Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Jealousy Ritual
11 The Lord spoke to Moses: 12 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: If any man’s wife goes astray, is unfaithful to him, 13 and sleeps with another,[a] but it is concealed from her husband, and she is undetected, even though she has defiled herself, since there is no witness against her, and she wasn’t caught in the act; 14 and if a feeling of jealousy comes over the husband and he becomes jealous because of his wife who has defiled herself—or if a feeling of jealousy comes over him and he becomes jealous of her though she has not defiled herself— 15 then the man is to bring his wife to the priest. He is also to bring an offering for her of two quarts[b] of barley flour. He is not to pour oil over it or put frankincense on it because it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering for remembrance that brings sin to mind.
16 “The priest is to bring her forward and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then the priest is to take holy water in a clay bowl, and take some of the dust from the tabernacle floor and put it in the water. 18 After the priest has the woman stand before the Lord, he is to let down her hair[c] and place in her hands the grain offering for remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. The priest is to hold the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 The priest will require the woman to take an oath and will say to her, ‘If no man has slept with you, if you have not gone astray and become defiled while under your husband’s authority, be unaffected by this bitter water that brings a curse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has slept with you’— 21 at this point the priest must make the woman take the oath with the sworn curse, and he is to say to her—‘May the Lord make you into an object of your people’s cursing and swearing when He makes your thigh[d] shrivel and your belly swell.[e] 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your stomach, causing your belly to swell and your thigh to shrivel.’
“And the woman must reply, ‘Amen, Amen.’
23 “Then the priest is to write these curses on a scroll and wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He will require the woman to drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and it will enter her and cause bitter suffering. 25 The priest is to take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, wave the offering before the Lord, and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar. Then he will require the woman to drink the water.
27 “When he makes her drink the water, if she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings a curse will enter her and cause bitter suffering; her belly will swell, and her thigh will shrivel. She will become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is pure, she will be unaffected and will be able to conceive children.
29 “This is the law regarding jealousy when a wife goes astray and defiles herself while under her husband’s authority, 30 or when a feeling of jealousy comes over a husband and he becomes jealous of his wife. He is to have the woman stand before the Lord, and the priest will apply this entire ritual to her. 31 The husband will be free of guilt, but that woman will bear the consequences of her guilt.”Read full chapter