Malachi 2:15, 16 - God Hates Divorce.

Mal.2:15, 16: God Hates Divorce.

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Mal 2:15 (KJV)  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue 
of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. 
Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously 
against the wife of his youth. 
Mal 2:16 (KJV)  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he 
hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith 
the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal 
not treacherously. 

Mal 2:15 (NLT)  Didn't the LORD make you one with your wife? In 
body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children 
from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your 
Mal 2:16 (NLT)  "For I hate divorce!" says the LORD, the God of 
Israel. "It is as cruel as putting on a victim's bloodstained coat," 
says the LORD Almighty. "So guard yourself; always remain loyal to 
your wife."  

Mal 2:15 (AMP)  And did not God make [you and your wife] one 
[flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why 
[did God make you two] one? Because He sought a godly offspring [from 
your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal 
treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.  
Mal 2:16 (AMP)  For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate 
divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] 
with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may 
be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously and 
faithlessly [with your marriage mate].  

Mal 2:15 (TLB)  You were united to your wife by the Lord. In 
God's wise plan, when you married, the two of you became one person in 
his sight. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. 
Therefore, guard your passions! Keep faith with the wife of your youth. 
Mal 2:16 (TLB)  For the Lord, the God of Israel, says he hates 
divorce and cruel men. Therefore, control your passions--let there be no 
divorcing of your wives. 

Make them one: Here the prophet recalls the words from Gen. 
2:24, "one flesh." [Nelson SB] 

A remnant of the Spirit: This somewhat difficult phrase most 
likely indicates the work of God's Holy Spirit in the life of the 
married couple. [Nelson SB] 

Covereth violence with his garment: A woman was claimed as a 
wife by spreading one's garment over her (Ruth 3:9; Ezek. 16:8). 
Destroying that relationship and treacherously violating the marriage 
covenant is here described as "violence" done to that garment. 
[Believer's SB] 

Take heed to your spirit: We must control our attitudes so that 
they will be in line with those of God's Spirit. [Nelson SB] 

Treacherously: To the Lord, attitudes of indifference to 
marriage vows and duties are the actions of a traitor. [Nelson SB] 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

God had loved His people (1:1-5). Yet His priests treated Him 
with contempt (v. 6-2:9), and His people wearied God with their 
unfaithfulness (vv. 10-17). [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 


The People Break Their Marriage Vows   (2:10-17)
Mixed marriage and divorce  (2:10-16)
Sin in the Family

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Genesis 2:24 (KJV)  Therefore shall a man leave his father and 
his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one 

Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out 
of it are the issues of life.  

Proverbs 6:25 (KJV)  Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; 
neither let her take thee with her eyelids.  

Matthew 5:28 (KJV)  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh 
on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her 
already in his heart.  

Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV)  And he answered and said unto them, Have 
ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them 
male and female, [5] And said, For this cause shall a man leave 
father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall 
be one flesh? [6] Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. 
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  

Deut. 24:1, 2 (KJV)  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. [2] And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be 
another man's wife.  

Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put 
away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: [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.  

Matthew 19:3-9 (KJV)  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting 
him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife 
for every cause? [4] And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not 
read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and 
female, [5] And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and 
mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 
[6] Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore 
God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [7] They say unto 
him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and 
to put her away? [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. [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 

Luke 16:18 (KJV)  Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth 
another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away 
from her husband committeth adultery.  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

This verse does not contradict Deu 24:1, where divorce is 
permitted by the law of Moses, not prescribed. [Scofield SB] 

A clear, strong statement of God's attitude toward divorce. 
Whereas the law conceded and regulated it, the Lord said this was 
because of the hardness of man's heart. [Ryrie SB] 

Divorce, although permitted and regulated by the Law (cf. Deut. 
24:1ff.), is expressly rejected by God. [Believer's SB] 

