created male and female: Jesus means Yehowah in the designation “the One.” He alludes to Genesis 1:26, 27.

[6] Beginning: Jesus uses the word in relation to the creation of humankind. It is the Greek ARCHES.

[7] He said: Jesus nowhere hints that he believed this One to be himself as Jehovah. We also may draw the conclusion that Jesus believed the account of Genesis. Jesus here quotes Genesis 2:24.

[8] Stick: Or, KJV: cleave; RSV: joined. The Greek is KOLLETHESETAI. It is drawn from the root KOLLA which means to “glue.”

[9] No longer two but one: Or, NEB: it follows that they are no longer two individuals; PME: no longer two separate people, but one. We must make a note that this word “one” is taken by Trinitarians in some mystical form as if it proves their doctrine. On this issue research the text Genesis 2:24 in Nazarene Commentary as well as the Hebrew echad.

[10] The God: The Greek is HO THEOS as it is in most cases of designating the Father of Jesus, Yehowah. Research the Greek HO THEOS.

[11] Yoked together: Or, KJV: joined together. Marriage is the “yoking” of two different people. The word conveys the idea of two equal beasts of burden under the same yoke (Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7). The Law forbade yoking animals of different strength. The Greek word-group, ZYGOS, ZEUGOS has the thought of a yoke and are rooted in ZEUGNYMI meaning “yoke; couple; join; bind; unite together.” The Greek ZEUGOS may include “a pair” or “yoke” as in Luke 2:24; 14:19, a “pair of turtledoves.” Birds such as these mate for life.

[12] Let no person divide them: Or, KJV: put asunder; TCNT: must not separate. The main “person” or “man” here would be the husband.

[13] A paper of dismissal and divorce: A reference to Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Or, KJV: a writing of divorcement; KNX: a writ of separation; TCNT: serve his wife with a notice of separation.

[14] Because of your hardheartedness: The Nazarene gives the reason for divorce: the hard hearts of males. Or, KJV: the hardness of your hearts; NEB: because you were so unteachable; WMS: because of your moral perversity; PME: because you knew so little of the meaning of love.

[15] Whoever divorces his woman: This verse has come in for considerable debate and discussion because Matthew, Mark and Luke read each differently. Only Mark 10:12 adds, “…and if ever a woman, after divorcing her husband, marries another, she commits adultery.” This liberated women to seek their own divorce. However, the grounds for divorce remain the same in both cases.

[16] The reason of sexual immorality: Jesus gives only one reason. The Greek here is PORNEIA and is worthy of considerable research. The word is also rendered: RHM: unfaithfulness; RSV: unchastity; GDSP: her unfaithfulness. The root of PORNEIA is from “to buy” as in the purchase price of a prostitute and so “fornication” first became synonymous with “prostitution.” (Genesis 38:24; Exodus 34:16; Hosea 1:2; Leviticus 19:29) The word occurs about 65 times in the Bible. Most often in Hosea (17) and secondly in 1 Corinthians (11). In the Christian Bible fornication is incest (1 Corinthians 5:1), adultery (1 Thessalonians 4:3), a sin against one’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18), “unnatural” sex (Jude 7). Paul alludes to Numbers 25:1+ and the fornication of Israelite men with Moabite women, possibly temple harlots as religious worship is associated.

  1. F. Westcott, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (1906, p. 76) defines PORNEIA: “This is a general term for all unlawful intercourse, (I) adultery: Hos. 2:2, 4 (LXX); Matt. 5:32; 19:9; (2) unlawful marriage, 1 Cor. 5:1; (3) fornication, the common sense as here [Eph 5:3].” Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (revised by F. W. Gingrich and F. Danker, 1979, p. 693) defines PORNEIA as “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.” “Fornication” is generally related to adultery, rape, and prostitution (Genesis 34:1, 2, 6, 7, 31; Genesis 38:24-26; Genesis 39:7-9).

The question may be raised whether sexual intercourse between two consenting persons who intend to marry is “fornication.” Some would state that it is. However, we are unable to find a single case where sex between engaged persons is considered “fornication.” Virtually every occurrence of “fornication” is limited to rape, adultery, incest, or prostitution. Indeed, the word “prostitution” could replace “fornication” in the Prophet Hosea and most of the cases elsewhere. While adulterous persons were stoned under the Law, couples (engaged or not) who had sexual intercourse were not stoned but required to marry, the male giving up divorce rights and required to pay a fine to the father of the woman (Exodus 22:16, 17; Deuteronomy 22:28, 29).

Since “fornication” is strongly prohibited to Christians it is necessary that each disciple research fornication, read and meditate on these verses and their related principles.

[17] Marries another: If one divorces and does not remarry adultery is not committed. Compare Mark 10:11, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.” Luke 16:18, “Everyone that divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he that marries a woman divorced from a husband commits adultery.”

 

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Find extra verses to think about: Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

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