CAUTION! This article contains many Scriptures which will likely require you to reconsider what you may have believed the Bible says about marriage, divorce, adultery, sexual conduct and related matters. If you are not completely committed to placing the written Word of Elohim above all other sources of information, it is highly recommended that you NOT continue reading this article.
When I started writing these articles, I felt a heavy burden in having to teach on this subject of divorce and remarriage, because I knew this series would severely impact many fellow Believer's lives. It is a sad but telling observation that many of us within the Body have been divorced, some of us have been remarried, and others are seriously contemplating divorce in the future. I pray that everyone who reads these articles will carefully and methodically study this material for themselves and then ask our Father for His guidance and wisdom in their lives.
Now that we have examined what the Tanak teaches regarding divorce and remarriage, it's time to look to the Messianic Scriptures to see what they teach us. We have seen that the primary Hebrew words for marital separation in the Tanak were "shalach" (#7971) and "garash" (#1644), and while there was a slight difference in emphasis, the basic meaning for both words was "sent away, put away or cast out." Likewise, there are several Greek words that are used to signify marital separation but can also apply to a variety of other situations. The three Greek words used for marital separation in the Messianic Scriptures are "apoluo" (#630), "aphiemi" (#863) and "chorizo" (#5563).
"And immediately Yahushua made His taught ones enter into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He APOLUO the crowds." (Matthew 14:22, The Scriptures)  It is clear that these Greek words carry the meaning of sending away, putting away or departing. The generic nature of these words, as they relate to marriage, is the very basic concept of separating or sending away, just as with the Hebrew words "shalach" and "garash". In the Messianic Scriptures, "apoluo" is the primary Greek word concerning the separation of marriage.
"And it has been said, 'Whoever APOLUO his wife, let him give her a APOSTASION.' But I say to you that whoever APOLUO his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been APOLUO commits adultery." (Matthew 5:31-32, The Scriptures)  This is the first instance in the Messianic Scriptures where the word "apoluo" is used specifically in the context of marital separation. The Hebrew counterpart for this word is "shalach", found in Deuteronomy 24:1, which is the passage being referenced by Yahushua.
Both the Hebrew "shalach" and the Greek "apoluo" mean to put away or send away. Likewise, the Hebrew "ciphrah keriythuwth" and the Greek "apostasion" (or "biblion apostasion" as it is phrased elsewhere in the Messianic Scriptures) both refer to a written document of marital separation.
Since "apostation" always refers to the certificate of divorcement, "biblion" is mostly redundant, since a literal translation of "biblion apostation" would be "scroll of certificate of divorcement". Nevertheless, this verse in Matthew 5 is the only place in Scripture where "apostation" is found alone. Even in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Tanak), the phrase "ciphrah keriythuwth" was always translated as "biblion apostasion". In every instance, it refers to the written document of marital separation.630. apoluo, ap-ol-oo'-o; from 575 and 3089; to free fully, i.e. (lit.) relieve, release, dismiss (reflex. depart), or (fig.) let die, pardon, or (spec.) divorce:- (let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty.
"And it has been said, 'Whoever APOLUO his wife, let him give her a APOSTASION.'" (Matthew 5:31, The Scriptures)
The other two Greek words used to describe marital separation in the Messianic Scriptures are "aphiemi" and "chorizo". Although slightly different in context, they also are used in the sense of separating, departing or sending forth.
"And to the married I command, not I, but the Master: A wife should not CHORIZO from a husband. But if she is indeed CHORIZO, let her remain unmarried or be restored to favour with her husband, and let a husband not APHIEMI a wife. And to the rest I say, not the Master: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she thinks well to live with him, let him not APHIEMI her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he thinks well to live with her, let her not APHIEMI him." (1 Corinthians 7:10-13, The Scriptures)
Essentially, "aphiemi" means to send away or lay aside, while "chorizo" means to depart or separate.863. aphiemi, af-ee'-ay-mee; from 575 and hiemi (to send; an. intens. form of eimi, to go); to send forth, in various applications (as follow):- cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.
