The Trick of the Woman Caught in Adultery

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Y’shua bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Y’shua stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Y’shua said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”  John 8:3-11

Some would say that Y’shua wasn’t obeying the Torah in this situation as he was overlooking the Law to punish such a woman.  They see this as freedom from the Law in this way because they see initially that Y’shua seems to have released her from her punishment.  But, when we look closer at this story, we see that this was a trick or a test from the Pharisees, as shown in verse 6.  Why was this a test on Y’shua?  It was a test to see if he not only knew Torah, but would follow it.

10 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of[a] his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. ”  Leviticus 20:10

We see here that the accusation of the Pharisees was incorrect. They were not following their own Law.  They were suppose to bring both parties to be accused, as well as the 2-3 witnesses, and they only brought the woman with them to this ‘head-hunt.’  Y’shua didn’t fall for their trap because he knew the Law and was to follow it perfectly.  He turned it back on them to cast the first stone because if they did, they would be, themselves, breaking the Laws of Moses.

On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge[a] the evil[b] from your midst.”  Deuteronomy 17:6-7

According to this law also, the witnesses (2 or 3 as a minimum) were to throw the first stones, as they were witnesses to the crime.  Where were these witnesses?  It was stated this woman was caught, but there were no accusers present.  And so, in this case, to whomever would be the first to throw the stone, would have added sin to their own life by committing the act of murder, which was also condemnation by death, as many would have been witness to their unjustified action.  This was definitely a trick, but it was a trick and test turned back to the Pharisees.

The Pharisees trick was to try to get Y’shua to break the law so that they would have something to accuse him against, yet, once again, he did not cave to their sinful requests.  He stayed faithful to the Word of Yahweh.