The Bible in Its Traditions

Numbers 5:11–31

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11  and YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying

11  And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

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12  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: If any man's wife go aside, and act unfaithfully against him,

12  Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whosesoever wife shall transgress against him, and slight and despise him,

12  “Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them: The man whose wife will have gone astray, and, disdaining her husband,

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13  and a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, she being defiled secretly, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken in the act;

13  and supposing any one shall lie with her carnally, and the thing shall be hid from the eyes of her husband, and she should conceal it and be herself defiled, and there be no witness with her, and she should not be taken;

13  will have slept with another man, and if her husband cannot discover it, but the adultery is secret, and if it cannot be proved by witnesses, because she was not caught in the shameful act,

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14  and the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled; or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled;

14  and there should come upon him a spirit of jealousy, and he should be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled; or there should come upon him a spirit of jealousy, and he should be jealous of his wife, and she should not be defiled;

14  if the spirit of jealousy stirs up the husband against his wife, who either has been polluted or is being assailed with a false suspicion,

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15  then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is a meal-offering of jealousy, a meal-offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.

15  he shall bring her to the priest, and he shall offer an oblation for her, a tenth part of native barley meal. He shall not pour oil over it, nor shall he place frankincense on it, because it is a sacrifice for jealousy, or an oblation investigating adultery.

16  And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before YHWH.

16  Therefore, the priest shall offer it, and he shall set it in the sight of the Lord.

17  And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water.

17  And he shall take up holy water in an earthen vessel, and he shall cast a little earth from the pavement of the tabernacle into it.

18  And the priest shall set the woman before YHWH, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal-offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal-offering of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causeth the curse.

18  And while the woman stands before the Lord, he shall uncover her head, and he shall place over her hands the sacrifice of recollection and oblation of jealousy. But he shall take hold of the most bitter waters, in which he has gathered curses with loathing.

19  And the priest shall cause her to swear, and shall say unto the woman: 'If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness, being under thy husband, be thou free from this water of bitterness that causeth the curse;

19  And he shall bind her by an oath, and he shall say: ‘If another man has not slept with you, and if you have not been polluted by forsaking the bed of your husband, these most bitter waters, into which I have gathered curses, shall not harm you.

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20  but if thou hast gone aside, being under thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee besides thy husband--

20  But if you have turned away from your husband, and also have been defiled, and have lain together with another man,

20  But if you have done wrong by having lain with another man besides your husband, and if you have defiled yourself, and some other man has lain with you besides your husband;

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21  then the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman--YHWH make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the YHWH doth make thy thigh to fall away, and thy belly to swell;

21  these curses shall be thrown upon you: May the Lord turn you into a curse and an example among all his people. May he cause your thigh to rot, and may your abdomen swell up and burst out.

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22  and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, and make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to fall away'; and the woman shall say: 'Amen, Amen.'

22  May the cursed waters enter into your stomach, and may your womb swell and your thigh rot.’ And the woman shall respond: ‘Amen, amen.’

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23  And the priest shall write these curses in a scroll, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness.

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24  And he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that causeth the curse; and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her and become bitter.

24  And he shall cause the woman to drink the water of the conviction that brings the curse; and the water of the conviction that brings the curse shall enter into her.

24  and he shall give it to her to drink. And when she has emptied it,

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25  And the priest shall take the meal-offering of jealousy out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the meal-offering before YHWH, and bring it unto the altar.

25  the priest shall take from her hand the sacrifice of jealousy, and he shall elevate it before the Lord, and he shall impose it upon the altar. Yet only after he first

25  Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar

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26  And the priest shall take a handful of the meal-offering, as the memorial-part thereof, and make it smoke upon the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water.

26  takes a handful of the sacrifice from that which is offered, and burns it upon the altar, and then he may give the most bitter waters to the woman as a drink.

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27  And when he hath made her drink the water, then it shall come to pass, if she be defiled, and have acted unfaithfully against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away; and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

27  And when she drinks it, if she has been defiled, and, having despised her husband, is guilty of adultery, the curse shall pass through her, and as her belly swells up, her thigh shall decay, and the woman shall become a curse and an example to all the people.

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28  And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be cleared, and shall conceive seed.

28  But if the woman have not been polluted, and be clean, then shall she be guiltless and shall conceive seed.

28  But if she has not been defiled, she shall be unharmed and she shall bear children.

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29  This is the law of jealousy, when a wife, being under her husband, goeth aside, and is defiled;

29  This is the law for jealousy. If a woman has turned aside from her husband, and if she has been polluted,

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30  or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon a man, and he be jealous over his wife; then shall he set the woman before YHWH, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.

30  or in the case of a man on whomsoever the spirit of jealousy should come, and he should be jealous of his wife, and he should place his wife before the Lord, and the priest shall execute towards her all this law.

30  and if the husband, being stirred up by the spirit of jealousy, has brought her before the sight of the Lord, and the priest has acted toward her according to all that has been written

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31  And the man shall be clear from iniquity, and that woman shall bear her iniquity.

31  then the husband shall be without guilt, and she shall bear her iniquity.”

31  Then the man shall be blameless from guilt, but the woman shall bear her iniquity.