Matthew 19:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

New Living Translation
Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?"

English Standard Version
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

New American Standard Bible
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"

King James Bible
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?"

International Standard Version
Some Pharisees came to him in order to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?"

NET Bible
Then some Pharisees came to him in order to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful to divorce a wife for any cause?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the Pharisees came to him and they were testing him, and they were saying, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Some Pharisees came to test him. They asked, "Can a man divorce his wife for any reason?"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the Pharisees came unto him, tempting him and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for any cause?

King James 2000 Bible
The Pharisees also came unto him, testing him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

American King James Version
The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

American Standard Version
And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Darby Bible Translation
And the Pharisees came to him tempting him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

English Revised Version
And there came unto him Pharisees, tempting him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Webster's Bible Translation
The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Weymouth New Testament
Then came some of the Pharisees to Him to put Him to the proof by the question, "Has a man a right to divorce his wife whenever he chooses?"

World English Bible
Pharisees came to him, testing him, and saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?"

Young's Literal Translation
And the Pharisees came near to him, tempting him, and saying to him, 'Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

19:3-12 The Pharisees were desirous of drawing something from Jesus which they might represent as contrary to the law of Moses. Cases about marriage have been numerous, and sometimes perplexed; made so, not by the law of God, but by the lusts and follies of men; and often people fix what they will do, before they ask for advice. Jesus replied by asking whether they had not read the account of the creation, and the first example of marriage; thus pointing out that every departure therefrom was wrong. That condition is best for us, and to be chosen and kept to accordingly, which is best for our souls, and tends most to prepare us for, and preserve us to, the kingdom of heaven. When the gospel is really embraced, it makes men kind relatives and faithful friends; it teaches them to bear the burdens, and to bear with the infirmities of those with whom they are connected, to consider their peace and happiness more than their own. As to ungodly persons, it is proper that they should be restrained by laws, from breaking the peace of society. And we learn that the married state should be entered upon with great seriousness and earnest prayer.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - We have now to listen to our Lord's teaching respecting divorce and marriage. The Pharisees. The article is better omitted. Our Lord was not long left in peace by these inveterate enemies, who, if they could not openly persecute him, might hope to extract something from his words and sentiments which might be used to his disadvantage. They were probably envoys sent from Jerusalem to entrap and annoy him. Tempting him. Trying to get him to give an answer which would in any case afford a handle for malicious misrepresentation. The question proposed concerned divorce. To put away his wife forevery cause; κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν: quacumque ex causa; for any cause whatever. This was a delicate question to raise in the domains of Herod Antipas (see Matthew 14:3, 4), and one greatly debated in the rabbinical schools. Our Lord had already twice pronounced upon the subject, once in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:32), and again when reasoning with the Pharisees on the due observance of the Law (Luke 16:18). Two opposite opinions were held by the followers of Hillel and Schammai, the heads of antagonistic schools. The school of Hillel contended that a man might divorce his wife for various causes quite unconnected with infringement of the marriage vow, e.g., because he had ceased to love her, or had seen some one whom he liked better, or even because she cooked his dinner badly. The school of Schammai was more strict, and permitted divorce only in case of fornication, adultery, or some offence against chastity. Between these contending parties the Pharisees desired to make our Lord give a decision, thinking that they had fixed him in a dilemma. If he took the popular lax view, they could deride his claims as a Teacher of superior morality; if he upheld the stricter side, he would rouse the enmity of the majority, and possibly, like John the Baptist, involve himself in trouble with the licentious tetrarch. There was a chance also that the high tone which he had already taken might prove to be at variance with Mosaic enactments. The easiness with which divorce was obtained may be seen in Josephus, Who thus writes: "He who for any reason whatsoever (and many such causes happen to men) wishes to be separated from a wife who lives with him, must give it to her in writing that he will cohabit with her no longer, and by this means she shall have liberty to marry another man; but before this is done it is not permitted her to do so" ('Ant.,' 4:08, 23). Josephus himself repudiated his own wife because he was not pleased with her behaviour ('Vita,' § 76). And Ben-Sira gives the curt injunction, "If she go not as thou wouldest have her (κατὰ χεῖρά σου), cut her off from thy flesh,... and let her go" (Ecclus. 25:26).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The Pharisees also came unto him,.... Either from the places round about, or from Jerusalem: these came unto him, not for the sake of learning, or to be instructed by him; but as spies upon him, to observe what he said and did, and watch every opportunity to expose him to the contempt and hatred of the people;

tempting him with a question about divorces, in order to ensnare him:

and saying to him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? be it ever so trivial, as said the school of Hillell: for there was a difference between the school of Shammai and the school of Hillell about this matter; the former insisted that a man might not put away his wife but in case of uncleanness; but the latter allowed putting away for very trifling things; as if she spoiled her husband's food by over roasting, or over salting it; and, as one of the doctors say, if he found another woman that was more beautiful than her; see Gill on Matthew 5:32. This question being now agitated in the schools, they artfully put to Christ; not for information, but with a view to reproach him in some way or other; and that he might incur the resentment of one party or another, as he should answer. They might argue thus with themselves, and hope to succeed in this manner; should he be on the side of the school of Shammai, which was the weakest side, and less popular, as they had reason to believe he would, he would then expose himself to the resentment of the school of Hillell, and all on that side the question; should he take the part of Hillell, he would make the school of Shammai his enemies; should he forbid putting away of wives, which Moses allowed, they would then traduce him as contrary to Moses, and his law, which could not fail of setting the people against him; and should he consent to it, they would charge him with contradicting himself, or with inconstancy in his doctrine, since he had before asserted the unlawfulness of it, but in case of adultery; and should he abide by this, they might hope to irritate the men against him, who would think their liberty granted by Moses was entrenched on; as, on the other hand, should he, according to the question, admit of putting away for every cause, the women would be provoked at him, who would be left to the uncertain humour and caprice of their husbands; so that either way they hoped to get an advantage of him.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?—Two rival schools (as we saw on [1327]Mt 5:31) were divided on this question—a delicate one, as De Wette pertinently remarks, in the dominions of Herod Antipas.

Matthew 19:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus' Teaching about Divorce
2and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. 3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" 4And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,…
Cross References
Matthew 5:31
"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'

Matthew 16:1
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

John 8:6
They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

1 Corinthians 7:10
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.
Treasury of Scripture

The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

tempting.

Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired …

Matthew 22:16-18,35 And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, …

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a …

Mark 12:13,15 And they send to him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, …

Luke 11:53,54 And as he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees …

John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. …

Hebrews 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Is it.

Matthew 5:31,32 It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her …

Malachi 2:14-16 Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and …

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