Heaven's Point of View

Matthew 19:3-12, Part 2

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Senez Rodriguez (Host), Tom Shepherd


Series Code: HPOV

Program Code: HPOV000043A

00:16 Welcome to Heaven's Point of View.
00:18 Again, my name is Dr. Senez Rodriguez
00:20 and we're discussing the Series
00:23 on Love, Marriage, Sex, and Divorce
00:25 according to the New Testament.
00:27 Our special guest and host is Dr. Tom Sheperd
00:31 who is a Professor of New Testament Interpretation
00:34 at Andrews University Seminary.
00:36 Welcome to our program. Thank you.
00:38 Now, I have a question for you,
00:40 so, last time, we started studying Matthew 19,
00:44 where Jesus disputed with the Pharisees,
00:47 summarize, please, for us, what we've discovered.
00:51 Okay, we were looking...
00:52 there was a dispute between Jesus and these Pharisees
00:56 about the question of Divorce.
00:58 He often confronted... was confronted by
01:01 respected religious leaders of His day
01:04 over matters relating to everyday life of Judaism
01:07 and this was one of those matters.
01:09 Dealing with the question of divorce,
01:11 there were two schools of thought
01:13 the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel
01:17 and they approached the question differently.
01:20 Both of the schools agreed that the important text of Scripture
01:25 on this matter was Deuteronomy chapter 24 verses 1 and 2,
01:30 but they had different opinions about what it meant.
01:34 Depending on which part of the verse you emphasized,
01:38 the key phrase was "a matter of indecency"
01:44 okay, or, "nakedness of a matter"
01:48 depending on how you want to translate it
01:50 but so... "a matter of indecency"
01:52 and the School of Hillel focused on that word, "matter,"
01:57 and the School of Shammai
02:00 focused on that word, "indecency,"
02:03 so the School of Hillel might say,
02:07 "Well, it's a matter of indecency"
02:11 and so, he can divorce his wife for almost anything.
02:14 You know, just... if she has not pleased him
02:18 or she's caused problems, you know,
02:20 he can get rid of her,
02:21 one of them even said,
02:22 "Even if you find somebody that looks prettier"
02:24 but that wasn't the general... kind of a position,
02:27 there was this one guy, you know,
02:28 I feel sorry for his poor wife,
02:30 but the School of Shammai focused on the word, "Indecency"
02:34 so they said it was "a matter of indecency"
02:37 so you emphasize the particular word,
02:40 and for them, that meant somebody
02:43 about committing adultery
02:45 or being unfaithful to their marriage vows
02:47 and sleeping with somebody other than their spouse
02:50 so these two schools...
02:52 both agree that divorce is acceptable
02:56 see... it's just that they're differing on the reasons
03:00 so when they come to Jesus, they say,
03:03 "Can a man divorce his wife for any cause?"
03:08 Which sounds like the position of the School of Hillel
03:12 you know, anything, whatever...
03:15 Jesus kind of surprises them probably He... typically did,
03:19 and He responds with a discussion of Genesis 1 and 2,
03:25 He talks about their hardness of heart but
03:28 He says that the Creation story tells you a different idea,
03:32 he said, in Genesis 1 says that they are male and female
03:36 Genesis 2 tells us that a man leaves his father and mother
03:41 he's joined to his wife so they no longer are two,
03:43 that is male and female but now one,
03:46 all right, so, he responds to that
03:49 and he emphasizes, it seems, the maleness and the femaleness
03:53 of the two and then... that they've come together,
03:55 he concludes that... that there is
03:59 something that God has done when people get married,
04:03 that He yokes them together, He unites them together
04:06 and people shouldn't separate what God has joined,
04:09 so, He has this... very counter to their kind of perspective
04:13 and you think, almost like
04:15 further than what the School of Shammai is saying,
04:18 it really focuses,
04:19 very fairly similar to what we saw
04:22 when we read last time
04:23 from Malachi 2 that God hates divorce
04:26 that God wants you to be faithful
04:30 to the wife of your youth.
04:32 Now, did Jesus' explanation satisfy the Leaders?
04:36 Well, it usually didn't and it didn't here either,
04:41 so, what they do is, they ask Him another question
04:45 but the Pharisees' two positions are
04:48 either the divorce is all right for any reason
04:52 or it's all right just for sexual immorality.
