Rambam says that gentile woman are liable for adultery ONLY when they are married and commit sex with another man in a NATURAL WAY (vaginal).

So if a gentile husband allows his wife to have sex in a non-natural way with other men, that is not considered adultery, right? As only natural way is adultery so no sin is involved.

Rambam's quote: Melachim u'Milchamot - Chapter 9:7

  • 1
    Isn't your question just a restatement of your original assertion?
    – shmosel
    Sep 1, 2023 at 20:04
  • 3
    It might not be full-on adultery, but it is definitely very very bad.
    – N.T.
    Sep 3, 2023 at 3:44
  • i would like to get the quot where rambam said about only normal intercourse
    – eeerrrttt
    Sep 3, 2023 at 5:49
  • i think i found the quot: Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 9:7
    – eeerrrttt
    Sep 3, 2023 at 6:15

1 Answer 1


Just to isolate your question.

If a non-jew had ביאה שלא כדרכה, unnatural relations, with another non-jewish married woman without the permission of her husband he is חייב מיתה. This is explicit in the מנחת חינוך מצוה לה for the reason of גזל not עריות.

If a non-jew had ביאה שלא כדרכה, unnatural relations, with another forbidden incest other than a married woman (as listed in the rambam) he is also חייב מיתה. This is explicit in the כסף משנה on the rambam.

The question at hand is if he gives permission. What essentially is being asked are there situations that a noachide is forbidden to do something although he is not חייב מיתה. The source for forbidden sexual related actions that are the act of sexual relations itself is sourced from ויקרא פרק יח פסוק ו. אִ֥ישׁ אִישׁ֙ אֶל־כׇּל־שְׁאֵ֣ר בְּשָׂר֔וֹ לֹ֥א תִקְרְב֖וּ לְגַלּ֣וֹת עֶרְוָ֑ה אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָֽה׃ {ס}  This is brought in numerous Rishonim like the הר"ן על עבודה זרה ט, א, בדפי הרי"ף and the rambam as well amongst others that claim this pasuk is the source that forbids to touch, stare, hug, kiss any woman who is forbidden as ערוה. Eventhough this would seemingly be a source that would forbid a non-jew with any sexually related acts(see תוספת יום כיפורים), according to the כסף משנה and others this is limited to ערוה only, a married non-jewish woman is not forbidden as ערוה, since the source is from "ודבק באשתו והיו לבשר אחד" and not from "איש איש". See סנהדרין נח' ע"ב.

The only other source I found that might allude to a prohibition of לא תקרבו would be from רשי מגילה יב ע"ב, which Rashi says Achashverosh and Vashti were committing adultery when he asked her to appear nude in his party. But I couldn't find anyone who sources from here explicitly.

In my opinion, there is no issur in the context of the given question, however I believe chazal held if a non-jew delivers his wife to another man even for ביאה שלא כדרכה, there is no greater act of divorce possible, as a non-jew who only needs to "send her from his home" according to the Rambam in order to divorce her. And in this scenarios she is no definitely no longer his wife to even consider this an act of adultery.

I have a strong proof from Sanhedrin 82. There is an argument regarding one of the reasons of a decree of the court of Hashmonaim prohibiting relations with a non-jew. רב דימי holds relations with a non-jew is like (and leads to ) אישות - relations with a married woman, and רבין disagrees because אישות לית להו. As Rashi explains "שסתם כותית מופקרת ולא מיוחדת לבעלה ולא דמי לאשת איש".
רב דימי holds "ודאי נשייהו לא מפקרי". This clearly indicates in both opinions that if they would be מפקיר their wives, they would not be considered married.     

  • It seems intuitive that extra marital affairs are inherently immoral. I would therefore say that your answer mainly highlights that we have scant discussion in our sources on the halachot of non-Jews, and therefore I appreciate your attempt to make your own chiddush in the final paragraph. It would be nice to see a good source agreeing with that and fleshing out all the details. Either way, a very good attempt at an answer, much appreciated and looking forward to learning more from you. Welcome to Mi Yodeya
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 3, 2023 at 16:02
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    @RabbiKaii From a halachic standpoint Chazal only discussed the details of ז' מצוות בני נח in which they are חייב מיתה. That just includes what they are liable for in this world in a court system according to the Torah. General שכר ועונש in עולם הבא is also applicable for many other things such as מידות טובות (ע' אגרות משה ח"ד קלה) and immorality. איוב יח-א, he was careful on הסתכלות המותרת, see merforshim. The biggest proof for sexual immorality is the ה"א in Sanhedrin, that ביאה שלא כדרכה would be forbidden even with his own wife, which is the פשוט פשט in the pasuk, ודבק באשתו.
    – Ben
    Sep 3, 2023 at 20:25

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