Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

6.1 The Sixth Commandment

You shall not commit adultery


6.1.1 Introduction

Contrary to common opinion, the seventh commandment, as well as the whole Bible, do not stand opposed to sexuality. This commandment is not primarily about sexuality but about the protection of wife of another. Thus, it ultimately also addresses the intergenerational contract. It protects childcare and with it, the survival of God’s Holy People by protecting marriage and the family, especially its weakest member at that time – the wife and mother. It’s not an oppressive sexual morality or even a ban on erotic lust. 

In the Bible, the protection of marriage (especially the wife) means the protection of the family and thus the family is placed above marriage (Deut 25:5). The best example of this is probably the Israelite practice of marrying one’s widowed sister-in-law, a practice which is both foreign and even repulsive to most people in the Western world today.

The focus of this commandment is much different than is often assumed today. For instance, it does not address the topic of “just looking” at someone. However, it definitely addresses engagement. If somebody woos and steals another’s fiancé, they have broken this commandment, even if it is not strictly illegal. 


6.1.2 Sources

Exodus 20

Luther’s Small Catechism


6.1.3 Application/Discussion

Jesus undoubtedly made this commandment even more radical (Mt 5:27-32). This topic will be addressed again later in this text.