The Seventh Commandment
"You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14 RSV)
Knowing Who Your Father Is
When a child is born, there is no doubt what-so-ever as to who the mother is. But, as has been the case throughout all of human history, the identity of the father is sometimes less than certain. Sometimes the mother herself isn't sure, all as a result of a man and woman committing adultery or fornication. It is no coincidence that both of the original Hebrew words of the Scriptures, one (pronounced) mam-zare, translated as adultery in "You shall not commit adultery" of Exodus 20:14, and the other (pronounced) naw-af, translated as bastard in The King James Version (see also The King James Preface) of the Holy Bible (e.g. Deuteronomy 23:2 and Zechariah 9:6) literally mean the same thing, to alienate.
By the Biblical definition, an adulterer was a man who had illicit relations with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a woman was an adulteress, while illicit relations between a married man and an unmarried woman was fornication - all of which were a very serious offense in God's eyes:
"If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10 RSV)
"He who commits adultery has no sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 RSV)
Knowing Who Your Spiritual Father Is
Spiritual adultery - idolatry, the worship of false gods, and apostasy - is also prohibited. Forever remaining spiritually faithful is ultimately what the Seventh Commandment is about:
"For they have committed adultery, and blood is upon their hands; with their idols they have committed adultery" (Ezekiel 23:37 RSV)
"They answered Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill Me, a man Who has told you the Truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do what your father did." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of My own accord, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires" (John 8:39-44 RSV)
"It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons [see Children Of God]; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" (Hebrews 12:7-9 RSV)
"And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman [i.e. in this case, an apostate church] sitting on a scarlet beast [i.e. a great political system] which was full of blasphemous names [see The Holy Father
and The "Holy" Roman Empire], and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints [see What Is A Saint?] and the blood of the martyrs [i.e. witnesses, see Martyrs] of Jesus" (Revelation 17:3-6 RSV)
Fact Finder: Is God's true church symbolized as faithful and pure?
2 Corinthians 11:2, James 1:27