Thoughts and Reflection
In the ancient world, slaves and owning people were considered normal. In that light, a woman (or wife) was considered her husband’s property. and he could do what he wanted with her. This is tension between men and women and is one of the consequences of the fall. We see God limiting man’s total authority over his wife.
Since the Israelites have just been set free, they really don’t know how to live as free people. God is teaching them. They are shown a new way of treating jealousy between spouses. This is a measured step toward greater equality and respect between men and women.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
2 ‘Order the Israelites to expel from the camp all those suffering from a contagious skin-disease or from a discharge, or who have become unclean by touching a corpse.
5 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,
8 “If, however, the latter has no relation to whom restitution can be made, the restitution due to Yahweh reverts to the priest, apart from the ram of expiation with which the priest makes expiation for the guilty party.
10 Whatever anyone consecrates is his own; whatever is given to the priest belongs to the priest.” ‘
11 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,
12 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “If anyone has a wife who goes astray and is unfaithful to him,
14 if, then, a spirit of suspicion comes over the husband and makes him suspicious of the wife who has disgraced herself, or again if this spirit of suspicion comes over him and makes him suspicious of his wife even when she is innocent,
15 the man will bring his wife before the priest, and on her behalf make an offering of one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal. He will not pour oil over it or put incense on it, because this is a cereal offering for a case of suspicion, a memorial offering to recall guilt to mind.
18 After he has placed the woman before Yahweh, he will unbind her hair and put the commemorative cereal offering (that is, the cereal offering for a case of suspicion) into her hands. In his own hands the priest will hold the water of bitterness and cursing.
19 “The priest will then put the woman on oath. He will say to her: If it is not true that a man has slept with you, that you have gone astray and made yourself unclean while under your husband’s authority, may this water of bitterness and cursing do you no harm.
20 But if it is true that you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, that you have made yourself unclean and that a manother than your husband has slept with you . . .
21 Here the priest will impose an imprecatory oath on the woman. He will say to her: . . . May Yahweh make you the object of your people’s execration and curses, by making your sexual organs shrivel and your belly swell!
27 After he has made her drink it, if it is true that she has made herself unclean and been unfaithful to her husband, the water of cursingthen entering into her will indeed be bitter: her belly will swell and her sexual organs shrivel, and she will be an object of execration to her people.
1 Moses called all Israel together and said to them, ‘Listen, Israel, to the laws and customs that I proclaim to you today. Learn them and take care to observe them.
2 ‘Yahweh our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
4 On the mountain, from the heart of the fire, Yahweh spoke to you face to face,
7 ‘ “You will have no gods other than me.
8 ‘ “You must not make yourselves any image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth;
9 you must not bow down to these gods or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God and I punish the parents’ fault in the children, the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren, among those who hate me;
14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You must not do any work that day, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servants — male or female — nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your animals, nor the foreigner who has made his home with you;
15 so that your servants, male and female, may rest, as you do. Remember that you were once a slave in Egypt, and that Yahweh your God brought you out of there with mighty hand and outstretched arm; this is why Yahweh your God has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
21 ‘ “You must not set your heart on your neighbour’s spouse, you must not set your heart on your neighbour’s house, or field, or servant-man or woman — or ox, or donkey or any of your neighbour’s possessions.”
22 ‘These were the words Yahweh spoke to you when you were all assembled on the mountain. Thunderously, he spoke to you from the heart of the fire, in cloud and thick darkness. He added nothing, but wrote them on two tablets of stone which he gave to me.
24 and said, “Yahweh our God has shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak with a human being and that person still live.
25 So why should we expose ourselves to death again? For this great fire might devour us if we go on listening to the voice of Yahwehour God, and then we should die.
26 For what creature of flesh could possibly live after hearing, as we have heard, the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire?
29 If only their heart were always so, set on fearing me and on keeping my commandments, so that they and their children might prosper for ever!
31 But you yourself stay here with me, and I shall tell you all the commandments, the laws and the customs which you are to teach them and which they are to observe in the country which I am giving them as their possession.”
32 ‘Keep them and put them into practice: such is Yahweh’s command to you. Stray neither to right nor to left.
1 [Prayer Of Moses, man of God] Lord, you have been our refuge from age to age.
3 You bring human beings to the dust, by saying, ‘Return, children of Adam.’
5 You flood them with sleep — in the morning they will be like growing grass:
10 The span of our life is seventy years — eighty for those who are strong — but their whole extent is anxiety and trouble, they are over in a moment and we are gone.
15 let our joy be as long as the time that you afflicted us, the years when we experienced disaster.
16 Show your servants the deeds you do, let their children enjoy your splendour!
17 May the sweetness of the Lord be upon us, to confirm the work we have done!