Numbers 5 – Numbers 6
Women are set apart . . . men are set apart . . . but for very different reasons.
Ladies, chapter 5:11-31, doesn’t seem very fair to you. It reminds us of the place and stature of women in the day and time. Then you were just one notch above being a servant/slave. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go! All I could think of as the women accused of adultery is placed before the priest and made to drink the bitter water, was painting a giant red “A” on her so that everyone would know what had happened. Innocent or guilty, you still had to go through the same humiliating act, and I would imagine you would be labeled regardless of the outcome. And the consequence for the man involved . . . never mentioned. Go figure!
Then, as we turn to chapter 6, men, and occasionally women, are set apart as a Nazirite, a servant for God. Some individuals we will meet along our year of reading that might be a bit more familiar to us would include Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. Part of your vow was not cutting your hair, not drinking or eating anything grape related, and avoiding death. I know they seem odd, but think of the purity spoke in Leviticus. That was the goal/task in taking on the vow of a Nazirite.
Then of course we close chapter 7 with familiar words. Words I speak nearly every Sunday. Words that speak for themselves. So hear them from me spoken to you:
My the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
May the LORD lift his countenance upon you,
and give you peace!
Our next reading: Numbers 7