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late 14c., from Old French divorce (14c.), from Latin divortium "separation, dissolution of marriage," from divertere "to separate, leave one's husband, turn aside" (see divert). Not distinguished in English from legal separation until mid-19c.
late 14c., from Old French divorcer, from divorce (see divorce (n.)). Related: Divorced; divorcing.
The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were reguired to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight pretences (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18). These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in the Christian Church.