First, we have to know what is meant by “adultery”. The proper context must be known or what can happen ,as I have often seen done , is that we will get a different picture of who this woman was that was brought to Jesus.
Adultery: Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse.
Adultery is not , as many assume, prostitution. Though the two could be intermingled. This was not the case in this incident.
Prostitution: the act or practice of providing another a sexual service for payment.
The woman who was brought to Jesus had to qualify as an adulterous. She had to first have been married. Unmarried prostitutes do not or cannot commit adultery.
She had to have been Jewish. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees had no jurisdiction over matters concerning gentiles. Not under Roman law. Which they had to adhere to. They did have the “authority” to stone to death a married, Jewish woman who was caught having sexual intercourse with someone other than her husband(s).
“In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. What do you say?”
The name Moses is the qualifier .
Moses only brought down from the mountain to the children 10 commandments from GOD. God told Moses not add or subtract one letter from these laws He had enjoined the children of Israel to.(Deut 4:2)
“Keep the commandments as I your Elohim lay them down for you.”
Where did the “other” laws come from? You know, like this one that goes contrary to “Thou shall not kill”?
Remember Jethro ,the High Priest of Midian? Father in law of Moses.
The national god of Midian was not Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, Elohim Adonai. It was Baal ( Ebol in Hebrew). Refer to Exodus 18. Refer to other sources also. Google it. Look in your library's encyclopedias.
While Moses is judging the cases of the Israelites Jethro approaches him and asks what he is doing. Moses responds that the Israelites come to me “ to bring their enquiries to God.” He judged their cases according to God’s statutes.
Jethro informed him that this was foolishness to take this upon himself without help.
Despite what God had told Moses ,Jethro convinced him that it would be more expedient to appoint amongst “judges” that would hear the smaller disputes. Of course, Moses would retain the more “difficult” cases. Many of these men who were “chosen” to become “judges” were from Zipporah’s, Moses’ wife’s family. Who do you think convinced the children of Israel to create the golden calf? These were indeed Moses relatives. Though Jethro( Reul) had rejoiced at Ehyeh asher Ehyeh’s delivery of Israel from the Egyptians hands he was still polytheistic and the high priest of Midian. He swore no allegiance to the ONE TRUE GOD!
He just paid lip service and deceived Moses into appointing men with ulterior motives and agendas. This is why many of the Levitical and Deuteronical laws donot align with the commandments of Elohim Adonai. And another reason the 40 years of purification.
So when the Pharisees and the teachers of the law came to Jesus they tried to trip Him up.
They tripped themselves up by indicating that the law Moses gave them commanded them to stone this woman to death.
What was Jesus writing on the ground? The Laws that Elohim gave to Moses. It wasn’t Moses that gave those ten commandments! It was Elohim Adonai.
The first one? “I am the Lord(Adonai) your God(Elohim) who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods!”That also included those that had attached themselves to the tribe of Israel. Like Jethro and Zipporah. If they were to enter into the land that was promised.
The first one He wrote was to counter their claim that Moses gave them the law.
The second one He wrote was to counter the claim that Moses instructed them to stone her to death.
“thou shall not Kill”.
Whether Moses instructed them or not to kill they were always required to follow God’s commandment. Not false dictates, doctrines ,traditions and customs of men.
Now whether the woman was actually caught in adultery is dependent on the credibility of her accusers. First they didn’t present the man she was supposedly caught with. And where was her husband to accuse her?
“thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”
Was this just more than hearsay? In Jewish courts evidence against the accused must have been presented. Cross examination. Witnesses.
So Jesus convicts them, after their continued questioning(John 8;7), of their sin by stating now,” If anyone of you is without sin let him be the first to stone her!”
Why should that have stopped them? They were intent on murder. They were from the beginning unconscionable .
These were evil men, yes, but learned men. Intelligent men. Who were really cowards who took no chances when confronted with consequences. What consequences? The fact that if they were caught murdering, bearing false witness and serving another god they just might be put to death themselves.
They were all very familiar with the Book of Daniel. And within that book, being scribes and Pharisees, they knew it contained the story of Susanna and the Judgement of Daniel( Daniel 13).
Susanna was God fearing ,and of great beauty, having been instructed by her “worthy” parents in the Law of Moses.
She had married a very wealthy man named Joakim who had built a garden that was attached to their house. He was well respected and many would visit him there.
Two elderly men had been selected from the people that year to act as Judges.Of them the Lord said,” Wickedness has come to Babylon through the elders and judges posing as guides to the people.”
These men were often at Joakim’s house in litigation. They would see Susanna walk in the garden at midday. These two elder judges used to watch her everyday as she came to take her walk and in time began to desire her(LUST). They hid this desire from themselves.
But in time caught each other in the act of lust. Instead of confessing and repenting, they only confessed their desires to each other and concocted away to entrap her during her bath in the garden when no one was there except her maidservants. Her maidservants had left to fetch some oil and balsam. They were viewing her from outside the gate. They demand that she open the gate so that they can enter and have sex with her and if she refuses they will they say that they caught her sleeping with a young man in the garden.
"Look," they said, "the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us; give in to our desire, and lie with us. If you refuse, we will testify against you that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you.""I am completely trapped," Susanna groaned. "If I yield, it will be my death; if I refuse, I cannot escape your power. Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt than to sin before the Lord." Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her, as one of them ran to open the garden doors. When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden, they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her. At the accusations by the old men, the servants felt very much ashamed, for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day, the two wicked elders also came, fully determined to put Susanna to death."
Susanna’s virtue is defended and vindicated by the young Daniel by cross examination of the two elders. They were caught bearing false witness against Susanna by their own testimony.
" But Susanna cried aloud: "O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be:you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me."
The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel, and he cried aloud: "I will have no part in the death of this woman."
All the people turned and asked him, "What is this you are saying?"
He stood in their midst and continued, "Are you such fools, O Israelites! To condemn a woman of Israel without examination and without clear evidence? "
“After being separated, the two men are questioned about details (cross-examination) of what they saw, but disagree about the tree under which Susanna supposedly met her lover. In the Greek text, the names of the trees cited by the elders form puns with the sentence given by Daniel. The first says they were under a mastic(υπο σχινον, hupo schinon), and Daniel says that an angelstands ready to cut (σχισει, schisei) him in two. The second says they were under an evergreen oaktree (υπο πρινον, hupo prinon), and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to saw (πρισαι, prisai) him in two. The great difference in size between a mastic and an oak makes the elders' lie plain to all the observers. The false accusers are put to death, and virtue triumphs.”
The contrast between the mastic tree, which is small, and the majestic oak emphasizes the contradiction between the statements of the two elders. In the Greek text there is a play on words between the names of these two trees and the mortal punishment decreed by Daniel for the elders.
I think that these accusers had a lot at stake, considering that they knew the power ,authority and wisdom of Jesus. Were they each going to take a chance at not only challenging Jesus but in falsely accusing someone without proof. At risk of their own death?
They each ,one by one ,departed. The one woman was left there alone with Jesus.
She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more."
I know what many of you will say. “She still committed adultery”. Now did she? Jesus never said she did, He only told her to go and sin no more. He did not condemn her for the sin she had committed. She did not confess and repent there on the spot to Jesus. He forgave her by not condemning her.
Jesus saved her life from violence and death. Daniel ,through the power of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom , also saved a beautiful, righteous woman from shame and death. Can you see what God Most High can do through you? If you know the truth. Yeshua's truth!