IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word [h]. Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife [i]. The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred, nearer in blood then he may of his own: nor the woman of her husband’s kindred, nearer in blood than of her own [k].
Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word [h].
[h] (Leviticus 18)
1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
Amos 2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name.
Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife [i].
[i] Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
Leviticus 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: Ver.25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ver.26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: Ver.27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) Ver.28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred, nearer in blood then he may of his own: nor the woman of her husband’s kindred, nearer in blood than of her own [k].
[k] Leviticus 20:19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. Ver.20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. Ver.21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract [l]. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce [m], to marry another, as if the offending party were dead [n].
[l] Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Ver.19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. Ver.20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce [m],
[m] Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: Ver.32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
to marry another, as if the offending party were dead [n].
[n] Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. Ver.3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage [o]: wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case [p].
[o] Matthew 19:8 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. Ver.9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case [p].
[p] Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. Ver.2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. Ver.3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Ver.4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
End of Lesson, Day 130
For Further Study:
CHAPTER XXIV. - Of Marriage and Divorce - Commentary by Gordon H. Clark
Chapter XXIV. Of Marriage and Divorce - Exposition by Robert Shaw
Chapter 24: Of Marriage and Divorce - Commentary by A.A. Hodge
- Rushdoony, Marriage, Institutes of Biblical Law
- Rushdoony, Marriage and Man, Institutes of Biblical Law
- Rushdoony, Marriage and Woman, Institutes of Biblical Law
- Bill Gothard Courtship Principles
- IBLP Online Store Rebuilder's Guide
- IBLP Online Store Understanding the Biblical Foundations of Marriage
- IBLP Online Store Marriage & Family
(Rushdoony and Gothard do not agree with each other on the issue of divorce and remarriage.)Other Resources:
- Divorce and Remarriage
- pornography - Christian Apologetics Search
- Marriage: A God-Ordained Institution Early U.S. Courts quoting the Bible
Are you an "Infidel?"
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24
III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent [e]. Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord [f]. And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, Papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies [g].
- What is an "Infidel?" The U.S. Supreme Court in 1844 answers this question.
- 9th Circuit Opinion: http://google.com/search?q=CV-05-02339-FCD+newdow
- Can a Christian Be an American?
- Christians Against Ceremonial Deism
- "Providence" -- Opposite of "Deism"