Adultery in Proverbs

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The adultery warned against in the book of Proverbs is prohibited based on the seventh of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18) and is considered a heinous crime (Job 31:11). In general, this act occurs when a married person voluntarily has sex with someone other than their lawful spouse.

Under the New Covenant, Jesus elaborated on the spiritual intent of the commandment against adultery when he stated the following (which applies to all humans, not just males).

But I say to you, everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself (Proverbs 6:32).

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For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Wisdom will save you from . . . the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words (she seeks to commit adultery), who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life (Proverbs 2:6, 12, 16 - 19).


Amorous peasants
Amorous peasants
Albrecht Durer

My son, attend to my wisdom . . . the lips of a wanton woman drip as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But her end is as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on the grave. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable - you cannot know them (Proverbs 5:1, 3 - 6).

Now therefore hear me, O you children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your ways far from her (who tempts you with adultery), and do not come near the door of her house, lest you give your honor unto others and your years unto the cruel;

Lest strangers be filled with your wealth, and your labors be in the house of a stranger; and you moan when your end comes, when your flesh and your body are consumed (Proverbs 5:7 - 11).

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving deer and pleasant doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and be ravished always with her love.

For why will you, my son, be ravished with a strange woman (commit adultery) and embrace the bosom of a stranger? (Proverbs 5:18 - 20).


World's Wit and Wisdom
Jealousy, that dragon which slays
love under the pretense of
keeping it alive.
Havelock Ellis, 1859 - 1939

The mouth of wanton women is a deep pit; he who is cursed by the Lord shall fall therein (Proverbs 22:14).

For a harlot is a deep ditch, and a wanton woman is a narrow pit. She also lies in wait as for prey and increases the transgressors among men (Proverbs 23:27 - 28).

For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman (someone who leads you into adultery).

Do not lust after her beauty in your heart; nor let her seduce you with her eyelids For by means of a harlot a man is vanquished to a piece of bread; and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife (commits adultery); whoever touches her shall not be innocent (Proverbs 6:23 - 29).


World's Wit and Wisdom
Jealousy feeds upon suspicion,
and turns into fury or it ends
as soon as we pass from
suspicion to certainty.
Francois Rochefoucauld, 1613 - 1680

Wrath is cruel and anger is overwhelming, but who is able to stand before jealousy? (Proverbs 27:4).

Whoever loves wisdom rejoices his father, but a companion of harlots wastes his wealth (Proverbs 29:3).

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you . . . they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words . . .

Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths (lead you into adultery). Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death (Proverbs 7:1, 5, 25 - 27).

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