Expel “unclean” people. Make restitution for sin. A jealous husband.
VERSE 1. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 2. “Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever is unclean by a corpse.
put out of the camp. This was done for the reason of Public Health.
VERSE 3. You shall put both male and female outside of the camp so that they don’t defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell.”
that they not defile their camp. The reason for expelling “unclean” people was to prevent a disease from becoming an epidemic.
However, in our day, many people read this and imagine sickness itself is incompatible with closeness to the LORD God.
They imagine that if you are spiritually awakened and free from sin, you will be healthy. And if you are in a state of sin, you will be ill.
The Lord Jesus Christ turned this around. He freely associated with lepers and cured them.
However, many Christians still assume that sickness is a sign of sin.
VERSE 4. The children of Israel did so, and put them outside of the camp; as the LORD spoke to Moses, so the children of Israel did.
VERSE 5. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 6. “Speak to the children of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit, so as to trespass against the LORD, and that soul is guilty,
VERSE 7. then he shall confess his sin which he has done; and he shall make restitution for his guilt in full, add to it the fifth part of it, and give it to him in respect of whom he has been guilty.
add to it the fifth part of it. They had to not only make restitution for their wrongdoing, but also to add a further 20%. Was this meant as an incentive to stop doing wrong?
VERSE 8. But if the man has no kinsman to whom restitution may be made for the guilt, the restitution for guilt which is made to the LORD shall be the priest’s, in addition to the ram of the atonement, by which atonement shall be made for him.
VERSE 9. Every heave offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they present to the priest, shall be his.
VERSE 10. Every man’s holy things shall be his; whatever any man gives the priest, it shall be his.’ ”
VERSE 11. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 12. “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him,
If any man’s wife goes astray. This section provides a way of dealing with a wife whom the husband suspects was sexually unfaithful.
However, there is no corresponding section for dealing with a husband whom the wife suspects was sexually unfaithful to his wife.
VERSE 13. and a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and this is kept concealed, and she is defiled, there is no witness against her, and she isn’t taken in the act;
hidden from the eyes of her husband. The husband didn’t witness anything. He has no proof.
this is kept concealed. Nobody witnessed anything. Nobody has proof.
there is no witness against her. Nobody witnessed anything. Nobody has proof.
she isn’t taken in the act. She wasn’t caught in the act.
VERSE 14. and the spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife and she is defiled; or if the spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife and she isn’t defiled;
if the spirit of jealousy comes on him. We wonder if these jealousy offerings exist to protect wives from insecure husbands?
The jealousy offering provided an official way to deal with a husband’s insecurity, while preventing him from killing his wife.
VERSE 15. then the man shall bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring her offering for her: one tenth of an efah of barley meal. He shall pour no oil on it, nor put frankincense on it, for it is a meal offering of jealousy, a meal offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to memory.
an efah. One efah is about 22 liters or about 2/3 of a bushel.
VERSE 16. The priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD.
VERSE 17. The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and the priest shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.
VERSE 18. The priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman’s head go loose, and put the meal offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal offering of jealousy. The priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that brings a curse.
the meal offering of jealousy. It is a “jealousy” offering.
VERSE 19. The priest shall cause her to take an oath and shall tell the woman, “If no man has lain with you, and if you haven’t gone aside to uncleanness, being under your husband’s authority, be free from this water of bitterness that brings a curse.
VERSE 20. But if you have gone astray, being under your husband’s authority, and if you are defiled, and some man has lain with you besides your husband—”
VERSE 21. then the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall tell the woman, “May The LORD make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the LORD allows your thigh to fall away, and your body to swell;
allows your thigh to fall away. What does this mean? Here is how several other translations render it:
NIV translation: makes your womb miscarry
NLT translation: causing your womb to shrivel
GNT translation: cause your genital organs to shrink
GWT translation: make your uterus drop
VERSE 22. and this water that brings a curse will go into your bowels, and make your body swell, and your thigh fall away.” The woman shall say, “Amen, Amen.”
your thigh fall away. See our comments in verse 21 above.
VERSE 23. “ ‘The priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall wipe them into the water of bitterness.
VERSE 24. He shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that causes the curse; and the water that causes the curse shall enter into her and become bitter.
VERSE 25. The priest shall take the meal offering of jealousy out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the meal offering before the LORD, and bring it to the altar.
VERSE 26. The priest shall take a handful of the meal offering, as its memorial portion, and burn it on the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water.
VERSE 27. When he has made her drink the water, then it shall happen, if she is defiled and has committed a trespass against her husband, that the water that causes the curse will enter into her and become bitter, and her body will swell, and her thigh will fall away; and the woman will be a curse among her people.
VERSE 28. If the woman isn’t defiled, but is clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive offspring.
shall conceive offspring. Or “seed.”
VERSE 29. “ ‘This is the law of jealousy, when a wife, being under her husband, goes astray, and is defiled,
VERSE 30. or when the spirit of jealousy comes on a man, and he is jealous of his wife; then he shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute on her all this law.
or when the spirit of jealousy comes on a man. Men are prone to jealousy. It can destroy a relationship.
Maybe this jealousy offering provides an official way to deal with a husband’s jealousy.
VERSE 31. The man shall be free from iniquity, and that woman shall bear her iniquity.’ ”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.