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Numbers 5:11-21Common English Bible (CEB)

A woman accused of adultery

11 The Lord spoke to Moses: 12 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: A man may suspect that his wife has had an affair[a] and has broken faith with him, 13 that a man has had intercourse with her unknown to her husband and that she has defiled herself in secret—even though there are no witnesses and she isn’t caught. 14 If jealousy overcomes him and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself, or if jealousy overcomes him and he is jealous of his wife who hasn’t defiled herself, 15 then the man will bring his wife to the priest. He will bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah[b] of barley flour. He will not pour oil on it, nor offer frankincense with it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a grain offering for recognition in order to recognize guilt. 16 The priest will bring her close and make her stand before the Lord 17 The priest will take holy water in a clay jar, and taking dust from the floor of the dwelling, the priest will place it in the water. 18 The priest will make the woman stand before the Lord, let the hair of the woman hang down, and place the grain offering for recognition, that is, the grain offering for jealousy, in her hands. The water of bitterness that brings the curse will be in the hands of the priest.

19 Then the priest will make her swear a solemn pledge, saying to the woman, “If no man has slept with you and if you haven’t had an affair, becoming defiled while married to your husband, then be immune from the water of bitterness that brings these curses. 20 But if you have had an affair while married to your husband, if you have defiled yourself, and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you”— 21 then the priest must make the woman utter the curse and say to the woman, “May the Lord make you a curse and a harmful pledge among your people, when the Lord induces a miscarriage and your womb discharges.


  1. Numbers 5:12 Or goes astray; see also 5:19-20, 29.
  2. Numbers 5:15 Two quarts; one ephah is approximately twenty quarts dry.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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