Does anyone in Tanach ever get divorced? Not merely separated but fully divorced.

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    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:00
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    pshat or midrash? Nov 19, 2012 at 18:18

4 Answers 4

  1. Didn't Moshe Rabbeinu get divorced from Zipporah? See Rashi Bamidar 12:1, על אודות האשה: על אדות גירושיה. Sounds like he divorced her. I don't think this shittah is universal though. Still looking for more sources.
    Tosafos in Yevomos 62:a dichsiv says that possibly he wrote her a Get.

  2. Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 30) brings down the following story that records that Yishmael divorced his wife.

Once Avraham wanted to visit Yishmael to see how he was doing. Sarah okayed his visit on condition that he didn’t get off of the camel. So Avraham traveled through the desert to the home of Yishmael. When he arrived, Yishmael’s wife, Eysa, told Avraham that Yishmael had gone with his mother, Hagar, to gather dates in the desert. Avraham said he was weary from his journey, might he be served some bread and water? Eysa refused, claiming she had none.

“Please tell your husband” Avraham told her, “that an old man from Canaan came to see him. Tell him his threshold is broken.”

When Yishmael returned, his wife gave him the message. He understood that his father had attempted to visit him, and he understood from his message how cruel his wife had been. Yishmael divorced his wife.

  1. (Sotah 12:a) is Amram who divorced Yocheved before remarrying her upon Miriam's advice. In fact, the Gemoro relates that the whole nation followed suit and divorced their wives. (Albeit, they [including Amram] all remarried soon after!)

  2. King David's wife Queen Batsheva was previously married to Uriah. Uriah wrote a Get to her before he went to war so she should not be an Agunah if he were not to return. This Get came into effect at Uriah's demise, itself brought about by the King. (Kesubos 9:b)

  • Rav Hirsch cites the Sifri that uses the term פירש which means separated. He states "the condemnatory remarks of Miriam and Aaron were solely referring to Moses abstaining from sexual intercourse with his wife". Thus it was not a divorce but abstaining in the same way as Bnai Yisrael abstained for the three days before Matan Torah. Bnai Yisrael were commanded to return to normal family life after Matan Torah, unlike Moshe Rabbeinu. May 23, 2018 at 22:56

The only divorce I can find in Tanach al pi peshat is Avraham's divorcing Hagar. The verse (Genesis 21:10) says:

גָּרֵשׁ הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת, וְאֶת-בְּנָהּ
Cast out this bondwoman and her son.

The word used is גרש which is the word used for divorce generally in Tanach (eg. Leviticus 22:13) and it seems to be the peshat here because we never hear of Hagar again.

For what it's worth, pseudo-Jonathon explicitly interprets the verse: ופטרה בגיטא - and he exempted her with a document.

  • Actually we do hear of Hagar again, Rashi says that when Rivka met Yitzchok for the first time, he was returning from fetching Hagar to remarry Avrohom now Sarah was no longer alive! +1 anyway
    – Yehuda
    Nov 20, 2012 at 5:55
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    @yehuda My answer was focusing on the peshat of the pesukim, but anyway that Rashi clearly implies they were not married in the interim.
    – Double AA
    Nov 20, 2012 at 6:05

Hashem told Hoshea to get divorced

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    Can you cite a source for this?
    – Double AA
    Nov 19, 2012 at 20:22
  • Could be he is ref to Rashi in Hoshea 2:1,but still not sure how one would explain it as such, since it is a parable.
    – sam
    Nov 20, 2012 at 0:39
  • @sam I know to which story in Hoshea he likely refers, I just don't see in the pesukim where it explicitly says divorce. If he is referring to a midrash he should certainly state as much. (And not all rishonim think it is a parable, eg. Abravanel and likely Rashi (also Malbim, but he isn't a Rishon).)
    – Double AA
    Nov 20, 2012 at 3:25
  • ...not to mention that some of yehuda's answers might be parables as well.
    – Double AA
    Nov 20, 2012 at 17:39
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    The source for Hoshea is presumably the Gemoro Pesochim 87a
    – Imanonov
    Nov 20, 2012 at 21:30

Adam was given a get like a woman (Bereishis 3:24 - Vayegaresh Et HaAdam, literally "and He (God) divorced the man") Opening of Tana D'bei eliyahu

This probably has kabalistic meanings

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    I dont think thats a literal translation at all.
    – Double AA
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:16
  • maybe too literal. you're right thgouh, it's more of an allusion
    – ray
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:31
  • also, I think adam divorced his wife for 100+ years after the sin
    – ray
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:33
  • @ray They weren’t divorced, just separated. See Rashi to Bereishis 4:25: הלא פרשת מאשתך, not הלא גרשת, which you’d expect if he’s discussing divorce.
    – DonielF
    May 23, 2018 at 23:14

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