The divorced woman (Mt 5:32-5:32)

“But I say to you!

‘That everyone

Who divorces his wife,

Except on the ground

Of sexual immorality,

Makes her an adulteress.

Whoever marries

A divorced woman

Commits adultery.’”

 

ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας ποιεῖ αὐτὴν μοιχευθῆναι, καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ἀπολελυμένην γαμήσῃ μοιχᾶται.

 

Jesus, via Matthew has a higher standard for his followers.  Matthew has this as a solemn statement of Jesus (ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν).  Not only that, he repeated the same statement later in chapter 19:3-9, based on Mark, chapter 10:2-12.  Luke also had this same statement in chapter 16:18.  There was only one ground for divorce, the unchaste sexual immoral women (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας).  This immorality, “πορνείας” included all kinds of sexual perversity, not just adultery.  Otherwise, that divorced women would become an adulteress, committing adultery (ποιεῖ αὐτὴν μοιχευθῆναι).  If anyone married a divorced woman, they were also committing adultery (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ἀπολελυμένην γαμήσῃ μοιχᾶται.).  Thus, the reasons for divorce were explicitly limited to sexual perversity.  However, there was no indication that a woman could divorce her husband for any sexual cruelty or perversity.

The proposition (Dan 13:19-13:21)

“When the maids

Had gone out,

The two elders

Got up.

They ran to her.

They said.

Look!

The garden doors

Are shut!

No one can see us!

We are burning

With desire

For you!

Give your consent!

Lie with us!

If you refuse,

We will testify

Against you

That a young man

Was with you.

This was why

You sent your maids away.’”

The two elder judges seized the moment, once the maids were gone. They jumped up from their hiding place and ran over to the bathing Susanna. They made their proposition. They told Susanna that they were burning with desire for her, as if that was a good pitch. They wanted her to consent to have sex with them. They wanted consensual sex rather than rape her. However, they told her that if see did not agree, then they would testify against her. They were going to say that she sent her maids away, so that she could have sex with a non-existent young man. That was the deal, sex with them or be judged by them as committing adultery with someone else. What a strange choice.