The Mosaic Law of Divorce And Varied Regulations

If you think your family has problems, consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother. That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lyn … More


Two laws that deal with husband-wife relationships are given (vv. 1-5). The first concerns divorce which seems to have been a widespread problem in Egypt and Israel at that time. The main issue was that people were forbidden to remarry once they were divorced. Jesus’ interpretation of this passage indicated that divorce (like polygamy) was against the divine ideal for marriage (Matthew 19:3-9). The second law stated that a newly married man was not required to perform military service for a whole year (v. 5), and he was to be free of other responsibilities to have time for adjustment to married life.


Some of the other issues governing life that are covered in this chapter are:


1. A millstone was not to be taken as collateral for a debt (v. 6).

2. To kidnap a person and make him a slave was to be punished by death (v. 7).

3. The people were to obey the priests teaching concerning leprosy (vv. 8-9).

4. A lender could not enter a borrower’s home or keep his coat overnight to collect a debt (vv. 10-13).

5. The rich could not withhold the wages of the poor to collect a debt (vv. 14-15).

6. Each person is responsible for his own sin and must die for his own crime (vv. 16-18).

7. Any scattered grain left by the reapers could be gleaned by the poor (vv. 19-22).


The Israelites were not to take advantage of others while seeking justice for themselves. God wants us to think of others and not just ourselves.

Deuteronomy 24:1-22 (English Standard Version)

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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »