25 Bible Verses About Adultery (Explained)

Adultery is a violation of the sacred covenant of marriage, causing profound pain, betrayal, and brokenness. The Bible offers warnings against adultery and calls for purity, faithfulness, and honoring the marriage vows. Let’s explore the verses that uphold the sanctity of marriage and offer hope for healing and restoration in the aftermath of infidelity.

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Bible Verses About Adultery

Exodus 20:14

“You shall not commit adultery.”

This verse is one of the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. It clearly states that adultery is prohibited and considered a sin in the eyes of God. Adultery is the act of being unfaithful to one’s spouse by engaging in a sexual relationship with someone other than their partner. This commandment serves as a reminder of the importance of faithfulness and the sanctity of marriage in God’s design for relationships.

Proverbs 6:32-33

“But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.”

This passage highlights the destructive consequences of adultery. It states that a person who engages in adultery lacks wisdom and understanding, and ultimately brings harm upon themselves. They may face violence, humiliation, and eternal shame as a consequence of their actions. It serves as a warning not only to avoid adultery but also to understand the serious repercussions it can have on one’s life and relationships.

Proverbs 5:15-21

“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?”

This passage emphasizes the importance of marital fidelity and the exclusivity of sexual intimacy within the bounds of marriage. It advises against seeking pleasure or satisfaction outside of one’s own spouse. It encourages finding joy and contentment in the relationship with one’s spouse and warns against pursuing the forbidden desires that come with adultery. The imagery of a loving, faithful wife is used to depict the fulfilling and intoxicating love that can be experienced within the covenant of marriage.

Matthew 5:27-28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘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.”

In this passage, Jesus expands the concept of adultery beyond the physical act to include the intention and desire of the heart. He emphasizes that even the inward thoughts and intentions of lustful desire towards someone who is not one’s spouse are considered as committing adultery in God’s eyes. This underlines the importance of not only refraining from physical infidelity but also guarding one’s heart and thoughts to maintain purity and faithfulness in all aspects of relationships.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

This verse admonishes believers to actively avoid and flee from all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery. It reminds us that our bodies are not our own, but rather temples of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are called to honor God with our bodies by avoiding any sinful practices that defile them. Adultery is singled out as a serious sin as it violates the sanctity of both our bodies and the covenant of marriage. It serves as a reminder to live in a manner that is honoring and pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:4

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

This verse highlights the significance of honoring marriage and keeping the marital relationship untainted. It asserts that God will judge those who commit adultery and engage in sexually immoral behavior. It emphasizes the importance of upholding the sanctity of the marriage bed and maintaining fidelity within the marital relationship. By honoring marriage, we demonstrate our obedience to God’s commandments and acknowledge His authority as the ultimate judge over our actions.

1 Corinthians 7:2

“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

This verse provides guidance on the proper expression of sexual intimacy within marriage. It encourages spouses to fulfill each other’s sexual needs within the bounds of their marital relationship. By emphasizing the exclusivity of sexual relations between a husband and wife, it discourages seeking satisfaction outside of the commitment and covenant of marriage. This verse reaffirms the importance of marital fidelity and the importance of satisfying each other’s needs within the marriage relationship.

Proverbs 2:16-19

“Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely 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.”

This passage serves as a cautionary warning against the enticement and destructive allure of the adulterous person. It describes the consequences that can result from pursuing relationships with individuals who are unfaithful or who disregard the sacredness of marriage. It emphasizes the importance of wisdom and discernment in recognizing and avoiding situations that may lead to temptation and unfaithfulness. The passage paints a vivid picture of the devastating consequences that can follow those who engage in adultery, urging readers to choose the path of life instead.

Proverbs 6:27-29

“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.”

This verse uses vivid imagery to illustrate the inevitable consequences of adultery. It highlights the foolishness and danger of engaging in such acts, comparing it to handling fire or walking on hot coals. Just as one cannot avoid being burned or hurt by such actions, the verse warns that those who participate in adultery will not escape punishment. It serves as a reminder that sin, including adultery, carries its own consequences and that God’s justice will prevail.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.”

These verses emphasize the importance of sanctification and the need for believers to live differently from the world. God’s will for His followers is to exercise self-control and to refrain from any form of sexual immorality, including adultery. It encourages treating one another with respect, avoiding any wrongdoing or exploitation within relationships. The passage also reiterates the warning that the Lord will bring punishment upon those who engage in such sinful behavior. These verses serve as a reminder of the call to holy living and the serious consequences of disregarding God’s commands.

James 4:4

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

In this verse, James uses strong language to address those who prioritize worldly desires and pursuits over their relationship with God. By calling them “adulterous people,” he compares their spiritual unfaithfulness to adultery. The verse highlights the incompatibility between adopting the mindset of the world and maintaining a close relationship with God. It serves as a reminder to believers to guard against being swayed by the values and temptations of the world, choosing instead to remain faithful and loyal to God.

