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From: Wendy McNulty
Subject: Numbers 5: The Adulterous Woman
NUMBERS 5: THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN
Parasha Naso - Bemidbar 4:21-7:89
"Elevate! - Take an Accounting"
Bemidbar 5:1-4: Legislation concerning the importance of not defiling the Israelite Camp with uncleanness (tamei).
Ch. 5:1-2 "And Yahweh spoke to Mosheh, saying, "Command the children of Yisra'el to send out of the camp every leper, and everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled for a being. Send out both male and female, send them outside the camp, so that they do not defile their camps in the midst of which I dwell."
Leprosy is a visible wasting and distorting disease of the flesh. There are sins which believers can commit that reap physical consequences, such as alcohol and drug abuse, gluttony, rash actions and choices that result in illness or accident.
A bodily discharge comes from the inner organs and tissues of
man. Yahshua said it was the things which proceed from the heart
which defile a man, "For out of the heart come forth wicked
reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders."
Becoming defiled for a being refers in Scripture to coming into contact with someone or something that is unclean/tamei. It is interesting that the footnote in The Scriptures for this verse notes that "defilement can be imparted from one to another". This adds further significance to the many verses in which Yahweh, Yahshua the prophets and the apostles warn Israel not be unequally yoked with pagan nations and traditions, not to intermarry or even fellowship with these people, to "come out, come out, touch not the unclean thing".
Just as the children of Israel were to guard the purity of
the camp in the wilderness, and to remove from their midst anyone
with outer, inner or imparted uncleanness, we, too, must guard the
purity of our bodies and spirits wherein Yahweh dwells by His Ruach
through Yahshua. This means turning from and repenting for sins of
the flesh and the inner being, watching carefully that we do not
become unequally yoked, intermingled or find ourselves in situations
where uncleanness could be imparted to us by someone or something
Bemidbar 5:5-10: Legislation concerning confession of sin and restoration of the trespass committed.
Bemidbar 5:11-31: Legislation/Torah concerning a jealous husband.
The Torah of a jealous husband often raises questions and
confusion as we read these passages. There are various Judaic
interpretations and opinions regarding this legislation; however, we
should also look for the Messianic allegory in the passages, remembering that Yahweh compares Israel to being His bride, and that He is "a jealous Elohim".
Ch. 5:15 "then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. And he shall bring the offering for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley flour."
Could the above passage symbolize Yahweh the Husband bringing His bride Israel before Yahshua the Great High Priest to Whom Yahweh the Father has given the authority to judge Israel and the sons of man? Note that the guilt offering on the bride's behalf is barley flour - we have seen many times where barley symbolizes Yahshua. Indeed, Yahshua is the guilt offering which Yahweh has brought on behalf of Israel.
Ch. 5:16 "And the priest shall bring her near, and shall make her stand before Yahweh."
Only in Yahshua, our Great High Priest, can we be brought near to the Presence of Yahweh. He is our atonement and covering. The Scriptures tell us that we shall each give account for our words and deeds "before Yahweh to Whom we must give account." Even as believers, with our redemptive covering, we will still give account for those sins we have not confess, including unfaithfulness and spiritual idolatry in our lives.
Ch. 5:17: "And the priest shall take set-apart water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the Dwelling Place, and put it into the water."
Water in Scripture often refers to Torah and/or directly to Yahshua. Note that the set-apart water is in an earthen vessel. Yahshua, the Living Torah took on flesh (an earthen vessel) and dwelt among us.
Adam was formed from the dust of the earth. Being the Author of all Creation, the earth is referred to in Scripture as Yahweh's "footstool", the floor of His Dwelling Place, as it were, from which He formed man out of the dust.
The Scriptures tell us that we shall be judged in accordance with the Torah and the Witness (the testimony of Yahshua), the written and the Living Torah. Adam/man/the dust is placed into the set-apart water/Torah in order to provide justice and right-ruling in each situation. Also, as Messianic Israel, we are immersed into Yahshua and become new creations in Messiah, the dust of our natural man has been put into the life-giving and set-apart water of Yahshua our Messiah, whereby we are cleansed from sin and unrighteousness as we confess our sin and forgive others who sin against us.
Ch. 5:18a: "And the priest shall make the woman stand before Yahweh, and shall uncover the woman's head ..."
Head coverings are a sign of being under authority. They function in the spiritual realm in a similar fashion to the badge of a police officer, i.e. the badge itself is powerless, but it signifies to others that the governing authority behind the badge will act to uphold and defend the actions of the individual wearing the badge and has granted them authority to act on its/their behalf.
As the bride of Yahweh, both male and female, one new creation in Messiah Yahshua, the Scriptures clearly set forth a chain of authority (Ephesians 5:22-32, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16). Yahweh is above all. Yahshua is in submission to Yahweh His Father. We, Messiah's Body/Temple are in submission to Yahshua, with the husband being directly submitted to Yahweh through Yahshua as the head of the family, with the wife submitted unto her husband as to Yahshua. In Judaic tradition, men wear a kippah, a small skullcap, to show their submission to Yahweh (some wear kippahs continually, others just in worship). Women, likewise, traditionally worship with a covering on their heads, just as women used to do in the church a few decades ago.
