Numbers 5:1-31


Chapter 5-7 - The beginning to do the work God had commanded.  Heretofore, the commandments were only words, not those words will be put into action.


I.   Verse 1-4 - Separating the unclean.

A.     Leper - as commanded in Lev. 13 & 14.

B.     Issue.

1.       Lev. 12 - For a woman that has born a child.

2.       Lev. 15 - A running Issue.

3.       An issue caused by leprosy is included in part "A".

C.     Defiled by a dead body.

1.       Lev. 21:1-4 - A priest is allowed to defile himself for his dead mother, father, son, daughter, brother and virgin sister.

2.       Lev. 21:11 - The High Priest is not allowed to defile himself with any dead body.

3.       Numbers 6:6-12 - The Nazarite could come at no dead body.  If somebody died suddenly in his presence, God allowed a remedy.

4.       Numbers 19:11-22 - The common p[erson that comes into the place where a dead body is shall be unclean for 7 days.  He makes the proper sacrifice and is declared clean again.

D.     What does "out of the camp" mean?

1.       Out of the place the person commonly occupies.

2.       To some indefinable place on the outskirts of the camp.  There, the people would be allowed time away from the daily routine and time to think about their position in relation to the God of Israel.

E.      The purpose of this cleansing.

1.       Verse 3 - To keep God's dwelling place clean.

2.       To stop the gradual turning from Godliness toward sinfulness.

3.       This is what the church must do (a universal church cannot do this) today.  If we don't, then comes a gradual increase in sinfulness and acceptance of sin.

4.       Rev. 21:8,27.  This is a type of what God will do in the New Jerusalem. 

F.      Verse 4 - The command was followed and God continued blessing the people.  God doesn't bless today because so many don't obey Him in separating themselves from the world.


II.   Verse 5-10 - The setting in motion of the "Trespass Offering".

A.     Lev. 5:1-13 - A trespass concerning the things that a man does.

B.     Lev. 5:14-19 - A trespass of the Holy things of the Lord.

C.     Lev. 6:1-7 - A trespass in dealing with neighbors.

D.     Lev. 7:1-10 - The offering for sins of trespass.

E.      Verse 7,8 - If the trespass is in matters of materialism then the principal shall be returned plus 20%.  If there is no kinsman to receive the trespass offering, then it shall be given to the Lord (to the priest).


III.   Verse 11-31 - The law of the jealous husband.  This does not apply today.  The husband can find help only in the Lord.

A.     There is no example of this law ever being put into practice.

1.       The guilty wives could not face its terrors and confessed instead.  They were then divorced and lost their dowry.

2.       The innocent wives were simply divorced (as divorce was very common) by her husband and had no opportunity to declare her purity.  The husband who brought his wife before the priest falsely would be much looked down on by his neighbors.  It would be a very great shame to him.

B.     Why isn't there a law for a jealous wife?

1.       Proverbs 6:34 - Jealously is the rage of a man.

2.       Men are more apt to think of the erotic rather than the woman.

3.       Men seem to be more concerned with the virginity of their wives than the wives are of their men.

4.       The husband seem to place more emphasis on the flesh than the woman who places her emphasis upon the spiritual.

5.       The wives seem to be more forgiving than the husband.

C.     This trial is not like other trials for jealously.

1.       The trial by "red water" in western Africa.

2.       The trial by grain in many cultures.  Dry grain is placed in the woman's mouth.  If it remains dry (caused by her fear of being found out) she is declared guilty.  If the grain is wet (caused by her lack of fear of being found out) she is declared innocent.

D.     Husband and wife.

1.       Let all wives understand the jealous nature of men and never give the appearance of evil.

2.       Let all men learn to trust their wives and not think evil of them.

E.      The course of events in the trial.

1.       Verse 12-14 - There are no witnesses or reason to be jealous, the man just become jealous.  Verse 13 - "neither she be taken" - with child or a sexually transmitted disease.

2.       Verse 15 - Bring the woman to the priest - only God can settle matters like this.  The husband will listen to no man or woman.

3.       Verse 15 - The offering is about 3/4 quart of a gallon of barley.

a.      The barley is a rough grain as compared to wheat.  Barley is used because it is an offering of jealously.

b.      No oil - no Holy Spirit.

c.      No frankincense - no sweet smell, typifying the life of Christ.  The woman will stand on her own righteousness.

d.      The offering is to bring sin to remembrance.  (The Holy Spirit and the life of Christ causes us to forget our sinfulness and remember His blessings upon us.)

4.       Verse 16 - She is set before the Lord.  He is our final judge.  Let not men condemn us (or brag on us).

5.       Verse 17 - The holy water.

a.      Taken from the laver where the priest wash their hands.

b.      Earthen vessel - symbolizing the flesh.

c.      Dust in the water.

1)      Symbolizes the reproach she is under from her husband.

2)      Symbolizes the honor she is under from the Lord.  God is her final judge.

6.       Verse 18 - Uncover her head.  (A good scripture for the ladies being covered in the presence of the Lord.)

a.      She holds the offering in her hands - symbolizing that she is accepting the guilt if she is guilty.  Compare to the people placing their hands on the head of the animal they are offering.

b.      The priest holds the bitter water that caused the curse.  He is a symbol of God who dispenses all righteousness in judgment.

7.       Verse 19-22 - The priest words.

a.      If she is innocent, she is free from all these curses and shall be well and bare a child.

b.      If she is guilty, her belly shall swell and her thigh (private parts) shall rot.

c.      She shall confirm it by a double "amen".

8.       Verse 23 - A record shall be kept by the priest, blotted with the bitter water.  Here is proof for future generations that these things were done.

9.       Verse 25,26 - The priest waves a part (memorial - not the same as "memorial" in verse 51) of the offering before the Lord.

10.   Verse 24 & 26 - Then the woman drinks the bitter water.

11.   Verse 27,28 - The result of the trial is immediate.  Since the trial was apparently never carried out, nobody really knows how long it took, but I suspect God didn't tarry long.

12.   Verse 29-31 - The introductory words to the Trial of Jealously.