04:56 Jesus' position seems to reject both their ideas.
04:59 The Pharisees immediately challenge his position
05:03 as out of step with Moses' command concerning divorce, so,
05:08 we really need to understand what was the context of this
05:13 and we have to go back to Deuteronomy to do so.
05:16 Deuteronomy 24 and... while it's verses 1 and 2,
05:20 we'll actually read all the way through verse 4
05:24 so you want to turn over to Deuteronomy.
05:25 Deuteronomy chapter 24 and we want to start in verse 1
05:32 and read all the way through verse 4.
05:37 Okay... "When a man hath taken a wife,
05:42 and married her, and it came to pass that
05:46 she find no favor in his eyes,
05:48 because he hath found some uncleanness in her:
05:52 then let him write her a bill of divorcement,
05:56 and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
06:01 And when she is departed out of his house,
06:05 she may go and be another man's wife.
06:09 And if the latter husband hate her,
06:13 and write her a bill of divorcement,
06:17 and give it to her in her hand,
06:20 and sendeth her out of his house;
06:22 or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;
06:28 her former husband which sent her away,
06:31 may not take her again to be his wife,
06:35 after that she is defiled;
06:37 for that is abomination before the Lord:
06:41 and thou shalt not cause the land to sin,
06:44 which the Lord thy God give to thee for an inheritance. "
06:50 Hmmm... hmmm... okay,
06:52 thank you for reading that passage.
06:54 Now, we need to
06:58 study Deuteronomy 24 to get this
07:01 and to understand this, we have to understand
07:03 the different kinds of laws
07:06 that were in the Old Testament Pentateuch...
07:09 that's the five books of Moses,
07:10 there were basically two kinds of laws.
07:13 Now, I know, we usually think in terms of...
07:16 Adventists who'll talk about the Moral Law,
07:18 we'll talk about the Ceremonial Law
07:20 we'll talk about the Health Laws
07:21 and Political Laws and so forth,
07:23 we're not thinking in those kinds of terms,
07:25 we're thinking in terms of category of "type of law"
07:29 okay, so they're... the two kinds of laws were
07:33 Apodictic Law and Casuistic Law isn't that beautiful?
07:39 Apodictic Law and Casuistic Law,
07:42 let me explain what those two terms mean
07:45 Apodictic Law is absolute command law,
07:48 this would be like the Ten Commandments,
07:50 you know, "Thou shalt not commit adultery"
07:53 "Thou shalt not steal" it's not...
07:56 it doesn't matter when or where you are,
07:59 you don't do those things, you don't say,
08:03 "Ah well, you can't commit adultery on Tuesday,
08:06 but it's okay on Thursday,
08:07 you can't steal on Sunday
08:09 but it's all right on Wednesday. "
08:11 No... no... this is Apodictic Law,
08:13 it's universal... absolute command law,
08:15 the other kind of law... the Casuistic Law...
08:19 is "case law," rulings on specific cases
08:23 that become the precedent for other decisions, okay,
08:28 so the question is, in Deuteronomy 24,
08:30 which kind of law do we have?
08:32 Is it Apodictic Law
08:34 or is it Casuistic Law, what do you think?
08:36 That's a good question, what do you think?
08:39 Well, if it's Apodictic Law,
08:43 it would be a law that was universal
08:45 for all time... for all people in all situations,
08:49 if it's Casuistic Law,
08:51 it has to do with a particular case or particular situation,
08:55 the question we would have is, "Are there any indications
08:58 in the text, in Deuteronomy 24
09:01 that would lead us one way or another?"
09:03 Let's look back at the text okay?
09:04 Read verse 1.
09:06 Okay, "When a man hath taken a wife,
09:10 and married her,
09:12 and it came to pass that she find no favor in his eyes,
09:16 because he hath found some uncleanness in her:
09:19 then let him write her a bill of divorcement,
09:23 and give it to her in her hand,
09:26 and send her out of his house. "
09:29 Okay, so let me put the question this way,
09:31 this talks about a man taking a wife
09:33 and about the man divorcing the wife,
09:36 okay, is this a universal experience of all people?
09:39 No... No.
09:41 No... I mean there's some people who never marry, right?
