Divorced or Put Away?


A friend and I were chatting about divorce a few years ago. I realized during the conversation that at that time neither of us really had the subject nailed down. So here is a verse by verse listing with the corrected Hebrew or Greek word.

"Divorce" and "Put or send away" are not the same thing. A man who wanted to divorce his wife had to do two things. He had to write her a bill of divorcement and then send her away or put her away, Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Mark 10:4. A man who found that his wife had been unfaithful to him did not write her a bill of divorcement as she and the other man were stoned. Malachi and Matthew chapter five were all about men who were putting or sending away their wives without just cause. Men were sending away their wives without writing a bill of divorcement even though their wives were not guilty of adultery. God hates the putting away (without divorce) because it always involves sin. In one case the sin of the wife for being unfaithful and in the other the sin of the husband for putting his wife away with out just cause or a bill of divorcement. The act of putting away a wife without a bill of divorcement is equivalent to separation only. The man and woman are still married if she was not guilty of adultery.

The correct word will be in red with the wrong word in brackets. The Hebrew or Greek word will be in parentheses. Many times the word "divorce" has been translated in the scripture when the word should be "put away". In order to get all the verses I did searches in both the King James, New King James, Septuagint and LITV. Normally I don't go to so many different versions, but thought it might be helpful since many use more than one version. You might want to compare with your translation as you go through these verses. The important thing is to use the correct word found in the Hebrew and Greek texts.

You will find the definitions for the Hebrew and Greek words at the bottom of the page. Let's begin looking at the scriptures.

The correct word based on Greek or Hebrew Text will be in this color font.

(Actual Greek or Hebrew word will be in parenthesis.)

[Word commonly found in the text, but incorrect based on Greek or Hebrew Text will be in Brackets.]

Gen 21:10 (NKJV)
"Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out (garash H1644) this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.""

The following three verses in Leviticus were for Levitical priest only. The Levitical priesthood is now covered by Christ as he is our high priest.

Lev 21:7 (NKJV)
"They shall not take a wife who is a harlot or a defiled woman, nor shall they take a woman driven out (garash H1644)[divorced] from her husband; for the priest is holy to his God."

Lev 21:14 (NKJV)
"A widow or a driven out (garash H1644)[divorced] woman or a defiled woman or a harlot; these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife."

Lev 22:13 (NKJV)
"But if the priest's daughter is a widow or driven out (garash H1644)[divorced], and has no child, and has returned to her father's house as in her youth, she may eat her father's food; but no outsider shall eat it."

Now back to the regular verses. (A side note and this will be hard for those with minimal Old Testament knowledge: Scriptures that require a man to marry a woman have no bearing on his current marital status.)

Numbers 30:9 (NKJV)
"Also any vow of a widow or a put away (garash H1644)[divorced] woman, by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her."

Deuteronomy 22:19 (NKJV)
"and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot put her away (shalach H7971)[divorce] all his days."

Deuteronomy 22:29 (NKJV)
"then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to put her away (shalach H7971) all his days."

Deuteronomy 24:1 (MKJV)
"When a man has taken a wife and married her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her, then let him write her a bill of divorce (keriythuwth H3748), and put it in her hand, and send her out (shalach H7971) of his house.
2 And when she has departed from his house, she goes and becomes another man's"

Please note the word uncleanness in the last verse. Keep it in mind for when we cover Matthew 19:3 and the Pharisees use the phrase "for any reason". The base meaning of the Hebrew word translated uncleanness ('ervah) means nudity. In this case the woman has uncovered herself from her headship, her husband.

Deuteronomy 24:3 (MKJV)
"and the latter husband hates her and writes her a bill of divorce (keriythuwth H3748) and puts it in her hand and sends her out (shalach H7971) of his house; or if the latter husband dies, he who took her to be his wife"

Deuteronomy 24:4 (MKJV)
"her former husband, who sent her away (shalach H7971) may not take her again to be his wife after she is defiled. For that is hateful before Yahweh. And you shall not cause the land to sin, which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance."

