A man must not remarry his ex-wife after she has married someone else

The Literal Commandment

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife, and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)

 

The literal commandment is that a man should not re-marry the wife he divorced if she remarries after their divorce and her new husband dies or divorces her.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

In Scripture, the book of Hosea pictures Israel as the bride of G-d. Israel is unfaithful to her husband and goes off "fornicating" with idolatry and the worship of false gods. In Jeremiah 3:8, G-d says that He has written Israel a certificate of divorce and sent her away. According to this current commandment, G-d could never reconcile with Israel as His "bride" because she "married" foreign gods.

But wait... there is good news! In Messiah, we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and as new creatures who have never been married, we can once again be reconciled to G-d as His treasured people and His precious bride.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

No evidence is given in Scripture that Messiah literally fulfilled this commandment: He never married a woman. Since He did not marry then He did not divorce and could not have remarried.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional understanding of this commandment is in line with its literal meaning: a man cannot remarry the wife he divorces if she remarries and becomes divorced or widowed.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and a man should not remarry the wife he divorces if she remarries and becomes divorced or widowed.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 127
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 4
  • Mishneh Torah Book Women
  • Mishneh Torah Category 21- Divorce
  • Reference Deuteronomy 24:4
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 24
  • Verse 4
  • English then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
  • Hebrew ד לֹא-יוּכַל בַּעְלָהּ הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר-שִׁלְּחָהּ לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה, אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר הֻטַּמָּאָה--כִּי-תוֹעֵבָה הִוא, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה; וְלֹא תַחֲטִיא, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה. {ס}
  • Greek 4 οὐ δυνήσεται ὁ ἀνὴρ ὁ πρότερος ὁ ἐξαποστείλας αὐτὴν ἐπαναστρέψας λαβεῖν αὐτὴν ἑαυτῷ γυναῖκα μετὰ τὸ μιανθῆναι αὐτήν, ὅτι βδέλυγμά ἐστιν ἐναντίον κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ σου· καὶ οὐ μιανεῖτε τὴν γῆν, ἣν κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν δίδωσιν ὑμῖν ἐν κλήρῳ.
  • Parashah 49- Ki Tetze
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 580
  • Sef. Hach. Command That a divorced man should not take back his ex-wife after she has remarried
  • Category Marriage and Family
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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