09:44 So, Apodictic Law has to apply to everybody at all times
09:48 so this seems to be clearly in the "Case Law"
09:52 Casuistic... kind of a thing...
09:54 there's another kind of indication for that
09:57 and that's the word, "if" or the word "when"
10:01 "if a man marries a woman or when a man marries a woman,"
10:06 you see, not all men will marry,
10:08 not all women will marry, so this is limited
10:12 to particular cases, "if a man marries a woman,"
10:16 okay... and that "if" statement
10:19 then is usually followed by a "then" statement
10:24 so if I were to say to you,
10:27 "Senez, if I go to town today,
10:30 then I will buy you an ice cream. "
10:34 Thank you. You'd say, "good", right...
10:37 We could talk about the kind of ice cream you might like.
10:40 Now, does that mean I'm going to town
10:42 when I say that? No.
10:44 No, it's possible. Yeah.
10:47 It's a condition, so that first part...
10:49 the "if" part of a sentence, in a conditional sentence,
10:53 is called "the prothesis" that's another beautiful word.
10:57 The prothesis, just think of it as the "if" part of a statement
11:03 of a conditional statement,
11:05 the last part... the "then" part has got the fancy name of
11:09 "Apotheosis" so there's the prothesis and the apotheosis
11:13 the prothesis is the "if" part,
11:15 the apotheosis is the "then" part,
11:18 somebody says, "Why don't you just call it, if and then?"
11:20 Well, I don't know, but linguists have these
11:22 special names and... you know... makes you sound smarter
11:26 I suppose if you were saying,
11:27 "We are talking about the prothesis
11:29 of the sentence today, and we decided the apotheosis
11:32 didn't make sense," so, you know... but...
11:34 it's just technical names that are used for it...
11:37 okay, so, this is a typical Case Law...
11:40 kind of a statement here, and it has a prothesis
11:44 and it has an apotheosis,
11:46 the prothesis is the "if" part
11:49 and the apotheosis is the "then" part, okay,
11:53 so the question is, "Where does the prothesis end?"
12:00 Hmmm...
12:01 Where does the prothesis... now read your text again,
12:04 okay, the prothesis... remember the prothesis is the "if" part.
12:07 Right... All right.
12:08 So where is the prothesis in?
12:09 Chapter 1 right? Hmmm... hmmm...
12:11 "When a man hath taken a wife... "
12:13 It could also be translated with "if. "
12:15 Right, "... and marry her,
12:17 and it came to pass that she finds no favour in his eyes,
12:22 because he hath found some uncleanness in her:
12:26 then let him write her a bill of divorcement,
12:31 and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. "
12:36 Okay. That will be clearer here.
12:38 Yeah, the apotheosis... the prothesis ends in verse 1
12:42 and the apotheosis begins at the same place
12:47 then he gives her the bill of divorce,
12:49 okay, my translation... the ESV doesn't do it that way.
12:53 Yeah, I noticed that some versions translate that verse
12:57 differently, why is that?
13:00 Yeah,
13:02 well, it's a matter of relating to...
13:06 exactly in Hebrew, where the prothesis
13:09 would come to a conclusion
13:11 and actually, that relates to all the questions
13:14 that the Pharisees were asking.
13:16 The King James Version that you read
13:18 illustrates where the Pharisees of Jesus' day stood
13:21 on the meaning of this passage
13:23 the command from Moses,
13:25 starts at the writing of the bill of divorce,
13:28 so, if he does this,
13:29 then he should put the bill of divorce into her hand,
13:32 thus, they maintained that Moses commanded divorce,
13:35 see, so they asked Jesus,
13:37 "Why did Moses command us to do divorce?"
13:39 The difference was not over
13:41 if the divorce was okay but on what grounds?
13:44 And we've already said
13:46 that the School of Shammai said, "only for adultery"
13:48 and the School of Hillel said, "almost anything. "
13:52 Jesus stresses instead the permanence of marriage
13:55 and His statements go along
13:56 with the Shammai School more closely,
13:58 but as we'll see, Jesus even goes further,
14:02 now, the steps in the prothesis,
14:05 if you read a modern translation,
14:06 it goes like this,
14:08 "If a man takes a wife and dwells with her,
14:10 and if she does not find favor before him
14:13 because he found some shameful matter in her
14:16 and if he writes her a bill of divorce
14:18 and puts it into her hand and sends her away
14:23 and if she remarries another man
14:26 and if her last husband hates her
14:29 and he writes her a bill of divorce
14:32 and he gives it into her hand
14:34 and he sends her away from his house
14:37 or if he dies... who took her to be his wife...
