By Dennis C. Abernathy
“. . .and whoso marrieth her which is’put away doth commit adultery” (Matt. 19:9). I have, heard some say that the “whoever” con marry “her which is put away” and not commit adultery in so doing, if the “one put away” changes his state (that is, the y change from a put away one to the one who puts away). How is this accomplished? Follow me carefully. The one who initially did the putting away” later marries, thus, committing fornication. Thus, the first “put away” one now becomes the party who can “put away” the one who has already put them away. We are told that if this is not the case then the “innocent party” (the put away one) has no recourse or is punished unjustly (by being unable to remarry).
But just suppose the one who did the initial putting away did not remarry, would the “put away,” one have any recourse? Would they be punished unjustly (by being unable to remarry)?
Read Matthew 19:9. Do you see two “putting aways” in the verse? Do you see a civil putting away for causes other than fornication and also a mental putting away (in the mind before God alone)? Do you honestly see that in Matthew 19:9?
If this is correct exegesis and reasoning, will the same reasoning apply with regard to marriage itself? Can a couple “mentally” marry (in the mind before God alone)?
Brethren, please be careful. The Scriptures say that whoever marries a put away one commits adultery, but some tell us that whoever marries a put away one does not commit adultery! You must decide.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 22, p. 691
November 17, 1988