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Domestic Abuse

The Bible And Divorce

It seems that at every turn the Pharisees were testing Jesus. Why do you allow your disciples to pick corn on the Sabbath? Why do they eat with defiled hands? Why do you heal people on the Sabbath? Why do you eat with sinners and tax collectors? The testing questions were relentless.

Here is another one.

Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

The Pharisees knew very well that divorce was commonly allowed.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the only mention of divorce in the Torah, states that a man can divorce his wife simply by handing her a certificate of divorce and sending her away.

For the Pharisees, the real issue was the debate on what were the grounds for divorce.

The school of Shammai held that sexual misconduct was the only grounds for divorce.

The followers of Hillel allowed divorce for anything that displeased the husband, no matter how trivial.

The Pharisees wanted to see on which side of the fence Jesus would fall.

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