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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 5

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-31

Chapter 5

Now in chapter five they are told to cleanse the camp by putting out every leper and those that have any kind of an issue from their body, who is and those that have been defied, defiled by touching a dead body. And God didn't want any type of defilement in the camp where he dwells. So the children of Israel did so. They put out of the camp those that were leprous, those that had any runny-type of sores and those who had been defiled by touching dead bodies.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, [verse five] saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or a woman shall commit a sin that men commit, to trespass against the LORD, the person is guilty; they shall confess their sin which they have done: and then they shall recompense in their trespass and offer, actually, before the Lord; the ram of the atonement whereby an atonement shall be made for him. And an offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel. And every man hallowed thing shall be his: whatsoever man hath given the priest, it shall be his ( Numbers 5:5-10 ).

And so then we have this law of jealous husbands. Now if a woman has had an affair and her husband doesn't know it, she doesn't get pregnant, hasn't been found out,

but if a spirit of jealously would suddenly come on a husband, and he had wondered whether or not his wife was really being faithful to him; then he was to bring his wife before the priest, with an offering for her, of a tenth part of an ephah of barley; [which would be a tenth part, would be about a couple quarts] he shall pour no oil upon it, or put any frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, bring iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: And the priest shall take the holy water in an earthen vessel; and the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it in the water: And then he is to charge this woman with a severe oath and she is to drink this bitter water: And he said, If you have been unfaithful to your husband may this water cause your belly to swell and your stomach to rot ( Numbers 5:13-21 ):

And the woman would have to drink the bitter water and then wait for the consequences. And if her stomach would swell and all then she was considered guilty and was put out, but if there was no ill effect then she was considered to be innocent, and her husband's jealousy was unfounded.

Imagine if you had an extremely jealous husband and every week you're drinking this bitter water. Man, you women have come along way. That would, that would really be tragic, be difficult indeed if your husband was an extremely jealous kind of a person always hauling you in before the priests and going through this routine and making you drink that bitter water. So, that's the law of jealousies and when the spirit of jealousy comes on a husband and all.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Numbers 5". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/numbers-5.html. 2014.
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