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SAB: Numbers

Numbers: Women



  1. When "Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord" he was told to count "every male from a month old and upward." Women and girls didn't count as persons. Neither did babies (or fetuses) under 1 month old. I guess the unborn just don't count to God. 3:15-16

  2. The Law of Jealousies. If a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful, he reports it to the priest. The priest then makes her drink some "bitter water." If she is guilty, the water makes her thigh rot and her belly swell. If innocent, no harm done -- the woman is free and will "conceive seed." In any case, "the man shall be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity." 5:11-31

  3. "And the spirit of jealousy come upon him ... and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him ... and she be not defiled."
    If a husband is jealous, his wife must submit to the law of jealousies whether she was "defiled" or not. 5:14

  4. "Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest ... And the priest shall ... set her before the LORD ... and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse." 5:15-17

  5. "And the priest shall ... say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee ... be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse." 5:19

  6. "Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell." 5:20-21

  7. "But if ... some man have lain with thee beside thine husband ... The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell." 5:22

  8. "And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse." 5:24

  9. "And when he hath made her to drink the water ... if she be defiled ... the water that causeth the curse shall ... become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people." 5:27

  10. "And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed." 5:28

  11. "Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity." 5:31

  12. Miriam and Aaron (Moses' brother and sister) criticize Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman and thus breaking the law of God. But God makes it clear that his rules don't apply to his favorites, and he strikes Miriam with leprosy. Notice that only Miriam is punished, though both she and Aaron complained.  12:1, 9-10

  13. When one of the Israelite men brings home a foreign woman, "Phinehas (Aaron's grandson) sees them and throws a spear "through the man .. and the woman through her belly." This act pleases God so much that "the plague was stayed from the children of Israel." But not before 24,000 had died. 25:6-9

  14. For impaling the interracial couple, God rewards Phinehas and his sons with the everlasting priesthood. 25:10-13

  15. If a man dies and has no son, then his inheritance goes to his daughter. But if he has a son, then the daughter gets nothing. Also no mention is made of wives, sisters, or aunts. 27:8

  16. If men make vows, then God expects them to keep them. But a woman cannot make a vow, unless it is "allowed" by her husband or father. If it is "allowed," then she must keep it -- but even so, she is not responsible (her husband or father is). 30:3-16

  17. Under God's direction, Moses' army defeats the Midianites. They kill all the adult males, but take the women and children captive. When Moses learns that they left some live, he angrily says: "Have you saved all the women alive? Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." So they went back and did as Moses (and presumably God) instructed, killing everyone except for the virgins. In this way they got 32,000 virgins -- Wow! (Even God gets some of the booty -- including the virgins.) 31:1-54


SAB Bookstore: Women