Now that we have a good understanding of these important Greek words, we can begin to study the Messianic Scriptures to see what it teaches regarding divorce and remarriage. Let's start by looking again at Yahushua's words in Matthew 5.
"And it has been said, 'Whoever APOLUO his wife, let him give her a APOSTASION.' But I say to you that whoever APOLUO his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been APOLUO commits adultery." (Matthew 5:31-32, The Scriptures)  Let's break this statement down so we can understand exactly what is being said.
Additionally, it stands to reason that whoever puts away his wife with the condition of whoring does not make her commit adultery. So whatever this exception clause is referring to, we can see that it is the sole determination as to whether he forces his wife to commit adultery. If he puts her away without the matter of whoring, he does cause her to commit adultery. If he puts her away with the matter of whoring, he does not cause her to commit adultery.
Yahushua said that the husband "makes her commit adultery." The Greek word for "makes" in this passage is "poievw" (Strong's #4160), and in this context means "to make, to be the authors of, the cause". If the husband makes his wife commit adultery, it means he is the author of, or the cause of, her committing adultery. Another way to say it is that he makes it possible for her sin of adultery to occur. That is not to say that he is personally RESPONSIBLE for her committing adultery (we are all responsible for our own sins), but rather, he orchestrated the events that ultimately lead her to commit adultery. In that sense, he is at least as guilty for the adultery as she is.
But we need to stop and think about the implications of what Yahushua is saying here. We know Biblical adultery always involves a married woman's body being polluted by another man's seed. For the husband to MAKE his wife commit adultery, he must be a participatory cause of her defilement. We saw earlier how Abram would have caused Sarah to end up committing adultery if Elohim had not prevented it. Pharaoh took his grievance straight to Abram, because he directly authored the lie that almost led to their adultery. In Matthew 5, Yahushua is laying the blame of the wife's adultery directly at the feet of her husband, who made her commit adultery by unlawfully putting her away.
The only conclusion that makes any sense of this verse is that this exception clause somehow is the deciding factor as to whether she still is considered to have an existing husband, and by extension, whether adultery occurs when she marries another man.
The next passage we need to consider is in Matthew 19, where Yahushua gives us much more information regarding His views on divorce and remarriage.
"And the Pharisees came to Him, trying Him, and saying to Him, "Is it right for a man to APOLUO his wife for every reason?" And He answering, said to them, "Did you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what Elohim has joined together, let man not separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Mosheh command to give a BIBLION APOSTASION, and to APOLUO her?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts, Mosheh allowed you to APOLUO your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever APOLUO his wife, except on the ground of whoring, and marries another, commits adultery. And whoever marries her who has been APOLUO commits adultery." His taught ones said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is good not to marry." (Matthew 19:3-10, The Scriptures)  The Pharisees of this period were divided in their interpretation of Deuteronomy 24, and there were two predominant views regarding marital separation. The Hillelite Pharisees allowed divorcement for "any matter" - literally for any fault in the wife that displeased the husband. The Shammaite Pharisees allowed divorcement only for sexual immorality of the wife, whatever that might mean. As one might expect, the vast majority of divorces granted at the time were from the Hillelite Pharisees, simply because they were much easier to obtain.
The Pharisees wanted to see how Yahushua would answer this question on the lawfulness of divorcement. Their initial question was whether it was lawful for a man to put away his wife for any reason. Instead of satisfying them with a simple 'yes' or 'no', He completely dismantled their views on marital separation by appealing to Genesis 2 and stating that whatever Elohim has joined, man should not separate. This is a direct, authoratative command from Yahushua: "Therefore, what Elohim has joined together, let man not separate." Whatever else we might learn from this passage, He clearly commanded that man was NOT to separate what Elohim has joined together.
The Pharisees clearly understood that He was contradicting their understanding of Deuteronomy 24, which is why they presented further evidence to support their interpretation and challenge His own claim. The nature of their follow-up question demonstrates that they understood Yahushua's comments were a rejection of their own views.
The Pharisees asked Him to explain why Moses said to give her a certificate of divorcement and send her away, as proscribed in Deuteronomy 24. They perceived that His comments related to Genesis 2 contradicted Moses' instructions and they asked him to explain or reconcile this contradiction with the Law of Moses.
