Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Numbers- Chapter 5

Numbers 5


-Chapter five now begins a law section for the people of Israel. The LORD speaks these commands to Moses, and he gives the people God’s Law faithfully. On defilement, lepers (Leviticus 13-14), everyone having a bodily discharge (Leviticus 15), and everyone who is ritually unclean from touching a dead person (Leviticus 21:1, 11) is to be removed from the camp, both male and female, until they become clean again. God is in the midst of this camp, and it is to be undefiled (Numbers 5:1-4). Then the sins of mankind against one another are readdressed in this section of the Torah. Restitution is the principle that is to be followed with an additional one-fifth added to the equal value of the wrong committed. Confession is also paramount in this process. Faithfulness is emphasized and a provision is made for those who have no relative to pay the restitution. In that case, the atonement will go to the LORD for the priest as a contribution as a holy gift of the sons of Israel (Numbers 5:5-9).

-The adultery test is then explained when a man suspects, or has a spirit of jealousy, towards his wife thinking her to be unfaithful. She is to be brought before the priest of the LORD with an offering of one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal with no oil or frankincense poured on it. This
“is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity (Numbers 5:15).” The woman must then be brought before the LORD to stand and take a test. Her hair is to be loosed and the memorial offering placed in her hands. In the hand of the priest is to be “the water of bitterness that brings a curse (Numbers 5:18).” The priest will have the woman take an oath stating that she has been faithful to her husband who has authority over her, and that she accepts that her thigh will waste away and her abdomen swell if she is guilty of adultery when she drinks the water of testing. The priest will then take the grain offering and wave it before the LORD and bring it to the altar. He will take a handful of the grain offering as its memorial offering and offer it up in smoke on the altar right before the woman drinks the water.

The priest will then have her drink the water that brings a curse. If the water causes her a wasting away of the thigh and abdominal swelling, she is guilty. If she is not defiled after drinking the water, she is clean and free to conceive children. “This is the law of jealousy: when a wife, under the authority of her husband, goes astray and defiles herself, or when a spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife, he shall then make the woman stand before the LORD, and the priest shall apply all this law to her (Numbers 5:11-31).”

-*Application* We still see crimes of passion and jilted situations often today in our society. Imagine for just a moment if we still applied this law of the LORD to our marital infidelities or suspicions in our modern culture. Would there be more respect for the institution of marriage and roles of authority in the home, both of which are ordained by God? We must admit that God’s way is the best solution for messy circumstances, when we actually think about it. While the embarrassment of confession and possible infidelity can be overwhelming, the preventive measures God commands are good and should be considered, even in the church. While we err on the side of grace now a days, acknowledgement of the problems that plague us is really the first step to healing and redemption. Come clean with each and before God to make your home and marital fellowship all it should be. Confess, repent, and find God’s favor. Be open and honest. God knows all anyway. His desire is for us all to be holy before Him.


Verses to Memorize: Numbers 5:29-30

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