ADULTERY IN CONTEXT
Study it like a student. When it says “neither” on this list, it means related to what was just said. This reveals a whole evil plot that God wanted to expose. An evil root system—the “root of all evil”. And it is as a safeguard that His rules of justice—rules that made people have to pay money or goods for wrong doing, and also get death—wouldn’t be twisted and misused by the enemy and selfish people.
It wasn’t about sex, but about twisting the law to work in your favour to get what you want.
Deuteronomy 5:17 Thou shalt not kill.
Deuteronomy 5:18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery. [“letcherie” in older English—should find out what it means. (Reminds me of the old word we used when I was young, lecherous.)]
Deuteronomy 5:19 Neither shalt thou steal.
Deuteronomy 5:20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Deuteronomy 5:21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
So, work our way up, starting from verse 21. We see that covet is to desire. Ah, so someone is wishing for the lovely wife his brother has, which according to the rules he is supposed to marry if his brother or close relation dies. Neighbors were close relatives. Let’s say his neighbor is his brother and is very rich, and has animals and a field, servants, a nice house, and most of all the woman that he wanted to marry. So with all these rules in place, he won’t get his desire if he kills off the guy and takes what he wants, moving it and claiming it all, because he’ll get killed too. Like playing chess, you don’t make that move or it costs you.
So moving up to verse 20, bearing false witness is a way to get at least some of what he’d like, what he desires, what he covets. If he can lie about his brother, and choose a crime that at least makes the guy have to pay a lot to him, then that helps. The law will make the so-called criminal have to pay the one accusing him. Of course, he can’t be the only one accusing his brother, as the law requires that there be a few of them telling the same story. So he makes a deal with someone else, so they both can be the false witnesses and will get the payment or wealth they wish for.
Verse 19: So why did he give a false witness, because he couldn’t just go in and steal from his brother what he wanted, or he’d have to pay and be one of the servants most likely, until the loss was regained. He doesn’t want that. But the Lord exposes the theft, plain and simple, of trying to get it via using the law and make some one pay you a financial fine. It looks good on paper; it makes one look like they are a law-abiding citizen trying to make all the neighbors behave, when really they were the real thief, not the neighbors. They were just doing it in a way that make them look good, and others bad.
Verse 18: Stealing is the same as adultery, and visa versa. The sin was in the taking away from others—not the twisted way where the enemy says now, that “giving love is against the law”. God listed it with a “neither” so the context was there—not the sex, the stealing from others. So, if all along the brother wanted to steal this woman to be his wife, he could get a relationship going, accuse the man of something and have him killed, and have her and all the land and wealth for himself. It doesn’t say “thou shalt not have sex” nor “thou shalt not give love”; giving is what we Christians are to do, and not take selfishly.
Verse 17: Kill and adultery are linked with a “neither” as in they were closely related, as the law would make someone die. So for example, the man could make up a story that his brother laid with someone’s wife and should be stoned for adultery. And then he is killed. Then, the “good, law-abiding neighbor” who turned his brother in for sleeping with his wife, is the new hero, and takes on the wife and land and servants and all. All he as to do to get all that he wants is to tell a believable lie (and come up with a witness to lie with him), and then all God’s rules click in place and serve his greedy plans—and he comes out looking like the good guy.
But Jesus linked those words in John 10 so we’d spot the thief, trying to get in the door, the woman’s door no doubt. Stealing and killing, and “going in” when it’s not opened to you, destroying someone’s reputation and work with lies that will cost them huge fees, are all works of the enemy. All linked.
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Adultery was also linked to money in other ways, like a woman sleeping with a married man to get him to pay her could be a way to get money for sex without being of the lower class and becoming a harlot. So when it says “adultery” its in context of stealing, killing, lying, which all stemmed from the love of money and wishing for wealth and coveting what others had.
It’s not about the sex or giving love, or doing what makes us “fruitful and multiply” but what was in the heart and what crimes would be done to use the law to get what you want. If they were “stand alone” rules, they wouldn’t be linked with ‘neither’. When sex is taken, in this context, then it’s a tool for the enemy. But take out the lying, stealing, and killing, and you replace them with truth, giving, loving and saving life, you get passages like:
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [YOU OBEYED]
James 2:15-16 If … ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? [YOU GAINED IF YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE’S BODY IN LOVE WHO WAS IN NEED.]
It was clear in the following two chapters of Deuteronomy that the rules of love were to make them grow as a nation.
So clamping down on things that show love to God and others, and make the Kingdom of God grow, is clearly a rule from the wrong and losing side of the war.
Submitted by Kaye
“Sharing loving and tender and free affection between believers would dissipate depression; make loneliness change to laughter; rebuke temptations for hurtful and unclean filling of the need for satisfaction. No one would feel the urge to grab it or force, if it was freely offered by believers. If we, the body of Christ, cared for the bodies of believers, the enemy would have so many less tools of destruction and death available to use on Jesus’ people.”