Numbers Chapter 5 Discussion

  • GiGi on Numbers 5 - 1 year ago
    Number Chapter 5 continued

    The woman who is guilty of adultery may become infertile from then on, not because the bitter water would make her so, but because God brings this on her as a judgement for her sin. The symptoms are from God, revealing her sin to the priest and to her husband, since there is no witness to the adultery, having been kept a secret between the woman and the man she committed adultery with. The lack of symptoms will show that the woman did not sin against her husband and that his jealousy is unwarranted. They are then free to continue in their marriage with the jealousy atoned for. The woman will be able to bear children as would be normal in marriage.

    This section does not deal with the man who committed adultery. I don't know why, but this chapter shows the procedure to be followed if a man suspects his wife of committing adultery. Perhaps there would be another place in Scripture that would speak about what a wife would do if she suspects her husband of committing adultery.

    This section lets us know how God values fidelity in marriage. He ordained it from the beginning with Adam and Eve. And Jesus confirms the importance of marital fidelity in Matt. 5; Mk 10; and Lk 16.
  • GiGi on Numbers 5 - 1 year ago
    Numbers chapter 5

    This chapter has several sections:

    What to do with those who have become unclean from diseases such as leprosy or an issue of blood or issue from a skin disease, from touching one who is dead. These people are to camp outside of the whole camp of Israelites until they are determined to be clean by the priest and the Law God gave concerning such uncleanness.

    Section two speaks about what men and women are to do when they commit a sin. They are to confess their sin, either to God, to the one they offended, or to the priest. They are to recompense their trespass by an increase of one-fifth the worth of the damage of the trespass. If the person offended against is not alive or has a kinsmen, then the recompense is to be made to the LORD through the priest.

    Section three speaks of voluntary offerings made by the people. Whatever thingof value a person wishes to offer to the Lord shall be given to the priest and the priest will now possess it.

    The other section speaks about what is to be done when a husband suspects his wife of committing adultery, even though their is no concrete proof. He is to bring to the priest a jealousy offering to the priest along with his wife. The priest is to burn some of the jealousy offering on the altar. The priest will bring the wife before the LORD and she shall drink the potion that the priest creates from holy water and dust from the floor of the tabernacle. Then the priest will charge the woman with the accusation of adultery and she will drink the bitter water prepared. If she is guilty, her belly shall swell and thighs rot. If not guilty she will be unaffected by the bitter water and will continue to be able to bear children.

    It seems that if the woman is guilty, she will have some sort of infection in her bowels or uterus that will cause he great discomfort and cause her to have a foul issue, either from her bowel or from her uterus. This is may be some sort of disease that prevents the pregnancy....cont.
  • AFC on Numbers 5 - 1 year ago
    What is the need for the priest to use an oath of cursing?
  • Richard H Priday - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 1 year ago
    NIV apparently indicates that her "womb will miscarry" while other versions seem to indicate just a physical condition making childbirth impossible. In either case; after that point physical malady occurs. This penalty is no more severe than that of David when he sinned committing adultery with Bathsheeba then summarily sending her husband Uriah to his death deliberately being put on the front lines of battle. ( 2 Samuel 12; also see Psalm 51). The sin of adultery was a capital offense as well as murder so only the grace of God could supersede this. In the case of the woman mentioned in Numbers; there was no proof corroborated beyond the husband's suspicions (2 or more witnesses were needed to enact punishment). Therefore; the Lord used this method to determine supernaturally guilt or innocence. We see with David's child as well as in this hypothetical case that surely occurred with real life examples that a child would die as the result of God's judgment for behavior of someone else. This is different than man's arbitrary decision to terminate life and peculiar to the Jews. The soul of the child was never in question here; but it shows how the sin of one can affect others; and we can't pretend to understand all of God's ways.

    Again; this showed the seriousness of God's covenant marriage relationship. It says nothing of how someone not engaged who commits fornication would be treated; other scriptures state that a man should marry a virgin in that instance; and there are other verses that say he must stay married if he finds nothing appealing in a wife (we see Leah having more kids to prove that point). Since adultery was a capital punishment; then by default sadly if she was already conceiving a child it would become part of the "collateral damage".

