Matthew 5:31
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'

King James Bible
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

Darby Bible Translation
It has been said too, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a letter of divorce.

World English Bible
"It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,'

Young's Literal Translation
'And it was said, That whoever may put away his wife, let him give to her a writing of divorce;

Matthew 5:31 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Whosoever shall put away his wife - The Jewish doctors gave great license in the matter of divorce. Among them, a man might divorce his wife if she displeased him even in the dressing of his victuals!

Rabbi Akiba said, "If any man saw a woman handsomer than his own wife, he might put his wife away; because it is said in the law, If she find not favor in his eyes." Deuteronomy 24:1.

Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian, in his Life, tells us, with the utmost coolness and indifference, "About this time I put away my wife, who had borne me three children, not being pleased with her manners."

These two cases are sufficient to show to what a scandalous and criminal excess this matter was carried among the Jews. However, it was allowed by the school of Shammai, that no man was to put away his wife unless for adultery. The school of Hillel gave much greater license.

A writing of divorcement - The following is the common form of such a writing. See Maimonides and Lightfoot.

"On the day of the week A. in the month B. in the year C. from the beginning of the world, according to the common computation in the province of D., I, N. the son of N. by whatever name I am called, of the city E. with entire consent of mind, and without any compulsion, have divorced, dismissed, and expelled thee - thee, I say, M. the daughter of M. by whatever name thou art called, of the city E. who wast heretofore my wife: but now I have dismissed thee - thee, I say, M. the daughter of M. by whatever name thou art called, of the city E. so as to be free, and at thine own disposal, to marry whomsoever thou pleasest, without hinderance from any one, from this day for ever. Thou art therefore free for any man. Let this be thy bill of divorce from me, a writing of separation and expulsion, according to the law of Moses and Israel.

Reuben, son of Jacob, Witness.

Eliezar, son of Gilead, Witness."

God permitted this evil to prevent a greater; and, perhaps, to typify his repudiating the Jews, who were his first spouse.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

whosoever.

Matthew 19:3,7 The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause...

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes...

Jeremiah 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return to her again?...

Mark 10:2-9 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him...

Library
Agree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Salt Without Savour
'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.'--MATT. v. 13. These words must have seemed ridiculously presumptuous when they were first spoken, and they have too often seemed mere mockery and irony in the ages since. A Galilean peasant, with a few of his rude countrymen who had gathered round him, stands up there on the mountain, and says to them, 'You,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Lamp and the Bushel
'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'--Matt. v. 14-16. The conception of the office of Christ's disciples contained in these words is a still bolder one than that expressed by the preceding metaphor, which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Form of the Old Law
'Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Deuteronomy 24:1
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,

Deuteronomy 24:3
and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies,

Jeremiah 3:1
"If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers-- would you now return to me?" declares the LORD.

Malachi 2:16
"The man who hates and divorces his wife," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "does violence to the one he should protect," says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Matthew 19:3
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

Matthew 19:7
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

Mark 10:4
They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."

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