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In the beginning God created male and female to be equal marriage partners who would live in the Garden with the Tree of Life eternally.i Their joint mission was to be fruitful and bear children.ii Sin modified their marriage, their roles, and their longevity.iii Separated from the Tree of Life, deathiv reigned over their relationship with new roles being fixed with the husband being the provider and being responsible for ruling over the wife. Pain and trouble were the results of their disobedience to God.

God continued to join (cleave) male and female.v Male and female continued to be required to be “one flesh”, a physical joining that was complementary to God's cleaving They were still expected to bear children.vii

Immorality in perverting God's design caused God to end the original world.viii Noah and his family found grace (because of their morals)ix and were saved to begin a new world.x Ham's sin of “seeing” father's nakednessxi indicates the continuance of moral rules. It also helps define the word “fornication” in divorce, both in OTxii and NT.xiii

Abraham's call becomes the hope for mankind for salvation from moral sins.xiv The Law of Moses was added to existing moral law until the hope was fulfilled.xv

Marriage morality was protected by the civil law section of the Law of Moses with emphasis on death.xvi All immorality due to hardness of heart was either solved by public death or divorce.xvii Divorce was primarily initiated by the husband but could be executed by a neglected wife.xviii God compared Israel's rebellion to Him as a wife's rebelling against her husband.xix The rebellious behavior is called fornicationxx which included adultery.xxi

Jesus was born under the Law of Mosesxxii and taught that one cannot teach or practice anything contrary to the Law of Moses.xxiii He corrected the glosses of the Pharisees by upbraiding them for teaching divorce without Scriptural cause.xxiv He emphasized the basic moral rule that man was not to sunder what God had joined.xxv Jesus dealt publicly only with the male initiated divorce of Deuteronomy 24 when correcting the “righteousness of the Pharisees.”xxvi However, He spoke privately to the apostles against a woman initiating a divorce.xxvii After the cross, the apostle Paul speaks of both husband and wife's responsibility to keeping the marriage intact.xxviii

Jesus explained to the Pharisees that God allowed divorce because of hardness of heartxxix which continues in men today. In fact, after His resurrection, Jesus upbraided even His apostles for their unbelief and “hardness of heart.”xxx Christians are also warned not to have “hardness of hearts.”xxxi

Jesus taught the apostles only the things that they were able to bear since before the cross the Law was still in effect.xxxii The Holy Spirit came to guide them into the full revelation of the mystery of the church.xxxiii The Spirit renews and confirms the continuation of moral law including that for marriage.xxxiv

In order to protect one's holiness, a marriage choice is required to be a yoked one in Christ similar to the rule in the Law of Moses.xxxv “Do not be be unequally yoked.”xxxvi A Christian is yoked with Christ and can only marry someone who is also yoked with Christ.xxxvii Divorce, however, is no longer predicated upon a partner being an unbeliever as it was in the Old Testament.xxxviii Marriage is a gift from God if both the participants follow God's teachings for marriage.xxxix

The general rule, throughout the Bible, for all marriages, is “Do not sunder marriage.”xl If you find yourself married to an antagonist to Christ, but they are willing to abide by God's marriage rules, the rule is still, do not sunder, unless it affects your holiness before God.xli If one who is hardhearted insists on not abiding by God's marriage rules, the innocent is freed to remarry.xlii If the disobedient repents and reconciliation is possible, he/she can remarry the spouse [if both are willingxliii]. Otherwise, the repentant must remain unmarried.xliv


Marriages Made From Heave by Gaylon West.
Over 40 plus translations of the Bible have been consulted and compared. Other sources include but not limited to: Greek Septuagint (OT), Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible (for KJV), Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions (for KJV), Thayer, Strong, Mickelson's, Robertson's, Vincent's, Interlinear Scripture Analyzer, Students' Guide to NT Textual Variants, the Word Bible Software, E-Sword Bible Software, commentaries, internet articles, etc., have been examined; full bibliography included in chapter endnotes.

Gaylon West


i Wife was “help meet”; Genesis 2:20-24.

ii Genesis 1:28.

iii Genesis 3:15-19.

iv Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 21:4.

v Matthew 19:4-6.

vi Ibid.

viiGenesis 3:15-19; I Timothy 2:15.

viiiGenesis 6:5; 2 Peter 3:6,7; Romans 1:18f.

ixGenesis 6:8,9.

xGenesis 9:19.

xiGenesis 9:22.

xiiDeuteronomy 23; 24:1; Leviticus 18:8; Ezekiel 23:29.

xiiiMatthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 5:1.

xivGenesis 12:1-5.

xvGalatians 3:8,19.

xviDeuteronomy 17:6; Leviticus 20:9-26.

xviiDeuteronomy 24:1-4; Exodus 21:8-11.

xviii Ibid.

xixEzekiel 16:8, 30.

xxAll verses of Ezekiel that KJV translates as whore, etc.

xxiEzekiel 16:32,33.

xxiiGalatians 4:4

xxiii Matthew 5:18,19.

xxiv Matthew 5:10; Matthew 23:4.

xxv Matthew 19:6.

xxvi Matthew 5:20, 31,32; Mark 10:9; Luke 16:18.

xxvii Mark 10:11,12; Exodus 21:11.

xxviii 1 Corinthians 7

xxix Matthew 19:8.

xxx Mark 16:14.

xxxi Hebrews 3:15-19.

xxxii John 16:12,13

xxxiii Ephesians 3:1-7, 10.

xxxiv Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Corinthians 14:34.

xxxv 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.

xxxvi 2 Corinthians 6:14. Compare with 1 Corinthians 7:39.

xxxvii Matthew 11:29

xxxviii Ezra 9:1-2; Deuteronomy 7:1.

xxxix James 1:17.

xl Matthew 19:6; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 [KJV, depart].

xli 1 Corinthians 7:12,13.

xlii 1 Corinthians 7:15.

xliii 1 Corinthians 7:13 (grammar indicates both are pleased)..

xliv 1 Corinthians 7:11.