Spies from the Sanhedrin met him in Perea, where they had so little power to hurt him that they condescended to guile and fraud. They spread a report that Antipas Herod, troubled by the Arab war, was eager to seize and put him to death; but he answered them, by a saying, that he should not perish out of Jerusalem. Then they came to him with a question: as to whether a man could put away his wife for every cause? This point of law was moot in the schools of Hillel and Shammai: more important still, it was the chief practical question in Herod's court. Citizens argued it in gates, and soldiers wrangled over it in camps. John the Baptist answered it with his blood. Aretas had declared war upon it. But Jesus, seeing the snare they laid for him, answered them not as a partisan of either Herod or Aretas, but as a teacher of moral truth- that man and wife are one flesh, joined together by God, never again to be separated except by sin against the marriage-bond-by that crime of adultery which corrupts and severs the sacred tie, like death itself, without the intervention of human laws.

 

from page 79, The Holy Land