Divorce....a concession of Moses?

by mizpah 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • mizpah

    In Jesus' discussion on divorce, he said that Moses allowed more latitude about divorce to the sons of Israel as a concession. (Matthew 19) Jesus noted this this arrangement was not so from the beginning. Are we to understand that parts of the Mosaic Law aside from the 10 Commandments were from Moses rather than God? I would enjoy your comments.

  • Robdar

    I. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides Me.

    You shall not take the name of God in vain.

    Remember to keep the Sabbath day Holy.
    IV. Honor your father and your mother.
    V. You shall not kill.
    VI. You shall not commit adultery.
    VII. You shall not steal.
    VIII. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    IX. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

    You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

    Hmm, doesn't say anything about divorce although it does seem that number 6 is very similar to 9 and 10. Also, number 8 doesn't really say that we shouldn't lie. It just says that we shouldn't bear a false testimony against somebody else.

    Robyn--of the hidden feminist agenda class

  • mizpah


    I'm flattered you read some of my previous postings and remembered....haha ("feminist agenda")

    Of course, I said "aside from the 10 Commandments" in my posting. The reason for my question was that it is assumed that Moses received all the law from God when he went up into Mt. Sinai. Yet, Jesus seems to indicate that, at least, in the case of divorce it was Moses' concession to Israel because of their "heart hearts." But thanks for the review of the Commandments. All of us do well to remember them.

  • OHappyDay

    Just some random thoughts, not meant to be definitive:

    The concession on Divorce is found at Deut. 24. All of Deuteronomy up to chapter 31 is one long discourse comprising "the words that Moses spoke to all Israel in the region of the Jordan in the wilderness." (1:1)

    Of course, the Pharisees, whose religious descendants became the rabbis of today, considered as torah, or "law," both the written text and its interpretation (the "oral law").

    Jesus accepted the Pharisees as those sitting "in Moses' seat" in his day. It was their deeds and traditions he objected to, not necessarily their core doctrines. Paul, another Pharisee, also contributed to the Christian corpus of doctrines. In a sense, both rabbinic Judaism and earliest Christianity were formed from a Pharisaic matrix.

    Perhaps Jesus' comments merely suggest that a plain reading of Genesis makes it clear that "what God has joined together, let no man put apart." Therefore, the allowance of divorce, as promulgated by the Mosaic Law at Deut. 24, had to be a concession.

    Moses was known to wrangle with God at times for the benefit of his (and His) stiff-necked people. Perhaps this is one of the things, though not specifically mentioned, that Moses wranged from the Eternal?

  • gumby
    Are we to understand that parts of the Mosaic Law aside from the 10 Commandments were from Moses rather than God?

    If they are......then people have wrongfully believed contrary for quite a while. Seems to me Jesus didn't think so or he wouldn't have quoted the law so much were it not from his old man instead of Moses.


  • mizpah


    Thanks for those very interesting comments. I guess I just assumed that God delivered the entire Mosaic law to Moses in the mountain. But considering the hard hearts and the difficult ways of his people, Moses might have requested concessions.

    Another thought comes to mind, too. The divorce provisions are found in Deuteronomy that Moses delivered 40 years after the wanderings just prior to the Israelites entering the "promised land." (Deut. 1:3) Moses had experienced 40 years of trying to solve the complexities of keeping his people under God's law. Certainly, marriage then as even now can present many problems.

    As you said, there is no definitive answers. But this does seem reasonable. Thanks for sharing.

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