Numbers Chapter 5  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Num 5
Isolation of the Unclean

1Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  2“Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper and everyone who has a bodily discharge and whoever is unclean because of a dead person.
  3You must send out both male and female; you are to send them outside of the camp so that they do not defile their camp in the midst of which I dwell.”
  4The children of Israel did so, sending them outside of the camp. Just as Yahweh had spoken to Moses, thus did the children of Israel.

Confession and Restitution

5Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  6“Speak to the children of Israel: When a man or woman commits any sin that people commit, acting unfaithfully, yes, unfaithfully against Yahweh, and that soul is guilty,
  7then he is to confess his sin that he has done, and he is to make full restitution for his guilt, adding a fifth to it and giving it to the one who he has wronged.
  8But if the man has no kinsman-redeemer to whom restitution can be made for the guilt, the restitution for guilt is made to Yahweh; it is to be the priest’s, along with the ram of the atonement by which atonement is to be made for him.
  9Every heave offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel that they present to the priest is to be his.
  10And every man’s holy things are to be his. Whatever any man gives to the priest, it will be his.”

A Test for Adultery

11Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  12“Speak to the children of Israel and tell them: If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful, yes, unfaithful to him,
  13and a man lies with her and has an emission of seed, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she is undetected even though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she was not caught in the act,
  14but a spirit of jealousy comes on him and he is jealous of his wife, and she is defiled, or if a spirit of jealousy comes on him and he is jealous of his wife, but she was not defiled,
  15then the man is to bring his wife to the priest. He is to bring her approach offering for her: the tenth part of an ephah of barley flour. He is to pour no oil on it, nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to memory.

16“The priest is to bring her near and have her stand before Yahweh.
  17Then the priest is to take holy water in an earthenware vessel, and from the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest is to take some and put it into the water.
  18The priest is to stand the woman before Yahweh and loosen the hair of the woman’s head, and put the grain offering of remembrance in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy. The priest is to have in his hand the water of bitterness that brings a curse.
  19And the priest will put her under oath and will say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you, and if you have not turned aside to uncleanness with another man, being under your husband’s authority, be free from this water of bitterness that brings a curse.
  20But if you have gone astray, being under your husband’s authority, and if you defiled yourself and a man other than your husband gave you his emission—
  21then the priest must cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest is to say to the woman—“Yahweh make you a curse and a cause-for-oath among your people when Yahweh allows your thigh fall away and your body swell;
  22and this water that brings a curse will go into your bowels and make your body swell, and your thigh fall away. And the woman must say, ‘Amen, Amen.’

23“Then the priest is to write these curses on a scroll and he is to wash them off into the water of bitterness.
  24He will make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse will enter into her for bitterness.
  25The priest is to take the grain offering of jealousy out of the woman’s hand and is to wave the grain offering before Yahweh and bring it to the altar.
  26The priest is to take a handful of the grain offering as its reminder portion and burn it into smoke on the altar, and afterward he is to have the woman drink the water.

27“When he has made her drink the water, then it will happen, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful, yes, unfaithful to her husband, that the water that brings the curse will enter into her and become bitter, and her body will swell and her thigh will fall away, and the woman will become a curse among her people.
  28But if the woman did not defile herself, but is clean, then she will be free and she will be able to bear children.

29“This is the law of jealousy when a wife, being under her husband’s authority, goes astray and is defiled;
  30or when a spirit of jealousy comes on a man and he is jealous of his wife, then he is to have the woman stand before Yahweh and the priest will apply all this law to her.
  31And the man will be free from iniquity, but that woman will bear her iniquity.”

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