Because male-female rôles are different in a biblical marriage relationship, what may be adultery for a woman may not necessarily be adultery for a man. Most Christians are entirely ignorant as to what the Bible says about this subject and teach a doctrine of adultery which has been invented by the monogamy-only people.
"The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death" (Lev.20:10, NKJV).
"If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die -- the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel. If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbour's wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you" (Deut.22:22-24, NKJV).
These two passages comprehensively define what adultery is. The only modification that has been made to this was made by Yah'shua (Jesus) who spared an adulteress' life on condition that she never sinned in this area again, thus revealing the mercy and forgiveness of Yahweh whilst not minimising the seriousness of this moral transgression (John 8:3-12). We need to be perfectly clear what adultery is. A married or unmarried man commits adultery if he has sex with another man's wife (as King David did with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah) and the woman also becomes an adulteress. Yahweh describes this as a great evil. This is true whether the woman is fully married (having consummated the relationship per pro Genesis 2:23-24) or is betrothed (having entered marriage vows in the presence of witnesses without the relationship having been consummated). This is the only definition of adultery in the Bible.
Though it may surprise most Christians brought up in the European-American monogamy-only mindframe, a married man does not commit adultery if he has sex with an unmarried woman! This transgression is called fornication. The punishment under the Torah (Law) was not stoning to death but an obligation to marry the unmarried woman by taking her as a plural wife! (see Deut.22:28-29) Whether he is single or married, if he sleeps with her without the proper marriage vows, he is committing fornication and not adultery (see Gal.5:19 - "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness.." - NKJV). Adultery and fornication are not the same. (Note: Rape is not fornication and one who is raped is not obliged to marry her rapist).
In pointing these facts out we are not trying to suggest that fornication is not a sin, or that Yahweh is giving licence to married men to sleep around. Far from it. Paul calls fornication a "work of the flesh". Men do not have the right to sleep around. But they do have the right to take a second wife provided the regulations established by Yahweh are properly observed which we have already discussed. If any person declares plural marriage to be adultery, he is a liar, and - if they know the truth of Yahweh's Word - will, if they do not repent, share the same horrible fate:
"... the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev.21:8, NKJV).
How do you imagine Yahweh will view someone who accuses a man with several wives of being an adulterer when His Word justifies such a man and defends him, and when that person has been confronted with the truth of that Word? Will Elohim (God) look favourably on him? It is one thing to be ignorant, for then Yahweh is merciful and overlooks our transgressions (Acts 17:30); but once we know the truth, it is a terrible thing to deny it.
Plural marriage has never been, is not, and will never be, adultery!. Yahweh has sanctified biblical marriage - a man married to one or more women within sensible limits - with His Word, and woe unto any man or woman who defies Him!
Adultery is a serious crime against the Creator. In fact, there are two kinds of adultery in the Bible - there is adultery in marriage between men and women, and there is spiritual adultery when a believer breaks His covenants with Yahweh through His Son Yah'shua (Jesus). When a man or woman accepts Yah'shua (Jesus) as His Lord and Saviour, he enters into an allegorical marriage covenant with Him, as we have seen. He becomes a part of an allegorical plural bride. Christ's obligation to the believer is to grant pardon and salvation; the believer's obligation is to be an obedient allegorical wife in all things. That obedience entails obeying the Creator's commandments. Christianity is not, as many false Christians teach, simply accepting the Messiah (Christ) as Lord and Saviour and doing nothing else. What, then, is a Christian? The Bible tells us:
"Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Elohim (God) and the faith of Yah'shua (Jesus)" (Rev.14:12-13, NKJV).
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie" (Rev.22:14-16, NKJV).
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Elohim (God) and have the testimony of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rev.12:17, NKJV).
These Scriptures, and many others, are quite specific: We are saved by faith in the Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus), which is Christ's gift to us; our obligation, as a faithful allegorical Wife, and as one who will be granted the right to partake of the Tree of Life (eternal life) and enter the city (the paradisaical New Jerusalem, heaven), is our obedience to His Torah (Law) - His commandments. Anyone who tells you that we are not obligated as Christ's allegorical uniplural Wife to obey all the commandments is a liar. This obligation is repeated so many times in both the Old and the New Testaments that only the wilfully blind, or those being led by a false spirit, will ignore or dispute it, taking scriptures out of the context of the whole in order to justify the sins of their rebelliousness:
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of Eloah (God) is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:3-7, NKJV; also 3:22,24; 5:2-3; 2 John 6; John 15:10, etc.).
The punishment for spiritual adultery is no less than for physical adultery. To deny Yah'shua (Jesus) and Yahweh, having had a clear revelation of who They are, is to deny the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) which is unpardonable, and is punishable by spiritual death, because it is an allegorical marriage covenant. That is why Israel was punished so harshly when she turned to idolatry because Yahweh divorced her (Jer.3:8ff).
No man with more than one wife was ever put to death in biblical times for committing adultery. Ever. Yahweh, as we have seen, gave King David his wives and promised him more. Would our Heavenly Father conspire to make a man commit adultery? God forbid! If plural marriage were adultery or sinful in any way, would the Most High Creator God, Yahweh-Elohim, depict Himself as being allegorically married to two sister-wives? (Ezekiel 23:4, Jeremiah 3:6-14; 31:31-34) Would He use parables and analogies of Himself committing adultery or sin? Of course not! Would He reward His servants with several wives if doing so were a sin? Of course not! And were plural marriage a sin, then many of Yahweh's greatest men, whose works we are commanded to imitate (e.g. Abraham, John 8:39), would be hell-bound. God forbid!