The Adultery Test
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, and a man has intercourse with her and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and she is [a]undetected, although she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act, [b]if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has defiled herself, or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself, the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as [c]an offering for her one-tenth of an [d]ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity.
‘Then the priest shall bring her near and have her stand before the Lord, and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and [e]he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. The priest shall then have the woman stand before the Lord and let the hair of the woman’s head go loose, and place the grain offering of memorial [f]in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse. The priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be [g]immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse; if you, however, have gone astray, being under the authority of your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you” (then the priest shall have the woman swear with the oath of the curse, and the priest shall say to the woman), “the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people by the Lord’s making your thigh [h]waste away and your abdomen swell; and this water that brings a curse shall go into your [i]stomach, and make your abdomen swell and your thigh [j]waste away.” And the woman shall say, “Amen. Amen.”
‘The priest shall then write these curses on a scroll, and he shall [k]wash them off into the water of bitterness. Then he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings a curse, so that the water which brings a curse will go into her [l]and cause bitterness. The priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, and he shall wave the grain offering before the Lord and bring it to the altar; and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering as its memorial offering and offer it up in smoke on the altar, and afterward he shall make the woman drink the water. When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse will go into her [m]and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will [n]waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, she will then be free and conceive [o]children.
‘This is the law of jealousy: when a wife, being under the authority of her husband, goes astray and defiles herself, or when a spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife, he shall then make the woman stand before the Lord, and the priest shall apply all this law to her. Moreover, the man will be free from [p]guilt, but that woman shall bear her [q]guilt.’”
- Numbers 5:13 Lit concealed
- Numbers 5:14 Lit and
- Numbers 5:15 Lit her
- Numbers 5:15 I.e. Approx one bu
- Numbers 5:17 Lit the priest
- Numbers 5:18 Lit on her palms
- Numbers 5:19 Lit free from
- Numbers 5:21 Lit fall
- Numbers 5:22 Or inward parts
- Numbers 5:22 Lit fall
- Numbers 5:23 Lit wipe
- Numbers 5:24 Lit to
- Numbers 5:27 Lit to
- Numbers 5:27 Lit fall
- Numbers 5:28 Lit seed
- Numbers 5:31 Or iniquity
- Numbers 5:31 Or iniquity
Law of the Nazirites
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man or woman makes a [a]special vow, the vow of a [b]Nazirite, to [c]dedicate himself to the Lord, he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. All the days of his [d]separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin.
‘All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.
‘All the days of his separation to the Lord he shall not go near to a dead person. He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord.
‘But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day. Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. The priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him [e]concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head, and shall dedicate to the Lord his days [f]as a [g]Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled.
‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring [h]the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting. He shall present his offering to the Lord: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering, and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering. Then the priest shall present them before the Lord and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering. He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering. The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall take the ram’s shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the [i]hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his [j]dedicated hair. Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.’
“This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the Lord according to his separation, in addition to what else [k]he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation.”
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
So they shall [l]invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”
- Numbers 6:2 Or difficult
- Numbers 6:2 I.e. one separated
- Numbers 6:2 Or live as a Nazirite
- Numbers 6:4 Or living as a Nazirite, and so through v 21
- Numbers 6:11 Lit because of that which he sinned
- Numbers 6:12 Or of dedication
- Numbers 6:12 I.e. one separated
- Numbers 6:13 Lit it
- Numbers 6:19 Lit palms
- Numbers 6:19 Or separated
- Numbers 6:21 Lit his hand can reach
- Numbers 6:27 Lit put