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Numbers 5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

On Defilement

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the sons of Israel that they send away from the camp everyone with leprosy, everyone having a discharge, and everyone who is unclean because of contact with a dead person. You shall send away both male and female; you shall send them outside the camp so that they do not defile their camp where I dwell in their midst.” And the sons of Israel did so and sent them outside the camp; just as the Lord had spoken to Moses, that is what the sons of Israel did.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the Lord, and that person is guilty, then [a]he shall confess [b]his sin which [c]he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong and add to it a fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged. But if the person has no [d]redeemer to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution which is made for the wrong must go to the Lord for the priest, besides the ram of atonement, by which atonement is made for him. Also every [e]contribution pertaining to all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they offer to the priest, shall be his. 10 So every person’s holy gifts shall be his; whatever anyone gives to the priest, it becomes his.’”

The Adultery Test

11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, 13 and a man has sexual relations with her and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and she remains undiscovered, although she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act, 14 [f]if [g]an attitude of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has defiled herself, or if [h]an attitude of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself, 15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as [i]an offering for her a tenth of an [j]ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of reminder, a reminder of wrongdoing.

16 ‘Then the priest shall bring her forward and have her stand before the Lord, 17 and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware container; and [k]he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it in the water. 18 The priest shall then have the woman stand before the Lord and let down the hair of the woman’s head, and place the grain offering of reminder [l]in her hands, that is, the grain offering of jealousy; and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse. 19 And the priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, “If no man has had sexual relations with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, as you are under the authority of your husband, be [m]immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse; 20 if, however, you have gone astray, though under the authority of your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had sexual intercourse with you” 21 (then the priest shall have the woman swear with the oath of the curse, and the priest shall say to the woman), “may the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people by the Lords making your thigh [n]shriveled and your [o]belly swollen; 22 and this water that brings a curse shall go into your [p]stomach, to make your belly swell up and your thigh [q]shrivel.” And the woman shall say, “Amen, Amen.”

23 ‘The priest shall then write these curses on a scroll, and he shall [r]wash them off into the water of bitterness. 24 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 [s]and cause bitterness. 25 And 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; 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering as its reminder offering and offer it up in smoke on the altar, and afterward he shall make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then it will 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 [t]and cause bitterness, and her belly will swell up and her thigh will [u]shrivel, and the woman will become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, she will be [v]immune and conceive [w]children.

29 ‘This is the law of jealousy: when a wife, who is under the authority of her husband, goes astray and defiles herself, 30 or when [x]an attitude of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife, he shall then have the woman stand before the Lord, and the priest shall apply all of this law to her. 31 The man, moreover, will be free of [y]guilt, but that woman shall bear the consequences of her [z]guilt.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 5:7 Lit they
  2. Numbers 5:7 Lit their
  3. Numbers 5:7 Lit they have
  4. Numbers 5:8 I.e., male relative to act in his behalf
  5. Numbers 5:9 Or uplifted offering
  6. Numbers 5:14 Lit and
  7. Numbers 5:14 Lit a spirit
  8. Numbers 5:14 Lit a spirit
  9. Numbers 5:15 Lit her offering
  10. Numbers 5:15 About 1 cubic foot or 0.03 cubic meters
  11. Numbers 5:17 Lit the priest
  12. Numbers 5:18 Lit on her palms
  13. Numbers 5:19 Lit free from
  14. Numbers 5:21 Lit collapsed
  15. Numbers 5:21 Possibly the womb, and so throughout the ch
  16. Numbers 5:22 Or inward parts
  17. Numbers 5:22 Lit collapse
  18. Numbers 5:23 Lit wipe
  19. Numbers 5:24 Lit for bitterness
  20. Numbers 5:27 Lit for bitterness
  21. Numbers 5:27 Lit collapse
  22. Numbers 5:28 Lit free
  23. Numbers 5:28 Lit seed
  24. Numbers 5:30 Lit a spirit
  25. Numbers 5:31 Or wrongdoing
  26. Numbers 5:31 Or wrongdoing
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Numbers 5 New International Version (NIV)

The Purity of the Camp

The Lord said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease[a] or a discharge of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body. Send away male and female alike; send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them. The Israelites did so; they sent them outside the camp. They did just as the Lord had instructed Moses.

Restitution for Wrongs

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way[b] and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for the wrongdoer. All the sacred contributions the Israelites bring to a priest will belong to him. 10 Sacred things belong to their owners, but what they give to the priest will belong to the priest.’”

The Test for an Unfaithful Wife

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[c] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

“‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.

23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[e] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the Lord and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 5:2 The Hebrew word for defiling skin disease, traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  2. Numbers 5:6 Or woman who commits any wrong common to mankind
  3. Numbers 5:15 That is, probably about 3 1/2 pounds or about 1.6 kilograms
  4. Numbers 5:21 That is, may he cause your name to be used in cursing (see Jer. 29:22); or, may others see that you are cursed; similarly in verse 27.
  5. Numbers 5:26 Or representative
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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