My Response to Robert Waters Regarding “Understanding Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Part 2: Moses’ Situational Law and MDR”

The following post was written to Ira’s List as a response to Robert Waters’ response to the article entitled above. As of February 07, 2004, he has made no response to this material; I present it here to further demonstrate his inability to deal with the truth of God on marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

The E-mail




Ethan, Moses did command the divorce, which btw, was not the sending away, but the bill of divorce (the legal papers). Read the passage from the ASV and it becomes apparent that Moses gave such a command. Also, Jesus’ question in Mark 10:3 indicates it was a command.

ELDV: If you read the first article of the series, you would have known that we covered this ground thoroughly with all the ancient witnesses and determined that the ESV rendering of the situation is accurate.


Now, I realize that you have acknowledged the problem with the idea that Moses commanded divorce. Well, as you suggested, we must consider the circumstances. They were evidently sending their wives out of the house and marrying another. This is what Moses “suffered”. He did not authorize this practice, which amounted to “polygamy” since it resulted in more than one wife. What Moses commanded was that the men give the woman, who he was determined to “cast away” or send out of the house, a “bill of divorce” which freed her to marry another.

ELDV: It is apparent from the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 that Moses by no means commanded divorce. Moses discusses divorce in the context of the situation provided. Again, read the article posted at the above site.


Jesus did not use the term apoluo to refer to the entire divorce concept. The way he used it was exactly the way Moses used the concept, but in a different language. Look up the meaning of shalach in Strong’s. “Cast away” is one of the meanings. The ASV correctly translates apoluo as “put away”, which is exactly what was taking place and which Moses addressed with the command. Had these most respected translators thought apoluo meant divorce, they would have so translated it as divorce. Now, we know that “put away” does not mean divorce. I looked up put away in two Internet dictionaries and neither even mentioned divorce in the meaning. This is significant. To understand Jesus’ teachings we must be willing to accept what he said. The “casting out” or apoluo was the part that was wrong – it was simply part of what constituted a legal divorce when a man determined to get rid of a wife obeying God.

ELDV: The only textual evidence you have to buttress this interpretation is Matthew 19:7, of all things the words of the Pharisees themselves. Jesus obviously does not agree with the Pharisees, so I would not put my lot in with them.

The article establishes the falsity of these claims, Robert. We have covered this ground once and if you desire we can cover it again. The textual evidence declares clearly that Jesus was condemning the entire concept of divorce in the Law of Moses.

The Conclusion of the Matter?

As it has been stated above, Robert Waters has as of February 07, 2004, not yet responded. We encourage him to respond and defend his positions if they be as he claims.

My Response to Robert Waters Regarding “Understanding Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Part 2: Moses’ Situational Law and MDR”

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