19:3 Then some Pharisees 1 came to him in order to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful 2 to divorce a wife for any cause?” 3
1 tn Grk “And Pharisees.”
sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.
2 tc ‡ Most
3 sn The question of the Pharisees was anything but sincere; they were asking it to test him. Jesus was now in the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas (i.e., Judea and beyond the Jordan) and it is likely that the Pharisees were hoping he might answer the question of divorce in a way similar to John the Baptist and so suffer the same fate as John, i.e., death at the hands of Herod (cf. 14:1-12). Jesus answered the question not on the basis of rabbinic custom and the debate over Deut 24:1, but rather from the account of creation and God’s original design.