"They said to Him, "Why then did Mosheh command to give a BIBLION APOSTASION, and to APOLUO her?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts, Mosheh allowed you to APOLUO your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." (Matthew 19:7-8, The Scriptures)  When reading this passage, some people will quickly point out that the Pharisees asked why Moses COMMANDED, and that Yahushua corrected them by saying Moses only ALLOWED, implying that marital separation was something to be merely tolerated in the Mosaic Law. However, if we look at the parallel passage in Mark, we see something completely different.
"And He answering, said to them, "What did Mosheh command you?" And they said, "Mosheh allowed a man to write a BIBLION APOSTASION, and to APOLUO her." And Yahushua said to them, "Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this command." (Mark 10:3-5, The Scriptures)  As we can see, this parallel passage in Mark actually reverses the Greek words for "command" ("ejntevllomai", Strong's #1781) and "allowed" ("ejpitrevpw", Strong's #2010), so instead we have Yahushua asking what Moses COMMANDED and the Pharisees saying that Moses ALLOWED. It's precisely this kind of selective prooftexting that we need to be on guard against. All we can say for certain is that the Pharisees asked why Moses said to give a certificate of divorcement and put her away, and that Yahushua said it was because of the hardness of their hearts.
Notice that Yahushua did not deny that Moses allowed them to put away their wives. In fact, He didn't disagree with how they were interpreting Deuteronomy 24 at all. Instead, He confirms that Moses did indeed allow them to put away their wives, because of the hardness of their hearts. This statement is key to understanding the significance of what Yahushua is telling them here. They asked "Why?" and He answered "Because of the hardness of your hearts."
In verse 8, Yahushua plainly states that Moses permitted a man to put away his wife because of the hardness of the people's hearts. For the first time, we are presented with the REASON Moses allowed men to put away their wives, and this REASON comes directly from our Messiah. And yet, "from the beginning it was NOT so."
"And I say to you, whoever APOLUO his wife, except on the ground of whoring, and marries another, commits adultery. And whoever marries her who has been APOLUO commits adultery." His taught ones said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is good not to marry." (Matthew 19:9-10, The Scriptures)  It should be noted that the Greek present tense used here, and in the parallel text in Matthew 5, means "keeps on committing adultery", which reaffirms that adultery is a sexual act, and that each act of sexual union in such a relationship is adulterous. The Greek phrasing literally means "to have sexual intercourse with another man's wife". Each subsequent act continues to be just as adulterous as the first.
Since this passage is remarkably similar to what Yahushua taught at the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 5, let's break this passage down as well:
But there is something else that we need to recognize in this passage. Yahushua says explicitly that "whoever puts away his wife, EXCEPT on the ground of whoring, and marries another, commits adultery.” So we know there is at least one condition, whatever that exception might be, where the man can put way his wife and marry another wife without committing adultery. This is especially significant as we shall see shortly.
Once again, we see that this exemption clause is the sole determination as to whether he actually commits adultery. If he puts her away without the matter of whoring and marries another woman, he does commit adultery. If he puts her away with the matter of whoring and marries another woman, he does not commit adultery. According to this passage, his adultery is contingent on two conditions, and BOTH conditions must be met in order for the husband to commit adultery.
(1) He puts away his wife unlawfully.
(2) He marries another.
We know that an unmarried man who lies with a married woman is called an adulterer in Scripture. How is it that he has committed adultery with her, even though he personally has not violated any vow he has taken? Obviously, by participating in her sin, he caused the wife to violate her covenant oath against her husband. He didn't NEED to be violating an oath himself to be guilty of covenant breaking. He simply caused the married woman to violate HER oath and that alone makes him an adulterer.
"You heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder,' and whoever murders shall be liable to judgment. But I say to you that whoever is wroth with his brother without a cause shall be liable to judgment." (Matthew 5:21-22a, The Scriptures)  In this passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Yahushua is not redefining murder, but rather, he is applying the sin of murder to the act of being angry with one's brother without cause. Being angry with someone is not the same as murdering him, but in Elohim's eyes, the guilt is identical. Likewise, Yahushua is not redefining adultery, but rather, he is applying the sin of adultery to the act of unlawful separation and remarriage. The actual definitions of murder or adultery remain the same.
