devotional post # 2275
Num 5:11 And Yahveh spoke to Moses, and this is what he said
Num 5:12 “Speak to the people of Israel, If any man’s wife goes astray and betrays him,
Num 5:13 if a man has sex with her, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her, since she was not taken in the act,
Num 5:14 and if the spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself, or if the spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself by a violation
Num 5:15 then the man will bring his wife to the priest and bring the offering required of her, a tenth of an ephah of barley flour. He will pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, because it is a tribute offering of jealousy, a tribute offering of remembrance, bringing a violation to remembrance.
The jealousy ritual had to be enacted if a husband felt his wife had been unfaithful. This was the only example in this chapter that differentiated between genders. I think the reason was that it foreshadowed the unfaithfulness of Israel and predicted the bitter curse that Israel — Yahveh’s bride — would have to undergo, with its resulting barrenness and shame. The prophet Hosea tells us that God brought his wayward wife back to himself.
LORD, thank you for loving us, even when we prove ourselves unfaithful and unworthy of that love.