A Restored Daughter

The first we hear much about divorce in the Old Testament is in the Law.  Divorced individuals are clearly considered defiled and often rejected.

The Priests are instructed to not marry a divorced woman.

Leviticus 21:7 They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. ESV

Leviticus 21:13-15

13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 

14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people,

15 that he may not profane his offspring among his people, for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.”  ESV

Notice also that a Priest was not able to marry a widow either.  This was so that a Priest’s children may not be profaned but would be sanctified by the Lord.

Many treat the Bible as two completely different books that really have no connection with one another.  Often you will hear someone refer to the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament as if they are totally different individuals.  Or worse you will hear someone say they do not like the God of the Bible but they love Jesus.  You cannot do that!  You cannot separate the God of the Old Testament from the New Testament God; they are one and the same.  Nor can you separate God and Jesus because they are one and the same.

People love to hear about the Love, Grace and Mercy portrayed in the New Testament, yet to them the God in the Old Testament is harsh, cruel and unloving.  But they are wrong; there is judgment portrayed in the NT just as there is Love, Grace and Mercy portrayed in the OT.

The God we see portrayed in the Old Testament exhibits the Grace and Mercy of the Father to His people and even to Gentiles at times.  Grace and Mercy was extended even to those who were divorced. 

Leviticus 22:12-13

12 If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the contribution of the holy things.

13 But if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and has no child and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food; yet no lay person shall eat of it. ESV

This series of verses in Leviticus (Leviticus 22:1 -16) is explaining who may eat of the Holy food that was given to the Priests. 

  • No layman may eat of it. 

  • No foreigner.

  • No hired hand.

  • No unclean person. 

However, a daughter of the Priest that returns to her Father’s house may eat of the Holy food even when she was considered defiled or profane due to the divorce.

Do you see the beautiful picture of Grace extended to a daughter of the Priest? 

There is no doubt that God hates divorce, that God considers divorce sin and that sin has consequences. 

Yet even in our sin God offers us His Grace and Mercy.  Just as the Priestly Father would take back the impure daughter so also our Heavenly Father will take back His daughter.  Not as a hired servant, but as a restored member of the family who may partake of the Holy Things.  Oh, that we would all return to our Father’s House.


4 thoughts on “A Restored Daughter

  1. Good point.
    Though there are not distinct personalities, many people forget that many laws in the O.T. had specific purposes, above all was to display Israel as a incredibly distinct people who served a very specific God (which also entalled the ultimate purpose of convincing them that they were unable to truly serve and honor God and thus NEEDED a Savior).

    As you have made clear, grace was extended as was salvation (all because of Christ-future) IF it wasn’t the biblical story would have stopped long time ago.

    Berean Wife Reply:



    It makes me so sad when I hear people say they couldn’t believe in the OT God because they feel He is so cruel. Yet actually the OT reveals how depraved and utterly wicked we sinners are. But then we are continually trying to justify ourselves and blame others, since the beginning. 🙁

    Berean Wife

  2. This is an interesting series of post as right now there is a serious rift in our extended family based, not on the issues of divorce and remarraige, but rather the role of the OT law in the life of the NT believer.

    The springboard for all of this is the sacred name movement (I assume you’ve heard of it), but from there it extends to include Saturday only worship, adherence to OT dietary laws and festivals, and recently a softening towards the idea of polygamy, all based on OT law.

    This, of course, when embraced, frees a man from having to divorce at all if he finds someine he likes better. he can just add a new wife, and God, or Yahweh, will bless it since polygamy (at least for a man) is Biblically permissible.

    Oh, and YES, these people do claim to believe the entire Bible, both OT and NT.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I’m sorry to hear that your extended family is falling for some bizarre teachings. Actually I have never heard of the “sacred name movement” but if it is as strange as the one I’ve been studying it is a shame. It is amazing how some groups will pick one verse, idea or theme to the exclusion of all the rest of Scripture.

    Most of those ideas are refuted in the NT when the Jewish Christian Leaders informed the Gentile Christians that they did not have to adhere to the OT feasts, regulations or circumcision (Acts 15:23-30). Most any of these confusions can be cleared up by a person studying the Scripture and avoiding the many false teachers.

    Berean Wife

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