1 Chronicles 8:8 (LITV)
"And Shaharaim fathered sons in the country of Moab after he had sent them away (shalach H7971)]. Hushim and Baara were his wives."

Ezra 10:3 (MKJV)
"And now let us make a covenant with our God to put away (yatsa' H3318) all the women, and such as have been born of them, according to the counsel of the Lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. And let it be done according to the Law."

The next verse I had missed and someone who read the page found it.

Ezra 10:11 (MKJV)
"And now confess to Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and do His pleasure. And separate (badal:H914) yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange women."

Ezra 10:19 (MKJV)
"And they gave their hands that they would put away (yatsa' H3318) their women. And being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their sin."

Isaiah 50:1 (MKJV)
"So says Yahweh, "Where is your mother's bill of divorce (keriythuwth H3748), whom I have put away (shalach H7971)? Or to which of My creditors have I sold you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, and your mother is put away (shalach H7971) for your sins.""

Jeremiah 3:1 (MKJV)
"They say, If a man put away (shalach H7971) and she goes from him and will be for another man, will he return to her again? Would not that land be greatly defiled? But you play the harlot with many lovers; yet come back to Me, says Yahweh."

Jeremiah 3:8 (NKJV)
"Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away (shalach H7971) and given her a certificate of divorce (keriythuwth H3748); yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also."

The following verse in Ezekiel was for the priest only.

Ezekiel 44:22 (NKJV)
"They shall not take as wife a widow or a driven out (garash H1644)[divorced] woman, but take virgins of the descendants of the house of Israel, or widows of priests."

Hosea 9:15
"All their wickedness is in Gilgal, For there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive (garash H1644) them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious."

Malachi 2:16 (NKJV)
"For Yahweh God of Israel says That He hates the putting away (shalach H7971)[divorce], For it covers one's garment with violence," Says Yahweh of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously."

(Mat 1:19 NIV)
"Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to put her away (apoluo G630)[divorce] quietly."

(Mat 5:31 NKJV)
"Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever puts away (apoluo G630) his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce (apostasion G647).'"

(Mat 5:32 NKJV)
"But I say to you that whoever puts away (apoluo G630) his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is put away (apoluo G630)[divorced] commits adultery."

In the following verses the Pharisees test or try to trick the Christ in a matter of Law. Notice how they begin by talking about putting away a wife and then switch to divorce.

(Mat 19:3 NKJV)
"The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluo G630)[divorce] his wife for just any reason?""
4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'
5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

Notice that the Christ correctly answered their question based on the Law. A put away wife without a bill of divorcement was merely separated from her husband. They were still married. Now the Pharisees change the subject to divorce. In verse 8 he answers their question. In verse 9 he teaches more about the "putting away".

(Mat 19:7 NKJV)
They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce (apostasion G647), and to put her away (apoluo G630)?"

(Mat 19:8 NKJV)
He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to put away (apoluo G630)[divorce] your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

(Mat 19:9 NKJV)
And I say to you, whoever puts away (apoluo G630)[divorces] his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is put away (apoluo G630)[divorced] commits adultery."

As you can see in Matthew 19:8 Christ said that from the beginning it was not so. What was not so? Divorce for any reason was not from the beginning because the Law says that a man must find some uncleanness in her, Deuteronomy 24:1. It is permitted to divorce a woman in whom is found an uncleanness. Adultery is a Lawful reason for putting away without a writ of divorce. However since Yahweh wrote a bill of divorcement to the house of Israel even though she was guilty we should follow His example.

(Mark 10:2 NKJV) The Pharisees came and asked Him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away (apoluo G630)[divorce] his wife?" testing Him.
3 And He answered and said to them, "What did Moses command you?"

