Topics covered on this page:
Hey dummy porneia means more than premarital sex!
Hey smarty gunê means more than wife
This is about husbands and wives, not boyfriends and girlfriends!
What about Deut. 24:1-2?
Divorced or only Put Away?
What about Jer. 3:8?
What about 1Cor. 7:15?
What about 2Cor. 5:17?
What about 1Cor. 7:9 & 1Cor. 7:2 & Gen. 2:18?
What about Psalm 68:6?
The multiple marriage merry-go-round
What about divorce in the Bible?
The gnats and camels index
Hey dummy, porneia means more than premarital sex!
The most common objection to once married always married is that it is too narrow, for example the word fornication (porneia in Greek) can be interpreted in other ways, and therefore there are other legitimate reasons for divorce and remarriage, adultery, incest or any sexual misconduct. While it is true that porneia can be interpreted in other ways, I don't believe that sexual misconduct breaks the marriage covenant, and I don't believe that is what Jesus meant when He said, "whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery." Please consider the following;
The reaction of the disciples to the 'exception clause'. When the disciples heard the 'exception clause' they seemed quite surprised and exclaimed, …If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry (Matt. 19:10). Their reaction to the 'exception clause' shows that they understood it as a narrow meaning. They knew that Jesus taught you couldn't get rid of your wife.
Secondly) The cultural context of the exception clause. A girl that is 'damaged goods' was considered unsuitable for marriage. Consider the example of King David's daughter Tamar. After she was raped by Amnon her half brother and he wanted nothing more to do with her, she said; ...To reject me now is a greater crime than the other you did to me... [Living Bible] 2Sam.13:16 She understood that nobody would want her because she was no longer a virgin. Tamar was not in love with Amnon but he was her only chance at marriage and she understood that rejection was worse than rape. There are many other examples in the Bible of this; Joseph and Mary, in the New Testament, and in Exod. 22:17 Moses mentions the ...dowry of virgins. It was well understood that a dowry was paid for a virgin but if a girl had lost her virginity she didn't command a dowry. This attitude still prevails in many cultures today, only the western world seems to have forgotten this truth.
Premarital sex is the best interpretation of the Greek word porneia because of the importance of virginity in establishing a new marriage. Once upon a time this truth was well understood, and it is clearly written in the old Testament and Matt's Gospel was written to the Jews.
Thirdly) The context of the 'exception clause' shows it to be a higher standard, not a lower standard. Any study of the Sermon on the Mount reveals that Jesus is teaching from the Old Testament and setting a higher standard for His followers, e.g.
Matt. 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:
A higher standard, and this is the point where the 'exception clause' first appears (Matt. 5:32) and it is therefore a higher standard. By interpreting porneia to mean post nuptial sexual misconduct by either party effectively lowers the standard, and worse it makes Jesus’ position more liberal than even Rabbi Hillel!
When the pharisees asked Jesus about this subject in Matt. 19 it was because they had their own dispute about divorce and remarriage. Rabbi Shammai taught that a man could only divorce his wife if she was unfaithful to him, but rabbi Hillel taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason, even a trivial reason could be grounds for divorce. That's why they asked Jesus His opinion, but Jesus clearly distanced Himself from their argument, and set a much higher standard.
Fouthly) Jesus used two different words with two different meanings;
Fornication = premarital sex (Strongs #4202 porneia).
Adultery = post nuptial illicit sex (Strongs #3429 moichao). The contrast clearly implies two different meanings. This point is made very clear in a free book recently published by Daniel R Jennings called 'Except For Fornication'. See book reviews or links page.
Hey smarty, gunê means more than wife!
Anyone who is familiar with this topic is aware of the different ways to interpret fornication (porneia see Strongs # 4202).
But what most people don't know is the different ways to interpret wife (gunê pronounced "goo-nay", see Strongs # 1135).
The Greek word gunê can be interpreted as girl, fiancée, wife, unmarried woman, or woman of any age.
Gunê as fiancée as in Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife...
Gunê as girl as in Luke 22:57 ...Girl, I don't know him... (NIV)
Gunê as unmarried woman 1Cor. 7:34 The unmarried woman careth for the things...
Previously we considered the 'exception clause' as:
Whosoever shall put away his fiancée, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery...
But it might also be interpreted as:
Whosoever shall put away his girl except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery...
