a covenant, an oath, a vow before God. (Deut. 23:21) “When you make a vow tothe Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, andthe Lord your God will surely require it of you.”Look at Luke 16:17-18. “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away thanfor one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail. Everyone who divorces his wife andmarries another commits adultery; and he who marries one who is divorced froma husband commits adultery.” You can put in there, “puts away” or “to separate” but the idea is still the same. Whenever you separate, you are bringing someone toa lower level of loyalty and your are removing yourself from a vow that you made before God. The Bible makes it clear that we are not to make oaths at all, unlesswe intend to fulfill, to God, that oath.
COVENANT, CLEAVING, and ONE FLESH
Going back to the beginning…Gen. 2:21-25… “So the Lord God caused a deepsleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closedup the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib whichHe had taken from the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of bones, andflesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to hiswife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both nakedand were not ashamed.” We see a lot being presented here. By taking a rib out of Adam, we see God denoting this relationship to be of one flesh…. a suitablehelper. Verse 18…. “It is not good for the man to be alone”…has little to do withAdam’s manhood or his needing a sexual partner or needing to be self-realized or just being lonely, but is in reference to his being fulfilled in reproduction. He sayall the animals come before him in pairs. He knew very clearly that to fulfill thecommission in Gen. 1:28, (“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdueit.”) he couldn’t do it without a bride. So this had to do with understanding whatwould be meet to fulfill this great commission of mankind…to fill the earth withrighteous children. We can see in this passage also, the first use of the term“wife”…used twice, in verse 24 and verse 25. So we are talking about marriagehere. We are talking about the specificness of not being ashamed, cleaving towife, and becoming one flesh. “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of myflesh.”What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matt. 19:6) Notevery carefully that the Word of God says what He has joined, not to whom. God isnot necessarily talking about people, but He has built marriages. The word“cleave” is especially prominent as a technical term in the covenant terminologyof Deut. 10:21, 11:22, 13:4, and 30:20. See also Joshua 22: 5, 23:8, and Ruth1:14-16. In verses that speak of the Israelites “cleaving” to the Lord in affectionand loyalty, parallel words and phrases that describe this proper attitude to theLord are “fear”, “serve”, “love”, and “obey”. “ Swear by His name”, “walk in Hisways”, and “keep His commandments” are others. In short, the use of “cleave” in