3428 MOICHALIS (7): traditionally translated "adulteress," "adulterous," etc.

The use of English words such as "adulteress" or "adultery" is usually in a religious context; the origin of these words being in Roman Catholic doctrine of over 400 years ago. The adherents to these "adultery" words usually define them something like, "sexual relations with another man's wife." But, except in the sense of "impurity" (especially in food or chemical products), these "adultery" words have no proper English meanings.

But the meaning of the word "adultery" does not include sexual relations in some of the passages in which it occurs. For example, Joseph and Mary did not become "one flesh" at the time they married. That is, they had no sexual relations until AFTER the birth of Yesu (Mt.1.24-25). Thus, their ACT of marrying did not include sexual relations. Note how this fact fits into the basic definition of moichaomai in Mt.19.9: "Whosoever shall put away his wife (not a sexual act), except it be for fornication, and shall marry another (marrying is not a sexual act), commiteth adultery (moichaomai):..." Since no sexual act is involved, "moichaomai" cannot mean sexual sin in this passage!

Some "pre-King James" translations use the word, "avowteria," or the phrase, "break marriage" to translate moichaomai. "Avowteria" is not listed in current dictionaries, but seems to mean "vow-breaking." Current German translations of Mt.19.9 do not use a word akin to "adultery," but translate moichaomai as "bricht die Ehe," which literally means "breaks the marriage." Accordingly, sexual activity is NOT part of the definition of moichaomai in a divorce context, and the use of the "adultery" words therein is incorrect.

The original meaning of the Greek "moich" words (3428 through 3432) has apparently been lost. Popular references (such as Thayer and Vine) give no etymology for the "moich words," but briefly translate them "adultery," etc. However, there ARE two reliable sources of information which allow us to determine the meaning of these words: 1. God's Ancient Revelation (AR/OT) Hebrew words as quoted by the Greek "moich" words in the God's First Century Revelation (FCR/NT), and 2. the Greek "moich" words in God's FCR.

AR USAGE: The seventh commandment of Ex.20.14 and Deu.5.18 is quoted in Mt.5.27, 19.18, Mk.10.19, Lk.18.20, Rom.13.9 and Jas.2.11, the Greek word moicheia (3430) being used to translate the Hebrew word na'aph (5003). Lev.20.10 uses na'aph to describe something wrong a man does concerning his neighbor's wife. The context through v.21 lists punishments for various sexual sins. Thus the meaning of na'aph in v.10 may involve "sexual immorality" (Greek: 4202 porneia) with the neighbor's wife, but it could also mean "unfaithfulness" to his own wife (Greek: a 3428-32 "moich" word), or both.

In Jer.3.6-10 the nations of Israel and Judah are personified, with Israel having committed "na'aph," and having been "put away" and "given a bill of divorcement" by God. Although sexual sin is involved, the primary thrust of v.8 appears to be Israel's unfaithfulness to God. Unfaithfulness to God or God's law is involved In every AR passage in which na'aph is used, and often also unfaithfulness to a spouse. A comprehensive word-study of na'aph would include a word such as "unfaithfulness" as a primary definition.

FCR USAGE: When Yesu responded to the request for a "sign" in Mt.16.4, he was not accusing that generation of sexual sin but of tempting God and being hypocritical (vv.1-3), both being forms of unfaithfulness. In Jas.4.4 moichalis describes people who are loyal and faithful to the world, and thus are unfaithful to God. In 2Pe.2.14, if the word "unfaithfulness" is substituted for the word "adultery" (moichalis) it can be seen that the context is much broader than just sexual sin. The context of vv.10-22 includes a wide variety of evils, all comprising unfaithfulness to God; and where sexual immorality (porneia) is implied, it may be considered to include "sexual unfaithfulness."

In Rom.7.3 faithfulness to a husband for as long as he lives is compared to faithfulness to the law (of Moses) for as long as it lasted (vv.1-6). Note that it was "marriage to another" ("putting away" being implied) which made her unfaithful, not the sexual relationship after the wedding; just as "putting away" the law and "getting married to evil" meant being unfaithful to God.

Examination of the other "moich" words also reveals in each one the underlying idea of disloyalty or unfaithfulness. By accepting him as Lord, those deciding to serve God enter an agreement or vow to serve him faithfully. Similarly, those who marry enter an agreement or vow with their spouse to be faithful. Thus, the "moich" words may include concepts of being unfaithful AND breaking an agreement or vow with God, with a spouse, or with both.

Moichalis describes one who is disloyal or unfaithful in his relationship to God and perhaps also to a spouse, as determined by the context. Current English usage of the word "unfaithful" includes the concepts of "disloyalty to a spouse" and "breaking an agreement." Thus the word "unfaithful" is an ideal translation for moichalis. See "break marriage, end marriage" (3429 moichaomai) for discussion of Mt.19.9. Comp. "sexual immorality" (4202 porneia). Translation:


UNFAITHFUL ONE Mt.12.39; 16.4. Mk.8.38. Jas.4.4.



3429 MOICHAOMAI (5): In Mt.5.32, both the woman who was "dismissed" (0630 apoluo) and her new husband commit moichaomai when they marry. Moichaomai here, is the one-time act of "dismissal" or "putting-away" (sexual immorality not being the reason for dismissal) and then marrying another. Note that dismissal plus then marrying causes moichaomai. Even though the woman was not the one who "put away," her marriage was broken. Their marriage was to be life-long (Rom.7.2-3) but marrying another man prevented her from lawfully rejoining her previous husband (Deu.24.4), so that her marriage was not only broken, but permanently ended. The unfaithfulness here is in violating God's instruction of Gen.2.24 to cleave (hold on to) his wife, as well as Yesu's command, "What God hath joined, let not man separate" (Mk.10.9). Additionally the one who puts away the spouse is unfaithful to their marital vow or commitment. See also the general discussion under "unfaithful" (3428 moichalis).

BREAK MARRIAGE Mt.5.32a; 19.9.
END MARRIAGE Mt.5.32b. Mk.10.11,12.

3430 MOICHEIA (3): Unfaithful activity. Comp. "unfaithful" (3428 moichalis) and (3429 moichaomai). In Mt.15.19 and Mk.7.22 the heart is specified as the place where unfaithfulness originates.

UNFAITHFULNESS Mt.15.19. Mk.7.22. Jn.8.3

3431 MOICHEUO (14): every usage includes unfaithfulness to God's law and unfaithfulness to a spouse. This is evident in Mt.5.27-28 where sexual unfaithfulness in a person's thoughts is specified as being "moicheuo," a violation of God's law. Note that the root meaning, "to be unfaithful," is always present. In Rev.2.20-22 there is an apparent comparison between acts of "sexual immorality" (4202 porneia) and the same acts from the viewpoint of being "sexually unfaithful" (moicheuo). See 3429 moichaomai for explanation of break/end marriage in Lk.16.18.) Comp. moichos (3432).

SEXUALLY UNFAITHFUL Mt.5.27,28; 19.18. Mk.10.19. Lk.18.20. Jn.8.4. Rom.13.9; 2.22,22. Jas.2.11,11. Rev.2.22.

3432 MOICHOS (3): One who is sexually unfaithful. In Heb.13.4 marriage seems to be considered in three relationships:

1) marriage as the honorable man-woman relationship everywhere,
2) sexual faithfulness in one's own marriage relationship, and
3) sexual unfaithfulness as condemned by one's relationship to God.

UNFAITHFUL ONE Lk.18.11. 1Co.6.9. Heb.13.4.


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