Marriage is not a trade-in business. This passage is the 
strongest statement in the Old Testament against divorce among the 
covenant people. Dt 24:1-4 describes a divorce process for the Hebrew 
people. Ezra commanded divorce from heathen wives (Ezr 10:10-44). 
Malachi condemned the practice of divorcing older wives married within 
the covenant community to marry younger women or women of the mixed 
tribes who had remained in Israel during the Babylonian captivity. The 
prophet anticipated the teaching of Jesus that all divorce is contrary 
to God's original intention for marriage (Mt 19:4-9). [Disciple 

All divorce breaks the covenant (promise) made at the time of 
marriage, and remarriage violates the pattern God established at creation 
when He made only one wife for Adam (v. 15). Or this may mean He made 
them one flesh in marriage. [Believer's SB] 

The holiness of God means unforgiven sin separates us from Him. 
Israel thought nothing of divorcing wives who had long been faithful 
for younger, more attractive foreigners. Then they entered worship 
and expected God to hear their prayers and accept their gifts. God 
refused. We must find forgiveness of sin before we can worship the holy 
God. [Disciple SB] 

The people were being unfaithful. Though not openly saying they 
rejected God, they were living as if he did not exist. Men were marrying 
pagan women who worshiped idols. Divorce was common, occurring for no 
reason other than a desire for change. People acted as if they could do 
anything without being punished. And they wondered why God refused to 
accept their offerings and bless them (Malachi 2:13)! We cannot 
successfully separate our dealings with God from the rest of our lives. He 
must be Lord of all. [Life Application SB] 

Always Be True (Mal. 2)
A children's song captures the meaning of the seventh 
commandment. "Always be true," it says. "Always be true to one you're married 
Malachi too captured this meaning. "Judah has broken faith," the 
prophet proclaimed. Men had married pagan wives. Men had discarded older 
wives to marry younger, more sexually attractive girls. In many ways, 
but particularly in these, the people of Malachi's day showed that 
they totally misunderstood the concept of loyalty which lies at the 
root of every human relationship, and at the root of relationship 
with God Himself. 
You see, God had long ago made a commitment to Abraham and his 
offspring. Those offspring had often proven rebellious and disobedient. Yet 
through the long centuries God remained faithful to His covenant 
commitment. God would love, endlessly, even if His people did not love Him 
in return. 
That's what covenant means. Commitment. Loyalty. Always being 
Marriage was intended by God to be a covenant relationship. It 
was to be a pact of loyalty, by which two of His people committed 
themselves to one another. Oh, there might be the unusual situation in 
which the hardness of one person ultimately made marriage impossible 
and divorce a necessity. But there could be no excuse for what was 
then going on in Judah. Men were obviously marrying to satisfy their 
passion, with no sense of the deeper meaning of marriage. They took 
foreign wives, who surely would not attract them by their character or 
faith! And they cast off older wives in a heated rush to find a younger 
bride, who would be no more to them than a sex object. 
Where was the commitment so essential to covenant relationship? 
Where was loyalty? Gone! And, Malachi said, God is a witness on the 
side of the wife who is treated so shabbily. Malachi said God no 
longer pays attention to the offerings of such a husband, nor accepts 
them. Such divorce God hates, for it is an act of violence, tearing at 
and destroying the very heart of the abandoned wife. 
Reading this passage I can't help thinking of one couple I know. 
He began an affair with a fellow worker, and then decided to leave 
his wife and two teenagers to marry her. He did leave. And I've 
counseled with both the wife and the teens, and seen the terrible damage 
his choice has done. Seeing their hurt, I understand why God hates 
such a divorce. 
That husband has never faced the appalling nature of his 
betrayal, or acknowledged to any of the three he's harmed that his 
abandonment was a sin. The husband and his new wife go to church regularly. 
They sing in the choir. But I wonder if he ever senses the terrible 
fact that the LORD "no longer pays attention to [his] offerings or 
accepts them with pleasure from [his] hands"? [The 365-Day Devotional