“The Pharisees said
‘Why then did Moses
A certificate of dismissal?
To divorce her?’”
έγουσιν αὐτῷ Τί οὖν Μωϋσῆς ἐνετείλατο δοῦναι βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ ἀπολῦσαι;
This questioning and answering of the Pharisees about divorce can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:3-4, almost word for word, with some minor changes, where Jesus asked this question instead of the Pharisees. Here the Pharisees asked Jesus (έγουσιν αὐτῷ) why did Moses command or instruct them (Τί οὖν Μωϋσῆς ἐνετείλατο) to give a certificate of dismissal or divorce (δοῦναι βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ ἀπολῦσαι)? The reference to Moses here is from Deuteronomy, chapter 24:1-4, where there was talk about a certificate of divorce, and the possibility of many marriages. This certificate was called in Hebrew a “get.” Clearly divorce for a man was okay. However, after the second marriage there was a defilement. This command or instruction of Moses would appear to contradict what Jesus had said about the Genesis story and marriage.