Counsel of Chalcedon
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Divorce Regulations in God's Law: Deuteronomy 24:1-5

We now return to our study of God's law as contained in Deuteronomy. We turn now to consideration of one of the more perplexing laws in Deuteronomy. It has caused consternation not only in regard to its particulars, but in regard to its general subject matter. The law is one regulating the very important and touchy question of divorce. When we actually get to the law's application later on in the message, we will see why Moses included it in the section dealing with the eighth commandment: "Thou shalt not steal." The word "divorce" means "rutting off." It has to do with the fact of "cutting off' of a spouse, in a moral, spiritual, legal, and even physical sense. We must remember that in God's sight and in a certain literal sense, husband and wife become "one flesh" when united in marriage. Divorce severs or cuts off that relationship. But let us see how and under what circumstances this is done.