Re: Matthew 5:31-32 (Divorce)

From: Larry J. Swain (x99swain@wmich.edu)
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 17:49:19 EST


Jason Hare wrote:

> How could Jesus, talking about morals, imply that if I don‚t like my wife I
> can divorce her and SHE be guilty of adultery??? Wouldn't it be more
> likely that the passive word «MOICEUQHNAI» is to show that she is
> victimized by his decision? It is like: He divorces her and she is
> „adulteratedš by him. Doesn‚t that make more sense??
>

I think you're on the right track here. If the MOICHEUW is to "adulterate", that
is, we say "commit adultery" and then have problems rendering it passively, then
the Aorist Passive Infinitive here should be "to be adulterated", the infinitive
seems to be acting adjectively here, he makes her to be adulterated, NOT that she
commits adultery. Of course in that society, as we know, if a woman is sent away,
she goes back to her family and if the family feels so inclined, and someone else
wishes to marry her, then she is given to a second husband. In this case, she
doesn't have a lot of choice in the matter, and as Jason says, she is acted upon,
not the actor. Just my .02.

Larry Swain

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