Accessibility setting


Select language

Skip to secondary menu

Skip to table of contents

Skip to content

Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


Numbers 5:1-31

5  And Jehovah spoke further to Moses, saying:  “Command the sons of Israel that they send out of the camp every leprous person+ and everyone having a running discharge+ and everyone unclean by a deceased soul.*+  Whether a male or a female YOU should send them out. YOU should send them outside the camp,+ that they may not contaminate+ the camps of those in the midst of whom I am tabernacling.”+  And the sons of Israel proceeded to do so, even to send them outside the camp. Just as Jehovah had spoken to Moses, so the sons of Israel did.  And Jehovah continued speaking to Moses, saying:  “Speak to the sons of Israel, ‘As for a man or a woman, in case they do any of all the sins of mankind in committing an act of unfaithfulness against Jehovah, that soul has also become guilty.+  And they must confess+ their sin that they have done, and he must return the amount of his guilt in its principal, also adding a fifth of it to it,+ and he must give it to the one against whom he did wrong.  But if the latter has no near relative* to whom to return the amount of the guilt, the amount of the guilt that is being returned to Jehovah belongs to the priest,* except the ram of atonement with which he will make atonement for him.+  “‘And every contribution+ of all the holy things+ of the sons of Israel, which they will present to the priest, should become his.+ 10  And the holy things of each one will remain his own. Whatever each one may give to the priest, that will become his.’” 11  And Jehovah went on to speak to Moses, saying: 12  “Speak to the sons of Israel, and you must say to them, ‘In case any man’s wife turns aside in that she does commit an act of unfaithfulness against him,+ 13  and another man actually lies down with her and has an emission of semen,+ and it has been hidden from the eyes of her husband+ and has remained undiscovered, and she, on her part, has defiled herself but there is no witness against her, and she herself has not been caught; 14  and the spirit of jealousy+ has passed upon him, and he has become suspicious of his wife’s faithfulness, and she in fact has defiled herself, or the spirit of jealousy has passed upon him, and he has become suspicious of his wife’s faithfulness, but she in fact has not defiled herself; 15  then the man must bring his wife to the priest+ and bring her offering along with her, a tenth of an e′phah* of barley flour. He must not pour oil upon it nor put frankincense+ upon it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, a memorial grain offering bringing error to remembrance. 16  “‘And the priest must bring her forward and make her stand before Jehovah.+ 17  And the priest must take holy water* in an earthenware vessel, and the priest will take some of the dust that happens to be on the floor of the tabernacle, and he must put it in the water. 18  And the priest must make the woman stand before Jehovah and loosen the hair of the woman’s head and put upon her palms the memorial grain offering, that is, the grain offering of jealousy,+ and in the hand of the priest there should be the bitter water that brings a curse.+ 19  “‘And the priest must make her swear, and he must say to the woman: “If no man has lain down with you and if while under your husband+ you have not turned aside in any uncleanness, be free of the effect of this bitter water that brings a curse. 20  But you, in case you have turned aside while under your husband+ and in case you have defiled yourself and some man has put in you his seminal emission,+ besides your husband,—” 21  The priest must now make the woman swear with an oath involving cursing,+ and the priest must say to the woman: “May Jehovah set you for a cursing and an oath in the midst of your people by Jehovah’s letting your thigh+ fall away, and your belly swell. 22  And this water that brings a curse must enter into your intestines to cause your belly to swell and the thigh to fall away.” To this the woman must say: “Amen! Amen!”* 23  “‘And the priest must write these cursings in the book+ and must wipe+ them out into the bitter water. 24  And he must make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse,+ and the water that brings a curse must enter into her as something bitter. 25  And the priest must take the grain offering+ of jealousy from the woman’s hand and wave the grain offering to and fro before Jehovah, and he must bring it near the altar. 26  And the priest must grasp some of the grain offering as a remembrancer+ of it and must make it smoke upon the altar, and afterward he will make the woman drink the water. 27  When he has made her drink the water, it must also occur that if she has defiled herself in that she committed an act of unfaithfulness toward her husband,+ the water that brings a curse must then enter into her as something bitter, and her belly must swell, and her thigh must fall away, and the woman must become a cursing in among her people.+ 28  However, if the woman has not defiled herself but she is clean, she must then be free from such punishment;+ and she must be made pregnant with semen. 29  “‘This is the law about jealousy,+ where a woman may turn aside+ while under her husband,+ and she does defile herself, 30  or in the case of a man where the spirit of jealousy may pass upon him, and he does suspect his wife of unfaithfulness; and he must make the wife stand before Jehovah, and the priest must carry out toward her all this law. 31  And the man must be innocent of error, but that wife will answer for her error.’”


Lit., “by a soul,” that is, a dead soul. Heb., la·na′phesh; Gr., psy·khei′; Lat., mor′tu·o, “someone dead.”
Or, “receiver of reparation; representative.” Heb., go·ʼel′. Generally the nearest male relative.
“The amount . . . priest,” MSamLXX.
An ephah equaled 22 L (20 dry qt).
“Holy water,” MSamSyVg; LXX, “pure, living (running) water.”
Or, “So be it! So be it!” Heb., ʼa·men′ ʼa·men′.