I believe that when a relationship is established between a man and woman or boyfriend and girlfriend the Lord would have us to be faithful to that relationship, and if for whatever reason the relationship is terminated then both parties walk away carrying 'baggage'. One party is often hurt and the other party is the perpetrator, although not technically divorcees they will carry the same or similar scars or guilt and thus the foundation is set for future relationships.
In Luke's Gospel we find that Mary is called "wife" during the betrothal period Luke 2:5. Likewise, in Matthew's Gospel, Joseph is called "husband" during the same betrothal period. Matt. 1:18 ...When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Joseph and Mary are referred to as husband and wife when they are engaged / betrothed.
Stick with the topic please.
The second most common objection to once married always married is that the topic of discussion in Matt.19 is about husbands and wives not boyfriends and girlfriends. Please consider that premarital sex (porneia) cannot always be discovered prior to marriage. If the girl is not pregnant and has not been caught, who will know that she is not a virgin? Her father is entitled\obligated to marry her as a virgin, and can expect a dowry. If the husband paid for a virgin then he is entitled to a virgin. If it is discovered after the wedding that she is not a virgin then the husband has the option to invoke the ‘exception clause’. Under such circumstances the couple involved would be called husband & wife, would they not?
Deut.22:13 - 21
13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: 15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: 16 And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. 20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
Some would like to point out that under such circumstances the newly divorced wife would receive the certificate of divorce and be free to become another man's wife, but Jesus repeatedly taught; ”whosoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery”. And this highlights another point that has been lost in nearly all churches these days. When Jesus said ”whosoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” He introduced a new school of thought. This was previously not a part of Jewish thought as far as I’m aware. So now there are 3 schools of thought:
Rabbi Hillel: Only husbands can initiate divorce for any reason, and both parties can remarry.
Rabbi Shammai: Only husbands can initiate divorce for marital unfaithfulness, and both parties can remarry.
Jesus: Only husbands can initiate divorce for fornication, and only the husband can remarry in God’s eyes. If the wife remarries she shall be called an adulteress.
Both schools of Jewish thought understood that when a woman has the certificate of divorce she could go and become another man’s wife. But not in the New Testament Church. And so once again premarital sex best fits the 'exception clause’, and can be rightly applicable to both married and engaged couples. In case you're wondering why I have only referred to the loss of her virginity and not his, is because the text in question (Matt. 19:9) is an exception for men only, not for women.
What about Deut. 24:1-2?
Deut. 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Jesus clearly taught that Deut. 24:1-4 is an option for the hard hearted: Matt. 19:8 Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives...
Perhaps this could be paraphrased as: salvation is not of the law, therefore God allows sinners to go to hell with the partner of their choice.
Divorced or only Put Away?
Some say that Jesus was rebuking the pharisees because they were putting away their wives without giving them the certificate of divorce, this practise was leaving the women in a legal limbo, unable to remarry, and unable to live with their husbands. It gets support from the directions in Deut.24 where there are three steps to complete a legal divorce:
1 ’Write her a bill of divorce’ this is a document that formalises the divorce.
2 Put the bill of divorce in her hand.
3 ‘Send her out of his house’ or put her away.
Advocates of this view like to reconcile the steps in Deut. 24 with the two different words used in the New Testament for ‘Divorce' [apostasies Strongs 647] and 'putting away’ [apoluo Strongs 630] Claiming that it's only adultery to remarry a separated woman, its fine to remarry the divorced woman. This view has the following three problems:
- It sounds like Jesus is more concerned about the paperwork than the family involved.
- The next problem here is that Jesus Himself used the term ‘put away’ to mean divorce in Matt 19:8. Putting away and divorcing are attributed the same meanings in the New Testament.
- Finally for those who would advocate remarriage for a divorced woman need look no further than Paul in Rom.7:2&3 and 1Cor.7:39.
According to the steps given in Deut.24 for divorce, it should be noted that the final step is the ‘putting away’. Use of this term carries the assumption that the previous steps have already been completed. This dumbing down of the Jewish law makes it more reconcilable with the Roman law, and thus easier for the non Jewish converts to understand. More often this false dichotomy is used to confuse people who would like to remarry or want to justify remarriage. Advocates of this view usually refer to the Lamsa Bible as the authority on the subject, but even the Lamsa Bible got Rom.7:2&3 and 1Cor.7:39 correct.
What about Jer. 3:8?
Jer. 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce...
But if we continue to read the rest of the chapter we find:
V14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you...