It is important to understand the significance of what Yahushua is teaching regarding divorce and remarriage, because this is where the majority of the confusion comes from. Let's look at some parallel verses where He continues to detail what constitutes an adulterous marriage.
"And He said to them, "Whoever APOLOU his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman APOLOU her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." (Mark 10:11-12, The Scriptures)  Notice that in the parallel passages in Mark and Luke, Yahushua makes no mention of the whoring exemption clause at all! This is especially significant since Matthew was written to a Jewish audience, whereas both Mark and Luke were addressing a predominantly gentile audience. That alone should give us a huge clue as to what the whoring clause was a reference to. We will explore that more in a moment.
Another thing we should notice here is that Mark 10:12 mentions a woman putting away her husband for the first (and only) time in Scripture. We've seen in the Tanak that in the Torah, it was the men who were permitted to put away their wives, not the other way around. However, Mark was written to the Greek-speaking gentiles of the Roman Empire and under Roman law, women were permitted to divorce their husbands. Josephus, the Jewish historian, even records that Herodius divorced Philip in order to marry Philip's brother, Herod Antipas. It was clearly a practice that was occurring in the time of Yahushua, which is why He addressed it here in Mark 10:12.
If we temporarily skip over the two whoring exemptions, we can begin to see the big picture that Yahushua was giving us throughout the Messianic Scriptures.
It is vital that we understand what is being taught in these passages. The very point of these statements by Yahushua was to emphasize that, at least in most cases where a man puts away his wife, remarriage is forbidden because it is adulterous. There is only one exemption mentioned in these passages and we will look at that in a moment, but we must understand that the point He was making is NOT about the exemption. The whole point He was making was regarding the permanency of the covenantal marriage bond. What Elohim has joined together, let man not separate.
However, we must be honest with the Word and point out that none of these passages actually speak against the act of putting away one’s wife. Yahushua acknowledged that Moses permitted a man to put away his wife, and nowhere does He revoke that permission. Instead, what He does say is that IF he puts her away, THEN any subsequent remarriage results in adultery. He was making it clear that most cases of marital separation does NOT actually break the covenantal marriage bond, so to remarry after an unlawful separation is therefore adultery. The common practice of separate-remarry-separate-remarry was over!
There are so many quotes from Yahushua regarding adulterous remarriage that we’d need help to miss it. Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of help over the years, which is why so many earnest Believers still continue to debate these clear passages in His Word. To accept the plain sense meaning of what Yahushua is saying here is practically unthinkable in many circles!
Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 are the only two places in the Messianic Scriptures where Yahushua gives the exception clause against committing adultery. We have seen that the exception clause for whoring was the sole deciding factor as to whether adultery occurred as a result of remarriage. Now let's take a closer look at these two passages to see if we can now determine exactly what the exception clause refers to.
"But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery." (Matthew 5:32, The Scriptures)  In both cases where adultery occurs, the man puts the wife away WITHOUT the prerequisite matter of whoring and she ends up marrying another man. Also in both cases, the man who ends up marrying this woman commits adultery. Since we know the very definition of adultery involves a man having sexual intercourse with another man's wife, the only possible way this second husband could commit adultery with her was if she already had a husband.
In our earlier study in the Tanak, we saw how there was a valid, lawful reason for a husband to put away his wife. We determined how the "matter of uncoveredness" mentioned in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 was referring to whoring or virginity fraud. The husband was expecting his wife to be a virgin and discovers that she had been penetrated at some point prior to marriage. I believe Yahushua's exception clause of whoring is referring to the exact same thing as Deuteronomy 24 is - virginity fraud.
