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Divorce


Divorce, “a legal dissolution of the marriage relation.” The law regulating this subject is found Deut. 24:1-4, and the cases in which the right of a husband to divorce his wife was lost are stated ibid., 22:19, 29. The ground of divorce is a point on which the Jewish doctors of the period of the New Testament differed widely; the school of Shammai seeming to limit it to a moral delinquency in the woman, whilst that of Hillel extended it to trifling causes, e.g., if the wife burnt the food she was cooking for her husband. The Pharisees wished perhaps to embroil our Saviour with these rival schools by their question, Matt. 19:3; by his answer to which, as well as by his previous maxim, Matt. 5:31, he declares that he regarded all the lesser causes than “fornication” as standing on too weak ground, and declined the question of how to interpret the words of Moses.