The Lord insists He is still married [a husband] to backsliding Israel even after the adultery and divorce. Some say that marriage is just a piece of paper, but the truth is that divorce is just a piece of paper! Others have said that it is an error in the King James Bible to use the word ‘married’ in V14 because the actual word here is Baal. But this is a consistent interpretation of the word throughout the Old Testament, it often translates as husband, married or dominate[d], and it is an accurate biblical example of the relationship between a husband and wife.
Many people use this example of God divorcing Israel as a model for modern divorce. They insist on remarriage and say that the old Covenant is finished because of the divorce. But I would point out that there is no remarriage in this example, just the opposite.
I can't imagine how difficult it would be to remain with an unfaithful wife as per the example in Jer. 3, and it would be fair to divorce such a woman, however those christians who take their vows seriously would understand that they are still required to keep marriage vows...for better or worse...
The permanence of the marriage covenant can also be seen in Ezekiel 16. It is the tale of Jerusalem likened to an unfaithful wife, but with no mention of divorce.
Ezk. 16:8 ...yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
Ezk. 16: 32 But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!
Ezk. 16:60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
When Jesus returns He will reign in Jerusalem and Israel will be at the top of the nations. As per the scriptures.
What about 1Cor. 7:15?
1Cor. 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases...
Many would like to interpret this verse as grounds for divorce and remarriage; however, if we read a little further in the same chapter we find 1Cor. 7:39.
The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth...
The only logical conclusion is that departure does not break the marriage covenant. I think what the apostle Paul meant when he said "A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases" is that a believer is not bound to live with a partner who doesn’t want to live together. Let the unbeliever go if they insist, we are not bound to force a relationship upon someone who isn’t willing.
Salvation depends on the Lord, not your spouse. In other words: The liberty of a believer is not inhibited by the sin of their spouse. As strong as the marriage bond is, it is not able to rob your salvation because of the sin of your partner. Many young Christians think that they could never make it to heaven without their partner but the fact is they can if the Lord so requires because he is able to keep those that trust in Him. Consider how the New Living Translation interprets 1Cor. 7:15:
But if the husband or wife who isn't a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.
Again, if we consider the unbelieving wife (Israel) deserted her innocent husband (God), then based on that example it would be safe to say that unbelief/desertion is grounds for separation or possibly even divorce but certainly not remarriage.
If in 1Cor. 7:15 the apostle Paul gives grounds for divorce and remarriage, then he blatantly contradicts himself in 1Cor.7:39 and again in Rom. 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. And contradicts the 'whosoever' doctrine of Jesus.
What about 2Cor. 5:17?
2Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Many would like to justify divorce and remarriage using the above verse, but contrary to popular belief being a 'new creation' does not annul the first marriage vow or covenant. When we are 'born-again' our sins are forgiven, not our vows. Christ atoned for our sins. Our marriage vows need no atonement because it is not a sin to marry. 1Cor. 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned...
There are many who say "my first marriage was sinful and the Lord has forgiven me of my first marriage and subsequent divorce". And then they try to justify their remarriage with 2 Cor. 5:17 ...old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
When all things 'become new' that would include original marriage vows, not subsequent remarriage. Please note that Matthew, Mark and Luke all refer to Herodias as Philip's wife when she was remarried to Herod (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19). This reflects the attitude of the New Testament authors towards divorce and remarriage. Confusion begins when we call something a "sin" that the Lord says is not a sin.
John the Baptist boldly preached his outrageous views on divorce and remarriage and lost his head because of it. Who are we to have another position?
Deut. 23:23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.
The original wedding vows, as printed in The Book of Common Prayer [Church of England], are:
Groom: I,____, take thee,_____, to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
Bride: I,_____, take thee,_____, to my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.
I realize that about 100 years ago the words "to obey" have been removed from her side of the bargin. But more recently churches have toned them down even more, perhaps following the trend of marriage failure... and some couples now write their own vows.
What about 1Cor. 7:9?
1Cor. 7:9… let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
It is clear that the people referred to in this verse are the 'unmarried and widows' (see V8), both of which are to be considered eligible for marriage or remarriage, not necessarily the case for divorcees.
1Cor. 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
Again in this verse marriage is preferred to sexual sin, however, the apostle Paul makes it clear in verse 6 that he speaks by permission, and not of commandment. Adultery is not the cure for fornication, and remarriage is not advocated by this verse.
