Divorced: Abandoned, Put Away or Kicked to the Curb

Discussion in 'Problems and Solutions' started by Verifyveritas76, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

  2. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Well-Known Member Male

    Ummmm....it's pretty clear that only applies to a woman who has been sold by her father without a clear plan in place since she might either go to the man who bought her or his son. Ummmm....it's pretty clear this has limited application for most women.
  3. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    So the indentured wife has more rights than the ketubahed wife? Or less restrictions? This premise seems to be antithetical and illogical especially once you are familiar with actual Hebrew culture and their approach to marriage.
    It would be like saying that the slave wife who came in with nothing has more rights than the free born wife who came into the relationship bringing her own wealth and property. The free born would naturally have more rights, not less.

    Seems more likely that this is the minimum application a wife could expect. All of the ketubahs I've seen have quite a few more restrictions and expectations of the husband but always include at least these three.

    Also 1 Cor 7:15 makes it pretty clear that abandonment equals freedom
    andrew likes this.
  4. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Well-Known Member Male

    The indentured wife has more protections because she's more at risk which makes perfect sense when you are familiar with who God is.
  5. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    Staying out of this one, and not taking a position, but isn't it strange how God can seem so counterintuitive to us?

    Sorry, just had to comment:rolleyes:
  6. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    Are you sure bout that? Not sure I've seen anything remotely indicating this. Any references?
  7. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Well-Known Member Male

    Lol, the reference is the scripture that clearly identifies the exact type of woman being addressed. It starts off describing her status and nothing in that whole passage can be read to be blowing it up to a general statement on marriage. It applies to a woman who has been sold by her father for the purposes of being a wife to either her purchaser or his son; purchaser's choice.

    I think the onus for a reference lies with the claim that adds to scripture, not the one that takes it at face value.
  8. Mark C

    Mark C Well-Known Member Male

    RE: Exodus 21:10 and the "extended principles" for the three Minimum Necessary but Not Sufficient Conditions for marriage
    (food, clothing, "duties of marriage" - generally understood to be physical intimacy, I would include the general concept of "covering", among others, since they are described at length elsewhere, such as Numbers 30 and vows...)

    Yes, the passage is specific to a bondwoman, or maidservant.

    I have always suggested that the passage -- among other things -- demonstrates the care that YHVH takes for women. EVEN a bondservant has specific protection, and is 'basically' to be treated as a wife. (And, if the man will NOT do so, she has fulfilled HER obligation, and may go out free.)

    The 'midrash' logic that has to do with most ketubah's incorporating those standards as Minimum Necessary Conditions goes like this:

    (Hebrew principle is called "the light and the heavy" in English; you'll see Shaul/Paul use the same logic)

    ...if THIS, how much MORE so, THIS...

    if this is the minimum standard that YHVH sets for a wife who is not free, how much more so for one that enters into the relationship voluntarily?

    Makes sense to me. But if one puts the verse into 'vow' form (and I have no problem with that) -- then it's binding.
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  9. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    Every woman leaving her fathers house back then was "sold" by her father for the purposes of being a wife to either her purchaser or his son.

    Ex. 21:10. If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
    And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

    Though its true, the passage does begin with her as an indentured woman, the freedom only applies to a woman who has been "laqach"ed or taken, and has experienced the duties of marriage. The servant girl would not have benefitted from this statute until she became a wife. Once she became a wife, her food, her rainment and her duty of marriage may not be diminished.
    The passage listed above is all about how a wife is to be treated and nothing about how a servant is to be treated. "If he take him another" indicates that he has already consummated. "Her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish" indicates that it has already commenced as you cannot diminish something that hasn't occurred.

    Thus it is only about marriage and not at all about how you treat your servant.

    Thanks for bringing this up. I'd not even associated this principle with this passage. Right on the money.
    steve and andrew like this.
  10. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    Here is an example of an early Jewish Ketubah
    (From JewishEncyclopedia.com)
    A marriage contract, containing among other things the settlement on the wife of a certain amount payable at her husband's death or on her being divorced. This institution was established by the Rabbis in order to put a check on freedom of divorce, to obtain which no consent is required on the part of the woman (see Divorce). Some of the rabbis considered the ketubah of a virgin to be of Mosaic origin (Yeb. 89a; Ket. 10a; Tos. s.v. "Amar"; comp. Tobit vii. 14).
    Form of Ketubah.

    "On . . . [day of the week], the . . . day of the month . . . in the year . . . since the creation of the world, the era according to which we are accustomed to reckon here in the city of . . . how . . . son of . . . said to this virgin . . . daughter of . . . 'Be thou my wife according to the law of Moses and Israel, and I will work for thee, honor, support, and maintain thee in accordance with the custom of Jewish husbands who work for their wives, honor, support, and maintain them in truth. And I will set aside for thee 200 zuz, in lieu of thy virginity, which belong to thee (according to the law of Moses), and thy food, clothing, and necessaries, and live with thee in conjugal relations according to universal custom.' And . . . this virgin consented and became his wife. The dowry that she brought from her father's house, in silver, gold, valuables, dresses, and bedclothes, amounts to . . . [100 silver pieces], and . . . the bridegroom consented to increase this amount from his own property with the sum of . . . [100 silver pieces], making in all . . . [200 silver pieces]. And thus said . . . the bridegroom, 'I take upon myself and my heirs after me the responsibility of this marriage contract, of the dowry, and of the additional sum, so that all this shall be paid from the best part of my property, real and personal, that I now possess or may hereafter acquire. All my property, even the mantle on my shoulders, shall be mortgaged for the security of this contract and of the dowry and of the addition made thereto.' . . . the bridegroom has taken upon himself the responsibility for all the obligations of this ketubah, as is customary with other ketubot made for the daughters of Israel in accordance with the institution of our sages—may their memory be for a blessing! It is not to be regarded as an illusory obligation or as a mere form of document. We have followed the legal formality of symbolical delivery ["ḳinyan"] between . . . son of. . . , the bridegroom, and . . . daughter of . . . , this virgin, and have employed an instrument legally fit for the purpose to strengthen all that is stated above, and everything is valid and established.

    In his book, The Jewish Marriage Contract, by Louis M Epstein, (linked to earlier) He states that "the tradition [that a ketubah-less marriage represents concubinage] must be as old as the ketubah itself and its origin is probably Babylonian, for Hammurabi (2200 BC this is pre Abraham) rules in his code, "If a man take a wife and do not arrange with her the proper contracts, that woman is not a legal wife." (Emphasis mine)

    All that Moses is doing is giving an indentured woman who has been consummated with, the same foundational rights as a woman wed with a contract enumerating those foundational rights. The husband cannot disregard her natural rights just because she is without a contract. If he has humbled her, these are her rights, contract or no.

    This truly shows that God is no respecter of persons. The indentured wife without contractually enumerated rights is given as much protection with the same basic foundational rights as every other free-born wife.
    I cant explain why God doesn't choose to give us a detailed account of the wedding contract (which was apparently common some 700 years pre Moses), but apparently something like this was in use commonly, and our only point of reference to it biblically is when Moses gives a woman without legal recourse, the same legal rights as a "legal" wife.
  11. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Well-Known Member Male

    Well now hold on, where other than in this passage do you find the basis for a "legal" wife having these same rights? You are referencing a lot of extra-biblical sources but where in scripture are these "rights" afforded to a wife ? And where do you find a legal wife as opposed to a whatever you think this poor girl is?

    This scripture in it's strictest reading only applies to a wife who is acquired in a certain way. Anything added to that has to be through other scriptures not through a wishful reading of this one.

    I wouldn't latch on to this so hard but in saying that this is a cause for a wife to leave her husband and be eligible for remarriage you are putting someone in danger of adultery.

    The underlying principle of biblical marriage is that God gets to make the rules and we don't get to "fix" them. He started this whole passage with the father who has sold his daughter. The whole passage is talking about this indentured servant woman. Making it anything else is adding to scripture. We can't do that, no matter what. And there are no extra-biblical sources that can either.

    If you want to make being a poor provider a cause for lawful divorce then you have to find some scriptures to back that up. This one isn't it. You could claim this is evidence of the principle that men should provide for their wives. You can use this as evidence that good men will. But to say that a woman is free to leave her husband and remarry because she doesn't think she's being provided for in the same way she was, that her portion has been reduced, would literally be saying that a woman could leave a man whose job was outsourced to China. A woman could claim that because she can't get her nails done because they're saving up a down payment for a house that her portion has been reduced and she is free. This would be a nightmare of a law if it was one.

    I appreciate all of the research about ketubahs and what not but none of that is from scripture. I'm not aware of ketubahs in scripture. I'm not saying they're wrong or a bad idea but my question becomes why would we use these sources flesh out scripture? That is a very dangerous and slippery slope and opposite of what we should be doing.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  12. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    I had meant to get back to this thread with a reply sooner, but just started a big project that had been in the works for a while and things have just been crazy here. Between that and helping coach my son's football team and studying for a new series in SS, plus everything else we have going on in our family its just been crazy.

    I ran across a couple of verses in Proverbs that made me immediately think of this thread and that I still hadnt taken time to respond so I'm gonna try to do that this morning.

    Prov. 17:15. He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.

    I think through the course of this very interesting and necessary topic, we have seen several perspectives and approaches to the idea of what constitutes a biblically acceptable candidate for marriage, whether it is a first wife or an additional wife. As the heads of our households, and the responsible parties for everything that happens under our covering, we are the ones who will be held accountable to God for everything done under our covering. As such, if Zec or anyone else chooses to pass on a woman that everyone else views as an acceptable candidate, it is neither his loss nor his gain. Zec is the accountable party and must act upon the principles of Scripture and the leading of the Spirit as he understands them to be true. (Not picking on Zec, he's just been the most invested in this thread)
    For any of us who hold the position of head of household, the initial dilemma has always been, to wed or not to wed. On the one hand, not to wed is by far the easiest decision. Maintaining the status quo is very easy, especially if we already have an incredible wife and children and an established dynamic and synergy in our homes. It doesnt require us to think as much outside the box, our time is allotted comfortably, finances are usually budgeted and regulated, our schedules are set up to reflect our priorities, and we are able to enjoy the fruits of our labors without the social and cultural stigma that would be present if we chose the other option.
    The other option, to wed, is infinitely more daunting. The possibility of failure and shipwreck for the existing family or the addition seems to be ever looming in the background. The additional responsibility, in schedules, finances, housing, family planning, spiritual guidance, time with the children, among many other things seem to be an overwhelming responsibility.

    Are we damned if we wed? Damned if we don't? How about if we decide to just remain neutral? To just maintain the status quo. I don't have an answer for anyone else. In a large measure, I began this thread to think out loud and attempt to clarify my understanding on the topic.

    Initially, I was mostly convinced that to remain neutral was ok. To maintain the status quo in my home would be an acceptable and defendable position as I stand before Him. I still believe that to maintain is a defendable position, but with one caveat. What if He brings me someone to steward, and I choose rather to maintain for whatever reason? Is my position defendable? Will He hold me guiltless or will I face consequences such as loss of reward, loss of crowns I may lay at His feet, loss of influence, loss of hearing Him say, well done? To be quite honest, I'm not really certain.

    Let's take it to extremes! What if He brings me someone to steward, who is unloveable, who has made so many mistakes in her life that we would all agree, she has no reasonable expectation for a good husband, a loving father, a protector, children, etc? Will He hold me guiltless if I refuse to bring her under my covering? Is He even an active participant in the process or is this idea just a conceit in our own minds? I'm not sure of the answer, but Hosea's story is always in the back of my mind as well as Salmon and Rachab ( the great great grandfather of David) and Miriam and Joseph.

    Does James 5:19,20 apply in this instance? Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
    Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. Does the marriage bed, that is honorable in all, cover a multitude of sins?

    I totally understand about discerning between good and evil, and having our senses exercised to do that. I think that this topic becomes the highest example I can think of to judge between good and evil, right and wrong.
    How do we know if we have judged righteously? Ultimately He will judge and confirm or reject our choices.

    Our dilemma is to make certain that we do not justify the wicked, or condemn the just, because both are abominations.

    More to come as I have some time to enlarge (from Scripture) on the idea of abandonment or forsaking as it relates to covenant breaking.
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  13. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

  14. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    My point is more along the lines that we all have preconceived or externally influenced ideas of what is acceptable to God on this topic. Mostly because we have been taught Hebrew/Biblical instruction sans culture leading to misunderstandings on some of the finer points. My contention is that where the Canon seems ambivalent or silent, the culture in which it was written is decidedly neither. Once we understand the cultural norms, idioms and expectations, the Scriptures aren't as silent on the subject as we once thought.

    In light of Proverbs 17:5, IF I am correct that the forsaken woman that God brings to you is acceptable marriage material and you reject her based upon this misunderstanding, then the result of your decision is an abomination in Gods sight because you would then be condemning the just. Or, conversely, IF you are correct that a woman may never be remarried if she is forsaken, and I accept her under my covering based on my misunderstanding, then I have committed the abomination in spite of my good intentions because I have justified the wicked.

    IMHO, this topic (of the forsaken wife) is a critical part of our understanding of biblical marriage. It behooves us to get this right. Just as the man is not forced to be an Advocate for one who refuses to follow (he can put her away or divorce her), a woman is not forced to remain without an Advocate in the case of death or abandonment.

    Jeremiah 3:1 becomes an interesting verse that is directly pertinent to this thread and your question Zec.

    They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

    The first part of the verse is referencing Deut. 24 where God says in His Law that the first husband may not take one he has put away or divorced back after she has been with another husband (not adultery in Deut) and yet God distinctly tells her (an adulteress in Jeremiah) to return to Him. Deuteronomy's example is a no guilt/sin example where it would seem that she would be free to return because her husband was dead. Jeremiah's example seems more grevious in that she was an adulteress that was cut off, was with many lovers according to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and God still took her back. The same example is also found in Ezekiel 16. Both instances are where God himself is apparently not bound by the Law given in Deuteronomy.
  15. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    Just a side note. This issue of a woman's status, whether or not she is truly forsaken, would be a prime example of a matter that would be best decided by a panel of elders who could investigate the matter, question the parties involved including the previous husband and take responsibility for the verdict in the absence of a writing of divorcement. Or to determine if the divorce was based upon adultery or rebellion thus removing eligibility.

    This process would most likely uncover accusations of adultery, or anything else that would correct her presented status from abandoned to put away for cause, i.e. Rebellion, adultery, etc. and perhaps give an occasion for restoration to a willing husband or a clear conscience to a potential husband.

    A prime case of binding and loosing.
    andrew likes this.
  16. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    This has come up much more often than anyone wants to think about. A lot of what elders do is just give advice, because the only consequences of rejecting said advice are whatever the natural consequences turn out to be ("told you so..."). But sorting out why a family is breaking up and whether a particular woman is eligible to be a man's wife affects everybody in a community, so whatever the leadership of that community holds to be the verdict is going affect everybody, too. And without such a verdict, you just get a bunch of gossip and choosing of sides and broken fellowship, which isn't good for anybody.
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  17. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    True dat!
    andrew likes this.
  18. ZecAustin

    ZecAustin Well-Known Member Male

    You're overcomplicating Jeremiah. God just said there that He hadn't put away Israel. Despite her whorings she was free to return.

    And please remember that I didn't take a stance in this thread (we all know I have one but I'm trying to stay focused) that abandonment wasn't a justifier for remarriage. I said that particular verse didn't justify remarriage for abandonment for most modern women. I am very open to a scriptural based argument. I just haven't seen one yet.

    I will say this, we are clearly permitted by Paul not to marry. There are exceptions of course but for the most part you are not sinning if you don't marry.
  19. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    and neither am I! It's an old question that's been asked around her without sufficient answer, because, how do we know the mind of God for certain. Sometimes it's not until the dust settles that we can see his plans more clearly. I just imagine the Almighty looking at us and asking "how long are you just going to kick against the pricks". Venturing out into the world of polygyny is scary enough without trying to determine who is eligible. Decephering if we can just choose eligibles, or whether God is sending who he wants to us is daunting. Regardless, we must involve God on some level, because not doing so is fatal.
    andrew likes this.
  20. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    I just married the women God told me to marry. "Eligibility" was never the issue. When I see Hosea I'm going to buy him a drink....