In 1 Corinthians 11:10, the Rav Sha'ul notes: "Because of this the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her bead, because of the messengers." We have to remember that only Yahweh is all-knowing, even Yahshua admitted that He did not know the day or hour that the Kingdom would be restored to Israel, only the Father. The messengers or angels only know what Yahweh has revealed to them and given to them to know. In similar fashion, in Debarim 29:29, Moshe says that the "secret matters" belong to Yahweh, and what He has revealed to man belongs to man and his children in order to follow Torah. We also need to remember that 1/3 of the melakim (messengers) were cast to earth with s.a.tan. There are Yahweh's messengers of light, and there are messengers which serve the adversary. If we think back to Bereshith/Genesis 6:1-2, the fallen messengers beheld the daughters of men "that they were good" and took them for wives, resulting in evil giants being born.
In Hebraic understanding, the covering of the head of the bride of
Yahweh, be it a man or a woman, provides a visual sign to the
messengers in the spiritual realm, both Yahweh's messengers and those
of the adversary, that an individual is in submission to Yahweh.
This alerts Yahweh's messengers to protect and assist the individual,
and puts the adversary's messengers on notice that the Power of
Yahweh will defend and protect the individual - a visual "hands off",
so to speak. Head coverings are vitally important during worship,
particularly when someone is leading worship, especially women
leading worship. Many of the things of of Yahweh are what are known
as chukim, rulings which seem as mysteries, which we don't totally
understand, we must simply accept that His ways are not our ways.
Ch. 5:18b "...while the priest holds in his hand the bitter water which brings a curse."
Here we have the set-apart water of Torah, the source of right-ruling, become bitter and capable of bringing a curse - the righteous judgment of Yahweh against sin and idolatry. We shall be judged by the standard of Torah, and we know that no man shall be declared right by Torah, but only by belief in the Living Torah, Yahshua, who bore the penalty of our sentence for breaking Torah in His flesh on the execution stake, nailing "our sentence", as it were, to the stake, that through belief in Him we might be given a "discharge" from the charges of Torah breaking which stand as witness against us before Yahweh.
"And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom is our account." Ibrim 4:13
"For the Torah works out wrath, for where there is no Torah there is no transgression." Romans 4:15
"Therefore by the works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right before Him, for by the Torah is the knowledge of sin." Ro. 3:20
"For as many as are of the works of Torah are under a curse, for it has been written, `Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all that has been written in the Book of the Torah, to do them.' And that no one is declared right by Torah before Elohim is clear, for `The righteous shall life by belief.' ... Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, having become a curse for us - for it has been written, `Cursed is everyone who hangs upon a tree.'" Romans 3:10-11, 13
In vs. 18b of Bemidbar 5, the "bitter water that brings a curse" represents the righteous judgment of Torah against sin and idolatry (spiritual adultery).
Ch. 5:19 "And the priest shall make her swear and say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you, and if you have not turned aside to uncleanness under your husband's authority, be free from this bitter water that brings a curse."
The spiritual allegory to Israel as the bride of Yahweh in this verse refers to spiritual adultery - pagan religions, mixed worship, unfaithfulness to Yahweh, Who professes Himself to be "a jealous El" and Whose very first commandment is "I AM Yahweh, your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitzrayim, out of the house of slavery, you have no other mighty ones against My face." (Shemoth 20:2-3) This commandment can be paraphrased for today in the following words: I AM Yahweh, your Elohim, who brought you out of the world system, who has freed you from your bondage to sin and death, you are to have no other elohim, no mixed worship, before Me or in My Presence.
Verse 19 infers that such spiritual adultery is a willful turning aside from the authority (Torah and teachings) of our Husband, Yahweh, to become defiled/unclean (vs. 20). If the person has not turned aside from true Yahweh worship, they are free from penalty of breaking the first commandment of Yahweh. If they have, Praise Yahweh, Yahshua has become and taken the curse of that sin on our behalf, but we must repent and turn aside, turn back to our Husband, lest we find ourselves wanting at Yahshua's return, like the five foolish virgins of Mattiyahu 25. All ten virgins were "betrothed" to the Bridegroom, but only five got to enter the wedding feast. Five foolish virgins weren't prepared and wandered off prior to His coming, seeking oil to keep their lamps burning. The door to the feast was closed on their return, and the Bridegroom professed that He never knew them.
Ch. 5:21-22 "...Yahweh make you a curse and an oath among your people, when Yahweh makes your thigh waste away and your belly swell, and this water that causes the curse shall go into your inward parts, and make your belly swell and your thigh waste away. ..."