Gen. 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Please note that when the Lord God spoke these words he was referring to a man [Adam] that was a perfect creation, a far cry from what man is today. In fact it could be argued that today it is good that the man and/or woman should be alone, in some cases.
What about Psalm 68:6?
Psalm 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families:
Some would try to justify an adulterous remarriage based on this verse, claiming that God had arranged the relationship, however Psalm 68:6 can be correctly interpreted in other ways, e.g.
God causes the lonely to live at home; (Literal translation of the Holy Bible)
God--causing the lonely to dwell at home, (Young's Literal Translation 1898)
From the literal translations we find a meaning that can be seen even in the KJV, that is: Every family has those members who live alone, and this is something that God does.
Other translations render the verse with a slightly different meaning:
God sets the desolate in a homeland, (New International Version footnote)
Who gives a home to the forsaken, (New American Bible)
The multiple marriage merry-go-round
The account of the woman at the well gives us some insight into the ways of the Lord. John 4:6-29. Not only was the woman Samaritan but she had five and a half husbands as well! Her 'track-record' was no deterrent to the Lord as He spoke openly to her. Jesus indirectly referred to her previous relationships as marriages when He said:
John. 4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This is interesting for a number of reasons:
1) Some say that because the Lord called her previous men "husbands", the previous marriages must have been legit. It is safe to say that His choice of words doesn't change His doctrine. He was speaking to a woman who was neither Jew nor believer, I would say he was being polite and speaking in terms that she would understand. The fact that He raised her situation with her shows that it was in desperate need of some correction\adjustment. It would be silly to think that marrying her current lover would make everything ~rosy~. Why should it? We cannot really change our lives. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and in the event that she were to recieve the Holy Spirit, [the very thing she asked for] she would only continue in her previous sins unless she practiced what Jesus taught. "whosoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery".
That poor woman's plight epitomizes the multiple-marriage-merry-go-round. People with a history of failed marriages usually abandon their shattered notions of marriage, and no longer bother with the formality of a marriage ceremony. Rather, they just try to have a relationship they can live with. She was not in denial of her lamentable situation, she knew it was adulterous, Jesus knew it was adulterous, so why try to dress it up as something it is not? The multiple marriage merry-go-round goes round and around until the patrons realize the futility of the exercise and move on. Or worse, an adulterous union is successful at the expense of the souls involved. Some marriages appear successful on the surface but they are partly held together by guilt or other factors.
2) If we consider the status of women at the time, I would suggest that the woman at the well must have had something going for her, i.e. good looks or money. How else could she keep finding men that were interested in her? My guess is she would have been quite attractive in her day.
3) The 'arms-length' approach that Jesus uses to deal with her request, which He prompted. The conversation at the well took a very unusual twist when she asked for the living water, it certainly reveals that her current relationship situation\history was a hindrance to receiving the living water. How different was Jesus' response to her request from what we often hear today preached; she asked for living water, but Jesus wanted to sort out her sorry relationship history. Which, if left uncorrected, would no doubt continue as she developed her faith and cause many problems for her and the other believers she would be involved with. If the woman at the well is the poster-girl for divorce and remarriage, consider how Jesus addressed her situation: 1) Denied her request for living water. 2) Drew her attention as to why He would not give her the living water [i.e. her marriage resume] 3) Back in verse 12 she identifies as a decendant of Jacob, she clearly is a lost sheep of the house of Israel. Exactly those that Jesus came to save.
4) The way she was pivotal in convincing her village as to the identity of Jesus Christ. God's ways are not our ways, and He works according to His plan [election], even using someone who is in a situation that is not good. I'm guessing that her newly acquired religious activity caused her latest relationship to suffer...I could be wrong... but the relationship she though would last probably took a turn-for-the-worse when she evangelised her village. Ever seen a situation like this?
Divorce in the Bible
The first record of divorce in the scripture is interesting for a couple of reasons, firstly because of the relationship itself, and secondly because of the allegorical context. The Lord had just promised Abram that his seed [children] would inherit the land. Gen.15:8 …Unto thy seed have I given this land … The problem was that Abram didn't have any children, he was 86 years old and Sarai was past having children. It appears that Sarai figured out a way to get children, Gen. 16:3 ... Abram's wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. Hagar becomes Abram's wife only to bear children, a surrogate mother.
Anyway approx.16-20 years later, after Sara has had her own child with Abraham, Hagar gets kicked-out and leaves with Abram's son Ishmael and a loaf of bread and a bottle of water. Gen. 21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away… This story has all the modern ingredients:
1) Heaven ordained divorce, i.e.
