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Numbers 5:23

    Numbers 5:23 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the priest will put these curses in a book, washing out the writing with the bitter water;

    Webster's Revision

    And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness:

    World English Bible

    "'The priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness:

    Clarke's Commentary on Numbers 5:23

    The priest shall write these curses - and he shall blot them out - It appears that the curses which were written down with a kind of ink prepared for the purpose, as some of the rabbins think, without any calx of iron or other material that could make a permanent dye, were washed off the parchment into the water which the woman was obliged to drink, so that she drank the very words of the execration. The ink used in the East is almost all of this kind - a wet sponge will completely efface the finest of their writings. The rabbins say that the trial by the waters of jealousy was omitted after the Babylonish captivity, because adulteries were so frequent amongst them, that they were afraid of having the name of the Lord profaned by being so frequently appealed to! This is a most humiliating confession. "Though," says pious Bishop Wilson, "this judgment is not executed now on adulteresses, yet they have reason from this to conclude that a more terrible vengeance will await them hereafter without a bitter repentance; these being only a shadow of heavenly things, i. e., of what the Gospel requires of its professors, viz., a strict purity, or a severe repentance." The pious bishop would not preclude the necessity of pardon through the blood of the cross, for without this the severest repentance would be of no avail.

    Barnes' Notes on Numbers 5:23

    Blot them out with the bitter water - In order to transfer the curses to the water. The action was symbolic. Travelers speak of the natives of Africa as still habitually seeking to obtain the full force of a written charm by drinking the water into which they have washed it.

    Wesley's Notes on Numbers 5:23

    5:23 In a book - That is, in a scroll of parchment, which the Hebrews commonly call a book. Blot them out - Or scrape them out and cast them into the bitter water. Whereby it was signified, that if she was innocent, the curses should be blotted out and come to nothing; and, if she were guilty, she should find in her the effects of this water which she drank, after the words of this curse had been scraped and put in.