The Seventh Commandment
Exodus 20:14
You shall not commit adultery.


1. Community. Woman is man's complement, his essential peer, his alter ego, his second self; constituting with him the genus mankind, or Homo.

2. Diversity. Man and woman are the two poles of the sphere of mankind — the one implying the other. Like the stars, they differ in their glory.

II. MARRIAGE A DIVINE INSTITUTION. A constituent elemental fact of humanity.

III. THE MARRIAGE RELATION TAKES PRECEDENCE, OF EVERY OTHER HUMAN RELATION (Genesis 2:24). None but the Lord who joins, can disjoin. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." It is the Divine Lawgiver's ordinance, guarding the chastity of marriage, the sanctity of home, the blessedness of the household, the preservation of society, the upbuilding of mankind. Let earth's civic authorities, then, take exceeding care that they legislate and administer in this supreme matter of marriage according to the Divine oracle. Would God they all conceived it according to the standard and in the spirit of the Nazarine Teacher! And so we pass from the Seventh Commandment itself to the Divine Man's exposition of it (Matthew 5:27-32). Here at least is freshness of moral statement, radiant in beauties of holiness, born from the morning, sparkling with the dew of perpetual youth. Our topic, I must sorrowfully add, is pertinent to our age and land. Loose notions touching marriage, divorce, re-marriage, are painfully, alarmingly prevalent. We need not go so far as Utah to find Mormons, theoretical and practical. Let it be thundered from the pulpit, from the academy, from the forum, that divorce (absolute divorce, allowing re-marriage), saving for one solitary cause, is a threefold crime — a crime against home, a crime against society, a crime against God. And now let us ponder the Divine Man's prescription for the cure of unchastity: "If thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: and if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee." No; Christ's asceticism is not asceticism for its own sake, but asceticism for the sake of the moral discipline and rectification of character. Enough that I simply remind you that whatever fosters or suggests unchaste desire or thought — whether it be painting or statuary, opera or dance, romance or song, ambiguous allusion or the figment of one's own imagination, as in the prophet Ezekiel's vision of the chambers of imagery — it must be instantly, remorselessly, everlastingly renounced.

(G. D. Boardman.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thou shalt not commit adultery.

WEB: "You shall not commit adultery.

The Scope of the Seventh Commandment
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