Consider the evidence. Even the rabbis of today understand that the passage in Deuteronomy 24 is the sole basis for determining a valid cause for marital separation, even though they disagree on their specific interpretations. We know the Hebrew root word for "uncoveredness" means to make bare, make naked or uncover, which in the context of Deuteronomy 24 refers to discovering or exposing some kind of sexual impurity. Finally, we know that only the first husband is mentioned to discover this uncoveredness, not any subsequent husbands, and the wording in Deuteronomy's sequence of events implies this discovery occurred directly after the marriage was consummated, not days or years after the fact.
The Greek word translated as "whoring" in both Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 is "porneia", which can refer to any unlawful sexual relations but specifically refers to a man having sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife. This is quite different from "moichao", which is the Greek word in both of these passages for adultery, and refers to a man having sexual intercourse with a woman who is another man's wife.
Yahushua didn't say that "moichao" (adultery) occurs except for the matter of "moichao" (adultery). He said that "moichao" (adultery) occurs except for the matter of "porneia" (whoring). This is vitally important to recognize, because if the woman had committed adultery by laying with another man while already being married to a husband, the penalty under the Torah wasn’t marital separation, but death by stoning. The fact that He specifically said "except for the matter of WHORING" demonstrates that He was referring to something less than adultery. The exact same sexual act that would be adultery if committed AFTER she was married would have been whoring if committed BEFORE she was married.
We must also realize that virginity fraud during the Jewish betrothal period was a foreign concept to the gentiles, which no doubt is why there is no mention of this exception anywhere in Mark or Luke. Only Matthew records this exception clause of "whoring", since Matthew was written specifically to a Jewish audience and it would be relevant within their existing culture of binding betrothals.
"But the birth of Yahushua Messiah was as follows: After His mother Miryam was engaged to Yoseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant from the Set-apart Spirit. And Yoseph her husband, being righteous, and not wishing to make a show of her, had in mind to APOLOU her secretly. But while he thought about this, see, a messenger of Yahweh appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Yoseph, son of Dawid, do not be afraid to take Miryam as your wife, for that which is in her was brought forth from the Set-apart Spirit." (Matthew 1:18-20, The Scriptures)  As we can see here, Mary was betrothed to Joseph but they had not yet consummated the marriage at the time when he was considering quietly sending her away. He was a righteous man and believed that she must have been whoring because she turned up pregnant during their betrothal period.
The virginity fraud exception would be inapplicable to the gentiles, and sure enough, no exception is provided for adultery in Mark or Luke. For all these reasons, it seems clear that this whoring exception is referring to the exact same matter of uncoveredness that Deuteronomy 24 refers to – virginity fraud.
By taking Yahushua's words in Matthew 5, Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Luke 16 at face value, we are left with some startling implications. After all, the "matter of uncoveredness" in Deuteronomy 24 has always been understood as the basis for determining a valid cause for marital separation, but have we honestly given much thought to the status of a marriage relationship where a valid cause for separation was NOT present? What would the marital state be of a wife who was given a certificate of divorcement and sent away WITHOUT the prerequisite discovery of uncoveredness?
Whether they can agree on what constitutes a LAWFUL marital separation, every rabbi knows that an UNLAWFUL marital separation is utterly meaningless with regards to the state of their marriage covenant. The marital bond between the husband and wife would still be in full force, even if they unlawfully separated. Scripture is quite clear on this point.
This is precisely why there is so much turmoil over what makes the separation lawful. There is more conflict on this single point than on anything else concerning marital separation, because whoever decides what makes the separation lawful determines whether remarriage is permitted or not. Yet regardless what we think, if the separation actually turns out to be unlawful, then the husband and wife continue to remain married to one another. This makes perfect sense of Yahushua's warnings of unlawful marital separation and remarriage resulting in adultery.
"But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery." (Matthew 5:32, The Scriptures)  Yahushua gives us one, and only one, reason for a lawful marital separation, which is virginity fraud on the part of the wife. Yet in our modern western culture without binding betrothals, virginity fraud is about as applicable today as it was to the gentiles 2,000 years ago, so the exception clause really has no meaning for most of us. To put it bluntly, unless a woman falsely claimed to be a virgin on her wedding night and her husband discovers the truth of her prior defilement, then the exception clause in Matthew may as well not even exist for us. Nevertheless, whatever we think the exception clause in Matthew might mean, we can plainly see that the parallel passages in Mark and Luke allow for no exceptions at all.
