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ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 5:27-28 1881 (WHNU)

28 εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο βλεπων γυναικα προς το επιθυμησαι [αυτην] ηδη εμοιχευσεν αυτην εν τη καρδια αυτου

English translations usually render the verse as follows.

Matthew 5:27-28 (NASB)

28 "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Matthew 5:28 Berean Literal Bible

"But I say to you that everyone looking upon a woman in order to lust after her already has committed adultery with her in his heart."

From Strong's Lexicon (Bible Hub)

who looks at

βλέπων (blepōn)

Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular

Strong's Greek 991: (primarily physical), I look, see, perceive, discern. A primary verb; to look at.

Is it possible that Jesus was not referring to a casual immoral thought, but rather the seriousness of one who continuously "keeps on looking" and which may arouse passionate desire , that may lead to adultery.

Question: Could the verse Matthew 5:28, then be translated as follows or otherwise to infer this meaning?

"But I say to you that everyone "who keeps on looking" at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

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I would translate Matt 5:28 as:

But I say to you that everyone looking to/upon/at a woman in order to lust [over] her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The operative verb βλέπων (blepōn) is Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular. [Thus, "looking" is a reasonable translation. Note that the verb is not present continuous which would make the translation more like "continuing to look".]

Note that Jesus' injunction here is not the act of looking at a woman, but the act of looking with the intention to cultivate lustful thoughts. The commentary by Ellicott expresses the idea this way:

The intent is more strongly marked in the Greek than in the English. It is not the passing glance, not even the momentary impulse of desire, but the continued gaze by which the impulse is deliberately cherished till it becomes a passion.

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