Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 6:34
"For jealousy enrages a man, and he will not spare in the day of vengeance"
This is the Hebrew word qinah which means ardor, zeal, jealousy. This is a very strong emotional word. One becomes passionate or consumed by something to where its loss or its pleasure is all-important. This is that word.
“Do not forget, my young would-be adulterer,” Solomon the man of wisdom reminds, “that this person you are contemplating violating is connected to another person and when that emotion is stirred up, it will not be pretty.”
Solomon is walking young men especially around the whole of adultery and looking at the seduction, the aftermath for the perpetrator, the aftermath for the seduced, the aftermath for the injured parties not involved in the adultery, and so on. He is forcing you to see all the storylines that lead out from this evil action. This act will start storylines that you will wish had not been started.
This is the Hebrew word chemah which means heat, rage, anger. Solomon is saying that strong emotions of jealousy – which involves possession of what is precious – releases a level of action and energy that transforms a man into doing what he would not normally do.
Anger is the reaction to not getting one’s expectations fulfilled. When those expectations involve having your prized possessions violated or stolen, then the energy in that anger is white hot and will impel people to do things they would normally not even think of, let alone have the energy to do.
Unfortunately we have seen this kind of energy be displayed over and over again in divorce proceedings and separation settlements. So much of what takes place in these things is spite and the desire to get back at the other person for what they have done to you.
We are, unfortunately, returning to a way of thinking and acting whereby a person who feels that they were done wrong by the legal or justice system will exact their pound of flesh out of the offending party even if it means they spend the rest of their life in jail.
This is the Hebrew word chamal which means to spare, to have compassion, to show pity. The truth that Solomon is bringing out here is that marital infidelity seems to wipe out a person’s compassionate nature. The idea of mercy to a person who violated this most sacred trust does not compute to the person who has been wronged. Solomon is right that there is little, if any, mercy once adultery has taken place. We see this in the venom in divorce cases and the murderous rage in many men whose wives have cheated on them. This does not excuse the rage or the violence that a person may do, Solomon is just pointing out to the person who is tempted to break a marriage vow that there will be little or no mercy once it is found out. So don’t do this.
This is the Hebrew word naqam which means vengeance. The idea in that day was that those involved in meting out justice to offending parties were often the offended. Solomon sees that consequences for adultery would come from the offended spouse and since their heart was so enraged at having their dearly beloved ripped from them, there would be no mercy when it came time to punish the offender. In our modern era there has been a more broad application of biblical principles, such as an unemotional person deciding the consequences and punishment for offenders. But I find that many are still after direct vengeance for those who wrong them. This is strong reason not to mess with adultery.
As we look at Solomon’s advice here that is built on solid observation and channeled through God’s inspiration, it is important to not fall for the false promises of lust and adultery. Of all the sins a person can commit this one carries levels of ongoing toxicity that others do not. You may think you are having a great time but you will be destroying your life. Do not commit adultery.