14:40 then... then the former husband
14:44 cannot take her back to be his wife.
14:46 That's the way it's usually translated
14:48 in modern translations today, that's the way it is in the ESV,
14:50 the School of Hillel held that the prothesis
14:53 ends after the number 2 point that I made
14:58 she doesn't find favor in his eyes
14:59 and he found some shameful matter in her.
15:02 Then the rest of the points would be: part of the command.
15:05 Thus, divorce should be commanded by Moses,
15:07 the reason given... is at the end for not remarrying
15:10 "she is defiled and would be an abomination,
15:12 you must not defile the land. "
15:14 It's important, however, to understand
15:16 more about Deuteronomy 24, it's clearly Casuistic Law,
15:22 you know, it's got this "if" "then" statements,
15:24 the Case Law here assumes that divorce is already occurring,
15:30 "If he does this... if he does this,
15:32 if he divorcing her and he sends her away, then... "
15:35 That is listed as part of the prothesis
15:37 of the conditional statement
15:39 since the prothesis is conditional,
15:42 it obviously is not commanding that such matters must occur
15:46 so, the divorce was part of the "if,"
15:49 it was part of the condition of what was already around,
15:51 the first steps in the case occur
15:54 before the ruling of the Case Law takes place
15:56 or takes effect, the prothesis,
15:59 that "if" part of that looooong sentence
16:01 simply indicates a series of events
16:04 that evidently were already in place,
16:06 the allowance of divorce, the reason for the divorce,
16:09 the giving of the bill of divorce,
16:11 the sequence of events that follow it
16:12 were all part of the Case Law.
16:14 The statement of the Case Law specifies strongly
16:17 that the woman must be handed a bill of divorce.
16:20 This is proof of her release
16:22 from the marriage of the first husband
16:24 and that was very important because if she didn't have
16:28 that Bill of Divorce, she could be accused of adultery
16:32 if she married somebody else.
16:33 Or she could be stoned.
16:35 Or she was going to be stoned, exactly, right,
16:38 so the Case Law limits actually what can be done
16:41 to her, in a very specific way, the only case covered here
16:46 was a woman experiencing two divorces
16:49 or a divorce and remarriage with the second husband dying.
16:55 In this case, the first husband could not remarry the woman.
17:00 Hmmm...
17:01 So we sometimes wonder well, why not?
17:06 Hmmm... hmmm...
17:08 Why couldn't he remarry her?
17:09 The text simply states that she has been defiled
17:12 and that it would be an abomination to the Lord...
17:16 before the Lord for her to be remarried
17:18 and it would defile the land.
17:22 But the question is,
17:24 "Okay, so, what in the world does that suggest?"
17:28 First we can say that the Case Law
17:31 protects the woman from being treated like
17:35 so much luggage, we've been talking in these
17:39 in these studies... we will continue to talk about
17:43 the importance in not treating a person like a "thing,"
17:47 all right, this Case Law that Moses came up with
17:51 or that God gave him to give...
17:53 this Case Law protects the woman she's not like luggage
17:56 that she shift back and forth between men.
17:59 She is granted the right of receiving a Bill of Divorce
18:02 as sad and tragic an event as that is
18:07 and it sets her free from the marriage to the first husband
18:12 and protects her from the first husband
18:14 never charging her with adultery if she remarries another man.
18:17 The same is true with the second husband,
18:19 she is released from the marriage
18:21 the husband in each case
18:23 no longer has relationship with her,
18:25 no longer has control over her
18:27 nor can he bring charges of
18:29 adultery against her... she is free.
18:32 So actually the woman did have protection under the Law.
18:37 Exactly, you know, this Law protected the women
18:41 and so many times, in Society, in divorce,
18:45 we know that women... and to divorce today...
18:49 we know that women's power to...
18:52 economic power goes down, the difficulties increase
18:56 and the protections are important for...
