Marriage is at center of society: Judah and the Covenant

“By God’s design, marriage is at the center of society.”

New Living Translation (NLT)

A Call to Faithfulness

10 Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?

11 Judah has been unfaithful, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. The men of Judah have defiled the Lord’s beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship idols. 12 May the Lord cut off from the nation of Israel[a] every last man who has done this and yet brings an offering to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

13 Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure. 14 You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.

15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his.[b] And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.16 “For I hate divorce!”[c] says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,[d]” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”


  1. 2:12 Hebrew from the tents of Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
  2. 2:15 Or Didn’t the one Lord make us and preserve our life and breath? or Didn’t the one Lord make her, both flesh and spirit? The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  3. 2:16a Hebrew For he hates divorcing.
  4. 2:16b Hebrew to cover one’s garment with violence.


Further comments:

Marriage is not about our happiness. It’s about holiness.  “My happiness now” is a recipe for disaster in marriage. The key to loving well is knowing God because Christ said they’ll know you’re Mine by the way you love.

Judah marrying foreign women is exactly the same as marrying the daughter of a foreign god. It isn’t just a human being, it’s marrying a demonic system. When the vertical relationship is broken, all horizontal relationships fall apart, and pornography is an abomination. It’s a satanic ploy to attack marriage.

Cf. v. 15: “remain loyal to the wife of your youth” with Proverbs 5:18: “rejoice in the wife of your youth.”

Ephesians 5:22-33 says that our marriage should reflect the love between Jesus Christ and His Church. And how can we be more faithful? By looking to the faithful One.

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