The Seventh Command

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What is the seventh command?

לֹ֣֖א תִּֿנְאָֽ֑ף׃ס

You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)


What holy thing is marked out by this command?

This command singles out the sexual relationship between humans as sacred.  It is not to be taken lightly.  Here is the complete list:

Command:  Principle:
First command:  You shall have no other gods before Me. The sanctity of God Himself
Second command:  You shall not make for yourself an idol… The sanctity of God’s worship
Third command:  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain The sanctity of God’s Name
Fourth command:  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy The sanctity of God’s day
Fifth command:  Honor your father and your mother… The sanctity of authority
Sixth command:  You shall not murder. The sanctity of human life
Seventh command:  You shall not commit adultery. The sanctity of the sexual relationship
Eighth command:  You shall not steal. The sanctity of private property
Ninth command:  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. The sanctity of truth
Tenth command:  You shall not covet … anything that belongs to your neighbor. The sanctity of our thoughts or inner contentment


What is adultery?

The Hebrew verb נָאַף is generally used to refer to a sexual relationship with someone other than one’s spouse.


What principle is protected in this command?

The sanctity of the sexual relationship.


Why is the sexual relationship so unique?

Because it is the only human relationship that is capable of bringing new life or children into the world.


What then is the reason for this command?

The care and protection of helpless infants who come into existence as a result of this relationship.


How does God provide for the care and protection of children by this command?

Because God builds a fence or wall around the sexual relationship binding the man and woman together in an unbreakable relationship which then provides a family in which the children can be raised.  By God’s design, children are raised by the man and woman who conceived them and gave birth to them.  These biological parents have the greatest devotion to their own children and thus are best positioned to provide for the children’s needs better than any other adults.


What is a family?

A family is a man and woman, married to each other, who have children and raise these children together.  By God’s design, a family is like an incubator in which eggs hatch, chicks are born, and the environment is just right for them to flourish.  Children raised in a family are much more likely to flourish than those raised outside a family.


What are the sins which break the seventh command?

The first is premarital sexual relations which is when unmarried people have sex.  Related to this is extramarital sexual relations which is when married people have sex with people other than their partner.


What is the result of such relations?

Children are born to a man and a woman who are not married to each other.  In other words, children are born outside of and apart from a family.  Thus, they are exposed to every danger present in this world with no one to stand for them and to protect them.


What other sins are there against the seventh command?

The other sin is divorce which, again, breaks apart a family and thus shatters the child’s protection and shelter.


What does the Bible say about divorce?

God says very plainly that He hates divorce.  (Malachi 2:16)


Does not God allow for divorce under certain circumstances?

Yes, He does; see here.


What teaching did Jesus give about this command?

Jesus extended the command to include not just the action of adultery but even the thought of it.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)














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