By Timothy Sparks
(This brief study addresses the texts of Deut. 24:1ff, Mt. 19:6-8 and Mk. 10:5-9.)
I have seen no evidence from Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek Scripture that God anywhere grants favorable permission regarding divorce of a one flesh union. Some, however, believe that God granted favorable approval for a man to divorce his one flesh wife in the text of Deut. 24:1ff. However, when Scripture says “Moses” (Mt. 19:8) we should not automatically read “God” into the text.
God wrote the text of Deut. 24:1ff through Moses. However, what Jesus refers to in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 concerning what Moses wrote is not a reference to the text of Deut. 24:1ff. In Deut. 24:1ff there is no permission to divorce. What Moses wrote, which Jesus refers to as a permission to divorce, Jesus clearly refutes (Mt. 19:8). Moses’ written permission is not recorded in Deut. 24:1ff. We do not have Moses’ written permission to divorce within God’s Law.
Unless one is willing to pit Jesus against God’s Law (the very law Jesus upheld to the smallest part of a letter, Mt. 5:17-19), the correct answer is that Jesus refutes the command Moses wrote concerning permission to divorce. Moses’ written permission did not have God favorably authorizing it and God did not include it in the Old Covenant.
Please see the following for closer examination of the issues: