Bible Verses on this topic

In this nugget we will list the Bible verses regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage. We will also study the greek words porneia (fornication) and moiceia (adultery).

Genesis 2:24
"For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."

Deut. 24:1
"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, "

Deut. 24:1
"When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house." KJV

Some rabbi's interpreted this verse very strict and interpreted indecency to mean sexual sin. Other rabbi's believed that this meant a wife could be divorced for any cause, there did not have to be sexual sin.

Malachi 2:16
"For I hate divorce," says the Lord, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the Lord of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."

Matthew 5:31-32
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: [32] But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication
{porneia}, causeth her to commit adultery {moiceia}: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery {moiceia}. KJV

Matthew 5:31-32
"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' [32] But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness
{porneia}, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery {moiceia}. NIV

Matthew 5:31-32
"And it was said, 'Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce'; [32] but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity
{porneia}, makes her commit adultery {moiceia}; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery {moiceia}. NASB


Matthew 19:3-10
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?" "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness {porneia}, and marries another woman commits adultery {moiceia}."
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." NIV

Matthew 19: 9
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication
{porneia}, and shall marry another, committeth adultery {moiceia}: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery {moiceia}. KJV 

Matthew 19: 9
"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality
{porneia}, and marries another woman commits adultery {moiceia}." NASB

Mark 10:11-12
And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery
{moiceia} against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery{moiceia}."

Luke 16:18
"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery
{moiceia}; and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery {moiceia}.

Romans 7:2-3
For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. [3] So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

1 Cor. 7:10-16
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband [11] (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away. [12] But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away. [13] And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away. [14] For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. [15] Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. [16] For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
(Some will argue that in verse 12 Paul states it is him speaking, not the Lord, so we d not need to follow his guidelines. Since Paul's statements are in the Holy Bible and his words or divinely inspired, then they are the words of the Lord.)

Adultery (MOICEIA)
Adultery is a sexual sin with a married person.

Fornication (PORNEIA)
Fornication is illicit sexual intercourse, which includes sexual sin with an unmarried person, visiting prostitutes, homosexual relations, bestiality, incest. It denotes sexual immorality or indecency in general. It is generally seen as an ongoing act, not a one-time event.

What the Bible Verses do not say:
Christians will give many reasons why a person can get divorced. Such things as physical, emotional or verbal abuse; the spouse is a drug addict or alcoholic; the spouse is a non-Christian or not serving Jesus; 'spiritual adultery'; incompatibility; no more love for the spouse; should have never gotten married; and whatever other reason that seems like it will justify divorce. None of these reasons are given as grounds for divorce. The only grounds given for divorce in the New Testament is if a spouse commits fornication or if an unbelieving spouse abandons the marriage.

What about when adultery is committed during the marriage? Does this mean that a wife should stay with a man who is beating on her? Does this mean that a husband should stay with a wife who nags, criticizes, curses, and goes out drinking with the girlfriends? In the next nugget we will cover these topics. Please stick with us through this study. God's Word has principles to live by that will bring abundant life if understood properly.


Copyright @ 2001 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NAS)