Numbers 5:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.

New Living Translation
He must take some holy water in a clay jar and pour into it dust he has taken from the Tabernacle floor.

English Standard Version
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.

New American Standard Bible
and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.

King James Bible
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the priest is to take holy water in a clay bowl, and take some of the dust from the tabernacle floor and put it in the water.

International Standard Version
The priest is to put some holy water into an earthen vessel, take some dust from the floor of the tent, and put it into the water.

NET Bible
The priest will then take holy water in a pottery jar, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle, and put it into the water.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then the priest will take holy water in a piece of pottery and put some dust from the floor of the tent into the water.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take and put it into the water.

King James 2000 Bible
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

American King James Version
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

American Standard Version
and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and he shall cast a little earth of the pavement of the tabernacle into it.

Darby Bible Translation
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and the priest shall take of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle, and put it into the water.

English Revised Version
and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

Webster's Bible Translation
And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

World English Bible
and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water.

Young's Literal Translation
and the priest hath taken holy water in an earthen vessel, and of the dust which is on the floor of the tabernacle doth the priest take, and hath put it into the water,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:11-31 This law would make the women of Israel watch against giving cause for suspicion. On the other hand, it would hinder the cruel treatment such suspicions might occasion. It would also hinder the guilty from escaping, and the innocent from coming under just suspicion. When no proof could be brought, the wife was called on to make this solemn appeal to a heart-searching God. No woman, if she were guilty, could say Amen to the adjuration, and drink the water after it, unless she disbelieved the truth of God, or defied his justice. The water is called the bitter water, because it caused the curse. Thus sin is called an evil and a bitter thing. Let all that meddle with forbidden pleasures, know that they will be bitterness in the latter end. From the whole learn, 1. Secret sins are known to God, and sometimes are strangely brought to light in this life; and that there is a day coming when God will, by Christ, judge the secrets of men according to the gospel, Ro 2:16. 2 In particular, Whoremongers and adulterers God will surely judge. Though we have not now the waters of jealousy, yet we have God's word, which ought to be as great a terror. Sensual lusts will end in bitterness. 3. God will manifest the innocency of the innocent. The same providence is for good to some, and for hurt to others. And it will answer the purposes which God intends.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - Holy water. Probably from the laver which stood near the altar (Exodus 30:18). The expression is nowhere else used. The Septuagint has ὕδωρ καθαρὸν ζῶν, pure running water. In an earthen vessel. Cheap and coarse, like the offering. Of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle. This is the only place where the floor of the tabernacle is mentioned. As no directions were given concerning it, it was probably the bare earth cleared and stamped. The cedar floor of the temple was overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:16, 30). This use of the dust has been held to signify the fact

(a) that man was made of dust, and must return to dust (Genesis 3:19); or

(b) that dust is the serpent's meat, i.e., that shame and disgust are the inevitable fruit of sin (Genesis 3:14; Isaiah 65:25). Of these,

(a) is not appropriate to the matter in question, since mortality is common to all, and

(b) is far too recondite to have been intended here. It is very unlikely that the spiritual meaning of Genesis 3:14 was known to any of the Jews. A much simpler and more intelligible explanation is to be found in the obvious fact that the dust of the tabernacle was the only thing which belonged to the tabernacle, and which was, so to speak, impregnated with the awful holiness of him that dwelt therein, that could be mixed with water and drunk. For a similar reason the "sin" of the people, the golden calf, was ground to powder, and the people made to drink it (Exodus 32:20). The idea conveyed to the dullest apprehension certainly was that with the holy dust Divine "virtue" had passed into the water - virtue which would give it supernatural efficacy to slay the guilty and to leave the guiltless unharmed.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the priest shall take holy water,.... Out of the laver, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, and so Jarchi and Aben Ezra:

in an earthen vessel; which held half a log, and that was but a quarter of a pint, or three egg shells; for no more was assigned, to a suspected woman, according to the Misnah (r). Some say only a fourth part: an earthen vessel was made use of, as everything vile and mean was in this affair:

and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water; first the water was put in, and then the dust, as Ben Gersom observes: there was a place a cubit square, where was a marble table, and a ring fixed in it, and when he lifted it up he took dust from under it, and put it so as it might be upon the top of the water (s); which was used, either, as the Targum of Jonathan suggests, because the end of all flesh is to come to dust, and so to put her in mind of her original and her end; and in like manner the earthen vessel might signify, that she would be broke to pieces as that vessel; as also it might direct her thoughts to the tempter, by the influence of whose temptation she had been drawn into this sin, dust being the serpent's food; and this being taken off the floor of the tabernacle, might add to the veneration of it, and make it more solemn and awful to drink of it.

(r) Sotah, c. 2. sect. 2. Menachot, c. 9. sect. 3.((s) Sotah, c. 2. sect. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17, 18. the priest shall take holy water—Water from the laver, which was to be mixed with dust—an emblem of vileness and misery (Ge 3:14; Ps 22:15).

in an earthen vessel—This fragile ware was chosen because, after being used, it was broken in pieces (Le 6:28; 11:33). All the circumstances of this awful ceremony—her being placed with her face toward the ark—her uncovered head, a sign of her being deprived of the protection of her husband (1Co 11:7)—the bitter potion being put into her hands preparatory to an appeal to God—the solemn adjuration of the priest (Nu 5:19-22), all were calculated in no common degree to excite and appall the imagination of a person conscious of guilt.

Numbers 5:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Adultery Test
16'Then the priest shall bring her near and have her stand before the LORD, 17and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18The priest shall then have the woman stand before the LORD and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and place the grain offering of memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse.…
Cross References
Numbers 5:16
"'The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD.

Numbers 5:18
After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.
Treasury of Scripture

And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

holy water. That is, water from the layer; called holy, because separated from common to sacred uses. This is the most ancient account of the trial by ordeal, which obtained so generally among various nations; and it was calculated to fortify the minds of the Israelitish women in the hour of temptation and to render them watchful against all occasions of exciting suspicion in the breasts of their husbands.

Numbers 19:2-9 This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, …

Exodus 30:18 You shall also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, …

of the dust

Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they …

Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, …

Lamentations 3:29 He puts his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

John 8:6,8 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. …

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