“For I Hate Divorce,” says the Lord: Interpreting Malachi 2:16 in Relation to Prohibition of Divorce in some Churches in Nigeria
This article examined Mal 2:16 in relation to the prohibition of divorce today in some churches in Nigeria. The text is perhaps the most commonly quoted passage by preachers to support prohibition of divorce, possibly because many of the English versions make it a direct condemnation from God and preachers rarely consider other English versions that read differently. It was found out that the passage relates to certain Jewish men who divorced their native wives and married women of foreign faiths. It was also discovered that in view of Deut 24:1-4, among other OT texts, Mal 2:16 could not have prohibited divorce. Rather, what it condemns is the purpose of the divorce, namely to marry women of foreign faiths. Hence, Mal 2:16 is relevant in contemporary Nigeria, not as a prohibition of divorce, but in the context of marriage abandonment.
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