Our Saviour, though yet at some distance from Jerusalem, was come into that province where the Pharisees had the greatest power, and were in greater numbers: now they come to him,
tempting him; where the word tempting rather signifies, generally, making a trial of him, than strictly, soliciting him to sin; they came (as appeareth by their question) to make a trial whether they could entrap him, and get any determination from him of a point for which they might accuse him. The question they propound to him is,
Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? The word here translated cause, signifieth not cause, or occasion, but crime also. So it may be translated crime; but they did not only put away their wives for crimes, but upon any occasion, in abuse of that text, Deu_24:1, When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her; which the Pharisees had interpreted of any kind of deformity, or natural infirmity, not merely of moral uncleanness. Had our Saviour now answered Yes, he had contradicted what he had formerly delivered, Mat_5:32; had he denied, they had trapped him as contradicting the law of Moses, Deu_24:1, according to their interpretation of it. So they had whereof to accuse him.