"Cast out the bondwoman and her son,"
2) An "innocent-party" in Hagar.
What had Hagar done to get kicked out of home?
Ironically in the New Testament, Paul uses Hagar and Sara's situation as an allegory. Gal.4:22-31. Hagar, the bondwoman, is a 'type':
A type of single mother.
A type of divorcee.
A type of an innocent party.
A type of forerunner.
I wonder what the divorce apologists would say if they knew that their theology is illustrated by the bondwoman? And in pursuing this allegory, could it not be reasoned like this: Cast out the bondwoman [innocent party] and her son [the divorce apologists]? If my reasoning seems unfair, please bear in mind that the Scripture says, "Cast out the bondwoman and her son," not me. If the Scripture seems unfair, then Hath not the potter the right to make one vessel unto honor and another to dishonor?
Another example of divorce in the Scripture is found in Ezra 10 and Nehemiah 13. After the Babylonian captivity, when Jerusalem was in the process of restoration, it was discovered that many of the children of Israel had married foreigners, in direct contradiction of the Law. Deut. 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them…
So Ezra and Nehemiah insisted that the mixed marriages be separated.
Ezra 10:19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.
Neh. 13:3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
This example is interesting for a number of reasons.
Could this be a precedent for divorce? For example; unsanctified marriages to be terminated. I wonder if the Church would ever rise to such a position, and demand that unsanctified marriages be terminated? If the New Testament Church is founded on better promises than Israel's covenant, why is the current standard so slack? Most churches try to whitewash adulterous remarriage rather than deal with the issue. These days with more and more churches hungry for members, I doubt that any would raise any questions about remarriage. Oddly enough the homosexual community make this same argument against the churches saying that they accept adulterers why not accept homosexuals?
Please understand that if this example [Ezra 10] is to be considered a precedent for divorce, it is not to be considered a precedent for remarriage. Anyone considering terminating an adulterous marriage would need to do so with eyes-wide, in other words, better get used to living alone.
The gnats and camels index
Jesus described big sins as camels and little sins as gnats.
Matt. 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
It is important to use the gnats and camels scale when looking at divorce and remarriage. Please consider that remarriage comes in various shades. From blackest sin to tainted white. There are some people who try to trivialize remarriage because of this. They exploit people's doubts and create uncertainty in the minds of those who would speak out against divorce and remarriage. By belittling a 'gnat' into a non-existent sin, they would then expect everyone to swallow a camel, even insisting that it's ok to marry a divorced woman. I have discovered that guilty-party-policies can be made to flex in this fashion, indeed many GPPs are designed for this very purpose. I have noticed that people who strain out gnats are often the same people who have previously swallowed a camel, but I digress. Using the 'gnats and camels index' how would we assess the following examples?
David and Michal were married. Saul forced them to separate, and both parties remarried.
1) David [re]married Abigail 1Sam 25:42. And Michal's remarried Phaltiel 1Sam 25:44.
God honored David's second marriages [ 2Sam 3:2-5]. God did not honor Michal's second marriage. It was always adulterous [a camel]. Neither David or Michal ever divorced, they were always married. But his second marriage was blessed not hers. David's second marriage is not even a 'gnat'. Michal's second marriage is more than a 'gnat', but what else could she do? Her dad forced her. Saul is the one who must own the 'camel' in this example. Some would argue that this [David's example] is a good enough reason to endorse remarriage. But to make sense of this we should consider the differences between men and women. See Twice married always married.
2) King Ahasuerus divorced his first wife [Queen Vashti], and remarried Esther amongst others. [Esther 1]. It is fair to say that God honored that marriage, but according to Jesus' doctrine King Ahasuerus committed adultery because he divorced his wife and remarried. Esther was a Jewish believer, Ahasuerus was a pagan. Can one party be guilty of adultery and not the other? The crime [camel] here is divorce, Ahasuerus had sinned against Vashti when he divorced her, the [re]marriage to Esther is a 'gnat' compared to the camel of divorce. The other wildcard in this example is the fact that Jews were forbidden to marry foreigners.
3) Herodias remarried Herod. This union was adulterous and incestuous, [a camel with two humps!] God's word concerning this marriage came from John the baptist. It seems like they died in their sin.
It is difficult to evaluate remarriage without all the factors, not the least of which is the basic differences between men and women. It is safe to say things like:
whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Rom. 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
1Cor. 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.