Updated: Aug 31, 2021
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Some Pharisees came, and to test Jesus they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
This is the Gospel selection that will be read aloud by a priest on the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 22], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow one of two pairs of Old Testament and Psalm readings, either Track 1 or Track 2, depending on the individual church’s path for Year B. Track 1 will feature a reading from Job, where Satan was allowed by Yahweh to test Job’s faith. Psalm 26 sings, “As for me, I will live with integrity; redeem me, Yahweh, and have pity on me.” Track 2 features a reading from Genesis 2, when Yahweh made Adam’s opposite companion, Eve. Psalm 8 then sings, “You have made him but little lower than the angels; you adorn him with glory and honor.” The Epistle from Hebrews will then be read, where Paul wrote, “When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
I wrote about this reading the last time it came up in the lectionary cycle (2018) and posted those views on my website back then. That commentary is available to be read on this website; and, it can be found by clicking on this link. That article is quite deep with reflections and background that deal with the issues of marriage and having children. I stand firmly behind my opinions expressed then; and, I invite all readers to read those observations and compare them to those I will add here soon. As always, I welcome comments, questions, suggestions and corrections via the website contact form or signup and comment on the blog article as a regular visitor. Now, I will address some views that take this reading in the whole-view of the other readings presented with it.
Jesus quoted from Genesis in his response to the question on divorce, presented to him by “some Pharisees.” When he said, “God made them male and female,” this comes from the day six, where the Hebrew translates as “in the image elohim it created with him, male and female it created them.” In the English translations that take “elohim” [meaning “gods”] and have it state “God” [thirty-two times “elohim” is translated as “God” in Genesis 1], means examination of Jesus saying “God” [in Greek] needs to take place.
What is found in the Greek of Mark is this: “arches ktiseōs , Arsen kai thēly epoiēsen autous”. In that, there is no capitalized use of “Theos,” meaning “God.” What is written that Jesus said is this: “beginning of creation , Male kai female it made them”. In that, the Greek word “epoiēsen” is written in the third-person [he, she, it] aorist [past] active indicative [speaking of the past in the present], meaning “it made.” One must also take note that “Male” is capitalized, which gives it a divine level of meaning, which can be seen as a statement about “Adam,” which was the divine “Male” first made by “Yahweh elohim.” (Genesis 2) It is also important to read this as a sexual statement (“Male”), rather than a statement of mankind or man. The presence of the word “kai” marks importance to follow, such that “female” is a statement that reproduction demanded a sexual counterpart to “Male,” in order for generation to take place. By quoting Genesis 1, Jesus was saying marriage was an intended union of a male and a female, for a species to grow. However, by making divine importance be places on “Male,” as Adam, Jesus did not quote Genesis 2, but spoke of the focus that comes from the reading that accompanies this reading in Mark, from Genesis 2.
It is in Genesis 2:24 that Jesus quoted, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” In this translation, the confusion comes from “gynaika” being translate solely as “wife.” The word also means “a woman” (Strong’s Definition) or “my lady.” (Strong’s Usage) In the Hebrew of Genesis 2:24 is written “bə·’iš·tōw” [transliterated], which is rooted in “ishshah,” meaning “woman, wife, female.” Because this verse tells of Adam having been presented the baby that is customarily named “Eve,” to assume Adam knew what a “wife” was is poor judgment. The words of Adam, repeated by Jesus, are the truth coming from a child’s mind that expressed joy that he [the “Male” of Yahweh and Earth, “father and mother”] now had another human being as a playmate [previously he only had animals to play with], and that playmate [more like a twin sibling] was a “female.” Seeing that intent behind the words spoken by Adam, that makes it possible to understand this is not a plan of Adam’s for making babies [the sole purpose of a “wife”].
In the mind of Adam [I surmise his brain was as developed as a ten-year old boy], he was happy that he had another of the same species. As such, he did not name Eve, he said now “male” has a “female” [from “ish” comes “ishshah”]. Because Adam had not come from human parents, his “father” was “Yahweh” and his “mother” was the “elohim” that was Mother Earth, he was not thinking like ordinary human boys think. Thus, in the mind of a ten-year old boy, he was celebrating a “Yahweh elohim” [a divine soul in a body of flesh] that was not only “Male” [him, Adam], but also one that was “female” [the one we love to call Eve]. As such, Jesus was not quoting Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 as examples of what Moses said about human marriage, but what Moses was told by Yahweh to write down as an example of divine marriage that should take place between a soul and Yahweh, in a body of flesh.
