And if a woman shall put away her husband
Not that there was the same law, or the same sufferance by the law of Moses, for a woman to put away her husband, as for the husband to put away the wife; nor was it practised among the Jews, unless it came to be in use about this time, in their declining state, having taken it from the Gentiles; of whom they say F19, that
``they divorce one another: says R. Jochanan, (wtvrgm wtva) , "his wife divorces him", and gives him the dowry.''So Salome, the sister of Herod the Great, sent a bill of divorce to her husband Costobarus; and in this she was followed by Herodias, the daughter of Aristobulus, as Josephus F20 relates; and which his own wife also did. And by such examples the practice might prevail among the Jews: and we have a story told F21 us of a holy man, and a holy yeoman, who were married, and had no children, (hz ta hz wvrgw) , "and they divorced one another"; and the one went and married a wicked woman, and she made him wicked; and the other went and married a wicked man, and she made him righteous but I do not find that this practice was approved, or established by any rule, or canon. They allow F23 indeed a woman to write her husband's divorce of her, with proper witnesses; and they also oblige one, that was espoused in her minority, and refuses her husband, when adult, to write a bill of refusal; the form of that, and the rules about it, take as follow F24:
``they do not allow one to marry a minor; he that marries a minor that is fatherless, and she is not pleased with her husband, lo! she may refuse, and go away, and she has no need of a divorce from him, because the espousals of a minor are not perfect espousals, as we have explained: and so a minor, whom her father marries, and she becomes a widow, or is divorced whilst she is a minor, lo! she is as one fatherless, in, her father's life time; and if she marries whilst she is a minor, she may refuse--how does she refuse? she says before two witnesses, I do not like such an one my husband; or I do not like the espousals with which my father, or my brother, espoused me; and such like words.--The two, before whom the minor refuses, write for her; on such a day, such an one, the daughter of such an one, refused, before us, such an one her husband; and they seal, and give it to her: and this is the body, or substance of a bill of refusal--in such a week, on such a day of the month, in such a year, such an one, the daughter of such an one, refused before us, and said, that my mother, or my brother, forced me, and married me, or espoused me, and I, a minor, to such an one, the son of such an one; and now I reveal my mind before you, that I do not like him, and I will not abide with him: and we have searched such an one; and this is manifest to us, that she is yet a minor, and we have written, and sealed, and have given this to her, for her justification, and a clear proof;''``Such an one, the son of such an one, witness. Such an one, the son of such an one, witness.''
And such a writing was called, (Nwaym jg) , "a bill of refusal", and sometimes (Nynwaym yrjv) , "letters of refusal" F25, but a bill of divorcement given by a married woman to her husband, I have not met with. Justin Martyr speaks F26 of a Christian woman that, (repoudion) (dousa) , "gave a bill of divorce" to her husband: such things, therefore, have been done, and might be done in Christ's time, to which he refers; and concerning which he says, that if a woman do so,
and be married to another, she committeth adultery;
with the man she marries, and against, and to the injury of her former husband, unjustly left by her.