Bible Term: Adultery

Adultery is the sexual unfaithfulness of a husband or a wife; it is literally a married person having sex with another married person, who is not their husband or wife. This is prohibited in the Bible, as stated in the Ten Commandments and reiterated many other times.

Jesus extends the concept adultery from the physical act to the mere thought of it; that is lust. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” (Matthew 5:28).

Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are referred to as spiritual adultery, (Jeremiah 3:6-9 and Hosea 1:2); that is, being unfaithful to God.