314. In the spiritual sense committing adultery means adulterating the various kinds of good in the Word and falsifying its truths. These meanings of committing adultery have until now been unknown, because the spiritual sense of the Word has until now been hidden. It is perfectly plain from the following passages that this and nothing else is meant in the Word by 'committing fornication, committing adultery, and whoring.'
Run up and down the streets of Jerusalem, and seek to find a man who acts righteously and seeks the truth; when I gave them plenty, they went after whores. Jer. 5:1, 7.
Among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen horrible obstinacy, in committing adultery and going about lying. Jer. 23:14.
They acted foolishly in Israel, they went after whores, and spoke my Word untruthfully. Jer. 29:23.
They went after whores, because they have abandoned Jehovah. Hosea 4:10.
I will cut off the soul which pays attention to soothsayers and fortunetellers, to go whoring after them. Lev. 20:6.
No treaty is to be made with the inhabitants of the land, for fear the people should go whoring after their gods. Exod. 34:15.
Since Babylon stands pre-eminent in adulterating and falsifying the Word, that is why she is called the great prostitute, and the following things are said about her in Revelation:
Babylon has given all nations to drink from the wine of anger of her whoring. Rev. 14:8.
The angel said, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute, with whom the kings of the earth have gone whoring. Rev. 17:1, 2.
He has judged the great prostitute, who corrupted the earth with her whoring. Rev. 19:2.
It was because the Jewish nation falsified the Word that it was called by the Lord 'an adulterous generation' (Matt. 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38) and 'the seed of an adulterer' (Isa. 57:3). In many other passages too adulteries and whoring are to be understood as meaning adulteration and falsification of the Word: e.g. Jer. 3:6, 8; 13:27; Ezek. 16:15, 16, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33; 23:2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 14, 17; Hosea 5:3; 6:10; Nahum 3:4.