Original Research

Marriage and divorce in Malachi 2:10–16: An ethical reading of the abomination to Yahweh for faith communities

Blessing O. Boloje, Alphonso Groenewald
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 35, No 1 | a886 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v35i1.886 | © 2014 Blessing O. Boloje, Alphonso Groenewald | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 June 2013 | Published: 29 May 2014

About the author(s)

Blessing O. Boloje, Department of Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Alphonso Groenewald, Department of Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The family is the bedrock that forms the indispensable foundation for discipleship. It was instituted by the Creator as his primary setting for human development and nurture (Gn 2:18–25; Ps 68:5, 6). Thus the crisis involving marriage and the family is indeed a cultural crisis of the first order. Social life quite simply cannot function effectively without the family. Whilst according to Flowers and Flowers: ‘Christian families face the challenge of understanding and stretching toward the divine design for life and relationships, even as they dwell in a world where hard reality find us far short of God’s plan for family living’, this article demonstrates that Malachi’s prophetic oracle (2:10–16) is an urgent motivation and challenge to Yahweh’s people in faith communities to be living embodiment of the ideals of fidelity, commitment and steadfastness. In honouring these values and ideals, the article further challenges Yahweh’s faith communities to seek concrete ways of affirming, strengthening, empowering and supporting persons and families in their efforts to live in faithfulness to the values they recognise and esteem.


Ethics; Malachi; prophetic literature; Christian tradition; ecclesia community; Yahweh’s faith community; Church


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