Issue a divorce by means of a get document

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... (Deuteronomy 24:1)

 

The literal commandment is that a man should should write a certificate of divorce to a wife in whom has been found some indecency.

 

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)

 

He also affirmed the concept of marriage and allowed for divorce in the case of marital infidelity:

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"

And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?"

He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." (Matthew 19:3-9)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment is used as a picture when G-d divorced Himself from the northern kingdom of Israel:

And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. (Jeremiah 3:8)

 

This is a metaphor of the "divorce" that occurred when G-d sent Israel into exile.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

No evidence is given in Scripture that Messiah literally fulfilled this command: He never married a woman. Since He did not marry then He did could not issue a divorce by means of a "get".

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional understanding of this commandment is its literal meaning: a person can only divorce their spouse by issuing a "get" document that ends the marriage.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today within the understanding that the Messiah provided: a person should only divorce their spouse in cases of marital infidelity. There is no other valid cause for divorce.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 126
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 4
  • Mishneh Torah Book Women
  • Mishneh Torah Category 21- Divorce
  • Reference Deuteronomy 24:1
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 24
  • Verse 1
  • English 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,
  • Hebrew א כִּי-יִקַּח אִישׁ אִשָּׁה, וּבְעָלָהּ; וְהָיָה אִם-לֹא תִמְצָא-חֵן בְּעֵינָיו, כִּי-מָצָא בָהּ עֶרְוַת דָּבָר--וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ, וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מִבֵּיתוֹ.
  • Greek 1 Ἐὰν δέ τις λάβῃ γυναῖκα καὶ συνοικήσῃ αὐτῇ, καὶ ἔσται ἐὰν μὴ εὕρῃ χάριν ἐναντίον αὐτοῦ, ὅτι εὗρεν ἐν αὐτῇ ἄσχημον πρᾶγμα, καὶ γράψει αὐτῇ βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ δώσει εἰς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῆς καὶ ἐξαποστελεῖ αὐτὴν ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ,
  • Parashah 49- Ki Tetze
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 579
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept that one who wants to divorce his wife should do so with a proper document
  • Category Marriage and Family
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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