ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 224


unfaithful to your husband, and have defiled yourself by having sex with
another ­man—’
“At this point the priest must put the woman under oath by saying, ‘May
the people know that the Lord’s curse is upon you when he makes you
infertile, causing your womb to shrivel and your abdomen to swell. Now
may this water that brings the curse enter your body and cause your abdomen to swell and your womb to shrivel.’ And the woman will be required
to say, ‘Yes, let it be so.’ And the priest will write these curses on a piece of
leather and wash them off into the bitter water. He will make the woman
drink the bitter water that brings on the curse. When the water enters her
body, it will cause bitter suffering if she is guilty.
“The priest will take the jealousy offering from the woman’s hand, lift
it up before the Lord, and carry it to the altar. He will take a handful of
the flour as a token portion and burn it on the altar, and he will require
the woman to drink the water. If she has defiled herself by being un­
faithful to her husband, the water that brings on the curse will cause
bitter suffering. Her abdomen will swell and her womb will shrink, and
her name will become a curse among her people. But if she has not defiled herself and is pure, then she will be unharmed and will still be able
to have children.
“This is the ritual law for dealing with suspicion. If a woman goes
astray and defiles herself while under her husband’s authority, or if a man
becomes jealous and is suspicious that his wife has been unfaithful, the
husband must present his wife before the Lord, and the priest will apply
this entire ritual law to her. The husband will be innocent of any guilt in
this matter, but his wife will be held accountable for her sin.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the
people of Israel.
“If any of the people, either men or women, take the special vow of a
Nazirite, setting themselves apart to the Lord in a special way, they must
give up wine and other alcoholic drinks. They must not use vinegar made
from wine or from other alcoholic drinks, they must not drink fresh grape
juice, and they must not eat grapes or raisins. As long as they are bound by
their Nazirite vow, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything that comes
from a g­ rapevine—­not even the grape seeds or skins.
“They must never cut their hair throughout the time of their vow, for
they are holy and set apart to the Lord. Until the time of their vow has
been fulfilled, they must let their hair grow long. And they must not go
near a dead body during the entire period of their vow to the Lord. Even

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