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Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew [paraphrasing] "if you look at a woman and lust for her, you have already sinned in your heart."

In proverbs, they say, [again, paraphrasing] "let her [the companion of your youth] breasts satisfy you."

Is that not lust? Aren't these two messages contradicting each other?

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up vote 30 down vote accepted

The context of Matthew is adultery--relations with a woman who is not your wife. The context of Proverbs is marriage--relations with the woman who is your wife. The difference is quite substantial.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 ESV

Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. Proverbs 5:18-19 NAS

God actually created sexual intimacy to be fully enjoyed within the marriage relationship. Adultery, however, is a corruption of that holiest of relationships which destroys intimacy. Thus, it is strictly forbidden in both thought and deed, for our own good.

So, there is no contradiction at all.

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I thought adultery was relations with a married woman. Do you take adultery to mean relations with any woman to whom you are not married? –  user1477388 Jun 13 '13 at 13:14
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@user1477388 I would suggest that the prohibition against adultery includes all sexual intimacy outside of marriage. If the only prohibition were to married individuals, then people could elect not to get married and then be free to have as many partners as they wanted. It would be a pretty difficult case to make that this was God's intent. God created the marriage relationship as the first human to human relationship. –  Narnian Jun 13 '13 at 13:20
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