Mt 5:32—Gr., πορνεία (por·neiʹa); Lat., for·ni·caʹti·o
The Greek word por·neiʹa covers a broad meaning. Bauer, p. 693, says under the word por·neiʹa that it means “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.”
Commenting on Jesus’ words in Mt 5:32 and Mt 19:9, TDNT, Vol. VI, p. 592, says that “πορνεία [por·neiʹa] refers to extra-marital intercourse.” Therefore, the Scriptures use the term por·neiʹa in connection with married persons. The same dictionary, on p. 594, in connection with Eph 5:3, 5, says that Paul “realises that not every one has the gift of continence, 1 C. 1Co 7:7. As a protection against the evil of fornication the [single] man who does not have [continence] should take the divinely prescribed way of a lawful marriage, 1 C. 1Co 7:2.” Hence, the Scriptures use the term por·neiʹa also in connection with unmarried persons engaging in unlawful sex relations and practices.—See 1Co 6:9.
B. F. Westcott, coeditor of the Westcott and Hort Greek text, in his work, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, London and New York, 1906, p. 76, comments on the various meanings of por·neiʹa in the Scriptures in a note on Eph 5:3, saying: “This is a general term for all unlawful intercourse, (I) adultery: Hos. ii. 2, 4 (LXX.); Matt. v. 32; xix. 9; (2) unlawful marriage, I Cor. 5:1 v. I; (3) fornication, the common sense as here [Eph 5:3].” By “the common sense” evidently reference is made to the modern, limited, sense involving only unmarried persons.
In addition to this literal meaning, in certain places in the Christian Greek Scriptures por·neiʹa has a symbolic meaning. Concerning this meaning ZorellGr, col. 1106, says under por·neiʹa: “apostasy from the true faith, committed either entirely or partially, defection from the one true God Jahve to foreign gods [4Ki 2Ki 9:22; Jer 32:9; Ho 6:10 etc.; for God’s union with his people was considered like a kind of spiritual matrimony]: Re 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2.” (Brackets his; 4Ki in LXX corresponds to 2Ki in M.)
In the Greek text por·neiʹa occurs in the following 25 places: Mt 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Mr 7:21; Joh 8:41; Ac 15:20, 29; 21:25; 1Co 5:1, 1; 6:13, 18; 7:2; 2Co 12:21; Ga 5:19; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1Th 4:3; Re 2:21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2.
The related noun porʹnos, rendered in NW as “fornicator,” occurs in the following ten places: 1Co 5:9, 10, 11; 6:9; Eph 5:5; 1Ti 1:10; Heb 12:16; 13:4; Re 21:8; 22:15. LS, p. 1450, defines this word as meaning “catamite, sodomite, fornicator, idolater.”