(Mark 10:4 NKJV)
They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce (apostasion G647), and to put her away (apoluo G630)." {"dismiss her" is ok}

(Mark 10:11 NKJV)
"So He said to them, "Whoever puts away (apoluo G630)[divorces] his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.

(Mark 10:12 NKJV)
And if a woman puts away (apoluo G630)[divorces] her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

(Luke 16:18 NKJV)
"Whoever puts away (apoluo G630)[divorces] his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is put away (apoluo G630)[divorced] from her husband commits adultery."

Remember why all this putting away caused the sin of adultery? Because putting away is the same as separation. Without a bill of divorcement the man and woman are still lawfully married. For these last several verses I recommend reading some of the other articles on adultery and divorce at this site. Some of this can be confusing with out additional explaination.

(1 Corinthians 7:11 NKJV)
"But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to leave (aphiemi G863)[divorce] his wife.

(1 Corinthians 7:12 NKJV)
But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not put away (aphiemi G863)[divorce] her.

(1 Corinthians 7:13 NKJV)
And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not leave (aphiemi G863)[divorce] him."

(1 Corinthians 7:27 NKJV)
"Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed (luo G3089). Are you loosed (lusis G3080) [divorced] from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you."

I have to now add one more quotation from scripture because it mentions adultery.

1 Corintians 6:9-11
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

I praise God that he is merciful and forgives those who are His!

Well there you have it so far anyway. This page has been added to quite a bit and if you find something missing please write and point it out. If one just goes by the simple statements found in the scriptures concerning marriage, divorce and putting away the subject is very understandable.



In Strong's words found after the ":--" show what words were actually used in the King James Version in every verse containing the original Hebrew or Greek word right or wrong and are thus are not shown. It is more important to show what the word actually means not how it was used. Also the very first word shown in the definition is the "tracing of the etymology". After that you will see the "radical meaning, and applied significations of the word". Here are the definitions:

Hebrew 914. badal, baw-dal'; a prim. root; to divide (in var. senses lit. or fig., separate, distinguish, differ, select, etc.)

Hebrew 1644. garash, gaw-rash'; a prim. root; to drive out from a possession; espec. to expatriate or divorce. (Based on context this word may be a more general term and probably includes both the idea of putting away and divorce?)

Hebrew 3318. yatsa', yaw-tsaw'; a prim. root; to go (causat. bring) out, in a great variety of applications, lit. and fig., direct and proxim.

Hebrew 3748. keriythuwth, ker-ee-thooth'; from H3772; a cutting (of the matrimonial bond), i.e. divorce.

Hebrew 7971. shalach, shaw-lakh'; a prim. root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications).

Greek 630. apoluo, ap-ol-oo'-o; from G575 and G3089; to free fully, i.e. (lit.) relieve, release, dismiss (reflex. depart), or (fig.) let die, pardon, or (spec.) divorce.

Greek 647. apostasion, ap-os-tas'-ee-on; neut. of a (presumed) adj. from a der. of G868; prop. something separative, i.e. (spec.) divorce.

Greek 863. aphiemi, af-ee'-ay-mee; from G575 and hiemi (to send; an intens. form of eimi, to go); to send forth, in various applications (as follow).

Greek 3080. lusis, loo'-sis; from G3089; a loosening, i.e. (spec.) divorce.

Greek 3089. luo, loo'-o; a prim. verb; to "loosen" (lit. or fig.).



Printable Version

Feel free to send your helpful comments.

Thank You


Christian Polygyny

Christian Polygyny



Can One Divorce and Why

Can the Divorced Marry Again?

Elders, Deacons and "One Wife"

What the Bible says on Divorce and Putting Away.

What Constitutes Adultery?

Matthew 19

Mark 10

Words Mean Things!

To Bear Children or Not to Bear

Abortion: Choice or Murder?

Abuse: Can an Abused Woman Remarry?

Did Abraham Really Marry His Sister?

The Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage of God to Israel

Home Page