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Matthew 19:4-6 meaning...

This is part of a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees had asked Jesus about divorce, seeking to test Him and engage Him in a debate. In His response, Jesus quotes from the Old Testament, specifically referencing Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24.

  • Key Points:

God's Design for Marriage: Jesus begins by referring to the creation account in Genesis, where God created humanity as male and female. This reference underscores God's intentional design for two distinct genders.

Leaving and Cleaving: Jesus quotes from Genesis 2:24, emphasizing the divine institution of marriage. He teaches that a man is to leave his parents and be joined to his wife. This concept emphasizes the establishment of a new family unit and the primary commitment between husband and wife.

One Flesh: Jesus underscores the profound unity that occurs in marriage. He quotes, "the two shall become one flesh," highlighting the deep spiritual, emotional, and physical bond that marriage creates.

Divine Union: The concluding statement emphasizes the divine nature of marriage. Jesus states that what God has joined together, no human should tear apart. This emphasizes the sacredness and permanence of marriage in God's eyes.

  • Significance:

God's Design for Marriage: This passage reinforces the biblical understanding that marriage is a divine institution established by God. It is a covenantal relationship designed to reflect the unity and love of God.

Leaving and Cleaving: The emphasis on leaving one's parents and cleaving to a spouse highlights the priority of the marital relationship. It calls for a shift in loyalty and responsibility from one's family of origin to the new family unit.

One Flesh Union: The idea of becoming "one flesh" underscores the deep intimacy and unity that marriage brings. It encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of oneness.

Sacredness and Permanence: Jesus' statement about not tearing apart what God has joined together underscores the sanctity and permanence of marriage. It challenges the idea of divorce and emphasizes the importance of commitment.

  • Application:

Understanding God's Design: It encourages individuals to understand and appreciate God's design for marriage as a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.

Prioritizing Spousal Relationship: The passage reminds married couples to prioritize their relationship and commitment to one another, even in the face of challenges.

Commitment to Permanence: Believers are encouraged to view marriage as a lifelong commitment, valuing its sacredness and seeking to honor God through their marital relationship.


Ephesians 5:31-32: "For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly."

1 Corinthians 6:16: "Or don’t you know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body? For, 'The two,' says he, 'will become one flesh.'"

Matthew 19:4-6 presents Jesus' teaching on marriage, emphasizing God's intentional design, the leaving-and-cleaving principle, the one-flesh union, and the sacredness of the marital covenant. This passage guides believers in understanding marriage as a divine institution and encourages them to prioritize and honor their marital commitment.

See also: vs 7-8

Matthew 19:4-6. “Haven’t you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?’ So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don’t let man tear apart.”


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