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God uses the word 'Adultery' for indulging in idolatry in the verse below Jeremiah 3:8-9:,

emphasis added to show Adultery with Idols

8 And I saw, when, forasmuch as backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, that yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot;

9 and it came to pass through the lightness of her harlotry, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks;

10 and yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto Me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD--

Why such a strange word or rather unusual euphemism was used for breaking the covenant, Hence wanted to know the significance of using this particular word?

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-1 You are asking to explain the fact that the word "adultery" is meant as a euphemism for idolatry, but have not explained how you know that to be so. –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 7:51
    
; but she also went and played the harlot; –  Ali Mar 6 '13 at 8:31
    
@DoubleAA morever the context is clearly idolatry –  Ali Mar 6 '13 at 8:35
    
It isn't a strange word if you understand that the relationship between god and the people is often presented as a metaphorical relationship. Cf shir hashirim –  Danno Mar 6 '13 at 10:55
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Though I haven't looked this up this passage seems to be saying that God divorced the kingdom of Israel which would explain their current exile but not the kingdom of Judah which played the harlots as well but was not divorced in this verse. –  Danno Mar 6 '13 at 11:46
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1 Answer

Elaborating on what @Dan mentioned in a comment, it is indeed a very common metaphor to depict the relationship between G-d and Israel as a relationship between a husband and his wife.

Indeed, in the Aseres haDibros (The 10 Commandments), the 2nd commandment on the first Tablet is idolatry, and the 2nd commandment on the 2nd Tablet is adultery.

There are, of course, more explicit connections - both in the prophets (the verse you quoted here, and in a different question of divorce, and the entire Shir haShirim [Song of Songs] is based on that allegory as well) and in Rabbinical literature, - Talmud and the midrashim.

It seems on a basec level, one of the reasons for the parallel is that both relationships are classically a model of giving and receiving, that is built on trust and experience, so the nature of the relationship is somewhat similar.

I am sure there are other deeper explanations, but I hope this is a good frist steip in your research.

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