Adultery isn’t really a word we use in today’s world. We may say, “This person cheated on their spouse.” However, they mean the same things and God takes adultery very seriously. Before we look at what the word adultery means in Hebrew and Greek, I want to look at the 1828’s definition.

1. Violation of the marriage bed; a crime, or a civil injury, which introduces, or may introduce, into a family, a spurious offspring…

In common usage, adultery means the unfaithfulness of any married person to the marriage bed…

2. In a scriptural sense, all manner of lewdness or unchastity, as in the seventh commandment.

3. In scripture, idolatry, or apostasy from the true God. Jeremiah 3:8.

4. In old laws, the fine and penalty imposed for the offense of adultery”

Read the full definition of adultery here.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

What Does The Word “Adultery” Mean In Hebrew?

na’aph- to commit adultery; to apostatize.

To apostatize means to leave a church or abandon one’s faith they’ve once professed. In God’s eyes, being unfaithful in marriage and leaving the Christian faith is one of the same. That’s because Jesus is the bridegroom and we are the bride. Whenever we decide to worship something else or abandon Him, it’s like we’re cheating on our spouse and abandoning them.

What Does The Word “Adultery” Mean In Greek?

moichalis- adulterous; an adulteress.

This term is used in the natural sense in Romans 7:3 and 2 Peter 2:14. However, it’s also used in the spiritual sense in James 4:4.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

– James 4:4

During the time of Ezekiel, God describes Israel’s idolatry as harlotry.

“But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.”

-Ezekiel 16:15

Therefore, anyone who serves Christ is at risk of cheating on Him with idols in this world.

Mark 8:38

maichoa- to commit adultery. Used in Matthew 5:32 & Mark 10:11

maicheia- adultery. Found in Mattew 15:19; Mark 7:21; John 8:3; Galatians 5:19.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.”

– Mark 7:21-22

moicheuo- to commit adultery. Used in Mathew 5:27-28; Mark 10:19; Luke 16:18; John 8:4; Romans 2:22; James 2:11; Revelation 2:22

“Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.”

– Revelation 2:22


In the natural sense, the word adultery means to be unfaithful to one’s spouse. Yet, in the spiritual sense, it means to be unfaithful to God. All in all, God takes adultery really seriously and it’s a sin one needs to repent of. That’s what the word “adultery” means in Hebrew and Greek. Thanks for reading!

Looking for similar content? Check out these:

What does the word adultery mean in Hebrew and Greek?

What does the word "adulter" mean in "Hebrew and Greek?

Thanks for sharing!