LESSON 9 March 1, 2015
You shall not commit Adultery
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully
has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. (Mt 5:28)
The seventh commandment concerns sexual purity and the
protection of the sacred family institution and as the previous
commandment it speaks about the protection of life.
Exodus 20: 14; Deteronomy 22: 22-30
EX 20:14 - “You shall not commit adultery”.
Deut. 22:22 - If a man is found sleeping with another man’s
wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.
You must purge the evil from Israel.
23 - If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be
married and he sleeps with her,
24 - You shall take both of them to the gate of that town and
stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a
town and did not scream for help, and the man because he
violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from
25 - But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young
woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who
has done this shall die.
26 - Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin
deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks
and murders a neighbor,
27 - for the man found the young woman out in the country,
and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one
to rescue her.
28 - If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be
married and rapes her and they are discovered,
29 - He shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry
the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce
her as long as he lives.
30 A man is not to marry his father’s wife; he must not dishonor
his father’s bed.
To present the seventh commandment, emphasizing God's
intent for the family.
I – TO TREAT the scope and the objective of the seventh
II – TO SHOW the real meaning of infidelity.
III – TO LIST some sexual sins according to the law of God.
IV – TO ANALYZE the teaching of Jesus about the seventh
The seventh commandment condemns adultery and sexual
impurity in order to protect the family. The Bible does not
condemn sex; its holiness is unquestionable within God’s
pattern, but its illicit practice has been one of the biggest
problems of human beings over the centuries. The seventh
commandment is treated in a way in the law, and in another
way in grace. A look at the episode of the adulterous woman
(John 8: 1-11) shows that this precept was rescued by grace and
adapted to it, not to the law.
I. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
1. Scope. It is about a very broad theme that involves sex and
marriage in a social context tainted by sin. The commandment
consists of an absolute prohibition, without concession,
expressed in a simple way in five words: "You shall not commit
adultery" (Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18). Its regulation for
the Israelites can be found in the books of Leviticus and
Deuteronomy, which speak against sexual sins, prostitution and
all forms of sexual violence with their respective punishments.
2. Objective. The Decalogue follows a logic. The protection of
life appears first, then comes the family and afterwards
possessions and honor. The commandment "You shall not
commit adultery" came to protect the home and thus establish
a morally and spiritually healthy society. The prohibition here is
against all sexual immorality, expressed in a generic way, but
specified in several provisions in the law of Moses.
3. Contex. The law was enacted in a patriarchal society that
allowed polygamy. In that social context, adultery in the law of
Moses consisted in the fact of a man sleeping with a woman
married to another man, whether he is married or single.
Violators of the law should be killed, both man and woman
(Deut 22:22; Leviticus 20:10).
1. Adultery. It is betrayal and falsehood. It is the breaking of an
alliance assumed by the couple before God and society, an
infidelity that destroys harmony in the home and
the family. The Judeo-Christian tradition takes the matter
seriously and considers adultery a grave sin. It is about an
insanity that compromises the honor and reputation of any
person, regardless of their religious confession or social status
(Jer 29:23; Prov 6:32,33).
2. Sex before marriage. This practice is very common in modern
society, but it never had divine approval, that is why young
people should avoid these things (Ps 119:9). In Israel, those
involved in such practice, since the woman was not married or
engaged, were not sentenced to death. The penalty was less
strict, but the man had to marry the young woman, compensate
her father for moral damages and never divorce her (Deut
22:28,29). Today, this kind of sin requires the application of
discipline by the Church, but their marriage is not always the
3. Fornication. The "virgin pledged to be married" (Deut 22:23)
concerns, in the current context, the betrothed young woman
who is not yet married, but who is pledged to be married. This is
the sexual sin of fornication performed with mutual consent.
The penalty of the law is death by stoning, as in the case of
involvement with a married woman (Deut 22:24). The reason for
this penalty goes beyond the simple act, because it is about a
fidelity break, "because he violated another man’s wife. You
must purge the evil from among you. "(Deuteronomy 22:24b).
III. OTHER SEXUAL ISSUES
1. Rape. The law contrasts the city with the country to make
clear the difference between rape and consensual sex. Verses
25-27 deal with the case of sexual violence, because out in the
country the probability of rescue was practically nil, and the
young woman was forced to perform the act (22:25). In this
case, only the rapist was to be killed, accused of sexual crime,
but she should not be punished (Dt 22:26,27).
2. Incest. The law establishes the list of kinship terms in which
there should and should not be marriage, in order to avoid
inbreeding and incest (Leviticus 18: 6-18). Further, the law
prescribes penalties for each group of these sins (Leviticus
20:10-13). "A man is not to marry his father's wife" (Deut
22:30). The law speaks against the abhorrent sexual practice of
abusing the stepmother. It is a sin that dishonors the father,
invades and defiles his bed. Those who practice such
abomination is under God's curse (Deut 27:20). In the law, the
matter belongs to the legal field and the expected sentence is
death (Lev 20:11). However, we are under grace, and for that
reason the issue is brought to the spiritual realm, whose
punishment is limited to the loss of the Church's communion (1
Cor 5. 1-5). The wise apostolic decision is the basis for the
disciplinary principle that churches apply today.
3. Bestiality. It is a sexual aberration, both male and female,
against which the law speaks, having death penalty as
punishment, whether for the man or for the woman and also for
the animal, which was to be killed (Leviticus 20: 15,16 ).
Bestiality and homosexuality dishonor God and were Canaanite
practices, which is why the Canaanites were vomited out of the
nations (Lv 18: 23-28).
IV. THE TEACHING OF JESUS
1. The seventh commandment in the Gospels. The Lord Jesus
reiterated what God said in the beginning of the creation about
marriage, which is a divine institution, a union established by
God Himself (Matthew 19:4-6). He also referred to the theme of
the seventh commandment directly and indirectly. Directly
when he makes use of the words "You shall not commit
adultery" in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27), in the case of
the rich young man (Mt 19:18) and in the parallel passages
(Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20). Indirectly when he alludes to divorce,
a relevant theme of the seventh commandment (Matthew 19:9;
2. The problem of the scribes and Pharisees. Once again He
corrects the wrong thinking of the religious authorities of Israel.
The scribes and Pharisees had reduced the seventh
commandment to the physical act itself, because they ignored
the spirit of the law, clung to its letter (2 Cor 3:6). So, as one can
commit murder with anger or insulting words, without the
physical act (Mt 5.21,22), the same way you can also commit
adultery only in thought (Mt 5:27,28).
3. lust. There is a difference between looking at and coveting.
Sin is about a lustful look. Sex is holy in the eyes of God,
provided that it is within marriage, never outside it. The book of
Song of Songs shows that sex is not just for procreation but for
the pleasure and happiness of human beings. Jesus is not
questioning sex, but fighting against sexual impurity and illicit
sex, prostitution. The Lord Jesus said that adultery comes out of
the heart (Matt 15:19).
We believe that God knows what is right and what is wrong for
human life. The Bible is God's manufacturer manual and it is
insane to want to go against it. The punishment against those
who violate the seventh commandment, in the Christian faith,
does not go beyond the discipline of the Church and, in some
cases, of the chaos in the family. But God's judgment is as
certain as the succession of days and nights, and the only
salvation is Jesus (Acts 16:31; 17:31).