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Numbers 5 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Rules Concerning Those Unclean

Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the Israelites:[a] they must send everyone from the camp who is afflicted with a rash,[b] everyone with a fluid discharge, and everyone unclean through contact with a corpse. You will send away both male and female;[c] you will send them outside the camp.[d] They must not make unclean their camps where I am dwelling in their midst.” So the Israelites[e] did so. They sent them away outside the camp;[f] just as Yahweh spoke to Moses, so did the Israelites.[g]

Rules of Restitution

Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites:[h] ‘When a man or woman commits[i] any of the sins of humankind by acting unfaithfully, it is a sin against Yahweh, and that person will be guilty; they will confess their sin that they did and will make restitution for their[j] guilt by adding a fifth to it[k] and giving it to whomever was wronged.[l] But if the man does not have a redeemer to make restitution to him for the reparation, the reparation is to be given to Yahweh for the priest, in addition to the ram of atonement by which atonement is made for him. And every contribution of all the holy objects of the Israelites[m] that they bring to the priest for him will be his. 10 The holy objects of a man will be for him;[n] whatever he gives to the priest will be for him.’”

Rules Concerning an Unfaithful Wife

11 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Speak to the Israelites[o] and say to them, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and acts unfaithfully to him, 13 and a man sleeps with her and ejaculates and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and she is concealed, although she is defiled, and there is no witness against her and she was not caught, 14 if a spirit of jealousy comes over him, and he is jealous of his wife and she is defiled; or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife but she is not defiled, 15 he will bring his wife to the priest. And he will bring her offering for her, one-tenth of an ephah of flour. He will not pour oil on it, and he will not put frankincense on it because it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembering,[p] a reminding of guilt.

16 “‘Then the priest will bring her near and present her before[q] Yahweh; 17 the priest will take holy waters in a clay vessel, and from the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle, and the priest will put it into the waters. 18 And the priest will present the woman before[r] Yahweh, and he will uncover the head of the woman; he will then put in her hands the grain offering of the remembering—which is the grain offering of jealousy—and in the hand of the priest will be the waters of bitterness that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest will make her swear an oath, and he will say to the woman, “If a man has not slept with you, and if you have not had an impurity affair under your husband, go unpunished from the waters of bitterness that brings this curse. 20 But if you have had an affair under your husband, and if you are defiled and a man other than your husband had intercourse with you,” 21 the priest will make the woman swear an oath of the sworn oath of the curse, the priest will say to the woman, “May Yahweh give you a curse and a sworn oath in the midst of your people with Yahweh making[s] your hip fall away[t] and your stomach swollen; 22 and these waters that bring a curse will go into your intestines to cause your womb to swell and to make your hip fall away.”[u] And the women will say, “Amen. Amen.”

23 “‘And the priests will write these curses on the scroll, and he will wipe them off into the waters of the bitterness. 24 He will make the woman drink the waters of the bitterness that brings[v] a curse, and the waters of bitterness that bring a curse will go into her. 25 The priest will take the grain offering of jealousy from the hand of the woman, and he will wave the grain offering before Yahweh,[w] and he will present it to the altar; 26 the priest will grasp her memorial offering from the grain offering, and he will turn it into smoke on the altar, and afterward he will make the woman drink the waters. 27 When he has made her drink the waters, it will come about, if she has defiled herself and acted unfaithfully to her husband and the waters of bitterness that bring a curse go into her and her stomach swells and her hip falls away,[x] the woman will be as a curse in the midst of her people. 28 And if the woman is not defiled, and she is pure, she will go unpunished and be able to conceive children.

29 “‘This is the regulation of jealousy, when a woman has an affair under her husband and she is defiled, 30 or when a spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife, he will present the woman before Yahweh,[y]and the priest will do to her all of this law. 31 The man will go unpunished from guilt, and the woman, she will bear her guilt.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 5:2 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  2. Numbers 5:2 The precise meaning is uncertain; many modern translations suggest “leprosy”
  3. Numbers 5:3 Literally “from male until female”
  4. Numbers 5:3 Literally “to an outside place of the camp”
  5. Numbers 5:4 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  6. Numbers 5:4 Literally “to an outside place of the camp”
  7. Numbers 5:4 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  8. Numbers 5:6 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  9. Numbers 5:6 Literally “does”
  10. Numbers 5:7 Hebrew “his”
  11. Numbers 5:7 Literally “on top of it”
  12. Numbers 5:7 Literally “to whomever he was guilty”
  13. Numbers 5:9 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  14. Numbers 5:10 That is, the priest
  15. Numbers 5:12 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  16. Numbers 5:15 Or “memorial”
  17. Numbers 5:16 Literally “before the face of”
  18. Numbers 5:18 Literally “before the face of”
  19. Numbers 5:21 Hebrew “giving”
  20. Numbers 5:21 Or “waste away”
  21. Numbers 5:22 Or “waste away”
  22. Numbers 5:24 Hebrew “bring”
  23. Numbers 5:25 Literally “before the face of Yahweh”
  24. Numbers 5:27 Or “wastes away”
  25. Numbers 5:30 Literally “before the face of”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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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)

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