Question:

This was purposed to me, and I was wondering your thoughts. The idea is the exception clause would have to work both ways since both are mentioned. I was wondering your thoughts about it. I am still studying the aspects of it, but it looks like a good challenge for me.

Based on Matthew 19:9

Whoever divorces his wife for any cause (except fornication) and marries againcommits adultery
Whoever divorces his wifefor fornicationand marries againdoes not commit adultery

Therefore based on Matthew 5:32

Whoever divorces his wife for any cause (except fornication) and she marries again causes her to commit adultery
Whoever divorces his wife for fornication and she marries again causes her not to commit adultery

 


Answer:

"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9).

"But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32).

Noticed that the last phrase in Matthew 5:32 is left out and "she marries again" is added. Whoever marries the divorced woman regardless of the reason her husband divorced her, regardless of the reason she was divorced. This helps solidify the truth being stated.

For ease of discussion, we will do as Jesus did and assume that it is the husband who divorces his wife. If he does so for reasons that do not include fornication, his action can lead cause others to sin. His former wife will be committing adultery if she chooses to marry again. Also anyone marrying her will also be committing adultery with her. Jesus' point in Matthew 5:32, is that the person ending the marriage is responsible for encouraging another person to sin.

But what if the husband does divorce his wife because she was committing fornication, then the husband is not causing her to commit adultery if she decides to marry again. Why? Because she already was in adultery -- that is why the divorce took place! The implication is that her former husband is not responsible for encouraging her into further sin.

The mistake being made is that in Matthew 5:32 the person tried to switched the right half of the implication from the husband to the wife. This is not about her state but what he caused to happen. In other words, the "not" is in the wrong place. It should say, "does not cause her to commit adultery." (For grammarians, it is the verb being negated not the preposition).