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There Is No Compensation for Adultery
Proverbs 6:34-35 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
34 For jealousy enrages a man,
and he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35 He will not accept any ransom;
nor will he be willing though you give many gifts.
For jealousy enrages a man: Here, jealousy (קִנְאָה qinah) is not the jealousy that one might think it to be. This Hebrew word refers to righteous jealousy, an appropriate desire for what one has the right to, like the husband of the wife, who has been committing adultery with another man, such as the one from 6:25-33. Here in this context man (גֶּבֶר geber) is not being used as any man or all men but rather in the sense of maleness or manliness of those who are rightly enraged and have a case of righteous jealousy over having to lose the affection of their wife to another man. Enrage is a word rendered for a Hebrew word (חֵמָה chemah) that literally means venom, snake poison, but also carries the meaning of furry, a feeling of intense anger, wrath, and rage. This is a powerful feeling of displeasure, hostility, resentment, and bitterness for being wronged. This is an extension of the burning feeling, the heat that one feels when they are worked up over a great injustice, which has put them in emotional strife and turmoil.
And he will not spare in the day of vengeance: The expression will not spare means that the husband of the adulteress wife will not restrain his vengeful heart. The day of vengeance (נָקָם naqam) is coming for the man who stole his wife. The husband is going to punish, inflict retribution on this man; that is, he is going to be justified in his repaying back the harm that he himself has had to suffer. The husband is going to harm this man for the emotional injury that he has caused him, he will show him no mercy.
He will not accept any ransom: Here accept ransom or compensation (RSV, ESV, LEB) is literally “lift up the face of any.” The expression “lift the face” means ‘showing consideration for’ another. In other words, the husband of the adulteress wife will show no consideration; he will not accept any kind of payment or compensation for the man who stole his wife. The adulterous man can offer no payment, no ransom, or any kind of compensation that will turn back the husband’s vengeance.
Nor will he be willing though you give many gifts: Here, the verb willing means that the husband will never agree, consent, or accept, to be satisfied, appeased, or compensated for being wronged by this adulterous man, regardless of how many gifts he may offer. The husband will not be dissuaded from taking action.
One cannot restore what he took in the case of adultery; it is a damage in which a lifetime of labor would never satisfy. There is no pity or restitution for adultery. The name of the one who has committed such an act was forever to feel ashamed because he knew he had done something horribly wrong. Because there is no possible way of bringing justice to such a grievous sin, the penalty under the Mosaic Law for adultery was death for both guilty parties. – Deuteronomy 22:22-24.