    We should see from this the seriousness of marriage and how it holds the framework of a society together. God used this concept of a Theocracy with His chosen people in that dispensation.
  • Chris - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 1 year ago
    Hi Diego. I don't believe that Numbers 5:27 supports abortion. As you have probably read the whole chapter, specifically from verses 12 to 31, you can see that determining the guilt is intended & not the destruction of the embryo.

    If the husband becomes suspicious of his wife, that she has been unfaithful to him, his wife would be brought to the priest for judging whether the husband's anger & suspicions are warranted. When the priest applies the test of the 'bitter waters', with the curse that if "her belly does not swell nor her thigh rot", then she is innocent & she will be able to become pregnant by her husband. But if guilty, then she will suffer physically & be a cast-off from society. These verses don't speak of whether conception had taken place if she was guilty - but certainly her organs around the belly might well include the womb which no longer would be able to bear children. I don't see anything more than the suffering of a guilty woman or the health of an innocent woman.
  • Diego Garcia on Numbers 5 - 1 year ago
    Does Numbers 5:27 support abotion?
  • Richard H Priday on Numbers 5 - 2 years ago
    The first four verses involving touching the dead or a leper certainly can raise some controversy. It should be remembered that first of all there was a ceremonial uncleanness from such things which were not sin (although result from being in contact with a fallen world). Secondly; the fact that Naaman the Syrian was healed at a later date by the Prophet (Elijah or Elisha can't remember which); it stands to show a forerunner of sorts of Christ being able to cause healing to breach that gap with the Father.

    Verses 5 through 10 show the law of restitution with a one fifth addition to payback. It also indicates how this transgression can be forgiven at that time when the party affected cannot be recompensed. It appears that is the "trespass" mentioned here; and certainly it would be fair to say that a reformed thief today should attempt to do the same sort of thing; at least for the base amount owed.

    The rest of the chapter once again covers a theme quite commonplace in scripture; but not discussed much. The Lord would see fit; in that time for a test to determine when no obvious answer was evident as to whether a wife had cheated on her husband. For adultery; the death penalty was the law. This chapter shows how the Lord would disallow for childbearing in these circumstances with a curse. The innocent woman would not be affected. This is sort of an analogy to the book of Kings once again when the bitter poisonous water was made sweet. The truth surely comes out; and those who commit adultery are under a curse unless they get right with God; and that would include getting out of marriages considered such in scripture as well.
  • Jeff on Numbers 5:17 - 3 years ago
    What made the water holy? Because

    It was within the holy of holies?
  • S Spencer - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    Hi Jacklyn, I meant to say it shows no evidence of pregnancy, another one of my famous misprints. thanks
  • Steven Spencer - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    Hi jacklyn, If I. may add to what chris has stated. May I refer you to Deuteronomy 28:18 ( KJV )Cursed shall be the fruit of thy "body," and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Here is where body is used as womb in this verse in Hebrew-

    Hebrew: Transliteration: been

    Pronunciation: beh'-ten

    Definition: From an unused root probably meaning to be hollow; the {belly} especially the womb; also the bosom or body of anything: - {belly} {body} + as they be {born} + {within} womb.

    KJV Usage: belly(30x), womb(31x), body(8x), within(2x), born(1x).

    Occurs: 72

    In verses: 72. In Deuteronomy Ch 28 God list a bunch of curses that he would put on Israel if they disobedient, A curse on the womb was one. Woman able to bare children was a blessing, and when they couldn't they thought they were cursed, I believe Sarah thought she was cursed, the verse seems to state if she was guilty then she wouldn't be able to conceive seed as Chris said, It shows evidence of pregnancy. Thanks
  • Chris - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    Jackyln, I see it this way, if we want to see that an abortion being supported here, then we can, as we can do with other Scriptures that teach on matters of theology or on human living. We can take the many instructions by God to Israel to go to war & wipe out people, including women & children. Does this make God some type of vicious ogre keen on destruction? Or is there another reason for such an instruction? Does it then given us licence to kill another because we believe that in doing so we fulfil God's requirement to destroy all who oppose Him or us?

