Adultery

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This was forbidden in the ten commandments; but neither there nor anywhere else is the sin defined. It seems clear, that as far as the man was concerned, if he had intercourse with a woman unless it was with a married woman, he would not be charged with adultery, though he himself might be married; indeed how could he be when he was allowed more wives than one, as well as concubines and slaves? If he committed adultery with a married woman or with one betrothed, both were to be put to death (Deut. 22:22-2422If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. 23If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 22:22‑24)). With the woman it was stricter, she must have no intercourse with any man but her husband. If a man was jealous of his wife there was the ordeal of the bitter waters provided to test her innocence (Num. 5:11-3111And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 12Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, 13And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; 14And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: 15Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. 16And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord: 17And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: 18And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: 19And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: 20But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: 21Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; 22And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. 23And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: 24And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. 25Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar: 26And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. 27And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. 28And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. 29This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; 30Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. 31Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity. (Numbers 5:11‑31)). But we do not read that any man or woman was stoned for adultery, nor that any woman drank the bitter waters. We know from the New Testament that Moses had, because of the hardness of their hearts, allowed a certain looseness, and a man could divorce his wife for any cause, which was easier than bringing a suspected wife to trial. It may be that the men themselves had not good consciences, like those who brought the adulterous woman to the Lord in John 8:33And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, (John 8:3). We have a dreadful picture of guiltiness in Judges 19, and Jeremiah charges Israel with being “as fed horses in the morning, every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife,” which loudly called for judgment (Jer. 5:8; 13:278They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbor's wife. (Jeremiah 5:8)
27I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be? (Jeremiah 13:27)
). The Lord declared that a man morally committed adultery (or fornication) in his heart if he lusted after a woman. Adultery had also a typical meaning. Israel had been espoused to Jehovah, but instead of being a faithful wife she had sought other lovers. “With their idols have they committed adultery” (Ezek. 23:3737That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. (Ezekiel 23:37)). So the false church, who has Jezebel in her midst, the Lord will cast her “and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds” (Rev. 2:2222Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (Revelation 2:22)).

Strong’s Dictionary of Greek Words:

Greek:
μοιχεία
Transliteration:
moicheia
Phonic:
moy-khi’-ah
Meaning:
from 3431; adultery
KJV Usage:
adultery