John 8:6 Jesus writes in the sand

What did Jesus write in the sand in John 8:6? I know the Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus when wanting to stone the woman who had committed adultery, but what did he write in the sand? I am guessing maybe it was the name of some of the Pharisees? The bible does not say. Any ideas by you experts?


Not an expert by any means, but I’ve wondered the same myself. When I was younger I used to think that he was simply drawing a smiley face because “He knew He got them”. He maybe was writing one of the many verses that talks about ALL being sinners and ALL needing forgiveness because the Pharisees didn’t see that.
I was recently reading this verse and what stuck out to me and REALLY bothered me was that they brought the woman out in public to accuse her and punish her. What about the man who was also committing adultery?!?! I know that part of the issue was the culture back then (women were viewed as “less than” and also partly as property), but I’m amazed at the hypocrisy of it all.

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Yes and I am not clear on the trap they were setting. If Jesus disagreed, it would be against Moses’s law not to commit adulatory, but if agreed, she would get stoned by Roman law?, Not sure I fully understand that. Do you?

Hi all!

I’d like to firstly bring up that this story was not in the earliest manuscripts and that’s why it’s probably in brackets in your Bible and is outright excluded from some translations. We’re not sure where it came from, but we do know about when it began to appear. Kind of like Mark 11:26. Even so, it’s a great lesson!

What Jesus was “drawing” in the sand can only be conjecture since the Bible doesn’t say and therefore we have no way of knowing; however, I heard a pastor say one time that he figured that maybe Jesus was writing the names of the mistresses of the men standing around and that’s why one by one they all walked away. Cool thought.


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was reading a little more and you are right. In Deuteronomy it mentions the men be punished too. That is why they stressed they caught her in the act. Like the husband was no where to be found…thanks.

Hi Melsel
If he disagreed, he would be going against Moses’s law - they would call him a law breaker.
If He agreed she should be stoned and she was stoned , they could report him to the Roman authorities because the Romans kept capital punishment as their legal right to enforce.
The irony is that Jesus is above Moses and is the One who gave him the law. If the leaders were following the law, they would have recognized Jesus and who He was. They tried to trap Him but are trapped themselves.
Our attitude towards Him determines our fate.


@Melsell20: One of those questions we’ll never on earth know the answer to because we don’t need to know.
What we can do is look at the scene and perceive with our mind’s eye what took place. We know Jesus didn’t have to say a word in response to their persistent questions. Yet, He didn’t deny the law nor allow the woman to be stoned. We know the law that they were using to trap Jesus was the very law that accused them, having not brought the man involved. And, if these adulterous deeds were done in secret, how did they know where to find the couple? We know the woman was used as a pawn. We know that not one of them could confess he was without sin.

Some time ago, I marked alongside this passage Hosea 4:14:

"I will not punish your daugthers when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes-- a people without understanding will come to ruin!"

Although this verse refers to the Northern Kingdom before they fell to Assyria, the words are very apropos to this situation.

Whatever Jesus wrote trapped the men when they were intending to trap Him. But more than what was intended by His accusers, Jesus showed how He valued the woman (and women in general). He did what He came to earth to do: to show God’s love, forgiveness, justice, and mercy. So, more than this being a story of an attempt to trap Jesus or of a woman caught in adultery, it is a story of the redeeming nature of God…and that is what we need to know.

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Hey Melanie, today I came across this video ( It is from the Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat and he explains what Jesus wrote on the sand quoting Jeremia 17:13. The full explanation you find in the video. The explanation sounds very convincing and makes sense. But please prove all things (1.Thessalonians 5:21). I hope it is helpful to you. Greetings and Blessings

Wow, thanks so much. Interesting!!