In the Old Testament adultery was mostly blamed on women who used to cheat on their husbands. Though some men were also branded as adulterers for cheating on their wives because of abnormal fleshly lust, Adultery was mostly blamed on having sex outside ones marriage.
To make it better understood I would like to liken this situation to how we human beings are also related to God as WIFE and HUSBAND. That is apart from being our Father, God is the husband of all human beings and as such whoever disrespects God and follow after idols or other gods is said to have committed adultery. LEV.20:1-7
(1) “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,(2) Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. (3) And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. (4 )And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: (5) Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. (6)And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (7)Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” LEV. 20:1-7
This is why God is known as a jealous God and is always envious for His spirit within us.
(4) “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (5) Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? “ JAMES 4:4,5
As per Christ’s definition ADULTERY is a situation where one divorces his wife for any reason apart from fornication and marries another woman. He further states that another definition of adultery is where one marries the unlawfully divorced woman. Let us read the following:
“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” MATT.19:9
“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” LK. 16:18
(27) “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: (28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (31) It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” MATT. 5:27-32
Please watch this Authoritative phrase from the Lord, “BUT I SAY UNTO YOU” from some of the verses just read above. Don’t you notice that Christ spoke as someone who had AUTHORITY? Yes, as the only begotten Son of God He was empowered by His Holy Father to come and amend anything that was found wanting in our quest for salvation. Hence the boldness of His speeches across board like that one already discussed. Do you know why? The simple notion is that every good son who is supposed to be heir has the veritable power or authority to do whatever he likes. Hence Christ power to amend laws.
This could be properly understood if one reads HEB3:1-8, ESPECIALLY verse number six ( 6). Please don’t let us waste time at all. Just read the following for clearer understanding.
(1)“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (2) Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. (3) For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. (4) For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.(5) And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; (6)But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (7) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, (8)Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” HEB. 3:1-8
You see that according to the very first verse from the above quotation it is loud and clear that Jesus Christ is now the HIGH PRIEST of all believers. As such He has every authority to make amends or correct any doctrine or practice which is now disadvantage to modern Christianity. This is the main reason why He spoke thus ‘But I Say Unto You’, implying He has the power to correct or make changes; Having analyzed what the old scripture really says.
Again in verse number six (6), it is evident that Christ ministered faithfully to us as a Son of his own house unlike the Prophet Moses who also faithfully ministered before God, but as a SERVANT. So let us now compare the two personalities and see who has the ultimate power to lead us perfectly to God. Is it not the Son? Oh Yes, I believe you will agree with me that it is the Son, since a servant has no power or authority or whatsoever to instruct unless otherwise empowered by the owner of the household. That means if Moses initially had the mandate to give instructions at all, whatever went wrong in the administration of Moses, the Servant is now being corrected by the only Begotten Son of the Holy Father. Hence some of the statements already outlined above from Matthew chapter five (5) regarding Christ’s power to make changes. Follow the passages below to notice another example which shows how Christ demonstrated to the world the reason why some recognized practices in Moses administration needed corrections in this modern day Christianity, when He as a Son and High Priest has come to show us the more righteous and perfect way to live.
(3) “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? (4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6)Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (7)They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? (8)He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. (9)And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” MATT.19:3-9
Did you notice that Christ made it clear that in the beginning God cherished in MONOGAMY, (that is One Man, One Woman marriage) and not Polygamy? Thus God created Adam and Eve alone like the way He created other creatures in pairs. Again He explained that the divorce certificate which was permissible in the olden days was due to the weakness of the human nature resulting in transgressions, hence the statement in verse eight ( 8) above concerning the hardness of human heart which paved way for polygamous practice. So He concluded that it was not so from the beginning. However Christ teachings made it clear that Polygamy is extra marital and therefore synonymous with adultery. That is why He said any man that marries the unlawfully divorced wife commits adultery. Why because God still recognizes the divorced woman as the old (original) husband’s wife which no one should covert.(EX.20:17). The same applies to the man who divorces his wife unlawfully and marries another woman. The new woman who replaces the divorced woman is seen in the sight of God as one who has been added to the former wife of the divorcee, thus resulting in polygamy in Christ’s view. This is why He said whoever does so commits adultery which is punishable in hell fire.
Also if one carefully studies how Jesus gave answers to those questions from the Pharisees, it could be deduced that He totally disapproved of Polygamy and that He construed it as ADULTEYRY. The derivative is that Christ noticed from their questions that it was because of their selfish motives for polygamy that most of the men wanted divorce, hence their appeal to Moses for DIVORCE CERTIFICATE which was later granted them. Therefore if He as the SON and NOT SERVANT had perceived their evil motives for such actions, why should He also encourage Polygamy which is synonymous with Adultery? That means there was the need to amend it or better still re-institute what was ORIGINALLY initiated in the beginning as HOLY MATRIMONY: Hence His defense for Monogamy in this modern era.
Another issue that is worth noting is that the INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE OR HOLY MATRIMONY did not ‘EVOLVE’ but was ESTABLISHED’: And the one originally established was Monogamy. This being the sole reason why Christ reminded His detractors who raised marriage questions, that they should know that in the beginning Monogamy was instituted. So why should those people want to divorce their lawfully married wives and marry another women which of cause amounted to polygamy vis-à-vis adultery? For that much why don’t we also stick to the Monogamy which was originally established but want to practice polygamy which later evolved.