February 6, 2020: Day 5 – Numbers 5February 6, 2020
We begin to get into areas that are skewed in proportion to what is expected of women and what is expected of men. The chapter begins innocently enough with the command to ensure that anyone who is unclean because of a discharge or been in contact with the dead should be put out of the camp. We do not know for how long, but just that they have to be put out of the camp. This all makes sense just because the way that diseases spread back then was definitely a result of bacteria and those who are “unclean” coming into contact with people. There really was no ability to disinfect anything.
The next section deals with restitution which again is innocuous and deals with paying back a person who has been wronged, not only what is due him, but a small percentage more. That all makes sense.
But then we get to the part about an unfaithful wife. But as you read it, it not only covers an unfaithful wife but also a jealous husband whose wife has been faithful. Keep in mind that there is no, at least at this point, law that speaks about the infidelity of a man, especially if the woman with whom he is unfaithful is unmarried. Then it seems like nothing matters. All of the emphasis is on a married woman who is either unfaithful or is subjected to a jealous husband. In order to discern if a wife has been unfaithful or not the church, or the priests of God, are signed up to give a toxic chemical to the woman. If she bleeds out and dies then she was guilty, if she survives, then she is innocent. It does sound a lot like this scene in Monty Python.