February 10th

Numbers 5-7

  • 5: 11-31 – The test for an unfaithful wife is clearly disturbing to us partially because she has to go through this whether she’s been unfaithful or not and partially because there is no equivalent test for a husband who may have been unfaithful.
  • 5:22 – “Thigh fall away” is also translated as “uterus drop”. In other words, the woman would become unable to have children.
  • 5: 31 – Women were considered property in this culture and age.
  • It may be hard to believe, but although women in ancient Israel were treated as property, they were still better off than the women in every surrounding culture. Had God commanded the Israelites to treat men and women as inherently equal, it wouldn’t have worked—the very concept would have been difficult for them to understand. Instead, God created a number of different laws that set standards with regard to the treatment of women. You’ll also see as we read through the Bible an “upward trajectory” for women in Israel: in Judges the nation will be led by a woman- Deborah. There will be at least one highly respected female prophet, Huldah (if you’re looking for a name for a future daughter, this is it!). In the New Testament, Paul puts a woman, Priscilla, in charge of the church in Philippi. In other words: there are whole lot of disturbing passages in the Old Testament that treat women poorly by our standards, but they are merely part of the story, not a treatise on how God wants women to be treated.
  • Chapter 6: pay attention here; when we read about Samson in Judges this passage will be in important. Samson was a Nazirite.

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