    If murder is sin, & I believe you will concur, then it comes down to whether the seed (or, the life) in the womb can be subjected to murder or not. And this of course, is the core of the matter between the pro-life & pro-choice adherents. Govts. walk a fine line: if they are too harsh & strong on one issue, then their tenure is very short at the polls. So they try & appease both sides by setting a last date for the termination of the foetus, hoping that the one side will be convinced & the other side can proceed with removal of the foetus to their relief. So the question is: at which point does life begin?

    With that in mind, that murder is sin, I understand Numbers 5:28 to read: "However, if the woman is innocent of the charge by not being affected by the 'potion' given her, then she is no longer to be condemned & her womb will be healthy to conceive." You're thinking in terms of a 'seed' already there to become a foetus, whereas I see that there is no seed, rather an instruction that the woman's womb will be healthy (unlike the guilty woman's) to be able to produce babies. If the word 'miscarry' is seen elsewhere, then of course, it's up to those translators. Looking at the Hebrew for this verse, "and shall conceive seed": 'she shall be free & may conceive children' - she may fructify (to bear fruit) or become pregnant.

    The point of this passage is: the state of the womb, not whether she was carrying a seed.
  • Dianne - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    Jacklyn maybe this will help when God gave Moses the law he knew man wouldn't keep them so he showed the consequences of actions committed by sin, even in the new testament apostle paul had to correct the corinthian church on acts of incest. It was still up to people whether to obey or not. When it came to noah God said He was the only righteous man on the planet i. e. the only person that loved God. So all other humans were absolutely lawless which is why God closed the arch not noah.
  • Adam - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    Hello, there's a lot of assumptions being made here and I don't believe this is talking about abortion.

    And it would take even greater mental gymnastics to twist it in attempt to justify mass murdering babies. That would be pure evil. Innocent precious fetuses are made in God's image as it says in scripture, God knitted them together in the womb. Jeremiah 1:5. This verse says this baby lept for joy in the womb. Luke 1:44 Would you have tried to kill Him? Many more verses: Link What about their rights to life? Satan is behind all these attempts to dehumanize innocent cute babies, just like Nazis did to dehumanize the Jews. As Christians we will not tolerate such hate and will stand against this vile evil with all of our power. I will call out this lie every time I hear it and will never back down. There is no reason for abortion- a horrible mom can still get out of parental responsibility by letting a loving family adopt and love the child. Problem solved. But then you have totally evil moms who are deceived into these lies thinking murder is ok. Nice try.

    The other logical fallacy is in claiming 'it says it in the Bible so it's ok'. The Bible talks about the many evils they have done through history, like murder, so according to that logic it justifies murder and committing all other sins? That's crazy to conclude that. There's an obvious difference between history and instruction. Luke 1:44

    Finally, it's awful convenient how none of the people trying to justify murdering babies wants to be murdered themselves. They just want to kill others and not be subject to the same 'rights' they claim their own mom should have had over them. Total double standard. Basically, it's pure evil and wickedness to kill people. If it's illegal and wrong to kill unborn animals then obviously it's wrong to destroy God's creation of people. I don't believe a true Christian could support such evil.
  • Jacklyn - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    Excuse me?
  • Jacklyn - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    I continue to see the topic of abortion continue.

    The text says the following:

    "And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed." This line alone suggests that there was in fact a "seed" to conceive. The seed being a fetus of course. In my bible (New American Bible), the alternative line is "If, however, the woman has not defiled herself, but is still pure, she will be immune and will still be fertile." the single word "still" implies that she was fertile before the offering and that by consuming the offering after sleeping with another man, she would no longer be fertile (a forced miscarriage). I think it is also safe to say that protection (condoms at the least) were not an option back in the day and women who had intercourse (sex if we may) would presumably conceive.