When Jesus stated, “What God has joined together, let no one separate” [using the capitalized Greek word “Theos”], this is speaking of divine marriage. In the aspect where a man and woman marry and become husband and wife, then father and mother, they can never do more than get real close and feel as one flesh. A man and a woman will always remain that. The two are capable of reproduction because of possessing bodies of flesh that have opposite reproductive organ; but still, all a man can do is leave a sperm deposit within a woman’s vagina.
Everything that happens beyond that deposit is done by elohim, who were created by Yahweh’s design. Sperm swims as “gods.” An egg rejects all but one particular sperm as one of the “egg gods” inside a woman’s body of flesh. The splicing of DNA, the RNA-transfer, the re-splicing together are done by “elohim,” guided by the hand of Yahweh. The entire growth of the fetus in the womb is done by “elohim,” guided by the hand of Yahweh. Thus, once Yahweh has made a baby, from the parts of a father and a mother, to abort that baby or kill it unnaturally is sinful; but that was still not the point made by Jesus.
In the argument presented by the trickster Pharisees, their question about divorce should be seen as motivated by a reading from the Torah or a Psalm that dealt with marriage. According to the Wikipedia article “Jewish views on marriage,” they state: “In traditional Judaism, marriage is viewed as a contractual bond commanded by God in which a man and a woman come together to create a relationship in which God is directly involved.” In Deuteronomy 24:1 is stated the aspect of a divorce. This was what Jesus referred to, but when he said, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you,” that was a statement about what a “contractual bond commanded by God” means. Because the Pharisees were just pretending to be in a relationship with God, it was their hardened hearts that kept their souls from marrying Yahweh and being true Israelites.
Because Jesus told the Pharisees their souls [metaphor for “hearts”] were cold, that said they had no real love of Yahweh. To them, Yahweh was just the God who made them special, as chosen people. They had absolutely no concept that marriage [as Jews understood it, contractually … being lawyers] was possible in any way other than by physical pairings. To them, it could only be between Jewish males and females, with many marriages arranged and plenty of adultery about, due to arranged marriages not being sexually pleasing. When Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no one separate,” his disciples heard that like the Pharisees, who walked away muttering, “Yeah, right. Tell that to Moses. He knew why it was necessary for a contract of marriage allowing for divorce.” The disciples [all married men with children] probably knew well the difficulties of having a non-pleasing wife, to whom one was forever stuck, because of children.
Once the Pharisees were gone and Jesus and his disciples were inside the house where they were staying, the disciples asked why Moses would be wrong about allowing divorce. Jesus then spoke of the human lusts of the flesh, where all sex outside of marriage to a wife – the mother of one’s children – is adultery. Animals might do similar things, as far as being promiscuous and non-committal, but they have no brains that think like human beings. Humans have the option of divorce, because Moses knew human beings were just animals by nature. This makes sin be unavoidable, unless one’s soul is married to Yahweh; and, that was the whole point of Moses taking Israelites [not Jacobites] out of Egypt.
When Jesus then said, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs,” this reflects back on Adam being the equivalent of a ten-year old boy [regardless of how many ‘years’ he had lived in a body of flesh in Eden] and Eve was just a newborn baby girl. Both were of the same species, so their chromosome count made it possible for them to mate, after the serpent got involved; but, at that time, they were both two “Yahweh elohim,” formed not merely by a soul joined with a body of flesh, but divine angels placed in the womb of Mother Earth. Those children had become the marriage of their souls to Jesus, as divine human beings.
The “kingdom of God” is a body of flesh, so that flesh becomes the temple of the soul, where Yahweh sits enthroned. Jesus is the High Priest of that temple. Jesus was one of the Yahweh elohim to whom Yahweh spoke, before Adam was born. Adam was Jesus. All who are Saints are the same.
As the Gospel selection to be read aloud on the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson here is to marry Yahweh and become the little child that welcomes being in the name of Jesus, as a child welcomes being in the arms of its Father. One has to know that state of being, in order to present it to others; so, they too will become that child in heart and soul.