From Matthew 19 (ESV)
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
"They" asked..."why did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"
I believe that what Moses commanded is that IF a man is going to send his wife away, then he must give her a certificate of divorce to leave with, so that she could legally marry again.
Moses did not command a man to divorce - he regulated divorce.
As Jesus corrected "them" - Moses allowed divorce, not command it.
It reminded me of Eve in the garden - She changed the command of God ever-so-slightly from "don't eat" to "don't even touch"
What I'm taking away today is that when God gives a command...follow it.
Adding to the Law doesn't make us more holy...it just gives us more chances to mess up.
Matt 19:3-12 was the Gospel reading at mass this morning.
See also Deut. 4:2.
"'Those who add will come to subtract.' [...] In the Garden of Eden, the snake tried to entice Eve to eat from the Tree. 'Did God really say not to eat from the Tree?' queried the snake. 'Absolutely,' said Eve. 'God said we can't eat it, and we can't even touch it' (Genesis 3:3). At that point, says the Midrash, the snake pushed Eve so that she brushed up against the Tree. 'See that!' said the snake. 'You touched the Tree and nothing happened. God didn't really mean what He said. You touched it, now go ahead and eat it.' So Eve ate. Those who add, will come to subtract." http://www.aish.com/jl/m/pm/84679072.html
On the other hand, there's a well-known Jewish tradition of "fencing the Torah." http://www.jewfaq.org/halakhah.htm or, in Catholicism, to avoid the near occasion of sin.