Numbers 5:11-31 NIV

The Test for an Unfaithful Wife

11 Then the LORD said to Moses,

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      12 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man's wife goes astray1 and is unfaithful to him

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          13 by sleeping with another man,2 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),

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          14 and if feelings of jealousy3 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--

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          15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephaha4 of barley flour5 on her behalf. He must not pour oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy,6 a reminder7 offering to draw attention to guilt.

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            • c 5:15 - That is, probably about 2 quarts (about 2 liters)
              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 hair8 and place in her hands the reminder offering, the grain offering for jealousy,9 while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.10

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                  19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, "If no other man has slept with you and you have not gone astray11 and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse12 not harm you.

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                      20 But if you have gone astray13 while married to your husband and you have defiled yourself by sleeping with a man other than your husband"--

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                          21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse of the oath14--"may the LORD cause your people to curse and denounce you when he causes your thigh to waste away and your abdomen to swell.b

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                            • d 5:21 - Or "causes you to have a miscarrying womb and barrenness"
                              22 May this water15 that brings a curse16 enter your body so that your abdomen swells and your thigh wastes away.c " " 'Then the woman is to say, "Amen. So be it.17"

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                                • e 5:22 - Or "body and cause you to be barren and have a miscarrying womb"
                                  23 " 'The priest is to write these curses on a scroll18 and then wash them off into the bitter water.

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                                  24 He shall have the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water will enter her and cause bitter suffering.
                                  25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the LORD 19 and bring it to the altar.

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                                  26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial offering20 and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water.

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                                  27 If she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, then when she is made to drink the water that brings a curse, it will go into her and cause bitter suffering; her abdomen will swell and her thigh waste away,d and she will become accursed21 among her people.

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                                    • f 5:27 - Or "suffering; she will have barrenness and a miscarrying womb"
                                      28 If, however, the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, 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 astray22 and defiles herself while married to her husband,

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                                        • 35 5:29 - S ver 19
                                          30 or when feelings of jealousy23 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.

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                                            • 36 5:30 - S ver 14
                                              31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences24 of her sin.' "

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