Numbers 5

1The Lord said to Moses, 2“I command the people of Israel to keep their camp free from sickness and disease. Tell the people to send away from the camp any person who has a bad skin disease. Tell them to send away from the camp any person who has a discharge. And tell them to send away from their camp any person who has touched a dead body. 3It doesn’t matter if that person is a man or a woman, send them away from your camp. Send them away so that they will not cause any more sickness and disease. I am living among you in your camp.” 4So the people of Israel obeyed God’s command. They sent those people outside the camp. They did what the Lord had commanded to Moses. 5The Lord said to Moses, 6“Tell this to the people of Israel: A person might do something bad to another person. (When someone does bad things to other people, he is really sinning against God.) That person is guilty. 7So that person must confess (tell about) the sin he has done. Then that person must fully pay for that wrong thing he did. And he must add one-fifth to the payment and give it all to the person he had done wrong to. 8˻But maybe the person he did wrong to is dead. And˼ maybe that dead person doesn’t have any close relatives to take the payment. In that case, the person who did wrong will give the payment to the Lord. That person will give the full payment to the priest. The priest must sacrifice the ram that makes people pure. This ram must be sacrificed to cover over the sins of the person who did wrong. But the priest can keep the rest of the payment. 9“If one of the people of Israel gives a special gift ˻to God˼ then the priest that accepts that gift can keep it. It is his. 10A person doesn’t have to give these special gifts. But if he gives them, then the gifts belong to the priest.” 11Then the Lord said to Moses, 12“Tell these things to the people of Israel: A man’s wife might be unfaithful to him. 13She might have sexual relations with another man and hide this from her husband. And there might not be anyone to tell him that she did this sin. Her husband might never know about the wrong thing she did. And the woman might not tell her husband about her sin. 14But the husband might begin to suspect that his wife sinned against him. He might become jealous. He might begin to believe that she is not pure and true to him. 15If that happens, then he must take his wife to the priest. The husband must also take an offering of 8 cups of barley flour. He must not pour oil or incense on the barley flour. This barley flour is a grain offering to the Lord. It is given because the husband is jealous. This offering will show that he believes that his wife has been unfaithful to him. 16“The priest will take the woman before the Lord and make her stand there. 17Then the priest will take some special water and put it in a clay jar. The priest will put some dirt from the floor of the Holy Tent into the water. 18The priest will force the woman to stand before the Lord. Then he will loosen her hair and put the grain offering in her hand. This is the barley flour that her husband gave because he was jealous. At the same time, he will hold the clay jar of special water. This is the special water that brings trouble to the woman. 19“Then the priest will tell the woman that she must not lie. She must promise to tell the truth. The priest will say to her: 'If you have not slept with another man, and if you have not sinned against your husband while you were married to him, then this water that causes trouble will not hurt you. 20But if you have sinned against your husband—if you had sexual relations with a man who is not your husband—then you are not pure. 21If that is true, then you will have much trouble when you drink this special water. You will not be able to have any children. And if you are pregnant now, your baby will die. Then your people will leave you and say bad things about you.’ “Then the priest must tell the woman to make a special promise to the Lord. The woman must agree that these bad things will happen to her if she lies. 22The priest must say, 'You must drink this water that causes trouble. If you have sinned, you will not be able to have children and any baby you have will die before it is born.’ And the woman should say: 'I agree to do as you say.’ 23“The priest should write those warnings on a scroll. Then he should wash the words off into the water. 24Then the woman must drink the water that brings trouble. This water will enter her and, ˻if she is guilty,˼ it will cause her much suffering. 25“Then the priest will take the grain offering from her (the offering for jealousy) and raise it before the Lord. Then he will carry it to the altar. 26The priest will fill his hands with some of the grain and put it on the altar and let it burn there. After that, he will tell the woman to drink the water. 27If the woman has sinned against her husband, then the water will bring her trouble. The water will go into her body and cause her much suffering. Any baby that is in her will die before it is born, and she will never be able to have children. All the people will turn against her. 28But if the woman has not sinned against her husband and she is pure, then the priest will say that she is not guilty. Then she will be normal, and able to have children. 29“So that is the law about jealousy. That is what you should do when a woman sins against her husband while she is married to him. 30Or if the man becomes jealous and suspects his wife has sinned against him, then that is what the man should do. The priest must tell the woman to stand before the Lord. Then the priest will do all those things. This is the law. 31The husband will not be guilty of doing anything wrong. But the woman will suffer if she has sinned.”

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