    This is merely the selective phrasing of the King James Bible. In other texts, I have found that the word "miscarry" is used directly.

    Also if we were to look at the effects of a miscarriage, they are excessive bleeding from the uterus and discolored/odored discharge which would mean that the phrase "rotting of the thigh" would be a somewhat accurate description of the bodily response to a miscarriage. The smell and look of the thighs after a miscarriage would resemble rotting. This text was written based on the observation of man, who must have seen the effects of a miscarriage. And since this miscarriage was forced by drinking an offering, it would technically be an abortion.

    Of course, I am looking into science and literature. Not just one. So I am welcome to more explanations. Now I am not justifying abortion in my text (my social views are private) but I would like to base my beliefs on the bible. And if the bible justifies abortions, well... no further comment needed.
  • Ontop - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    It is better if you wasn't born....message to the betrayal
  • Chris - In Reply on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    I don't believe that this portion of Scripture speaks of an abortion. There is no indication at all that she conceived from an illicit relationship, rather, that if her husband suspected her of engaging in such relationship & then brought her to the priest for administering the Jealousy Offering, then the results of the consumption of the offering would determine what would happen to her.

    If she didn't suffer as a result, then she was free to go, as the Lord showed the priest that she was guiltless & she would still be able to become pregnant. However, if she was found guilty, then what seems to be a swelling of the belly (uterus?) & rotting of the thigh (?) would be her punishment for the rest of her life. I would imagine that she would have suffered continually because this affliction coming upon her, & possibly her other internal organs also being affected as a result. And of course, the ignominy of being found unfaithful to her husband made her a curse & cause of gossip amongst the people.

    Of course, we're not told of what happened, if at all, to the man with whom she committed adultery.
  • Jacklyn Flynn on Numbers 5:27 - 3 years ago
    I am curious...

    Is this talking about abortion? If the woman (from my understanding) had intercourse with another man and got pregnant, then the fetus would die... but if she was impregnated by her husband (thus not committing adultery) then she will continue to conceive the child. In my bible, instead of the word "thigh," the word "uterus" is used, implying an abortion.
  • Lily on Numbers 5:5 - 4 years ago
    Does the bible tell us what hairstyle we have to wear.
  • Ras Kofi - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    There are two aspects here, regarding men. Firstly, when a man and a married woman are caught in adultery they were both to be punished by death. Secondly, a married man need not fornicate since he was allowed several wives.
  • Artie K vanlandingham - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    Yes, But if a woman could hide adultery without being cursed by her thigh rotting then men would know nothing about raising another seed besides his own. Adultery fornication have no difference in the weight of sin. Which is the secret Balaam told the king, which caused young female fornicators to be sent into the camp of Israel. His reward gained money, but also death. America has adopted it.
  • Cynthia Bromback - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    The womans secret would be adultery not pregnancy.
  • Artie K vanlandingham - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    Hatred or enmity came from the opinion of the first woman who debated Gods word and want occurred. That's why The scripture say's The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want instead of only fear. The first male sinned through being ignorant and tried to blame the woman. That's why the she goat sacrifice was required by Moses from that man. That's why men rule over the woman now.
  • Artie K vanlandingham - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    It's true that Numbers 5 has no mention of pregnancy, but in spiritual terms the bitter water also represents the curse of enmity because like water or waters we are all swimming together in it and also in Revelations. The dirt or soil in the Holy tent was considered sacred since it was under the red dyed rams skins. The swelling of belly rot of the thigh was a way of finding a woman's secret.
  • Cynthia Bromback - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    Nothing is ever said about a pregnancy or termination in that scripture.
  • Jim - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    Why discuss carnal act with another man and the woman's womb? In this context, it's pretty clear what God is directing Moses to do.
  • Stanjett - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    Not so. The man and the woman was stoned.
  • Artie vanlandingham - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    By drinking the water mixed with soil in the Holy place a woman can't lie.
  • Artie vanlandingham - In Reply on Numbers 5 - 4 years ago
    I believe the husband did not want to have sex with a cheating wife until she was proven cursed or clean.

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