19:00 particularly for women...
19:01 for men too but it seems to be more of an issue for women
19:06 protecting them and their economic status
19:08 so, the Law all the way back there... was a protection.
19:13 That's an important kind of point to make
19:16 that this Casuistic Law... this Case Law was primarily
19:20 involved with protecting women.
19:22 All right, now, however, we must address the question of
19:26 how the woman is considered "defiled"
19:29 and why it would be an abomination
19:32 for the first husband and the woman to marry again.
19:36 Well, Commentators disagree over exactly what it means
19:40 but here are several options...
19:43 I have four options that I've come across.
19:47 The first husband... here's the first option...
19:50 The first husband found something indecent in her
19:52 okay, if he wants to take her back,
19:55 he's a hypocrite, all right,
19:59 since he called her "unclean" before
20:01 how can he call her "okay" now?
20:05 He should abide by his word and not be a hypocrite.
20:08 Hmmm... hmmm...
20:09 Number two, here's another possibility,
20:11 perhaps the woman would be considered
20:14 a part of the first husband's family,
20:16 you know, she was married to him before
20:19 and thus to marry her again, would constitute marrying
20:23 a prohibited relative like marrying your sister.
20:26 You know, that's prohibited.
20:27 We prohibit that today,
20:29 perhaps that was the idea, that seems a little...
20:33 less likely to me but... you know, perhaps.
20:36 Number 3, perhaps remarrying the first husband
20:38 would make the second marriage into an adulterous relationship
20:42 and would then bring... would make it possible
20:45 for charges of adultery to be brought against her
20:47 who had been shared by two men.
20:50 The fourth possibility is actually the more likely one.
20:55 The Law is meant to prevent the first husband
20:59 from profiting twice from the woman's dowry.
21:03 The Ketubah... the promissory note
21:06 that a man made when marrying a woman
21:09 that if a divorce took place
21:11 for reasons other than indecency or adultery,
21:13 that he would pay a certain sum of money.
21:15 So, if he paid it out when she left,
21:18 or if they had some dowry that he took with him
21:21 when she went to the other guy,
21:22 she ended up maybe with some more...
21:25 especially if he died, she goes out with that...
21:28 now he gets it all back, so, in the first marriage
21:31 because she was divorced for indecency,
21:33 she did not get to take the Ketubah with her,
21:35 she didn't get to take that extra with her,
21:38 but in the second marriage, she would get it,
21:40 okay, this law prevented the husband from profiting twice
21:44 getting to keep her first Ketubah,
21:46 her first price or first dowry
21:49 and then receiving the second one
21:50 by remarrying the woman.
21:52 So, you know, it prevents against this idea that,
21:56 "Ah, well, maybe really what he's after
21:59 is not her... but the money. "
22:02 See, so again... it's protection of the woman.
22:05 Now, a question... what about the hardness of heart
22:07 that Jesus described in verse number 8
22:10 what is He talking about here?
22:13 Let's go back to that passage, let's go back to Matthew 19
22:17 and maybe we should read verses 7 and 8 and 9.
22:23 Okay, Deuteronomy...
22:25 No, not Deuteronomy but Matthew...
22:27 Okay.
22:28 Matthew 19, verses 7, 8 and 9.
22:34 Seven, eight and nine. Hmmm... hmmm...
22:39 "They say unto Him, why did Moses then command
22:44 to give a writing of divorcement and to put her away?
22:49 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness
22:53 of your heart suffered you to put away your wives:
22:57 but from the beginning it was not so.
23:01 And I say unto you,
23:03 Whosoever shall put away his wife,
23:06 except it be for fornication, and shall marry another,
23:11 committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her
23:14 which is put away doth commit adultery. "
23:18 Okay, so now, we want to look at this and see
23:21 they have raised the question, "Why did Moses command?"
23:24 They're interpreting Deuteronomy 24
23:26 to say that the prothesis... the "if" part,
23:30 ends with him sending her that he finds indecency in her
23:35 then he is to give her the bill of divorce,
23:38 so they're interpreting it that way.
23:39 They said, "Why did Moses command us to do that?"
