Exodus 20:14

Hebrew Bible

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that you may live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving to you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Proverbs 6:32

Hebrew Bible

30 People do not despise a thief when he steals to fulfill his need when he is hungry. 31 Yet if he is caught he must repay seven times over; he might even have to give all the wealth of his house. 32 A man who commits adultery with a woman lacks sense; whoever does it destroys his own life. 33 He will be beaten and despised, and his reproach will not be wiped away; 34 for jealousy kindles a husband’s rage, and he will not show mercy when he takes revenge.

 Notes and References

"... Given the essentially private nature of sexual activity, this provision cuts down the practical operation of the death penalty for sexual offenses. In addition, we saw that although the formulation “... [so-and-so] shall be put to death” (mot yumat) might sound mandatory to our ears, biblical law does not have any clear or regular way of distinguishing between different modalities, such as “may,” “must,” and “it would be a good idea.” The idea that the death penalty for adultery may not, in practice, always be mandatory is reflected in other biblical texts, such as Proverbs 6:32–35 which speaks of the vengeful husband refusing ransom from the adulterer for the adultery. This is a case of the exception proving the rule because it implies that it was possible, at least in some cases, for the sexual offender to commute the death penalty to a monetary payment ..."

Burnside, Jonathan P. God, Justice, and Society: Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible (p. 368) Oxford University Press, 2011

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