What physical condition causes the thigh to waste away and the belly swell? Starvation. The Scripture foretells a famine of the Word of Yahweh in the Latter Days; Yahweh says His people are destroyed through lack of knowledge. "Therefore My People have gone into exile, because they have no knowledge. And all their esteemed men are starved, and their crowds dried up with thirst." (Yeshayahu 5:13) What causes thirst? Lack of water - in the spiritual sense, lack of Torah and Yahshua, Living Water.
It is interesting to note that in Revelation 6:8, the Fourth Seal, the pale horse named Death, that authority was given to him to kill a fourth of the earth, by sword, "and with hunger", and with death..."
If a person becomes "a curse and an oath" amongst their people, they are cut off from their community. In Bemidbar 5:1-2, Yahweh instructed that the unclean were to be put "outside the camp." If a person is outside the Covenant community of Israel in which true Yahweh worship is lived out and taught, they will starve, perhaps even die, from a lack of the Torah of Truth and Redemption, unless they repent, turn back and become restored to the Body of Messiah once again through Yahshua's cleansing and forgiveness. Remember that in Eph. 5:20, we are "cleansed by the washing of water by the Word."
Ch. 5:23 "And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall wipe them off into the bitter water."
In numerous places throughout Scripture, reference is made to our names and our offenses being written in Yahweh's book. At the Great White Throne Judgment, the books of Yahweh are opened:
"And I saw a great white throne and Him Who was sitting on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to their works. ... And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-12,15
If we are not in Messiah Yahshua, our names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and we will be judged according to our works by the standard of the Torah, Yahweh's standard of right-ruling and justice, which He continually warns Israel "to guard that it might go well with them."
This verse in Bemidbar 5 has a spiritual allegory to Yahshua, our High Priest, to whom has been given authority from Yahweh the Father to judge mankind, having written the penalty (curses) for our unfaithfulness and sin in a book, to be judged in accordance with Torah ("and shall wipe them off into the bitter water that brings a curse"). If we are not walking with Him, indeed, we shall be judged by our works, and the penalty of the law of sin and death, in accordance with the righteous judgments of Torah shall stand against us. In Yahshua, Baruch haShem Yahweh,
"And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all your trespasses, having blotted out the certificate of debt against us - by the dogmas - which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake." Col. 2:13-14
What is a certificate? It is something that is written. Yahshua has wiped clean the writings of our offences against Yahweh and His Torah that were written in Yahweh's books of judgment and has transferred our names to the Lamb's Book of Life. HalleluYAH!
Ch. 5:25 "And the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before Yahweh, and bring it to the altar."
In Bemidar 5:15, we note that the grain offering was of barley flour; barley being symbolic of Yahshua. Remember that on Yom haBikkurim, which is prophetic of Yahshua's resurrection as the "firstfruits from the dead", a sheaf of new barley, is waved before the priest. Yahshua shall be waved before Yahweh, as our wave sheaf offering, and this offering has been brought to the altar, where He was sacrificed as the Pesach lamb, on our behalf, to atone for our sins, to provide a covering that will enable us to stand before Yahweh and not perish.
Ch. 5:28 "And if the woman has not defiled herself, and is clean, then she shall be clear and shall conceive children." In Yochanan 15:5-6, Yahshua tells His disciples: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who stays in Me, and I in Him, he bears much fruit. Because without Me you are able to do naught! If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burned."
In these verses, the bride of Yahweh/Yahshua is referred to as "branches" in the vine of Yahshua. Yahshua makes it clear that if the bride/branches are not faithful and turn aside from Him ("if anyone does not stay in me"), that the bride/branches will be thrown away/divorced as a branch/bride and will dry up (from lack of Living Water).
The ultimate result of this falling away and drying up, as in the
branches, is to be gathered and thrown into the fire (judgment).
The "branches" did not stay in the vine, they fell away, they were
unfaithful. In Bemidbar 5, we find the case of a woman who has potentially been adulterous, unfaithful, to her husband, by not "staying" with him. The "woman" or bride has potentially defiled herself. But if she has not defiled herself, and remains faithful to her Husband, Yahshua tells us in Yochanan 15:5, that the branches/bride shall "bear much fruit." When a woman "conceives children", she is bearing the fruit of her womb.
In Bemidbar 5:28, there is a spiritual allegory to remind us that if we are faithful to our Master and Husband, Yahweh, we, in Yahshua, will "conceive children" - we shall bear fruit for His Kingdom.
Ch. 5:29 "This is the Torah of jealousy, when a wife turns aside under her husband's authority and defiles herself."
Yahweh is a jealous El. Israel, as His bride, was wedded to Him at Mt. Sinai by the wedding contract of Torah, with the ring/the eternal sign of Shabbat, and with the marriage to be consummated in Messiah Yahshua upon His return. He has given us spiritual allegories all through Bemidbar 5 to show us how His wife will be judged if she is not faithful to Him, but defiles herself, by rebelling against/turning away from His authority - His Torah, which forms the wedding contract, the conditions under which the marriage is to be prepared for and consummated. Yahweh is a jealous Husband. Are we a faithful bride?
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