"she who is divorced" in Mt 5:32 & 19:9

Jonathan Robie Jonathan.Robie at SoftwareAG-USA.com
Thu Aug 24 18:57:28 EDT 2000


At 09:50 AM 8/24/00 +0000, Robert L. Garringer wrote:
>Is there any possibility that the participle in the latter part of Mt 5:32
>and 19:9 could indicate that the woman is the one who had initiated
>divorce? If so the thought would parallel Mk 10:12 which simply repeats for
>the woman the prohibition that had been stated for the man in the previous
>verse.

Please cite the texts to which you refer, in Greek. Here are the relevant 
verses:

Matthew 5:32 EGW DE LEGW hUMIN hOTI PAS hO APOLUWON THN GUNAIKA AUTOU 
PAREKTOS LOGOU PORNEIAS POEIEI AUTHN MOICEUQHNAI, KAI hOS EAN APOLELUMENHN 
GAMHSHi MOICATAI.

Matthew 19:9 LEGW DE hUMIN hOTI hOS AN APOLUSHi THN GUNAIKA AUTOU MH EPI 
PORNEIAi KAI GAMHSHi ALLHN MOICATAI.

In both verses, it seems fairly clear that the person who "divorces his 
wife" (APOLUSHi THN GUNAIKA) is not the woman, but the man. I assume that 
the participle you refer to is APOLELUMENHN, from Matthew 5:32. This 
participle is feminine, and I think it does refer to the divorced woman.

Now the interesting question is whether the form of APOLELUMENHN is to be 
taken as middle or passive. I'm not familiar enough with the usage of the 
word to say. From the context, I assume that the passive interpretation is 
to be taken - "and anyone who marries a woman who has been repudiated 
commits adultery". My guess is that the woman in that clause did not 
initiate the divorce. Does anybody want to argue that this verb should be 
taken as a middle, rather than a passive?

Jonathan




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