"For Herodes had arrested Yohanan, bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for Yohanan had said to him, "It is not right for you to have her." (Matthew 14:3-4, The Scriptures)  In these passages, we can see that Herod Antipas had taken as his wife, Herodius, who was previously married to his brother Phillip. Herod was now married to this woman who had been another man's wife, and whose husband was still living. Notice that Scripture continues to refer to Herodius as Philip's wife, even though Herod had himself married her. Herodius is always called Philip's wife, never Herod's wife, even though the text says that Herod married her. Herodius' adulterous remarriage to Herod was denounced by John the Baptist as being unlawful.
"For the married woman has been bound by Torah to the living husband, but if the husband dies, she is released from the Torah concerning her husband. So then, while her husband lives, she shall be called an adulteress if she becomes another man's. But if her husband dies, she is free from that part of the Torah, so that she is not an adulteress, having become another man's." (Romans 7:2-3, The Scriptures)  Paul confirms that a married woman is bound to her living husband, and that she will be called an adulteress if she becomes another man's while her husband lives. This is in complete agreement with the understood definition of adultery throughout the Tanak. After all, if a man commits adultery with a woman, then by definition this woman must be another man's wife. So if a man has sexual intercourse with another man's wife, how could she also be the adulterer's wife? Regardless what anyone chooses to believe, the second husband is unlawful. Scripture refers to having two husbands as simple adultery.
There is one more passage that we need to consider regarding marital separation and remarriage. Some Believers have been taught that 1 Corinthains 7:15 allows for another "exception", allowing remarriage if an unbelieving husband or wife abandons the believing spouse. The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 7 would be helpful to read, but we will only quote the relevant parts necessary to address this particular issue.
"And to the married I command, not I, but the Master: A wife should not CHORIZO from a husband. But if she is indeed CHORIZO, let her remain unmarried or be restored to favour with her husband, and let a husband not APHIEMI a wife." (1 Corinthians 7:10-11, The Scriptures)  Paul is speaking to fellow Believers here and he is clear in stating that these three commands come directly from our Master:
"And to the rest I say, not the Master: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she thinks well to live with him, let him not APHIEMI her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he thinks well to live with her, let her not APHIEMI him." (1 Corinthians 7:12-13, The Scriptures)  Now Paul points out that the remainder of this passage is from him and not direct commands from Yahushua. He states that if a Believer is married to an unbeliever, and the unbeliever desires to remain married to the Believer, then the Believer is not to send them away. Clearly, marriage between a Believer and an unbeliever is seen as a lawful, legitimate marriage in Elohim's eyes. Under no circumstances does Paul advise the Believer who is married to an unbeliever to put them away. Instead, they are commanded to remain together in marriage. But then look at what Paul says if the unbeliever separates from the Believer.
"And, if the unbelieving one CHORIZO, let him CHORIZO himself. A brother or sister has not been DOULOO (enslaved) in such matters. But Elohim has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you shall save your wife?" (1 Corinthians 7:15-16, The Scriptures)  Paul clearly states that if the unbeliever desires to separate from the Believer, then the believing brother or sister is to peacefully allow them to separate. A Believer is not subject to continue in a marriage relationship with an unbeliever who wants to leave. Although marital separation will result if the unbeliever leaves, this passage does not mention the possibility of remarriage at all, even though many believe it is implied.
Verses 10 and 11 clearly preclude the possibility of remarriage for the woman if she separates from him on her own initiative. Verse 15 states that a Believer is not enslaved to maintain his or her marriage at the expense of brotherly peace, should the unbeliever choose to leave. Nowhere does the text state anything about the Believer suddenly being permitted to remarry. Such a view would stand in direct contrast to all the other established Messianic Scripture verses that state precisely the opposite (Matt. 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Rom. 7:2-3, 1 Cor. 7:39, etc.)
