Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, April 18th, 2024
the Third Week after Easter
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 5

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole BibleMorgan's Exposition

Verses 1-31

This section is devoted to arrangements emphasizing the necessity for the purity of the camp on the eve of the coming of the people into the land. All that were unclean were put outside the camp This does not, of course, mean they were left behind to perish, but that they were not allowed to march in their proper place with the tribes of their people. For the time being they were camp followers only, excluded until their purification was ensured according to the provision of the laws already given. Not only must there be ceremonial cleanness but moral rectitude. Under this command, restitution had to be made by all such as had in any way sinned against others.

In this application the possibility of jealousy within the marriage relationship was dealt with. The ordeal of drinking bitter water had no similarity to the ordeals by fire and poison of which we read in the history of the Dark Ages. The drinking of such water was perfectly harmless in itself. It was a challenge to God on the part of the woman to demonstrate her purity as against an unjust charge. There is no doubt that if a woman who had been guilty of infidelity consented to drink this water, evidence of her guilt would have been manifested, not by any action of the water, but by the direct intervention of Jehovah. The great lesson taught here is the necessity for the purity of the people as they were to enter into possession of the land

Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Numbers 5". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/numbers-5.html. 1857-84.
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