Adultery and the Death Penalty

Are all adulterers suppoesd to die in the bible? When looking at Lev 20:10 and Deut 22:22 some people assume this means that ALL adultery is punishable by death. The story in John 8:1-11, about the woman caught in adultery being judged by Jesus, is usually what comes into the modern mind. However, there are alternatives to death based on the conditions in which the adultery is discovered. Jesus said in Matt 19:9 that divorce is allowed if someone commits adultery. This is based on Deut 24:1 which says that a man can divorce his wife if uncleanness is found in her. The Hebrew word translated as uncleanness is ervah (עֶרְוָה). This “uncleanness” or indecency, likely refers to some kind of wickedness like badmouthing, attempting to poison her husband, committing adultery, etc. Anything that breaks the marriage covenant and adultery definitely breaks the marriage covenant.

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