Numbers 5:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
When the priest has presented the woman before the LORD, he must unbind her hair and place in her hands the offering of proof--the jealousy offering to determine whether her husband's suspicions are justified. The priest will stand before her, holding the jar of bitter water that brings a curse to those who are guilty.

English Standard Version
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD and unbind the hair of the woman’s head and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. And in his hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse.

New American Standard Bible
The 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.

King James Bible
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After the priest has the woman stand before the LORD, he is to let down her hair and place in her hands the grain offering for remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. The priest is to hold the bitter water that brings a curse.

International Standard Version
The priest is to have the woman stand in the LORD's presence, uncover her head, and put the grain offering as a memorial, a reminder of jealousy, into her hands. The priest is also to have in his hand the contaminated water that carries a curse.

NET Bible
Then the priest will have the woman stand before the LORD, uncover the woman's head, and put the grain offering for remembering in her hands, which is the grain offering of suspicion. The priest will hold in his hand the bitter water that brings a curse.

New Heart English Bible
The priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal offering of jealousy. The priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that brings a curse.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The priest will bring the woman into the LORD's presence and loosen her hair. In her hands he will put the offering used for a confession (that is, the grain offering brought because of the husband's jealousy). The priest will hold in his hands the bitter water that can bring a curse.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal-offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal-offering of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causeth the curse.

New American Standard 1977
‘The 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the priest shall cause the woman to stand before the LORD and shall uncover the woman's head and put the present of remembrance in her hands, which is the present of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that brings the curse.

King James 2000 Bible
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causes the curse:

American King James Version
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causes the curse:

American Standard Version
And the priest shall set the woman before Jehovah, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal-offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal-offering of jealousy: and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causeth the curse.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when the woman shall stand before the Lord, he shall uncover her head, and shall, put on her hands the sacrifice of remembrance, and the oblation of jealousy: and he himself shall hold the most bitter waters, whereon he hath heaped curses with execration.

Darby Bible Translation
And the priest shall set the woman before Jehovah, and uncover the woman's head, and put the memorial oblation in her hands, which is the jealousy offering; and in the hand of the priest shall be the bitter water that bringeth the curse.

English Revised Version
and the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal offering of jealousy: and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causeth the curse:

Webster's Bible Translation
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy-offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:

World English Bible
The priest shall set the woman before Yahweh, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal offering of jealousy. The priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that brings a curse.

Young's Literal Translation
and the priest hath caused the woman to stand before Jehovah, and hath uncovered the woman's head, and hath given into her hands the present of the memorial, it is a present of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest are the bitter waters which cause the curse.
Study Bible
The Adultery Test
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. 19The priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse;…
Cross References
Numbers 5:17
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.

Numbers 5:19
The priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse;
Treasury of Scripture

And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causes the curse:

charge her

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said to …

with another or being in the power of thy husband. Heb. under thy husband

Romans 7:2 For the woman which has an husband is bound by the law to her husband …

Verse 18. - Uncover the woman's head. In token that she had forfeited her glory by breaking, or seeming to have broken, her allegiance to her husband (1 Corinthians 11:5-10); perhaps also with some reference to the truth that "all things are naked and open to the eyes of him" with whom she had to do (Hebrews 4:13). Put the offering of memorial in her hands. That she herself might present, as it were, the fruits of her life before God, and challenge investigation of them. Bitter water. It was not literally bitter, but it was so fraught with conviction and judgment as to bring bitter suffering on the guilty. And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord,.... In the east of the tabernacle, with her face to the west, where was the holy of holies, so Ben Gersom; but not immediately for they had her from place to place, as Jarchi says, till she was weary, and her mind disturbed, that she might confess; and if she said, I am defiled, she rent the writing of her dowry, and went out; but if she said, I am pure, they brought her to the eastern gate, the gate of Nicanor, for there they made women suspected of adultery to drink the waters (t):

and uncover the woman's head; as a token of her immodesty and non-subjection to her husband, and that she might be seen by all, to cause shame in her: according to the Misnah (u), the priest took off her clothes, and loosed her hair--if she was clothed with white garments, he clothed her with black; if she had on her ornaments of gold, chains, earrings, or rings, he took them away from her, that she might be unseemly, and whoever would might come and look at her:

and put the offering of memorial into her hands, which is the jealousy offering; to weary her, as Jarchi says, that if perhaps her mind was disturbed she would confess; and so in the Misnah (w) it is said, that her husband put this offering into her hands to weary her; but the true reason here seems to be, that it might appear to be her own offering:

and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse; not that the water was bitter of itself, for it was the water out of the laver, and had nothing in it but the dust of the floor of the tabernacle; though some think some bitter thing was put into it, so Ben Gersom, as wormwood; but it is so called from the effects of it on those that were guilty; it produced sad effects in them, bitter and distressing, and made them appear to be accursed ones, for it was not bitter till it entered, Numbers 5:24; whereas it was not so to the innocent, nor attended with any such consequence to them; so that there was nothing in the water itself, but its efficacy was divine and supernatural.

(t) Sotah, c. 1. sect. 5. (u) Sotah, c. 1. sect. 5, 6. (w) Sotah, c. 2. sect. 1.5:11-31 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.
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OT Law: Numbers 5:18 The priest shall set the woman before (Nu Num.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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