23:42 And Jesus says,
23:44 "Because of your hardness of heart,
23:47 Moses permitted or allowed... "
23:50 your translation says "suffered,"
23:52 but we don't use the word "suffered" much that way anymore
23:55 so, he permitted or he allowed you
23:58 to divorce your wives
23:59 "but from the beginning, it was not so. "
24:02 He draws to... he points them back
24:04 to creation again you know he...
24:06 Jesus is against divorce
24:08 you know, and that kind of comes through
24:10 loud and clear here that...
24:11 he says it wasn't that way in the beginning
24:13 and it was the hardness of your heart...
24:14 but it wasn't like that in the beginning.
24:16 And he's calling people back to that original pattern
24:20 that was given in the Creation stories.
24:25 Now, so the question though is
24:26 "hardness of heart" whose hardness of heart...
24:30 Jesus clearly links the Casuistic Law
24:33 of Deuteronomy 24
24:35 to the hardness of heart of the Jews,
24:38 of the Israelites at the time, we would say,
24:40 the terminology is actually a little ambiguous here.
24:45 What hardness of heart is this talking about?
24:48 So, again, there are several possibilities.
24:51 Number one, the hardness of heart is the woman,
24:53 she was stubborn
24:55 and so divorcing her was allowed on these grounds,
24:58 well, it says, "Your hardness of heart... "
25:01 well... you know,
25:03 is it really the woman's stubbornness?
25:04 The hardness of heart is the Israelites
25:06 who were stubbornly demanding that Moses allow them to divorce
25:10 that seems a little more likely.
25:11 The number 3 option,
25:13 the hardness of heart... is the Israelites were
25:16 stubbornly refusing to give divorce certificates
25:18 to their former wives,
25:19 now that would be a serious matter
25:21 because, if you don't give her a divorce certificate,
25:24 she is at great risk of being charged with adultery.
25:27 Or, perhaps the most likely,
25:30 the hardness of heart is the stubbornness of the person
25:33 who has committed sexual immorality
25:36 who refuses to repent of their sin,
25:38 that parallel is actually the Israel's stubborn refusal
25:42 to turn back to God, Jeremiah 3
25:45 and in Jeremiah 4 verse 4,
25:48 the last option may be the correct one here
25:50 because it parallels Jesus' statement
25:52 in Luke 17 verses 3 and 4 about forgiving your brother
25:56 if he repents... even seven times in one day,
25:59 though option 2 is also possible
26:02 that the Israelites were stubborn
26:04 they demanded that Moses allow them to divorce,
26:06 that's usually, I think, the more common
26:08 position that people take
26:10 that this is because of their stubbornness of heart
26:13 and they were insisting that they be able to divorce
26:15 and Jesus says, you know,
26:17 "That's not what God wanted,
26:19 He wanted you to be faithful to your wives,
26:22 and you just kept insisting and insisting
26:25 so in order to protect the woman,
26:27 in order to keep her from being charged with adultery
26:32 or fear of losing all material support whatsoever,
26:37 he says, "Okay, look, you can...
26:39 you can give her a divorce
26:41 because that gives her an option to remarry,
26:43 and she can have material support in another marriage. "
26:48 So, it seems as though the Law that Moses had developed
26:54 or that God had given Moses, should we say,
26:58 to protect the women had been twisted
27:02 to now... again... harmed the women
27:05 and to cause problems for them
27:08 so the original intent that God had given them all...
27:11 it wasn't being used that way anymore,
27:13 and so Jesus says, "Wait, you've got this wrong,
27:16 you need to go back... back to Creation...
27:18 you need to think about the Creation Order
27:21 and you need to follow the way
27:23 that God originally set things up,
27:25 "What God has joined together let man not put asunder. "
27:28 We come back to that same idea...
27:30 God hates divorce,
27:32 God wants our marriages to be happy,
27:34 He wants us to stay together.
27:36 Well, this has been a wonderful discussion today,
27:40 I'm sorry that we don't have more time to continue
27:44 on this topic,
27:45 but I am sure that this will give you a good opportunity
27:49 to go back into your own Bible
27:51 and reading and meditating about that.
27:54 We invite you for the next opportunity
27:57 when we will have here... Dr. Sheperd
28:00 with this interesting insight.
28:03 Thank you very much
28:04 and we will see you in the next Program.
28:06 Thank you.


Revised 2016-04-20