Matthew 19:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

New Living Translation
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.

English Standard Version
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

New American Standard Bible
He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.

King James Bible
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning.

International Standard Version
He told them, "It was because of your hardness of heart that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives. But from the beginning it was not this way.

NET Bible
Jesus said to them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, but from the beginning it was not this way.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He said to them, “Moses, confronting the callousness of your heart, let you divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus answered them, "Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you're heartless. It was never this way in the beginning.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He said unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

King James 2000 Bible
He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts allowed you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

American King James Version
He said to them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

American Standard Version
He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Darby Bible Translation
He says to them, Moses, in view of your hardheartedness, allowed you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not thus.

English Revised Version
He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.

Webster's Bible Translation
He saith to them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Weymouth New Testament
"Moses," He replied, "in consideration of the hardness of your nature permitted you to put away your wives, but it has not been so from the beginning.

World English Bible
He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so.

Young's Literal Translation
He saith to them -- 'Moses for your stiffness of heart did suffer you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it hath not been so.
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 8. - Moses because of (πρὸς, with a view to, to meet) the hardness of your hearts; your obstinacy, perverseness. You were not honest and pure enough to obey the primitive law. There was danger that you would ill treat your wives in order to get rid of them, or even murder them. The lesser evil was regular divorce. But the enactment is really a shame and reproach to you, and was occasioned by grave defects in your character and conduct. And it is not true to say that Moses commanded; he only suffered you to put away your wives. This was a temporary permission to meet your then circumstances. Divorce had been practised commonly and long; it was traditional; it was seen among all other Oriental peoples. Moses could not hope at once to eradicate the inveterate evil; he could only modify, mitigate, and regulate its practice. The rules which he introduced were intended, not to facilitate divorce, but to lead men better to realize the proper idea of marriage. And Christ was introducing a better law, a higher morality, for which Mosaic legislation paved the way (comp. Romans 5:20; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 9:10). From the beginning. The original institution of marriage contained no idea of divorce; it was no mere civil contract, made by man and dissoluble by man, but a union of God's own formation, with which no human power could interfere. However novel this view might seem, it was God's own design from the first. The first instance of polygamy occurs in Genesis 4:19, and is connected with murder and revenge.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

He saith unto them,.... In answer to their objection;

Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: in which may be observed, that, though it was by direction that Moses, in his system of laws, allowed of divorces; yet not God, but he is said to do it, because it was a branch of the political and judicial laws, by which the people of the Jews were governed under Moses, and whilst the Mosaic economy continued, and did not concern other people, and other times; and therefore it is said "you" and "your" wives, you Jews, and you only, and not the Gentiles. And so the Jews say (m), that the Gentiles have no divorces: for thus they represent God, saying;

"in Israel I have granted divorces, I have not granted divorces among the nations of the world. R. Chananiah, in the name of R. Phineas, observed, that in every other section it is written, the Lord of hosts, but here it is written, the God of Israel; to teach thee, that the holy, blessed God does not join his name to divorces, but in Israel only. R. Chayah Rabbah says, , "the Gentiles have no divorces."''

Besides, this was a direct positive command to the Jews, as the Pharisees suggest in their objection; it was only a sufferance, a permission in some cases, and not in everyone; and that because of the hardness of their hearts; they being such a stubborn and inflexible people, that when they were once displeased there was no reconciling them; and so malicious and revengeful, that if this had not been granted, would have used their wives, that displeased them, in a most cruel, and barbarous manner, if not have murdered them: so that this grant was made, not to indulge their lusts, but to prevent greater evils; and not so much as a privilege and liberty to the men, as in favour of the women; who, when they could not live peaceably and comfortably with a man, might be dismissed and marry another:

but from the beginning it was not so; from the beginning of time, or of the creation, or of the world, or at the first institution of marriage, and in the first ages of the world, there was no such permission, nor any such practice. This was not the declared will of God at first, nor was it ever done by any good men before the times of Moses; we never read that Adam, or Seth, or Noah, or Abraham, put away their wives, upon any consideration; though in the latter there might have been some appearance of reason for so doing, on account of sterility, but this he did not; nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any of the "patriarchs".

(m) T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 58. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. He saith unto them, Moses—as a civil lawgiver.

because of—or "having respect to."

the hardness of your hearts—looking to your low moral state, and your inability to endure the strictness of the original law.

suffered you to put away your wives—tolerated a relaxation of the strictness of the marriage bond—not as approving of it, but to prevent still greater evils.

But from the beginning it was not so—This is repeated, in order to impress upon His audience the temporary and purely civil character of this Mosaic relaxation.

Matthew 19:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus' Teaching about Divorce
7They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?" 8He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9"And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."…
Cross References
Matthew 19:7
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

Matthew 19:9
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

Mark 10:5
"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.

Mark 16:14
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Treasury of Scripture

He said to them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

because.

Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of …

Zechariah 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should …

Malachi 2:13,14 And this have you done again, covering the altar of the LORD with …

Mark 10:5 And Jesus answered and said to them, For the hardness of your heart …

suffered.

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus …

Matthew 8:31 So the devils sought him, saying, If you cast us out, suffer us to …

1 Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

but.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall …

Genesis 7:7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives …

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus said the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the …

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