The legal separation of married partners. In the OT marriage is not regarded as a relationship (such as that of brother and sister) which is in itself by its very nature unbreakable; and divorce and remarriage were permissible under the Mosaic law—though the conditions were weighted in favour of the man (Deut. 24:1 ff.). In the post-exilic era Ezra commanded Jewish husbands to divorce wives who were foreigners (Ezra 10:11). Although the ‘bill of divorcement’ presumably required the presence of an official, it seems that there was also the possibility of purely private proceedings, which is what Joseph contemplated when it was revealed that his fiancée was pregnant (Matt. 1:19).
The grounds for divorce in NT times were interpreted strictly by rabbis of the school of Shammai and liberally by those who followed Hillel, another well-known exponent of the Law. The liberal position tolerated divorce for comparatively trivial offences by the wife, whereas Shammai restricted it to proven cases of adultery. Jesus was invited to say where he stood in this controversy and he apparently sides with Shammai (Mark 10:2–12). However the variations in the traditions in the synoptic gospels indicate that the early Church did not hesitate to adapt remembered sayings of Jesus to meet the changing circumstances and stresses of subsequent Christian generations. The exceptive clause (Matt. 5:31 and 19:9) has been open to different interpretations, based on the disputed meaning of ‘unchastity’, so that Jesus' teaching is not so much a rigorous injunction on the lines of Shammai as a more liberal one. For example, ‘unchastity’ has been interpreted as a relationship within the prohibited degrees which rendered a marriage null and void. Jesus takes the issue back to first principles God's intentions at the creation (Gen. 2:24). Paul advises the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7:12 ff.) that divorce and remarriage are permissible for a Christian if the partner who initiated the divorce was a pagan.

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  • DIVORCE — Le divorce est la rupture, consacrée par le droit, de l’union conjugale. Ce caractère le distingue nettement de la séparation de corps qui ne rompt pas le lien matrimonial, mais fait seulement disparaître l’obligation de cohabitation, et de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • DIVORCE — (Heb. גֵּרוּשִׁין), the formal dissolution of the marriage bond. IN THE BIBLE Divorce was accepted as an established custom in ancient Israel (cf. Lev. 21:7, 14; 22:13; Num. 30:10; Deut. 22:19, 29). In keeping with the other cultures of the Near… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • divorce — di·vorce 1 n [Middle French, from Latin divortium, from divortere divertere to leave one s marriage partner, from di away, apart + vertere to turn]: the dissolution of a valid marriage granted esp. on specified statutory grounds (as adultery)… …   Law dictionary

  • divorce — DIVORCE. s. m. Rupture de mariage. Le divorce estoit en usage parmy les Romains. le divorce n est point permis dans le Christianisme. Il se prend parmy nous pour la separation de corps & de biens entre les gens mariez. Ce mari & cette femme ont… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Divorce — Di*vorce , n. [F. divorce, L. divortium, fr. divortere, divertere, to turn different ways, to separate. See {Divert}.] 1. (Law) (a) A legal dissolution of the marriage contract by a court or other body having competent authority. This is properly …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divorce — DIVORCE. subs. masc. Séparation de deux époux par la rupture légale du mariage. Le divorce étoit en usage parmi les Juifs et les Romains. Le divorce n est point permis dans le Christianisme, suivant la doctrine catholique. [b]f♛/b] Il se prend… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Divorce — Di*vorce , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Divorced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Divorcing}.] [Cf. F. divorcer. See {Divorce}, n.] 1. To dissolve the marriage contract of, either wholly or partially; to separate by divorce. [1913 Webster] 2. To separate or disunite;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divorcé — divorcé, ée (di vor sé, sée) part. passé. Qui a fait divorce. Femme divorcée.    Substantivement. Un divorcé. Les divorcés …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • divorce — [də vôrs′] n. [ME & OFr < L divortium < divortere, var. of divertere, to turn different ways: see DIVERSE] 1. legal and formal dissolution of a marriage 2. any complete separation or disunion vt. divorced, divorcing 1. to dissolve legally a …   English World dictionary

  • Divorce Me C.O.D. — Divorce Me C.O.D. is a 1946 song by Merle Travis. The song was Merle Travis first release to make it to number one on the Folk Juke Box charts where it stayed for fourteen weeks and a total of twenty three weeks on the chart [1]. The B side of… …   Wikipedia

  • divorce — DIVORCE: Si Napoléon n avait pas divorcé, il serait encore sur le trône …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

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