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Matthew 19:8

    Matthew 19:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 (ASV)

    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.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He says to them, Moses, because of your hard hearts, let you put away your wives: but it has not been so from the first.

    Webster's Revision

    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.

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 19:8

    Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts - It is dangerous to tolerate the least evil, though prudence itself may require it: because toleration, in this case, raises itself insensibly into permission, and permission soon sets up for command. Moses perceived that if divorce were not permitted, in many cases, the women would be exposed to great hardships through the cruelty of their husbands: for so the word σκληροκαρδια, is understood in this place by some learned men.

    From the beginning it was not so - The Jews named the books of the law from the first word in each. Genesis they always term Bereshith, בראשית, which is the first word in it, and signifies, In the beginning. It is probable that our Lord speaks in this way here, In Bereshith it was not so, intimating that the account given in Genesis is widely different. There was no divorce between Eve and Adam; nor did he or his family practice polygamy. But our Lord, by the beginning, may mean the original intention or design.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 19:8

    He saith unto them ... - Jesus admits that this was allowed, but still he contends that this was not the original design of marriage. It was only a temporary expedient growing out of a special state of things, and not designed to be perpetual. It was on account of the hardness of their hearts. Moses found the custom in use. He found a hard-hearted and rebellious people. In this state of things he did not deem it prudent to forbid a practice so universal; but it might be regulated; and, instead of suffering the husband to divorce his wife in a passion, he required him, in order that he might take time to consider the matter, and thus make it probable that divorces would be less frequent, to give her a writing; to sit down deliberately to look at the matter, and probably, also, to bring the case before some scribe or learned man, to write a divorce in the legal form. Thus doing, there might be an opportunity for the matter to be reconciled, and the man to be persuaded not to divorce his wife. This, says our Saviour, was a permission growing out of a particular state of things, and designed to remedy a prevailing evil; but at first it was not so. God intended that marriage should be between one man and one woman, and that they were only to be separated, in the case specified, by him who had formed the union.

    Hardness of your hearts - He speaks here of his hearers as a part of the nation. The hardness of you Jews; as when we say, we fought with England and gained our independence; that is, we, the American people, though it was done by our fathers. He does not mean to say, therefore, that this was done on account of the people whom he addressed, but of the national hardness of heart - the stubbornness of the Jewish people as a people.