Proverbs 30:20

“This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’”

This verse provides a cautionary description of the deceptive and manipulative nature of an adulterous person. It portrays the lack of remorse and accountability that often accompanies their actions. The verse warns against the sly tactics used by those who engage in adultery to hide or deny their wrongdoing. By highlighting this behavior, the verse encourages readers to be discerning and to recognize the true character and intentions of those who may lead them astray.

Matthew 19:9

“I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

In this teaching of Jesus, He emphasizes the seriousness of divorce and remarriage in cases other than sexual immorality. Jesus clarifies that if a man divorces his wife for reasons other than adultery and then remarries, he commits adultery. This verse underscores the permanence and sacredness of the marriage covenant, cautioning against the dissolution of marriages except in cases of sexual immorality. It serves as a reminder of the importance of commitment and faithfulness within the marital relationship.

Proverbs 7:21-23

“With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”

This passage provides a thorough depiction of the seductive and manipulative tactics used by an adulteress to lead a man astray. It vividly illustrates the consequences of succumbing to temptation and engaging in adultery. The imagery of an ox being led to slaughter, a deer caught in a noose, and a bird trapped in a snare highlights the entrapment and devastation that awaits those who give in to the persuasions of an adulterous person. It serves as a warning to exercise caution and discernment, recognizing the dangerous allure of temptation.

Proverbs 9:17-18

“Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”

This verse exposes the false appeal and temporary pleasure that may accompany illicit relationships. The imagery of stolen water and secret food suggests the excitement of engaging in forbidden acts. However, the verse swiftly reveals the ultimate consequences of such actions – death and destruction. It cautions against being misled by the initial allure, illustrating that the path of adultery leads to spiritual and emotional death. This verse serves as a reminder to value integrity and righteousness over fleeting enticements.

Proverbs 23:27-28

“For a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men.”

These verses draw a comparison between the dangers of associating with a prostitute and the risks involved in being involved with an adulterous person. It characterizes them as deep pits and narrow wells, suggesting that pursuing relationships with them can lead to spiritual and emotional entrapment. The verse also highlights the destructive nature of unfaithfulness, as it multiplies and spreads among people. It serves as a warning against the enticing and harmful consequences of engaging with individuals who promote infidelity.

Mark 10:11-12

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

In this teaching of Jesus, He reinforces the seriousness of divorce and remarriage, highlighting that marrying another person after divorcing one’s spouse is considered adultery. Jesus emphasizes the permanence of the marriage covenant and warns against the dissolution of marriages except in cases of sexual immorality. The verse calls for faithfulness and commitment within the marital relationship and discourages practices that lead to the violation of those commitments.

Ephesians 5:3-5

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

These verses stress the importance of living a life of holiness and purity as followers of Christ. It urges believers to abstain from any form of sexual immorality, including adultery, as well as impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking. The passage highlights the need for gratitude and thanksgiving instead of engaging in sinful behaviors that are unfitting for God’s people. It serves as a reminder that unrepentant and unfaithful individuals, characterized as immoral, impure, or greedy, will not inherit the kingdom of God.

2 Peter 2:14

“With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!”

This verse describes individuals who are characterized by their adulterous mindset and behavior. It portrays them as persistently engaged in sinful actions, particularly seducing those who are weak in their faith or morally unstable. The verse also highlights their expertise in greed, emphasizing their unrepentant and ungodly ways. It serves as a warning against being influenced or led astray by such individuals and serves as a reminder of the importance of guarding one’s heart and mind against the temptations of the world.

Matthew 5:32

“But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Here, Jesus addresses the topic of divorce and remarriage, stating that divorcing a spouse (except in cases of sexual immorality) and then marrying another person constitutes adultery. Not only does He emphasize the serious nature of divorce but He also highlights the impact it has on the person being divorced, making them a victim of adultery. This verse underscores the importance of preserving and valuing the commitment made within the marriage covenant, cautioning against actions that lead to the violation of that commitment.

1 Corinthians 10:8

“We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.”

This verse refers to the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament who engaged in sexual immorality, resulting in severe consequences from God. It highlights the severity of sexual sin, including adultery, and its potential to incur God’s wrath. It serves as a reminder of the importance of obedience and the consequences that can arise from engaging in sinful behaviors. This verse urges believers to remain faithful, avoiding all forms of sexual immorality out of reverence for God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

These verses provide a list of various sins, including adultery, that can prevent individuals from inheriting the kingdom of God. It serves as a sobering reminder of the eternal consequences of unrepentant and habitual sinful behaviors. By highlighting adultery among these sins, the passage underscores the importance of remaining faithful in relationships and living in a manner that is pleasing to God. It encourages believers to repent, turn away from sin, and embrace a life of holiness and righteousness.

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