30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
For those who say “sex is just an appetite,” here is some food for thought. A person will starve without nourishment, and will compromise morality for the sake of survival. This is the least hated form of theft, as we all understand the dilemma. But with adultery, which is the most hated form of theft, the existential danger is on the other side. One theft is a shameful means of survival, the other is an idiotic means of self-destruction.
“Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.” The thief may not be despised, but that does not excuse him from justice. Mosaic law requires restitution of theft (Exodus 22), the one who was stolen from must be repaid. But sex is more than an appetite, and adultery is far more than theft – restitution is not possible with adultery. And the law reflects this, as it is a capital crime (Leviticus 20:10). The juice, as they say, is never worth the squeeze.