Moses and divorce (Mt 19:7-19:7)

“The Pharisees said

To Jesus.

‘Why then did Moses

Command us

To give

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.

Pharisees question him about divorce (Mt 19:3-19:3)

“Some Pharisees

Came to Jesus.

They tested him.

They asked.

‘Is it lawful

For a man

To divorce

His wife

For any cause?’”

 

Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Φαρισαῖοι πειράζοντες αὐτὸν καὶ λέγοντες Εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀπολῦσαι τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν;

 

This questioning of the Pharisees about divorce can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:2, almost word for word, with some minor changes.  Once again, some Pharisees show up on the scene (Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Φαρισαῖοι) testing or tempting Jesus (πειράζοντες αὐτὸν).  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that followed the Law of Moses, but with a number of oral traditions.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  They asked Jesus if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause (καὶ λέγοντες Εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀπολῦσαι τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν), since this was a disputed question among many Jewish rabbis.