The English word "enslaved" in 1 Cor. 7:15 is the Greek word "douloo" (Strong's #1402), which is a perfect tense verb, meaning the brother or sister "has not been enslaved and is not now enslaved". Clearly, this cannot be referring to the covenantal marriage bond, or else what Paul would be saying is that "a brother or sister has not been married in such matters". This, of course, would directly conflict with what Paul just finished saying about commanding them to remain married. If they have not been married all along, then they have been whoring. Are we now to believe that Paul is sanctioning whoring for Believers?
The Greek word "douloo" means "to enslave, to be a slave, to make a slave of, be subject to, serve and obey" and is NEVER used in relation to the covenantal bond of marriage. When Paul speaks of the binding character of marriage, he uses the Greek word "deo", not "douloo".
We can see some examples of Paul's usage of this word "douloo" throughout the Messianic Scriptures. It is consistently used in the context of slavery and submission.1210. deo, deh'-o; a prim. verb; to bind (in various applications, lit. or fig.):- bind, be in bonds, knit, tie, wind. See also 1163, 1189.
"And having been set free from sin, you became DOULOO (servants) of righteousness." (Romans 6:18, The Scriptures)  Paul isn't saying that they were never really married! He is simply stating that the Believer has never been in a servile position to the unbeliever. The believing brother or sister was never subject to maintain the marriage against the will of their unbelieving spouse. The meaning of Paul's words are stated in the very next sentences: "But Elohim has called us to peace". The Believer should not dispute or interfere with the separation. Rather, he or she should let the unbeliever separate in as peaceful a way as possible, not creating unnecessary disturbances.
Whether we like it or not, for there to be a marriage, the husband and wife must ultimately agree to live together. If the unbeliever refuses to abide with the Believer, then the Believer is not to attempt to coerce the unbeliever to stay. In such a circumstance with an unbeliever, we are to let our spouse leave in peace.
But note that in the very next verse, the unbeliever is still referred to as "your husband" and "your wife". The marriage is still considered valid in the eyes of God, even if they are separated. The Believer continues to have a husband or a wife that they might still end up saving, whether the unbeliever recognizes the marriage or not. That is why we have been called to maintain peace with an unbeliever who chooses to leave. If the wife was a Believer and the husband was an unbeliever who separated himself, the wife would still be required to remain unmarried or be restored to her husband, as Paul explicitly stated just five verses earlier.
Then, just a few verses later, notice what Paul has to say about those bound in marriage and loosed from marriage, starting at verse 25.
"And concerning maidens: I have no command from the Master, but I give judgment as one whom the Master in His compassion has made trustworthy. I think then that this is good because of the present necessity, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you DEO (bound) to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you should marry, you have not sinned. And if a maiden should marry, she has not sinned. But such shall have pressure in the flesh, but I would spare you." (1 Corinthians 7:25-28, The Scriptures)  The Greek word for "bound" in this passage is "deo" (Strong's #1210) and means "to bind, to tie, to put under obligation, bound by law, duty". In context, it refers to being tied by obligation to the marriage covenant and is the exact same Greek word used by Paul in other passages related to the marriage bond.
"For the married woman has been DEO (bound) by Torah to the living husband" (Romans 7:2a, The Scriptures)  Paul says here that due to the situation they were living in at the time, a man should stay in whatever marital state he was already in. If he is married, he shouldn't look to being separated. If he is separated, he shouldn't look for a wife. But then, Paul mentions two people who nevertheless can marry without sinning:
(1) A man released from a wife (in context, any man)
(2) A virgin
Paul specifically tells the man who is loosed from a wife not to seek a wife, but that even if he should marry, he has not sinned. Paul was simply trying to spare them from the trials they were going to face. This is completely consistent with everything else we've seen in Scripture on divorce and remarriage. This entire passage is speaking to men and virgins only. Nowhere does it suggest that a woman can be released from her husband, let alone give her any kind of permission to remarry. However, the man released from a wife and the virgin ARE both permitted to marry, even if Paul would otherwise advise against marriage in general at that time.
"A wife is bound by the Torah as long as her husband lives, and if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she desires, only in the Master." (1 Corinthians 7:39, The Scriptures)
Here's a quick rundown on some of the things we've seen so far regarding divorce and remarriage in the Messianic Scriptures:
"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."
"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."