Romans 7

Many people like to jump in and use verses 2 & 3 to encourage someone to break up a marriage but these folks usually don't bother with verse 1 or even talk about the purpose of this passage in the bigger context.

What does verse 1 mean: "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?"

1) It is not really a teaching about divorce and remarriage. Paul is using it as an illustration from marriage to talk about being dead to the law in Christ (starting in verse 4).

2) Paul is referring to the OT law here, not Christ's NT law, which I think verse #1 makes clear.

3) Verse 1 and verse 4 are talking about the OT law, so it seems consistent that the two verses in between are also referring to the OT law (which the brethren knew).

4) If #2 is true, then how can we understand this passage? The OT law allowed divorce and did not call the woman an adulteress if she was divorced and remarried. I think that this is speaking about a woman who goes off and marries another man without being divorced by the first one. Remember that in the OT the woman could not initiate a divorce. Only the man could initiate a divorce. Apparently this was happening among the Jews (the woman remarrying without first getting a divorce).

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