Numbers 5

1 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
2 commaunde the childern of Israel that they put out of the hoste all the lepers and all that haue yssues and all that are defyled apon the deed
3 whether they be males or females ye shall put them out of the hoste that they defyle not the tentes amoge which I dwell.
4 And the childern of Israel dyd so and put them out of the hoste: euen as the Lorde comaunded Moses so dyd the childern of Israel.
5 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
6 speake vnto the childern of Israel: whether it be man or woman whe they haue synned any maner of synne which a man doeth wherewith a man trespaseth agenst the Lorde so that the soule hath done amysse:
7 then they shall knowlege their synnes which they haue done and restore agayne the hurte that they haue done in the hole and put the fyfte parte of it moare thereto and geue it vnto him whom he hath trespased agenste.
8 But and yf he that maketh the amendes have no man to doo itto then the amendes that is made shalbe the Lordes and the preastes besyde the ram of the attonementofferynge where with he maketh an attonemet for hymselfe
9 And all heueofferynges of all the halowed thinges which the childern of Israel brynge vnto the preaste shalbe the preastes
10 and euery mans halowed thinges shalbe his awne but what soeuer any man geueth the preast it shalbe the preastes.
11 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
12 speake vnto the childern of Israell and saye vnto them. Yf any mans wyfe goo a syde and trespase agaynst hym
13 so that another man lye with her fleshely and the thynge be hydd from the eyes of hir husbonde and is not come to lighte that she is defyled (for there is no witnesse agenst her) in as moche as she was not taken with the maner
14 and the sprete of gelousye cometh apon him and he is gelouse ouer his wyfe and she defyled Or happely the sprete of gelousye cometh apon him and he is gelouse ouer hys wyfe ad she yet vndefyled.
15 The let hyr husbonde bringe her vnto the preaste and brynge an offerynge for her: the tenthe parte of an Epha of barlye meele but shall poure none oyle there vnto nor put frankencens thereon: for it is an offerynge of gelousye and an offerynge that maketh remembraunce of synne.
16 And let the preast brynge her and sett her before the Lorde
17 and let him take holy water in an erthen vessell and of the dust that is in ye flore of the habytacyon and put it in to the water.
18 And the preast shall set the wyfe before the Lorde and vncouer hir heed and put the memoryall of the offerynge in hyr handes whiche is the gelousye offerynge and ye preast shall haue bytter and cursynge water in his hande and he shall coniure her and shall saye vnto her.
19 Yf no man haue lyen wyth the nether haste gone asyde and defyled thy selfe behynde thy husbonde then haue thou no harme of this bytter cursynge water.
20 But and yf thou hast gone asyde behynde thyne husbonde and art defyled and some other man hath lyen with the besyde thyne husbonde
21 (and let the preaste coniure her with the coniuracyon of the curse and saye vnto her) the Lorde make the a curse and a coniuracyon amonge thy people: so that the Lorde make thy thye rotte and thy bely swell
22 and thys bytter cursynge water goo in to the bowels of the that thy bely swell and thy thye rotte and the wyfe shall saye Amen Amen.
23 And the preast shall wrytte this curse in a byll and wasshe it out in the bytter water.
24 And when the cursynge water ys yn her that it is bytter
25 then let the preast take the gelousy offerynge out of the wyfes hande and waue it before the Lorde and brynge it vnto the altare:
26 and he shall take an handefull off the memory all offerynge and burne it apon the alter and then make her dryncke the water
27 and when he hath made her drynke the water. Yf she be defyled and haue trespased agenst her husbond then shall the cursynge water goo in to her and be so bitter yt hir bely shall swell and hir thye shall rotte and she shalbe a curse amonge hir people.
28 And yf she be not defyled but is cleane then she shall haue no harme but that she maye conceaue.
29 This is the lawe of gelousye when a wyfe goeth a syde behynde hyr husbonde ad is defyled
30 or when the spirite of gelousye cometh apon a man so that he is gelouse ouer his wife: then he shall bringe her before the Lorde and the preast shall ministre all this lawe vnto her
31 and the man shalbe giltlesse and the wyfe shall bere hir synne.

Numbers 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The unclean to be removed out of the camp, Restitution to be made for trespasses. (1-10) The trial of jealousy. (11-31)

Verses 1-10 The camp was to be cleansed. The purity of the church must be kept as carefully as the peace and order of it. Every polluted Israelite must be separated. The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable. The greater profession of religion any house or family makes, the more they are obliged to put away iniquity far from them. If a man overreach or defraud his brother in any matter, it is a trespass against the Lord, who strictly charges and commands us to do justly. What is to be done when a man's awakened conscience charges him with guilt of this kind, though done long ago? He must confess his sin, confess it to God, confess it to his neighbour, and take shame to himself; though it go against him to own himself in a lie, yet he must do it. Satisfaction must be made for the offence done to God, as well as for the loss sustained by the neighbour; restitution in that case is not enough without faith and repentance. While that which is wrongly gotten is knowingly kept, the guilt remains on the conscience, and is not done away by sacrifice or offering, prayers or tears; for it is the same act of sin persisted in. This is the doctrine of right reason, and of the word of God. It detects hypocrites, and directs the tender conscience to proper conduct, which, springing from faith in Christ, will make way for inward peace.

Verses 11-31 This law would make the women of Israel watch against giving cause for suspicion. On the other hand, it would hinder the cruel treatment such suspicions might occasion. It would also hinder the guilty from escaping, and the innocent from coming under just suspicion. When no proof could be brought, the wife was called on to make this solemn appeal to a heart-searching God. No woman, if she were guilty, could say "Amen" to the adjuration, and drink the water after it, unless she disbelieved the truth of God, or defied his justice. The water is called the bitter water, because it caused the curse. Thus sin is called an evil and a bitter thing. Let all that meddle with forbidden pleasures, know that they will be bitterness in the latter end. From the whole learn, 1. Secret sins are known to God, and sometimes are strangely brought to light in this life; and that there is a day coming when God will, by Christ, judge the secrets of men according to the gospel, ( Romans 2:16 ) . 2 In particular, Whoremongers and adulterers God will surely judge. Though we have not now the waters of jealousy, yet we have God's word, which ought to be as great a terror. Sensual lusts will end in bitterness. 3. God will manifest the innocency of the innocent. The same providence is for good to some, and for hurt to others. And it will answer the purposes which God intends.

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a repetition of some former laws, concerning putting unclean persons out of the camp, Nu 5:1-4; making restitution in case of trespass against another, Nu 5:5-8; and of giving the offering of all holy things and all hallowed things to the priests, Nu 5:9,10; and a new law concerning jealousy, in a man, of his wife, Nu 5:11-14; when she was to be brought to the priest, and various rites and ceremonies to be used, Nu 5:15-23; who was to give her bitter water as a trial of her chastity, which, if guilty, would have a strange effect upon her, and make her accursed, but if not, would not affect her, and she would be free and happy, Nu 5:24-31.

Numbers 5 Commentaries

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