OKRickety “strongly disagrees” with my claim that the line “God hates divorce” is unbiblical:
I, along with many others, do not agree with your statement that “the scriptures do not say that God hates divorce”. In fact, the BibleHub link you provide to Malachi 2:16 transliterates the text as “Yahweh says divorce that He hates”. And, if you follow the link it has to Strongs Hebrew 7971 shalach, its reference to Malachi 2:16 states that the sending away, shalach, in that instance is equal to divorce.
As to the concept that divorce was “for wives”, I find that impossible to reconcile with the fact that the Mosaic Law only allowed men to divorce their wives, not the other way around. Nor do I see any suggestion that Deut. 24:1-4 is primarily to prevent women from being abused.
Just for good measure, I will point out that it is very common for Christian women to maintain that they are shamed into remaining in abusive marriages by “modern religion” when they would much rather divorce.
While I am generally in agreement with the rest of your post, I disagree strongly with your footnote (asterisk).
Let’s unpack this a little further:
The belief that God hates divorce depends upon the definition of a Hebrew term shalach. This word is translated as “divorce” in many modern English translations in Malachi 2:16. Older translations use “putting away.”
Usage determines the meaning of a word, not a single translators choice. A dictionary is only as good as it accurately summarizes the uses of the term.
So how is the term shalach used in the Bible? We can find out with a concordance. I’ve bolded the English phrases translated from shalach:
God sent him forth from the garden (Gen 3:23)
Send me away unto my master. (Gen 24:54)
The Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand (Ex 4:4)
These are just a few of 847 examples. There is no doubt about the biblical usage of the term. It simply meant “to send” or “put forth.”
The Hebrews had a separate concept for divorce: kerithuth. It’s only used 4 times in the Old Testament. Twice in Deuteronomy 24.
The context reveals God’s heart for divorce:
When a man takes a wife and possesses her, and it comes to be that she should not find favor in his eyes, because he has found in her the nakedness of anything, then he would write for her a scroll of divorce, give it into her hand and send her away from his house. When she goes forth from his house, goes and becomes another man’s, and the man (the latter one) dislikes her, then he would write for her a scroll of divorce, give it into her hand and send her away from his house. Or when the man should die (the latter one who took her to himself as a wife), then her possessor (the former one who had sent her away) shall not be able to reverse himself to take her back to become his wife after she had had herself defiled, for that is an abhorrence before Yahweh.
Clearly, the point of the divorce law was to prevent the woman from having to remain bound to or return to her first husband. The woman had been “defiled” (through abuse) and so it would be abhorrent before God to have her go back to an abusive husband.
A lot of red pilled men seem to forget that abuse of women at the hands of men really does occur. We are living in unusual times today in that the man is always assumed to be guilty.
Painting men as rapists by default is harmful to both men and to the women who truly are being abused. How can we tell if a woman’s testimony is legit or if she’s just an attention whore?
Regardless, many Christians believe hatred of divorce is the righteous attitude regardless of circumstances.
But like many of the so-called “tenants of the faith”, this belief comes from ego-investment in man-made religion rather than from the Scriptures.
I suspect there is a certain objection to this argument. I will delve into this in more detail if someone brings it up.