This sin, often overlooked, is in the long list of sins in Romans 1:28-32. Those who practice such things or who approve such “deserve death” (v. 32, NIV). “Adultery” often refers to sexual acts (Jn 8:4), but is also translated “breaking of a covenant,” having nothing to do with sexual sin. When Israel turned away from Jehovah to other gods, they “despised the oath by breaking the covenant” (Ez 16:38-59;
Jer 3:6-10).
Jesus said a husband who puts away his wife “causes her to commit adultery” (Mt 5:32), forcing her to break her covenant, not allowing her to do what she covenanted to do at the time of the marriage. When a husband or a wife breaks the promises, they hate (dislike, are angry with, are hostile to, disrespect) the covenant they made in the marriage ceremony: to love, honor, cherish, never leave, cling to one another until death. When any one or all of these promises is broken, one becomes a “covenant breaker” and is guilty of sin before God, placing his or her soul in jeopardy. The Greek is asunthetous (asunthetous), translated literally “covenant breaker” or “not keep promises” (Thayer, KJV, ASV, TEV Rom 1:31). Thus, the basic sin in divorce or separation (not to live together) is always and without exception, covenant-breaking … “leaving” or “putting away.”
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