Bill of divorcement
Mark 10:5 AV
And Jesus answered and said unto them,
For¹ the hardness of your heart²
he wrote you this precept³.
¹) To the advantage of.
²) Greek: σκληροκαρδία (sklerokardia) hardness of heart.
³) A commandment; a prescribed rule in accordance with which a thing is done.
But Jesus said to them, Because of your hardness of heart [your condition of insensibility to the call of God] he wrote you this precept in your Law. [AMP] And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment". [ESV] Jesus said, "Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. [MSB] And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. [KJV] "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. [NIV] But Jesus responded, "He wrote those instructions only as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness". [NLT] And Jesus answered and said to them, "Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept". [NKJV]
Some further information
Jesus again addresses the questioners very personally and tells them “In view of the hardness of your hearts he has written to you this commandment” (Mark 10:5 KJV)
The act of divorce was an emergency solution to settle a situation that got out of hand and prevent worse.
Divorce was never intended or willed by God (Mark 10:6-9; Malachi 2:16).
However, when a divorce in the Old Covenant was unavoidable despite everything, according to the Old Testament it had to be handled as correctly as possible according to circumstances to avoid worse.
Because the marriage was officially dissolved by the divorce certificate, remarriage (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) did not end in adultery (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:18; Matthew 5:27,28; James 2:11). This was the case without an official divorce, because in that case the first marriage still existed.
We read positively in the Old Testament divorce settlement that the law of Moses was not a collection of timeless precepts and unattainable ideals, but rather took into account the sinful reality in which people lived.
Even where the divorce prohibition had been violated, man had not yet withdrawn from God’s commandments.
The “hardness of heart” (Mark 16:14, compare Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4; Ezekiel 3:7) is the sinful disposition of man who opposes God’s commandments.
As early as in the Old Testament times, it is announced that God will remove that harshness in the time of salvation and replace it with a “flesh heart”, enabling the new man to keep God’s commandments. (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26-27).
This means that a new way has been opened in the New Testament through which man is enabled by the action of the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s original plan (including marriage and divorce).
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