Drinking A Conditional Curse to Prove You're Innocent
5:1 And the (Shekinah) Lord spake unto (Ophiuchus) Moses, saying,
2 Command the (Gemini) children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every (star-dotted) leper, and every one that hath an (red radius bleeding, etc.) issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:
3 Both male (Castor) and female (Pollux) shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.
4 And the (Gemini) children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the (Shekinah) Lord spake unto (Ophiuchus) Moses, so did the (Gemini) children of Israel.
5 And the (Shekinah) Lord spake unto (Ophiuchus) Moses, saying,
6 Speak unto the (Gemini) children of Israel, When a (Castor) man or (Pollux) woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the (Shekinah) Lord, and that person be guilty;
7 Then they shall (red radius) confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof (20%), and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.
8 But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the (Shekinah) Lord, even to the priest; beside the (Aries) ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him.
9 And every offering of all the holy things of the (Gemini) children of Israel, which they bring unto the priest, shall be his.
10 And every man's hallowed things shall be his: whatsoever any man giveth the priest, it shall be his.
11 And the (Shekinah) Lord spake unto (Ophiuchus) Moses, saying,
12 Speak unto the (Gemini) children of Israel, and say unto them, If any (Castor) man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,
13 And a (Castor) man (red radius) lie with her (Pollux) carnally, and it be hid from the (lunar eyeballs) eyes of her (Castor) husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner;
14 And the spirit of jealousy come upon him (Castor), and he be jealous of his wife (Pollux), and she be defiled: or if the (Milky Way) spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:
15 Then shall the (Castor) man bring his (Pollux) wife unto the (Hercules) priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of (lunar) barley meal; he shall pour no (solar) oil upon it, nor put (solar) frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the (Shekinah) Lord:
17 And the priest shall take (lunar) holy water in an (solar) earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the (red radius) tabernacle the (Hercules) priest shall take, and put it into the (lunar) water:
18 And the (Hercules) priest shall set the (Pollux) woman before the (Shekinah) Lord, and uncover the (Pollux) woman's head, and put the (lunar) offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the (Hercules) priest shall have in his hand the (lunar) bitter water that causeth the curse:
19 And the (Hercules) priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the (Pollux) woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this (lunar) bitter water that causeth the curse:
20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy (Castor) husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee (Pollux) beside thine (Castor) husband:
21 Then the (Hercules) priest shall charge the (Pollux) woman with an oath of cursing, and the (Hercules) priest shall say unto the (Castor) woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy (Gemini) people, when the Lord doth make thy (lunar) thigh to rot, and thy (lunar) belly to swell;
22 And this (lunar) water that causeth the curse shall go into thy (lunar) bowels, to make thy (lunar) belly to swell, and thy (lunar) thigh to rot: And the (Pollux) woman shall say, Amen, amen.
23 And the (Hercules) priest shall (red radius) write these curses in a (lunar) book, and he shall blot them out with the (lunar) bitter water:
The rabbins who have commented on this text give us the following information: When any man, prompted by the spirit of jealousy, suspected his wife to have committed adultery, he brought her first before the judges, and accused her of the crime; but as she asserted her innocency, and refused to acknowledge herself guilty, and as he had no witnesses to produce, he required that she should be sentenced to drink the waters of bitterness which the law had appointed; that God, by this means, might discover what she wished to conceal. After the judges had heard the accusation and the denial, the man and his wife were both sent to Jerusalem, to appear before the Sanhedrin, who were the sole judges in such matters. The rabbins say that the judges of the Sanhedrin, at first endeavored with threatenings to confound the woman, and cause her to confess her crime; when she still persisted in her innocence, she was led to the eastern gate of the court of Israel, where she was stripped of the clothes she wore, and dressed in black before a number of persons of her own sex. The priest then told her that if she knew herself to be innocent she had no evil to apprehend; but if she were guilty, she might expect to suffer all that the law threatened: to which she answered, Amen, amen.
The priest then wrote the words of the law upon a piece of vellum, with ink that had no vitriol in it, that it might be the more easily blotted out. The words written on the vellum were, according to the rabbins, the following: -
"If a strange man have not come near thee, and thou art not polluted by forsaking the bed of thy husband, these bitter waters which I have cursed will not hurt thee: but if thou have gone astray from thy husband, and have polluted thyself by coming near to another man, may thou be accursed of the Lord, and become an example for all his people; may thy thigh rot, and thy belly swell till it burst! may these cursed waters enter into thy belly, and, being swelled therewith, may thy thigh putrefy!"
After this the priest took a new pitcher, filled it with water out of the brazen bason that was near the altar of burnt-offering, cast some dust into it taken from the pavement of the temple, mingled something bitter, as wormwood, with it, and having read the curses above mentioned to the woman, and received her answer of Amen, he scraped off the curses from the vellum into the pitcher of water. During this time another priest tore her clothes as low as her bosom, made her head bare, untied the tresses of her hair, fastened her torn clothes with a girdle below her breasts, and presented her with the tenth part of an ephah, or about three pints of barley-meal, which was in a frying pan, without oil or incense.
The other priest, who had prepared the waters of jealousy, then gave them to be drank by the accused person, and as soon as she had swallowed them, he put the pan with the meal in it into her hand. This was waved before the Lord, and a part of it thrown into the fire of the altar. If the woman was innocent, she returned with her husband; and the waters, instead of incommoding her, made her more healthy and fruitful than ever: if on the contrary she were guilty, she was seen immediately to grow pale, her eyes started out of her head, and, lest the temple should be defiled with her death, she was carried out, and died instantly with all the ignominious circumstances related in the curses, which the rabbins say had the same effect on him with whom she had been criminal, though he were absent and at a distance. They add, however, that if the husband himself had been guilty with another woman, then the waters had no bad effect even on his criminal wife; as in that case the transgression on the one part was, in a certain sense, balanced by the transgression on the other.
24 And he shall cause the (Pollux) woman to drink the (lunar) bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.
25 Then the (Hercules) priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the (Pollux) woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the (Shekinah) Lord, and offer it upon the (solar) altar:
26 And the (Hercules) priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and (solar) burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the (Pollux) woman to (lunar) drink the water.
27 And when he hath made her to drink the (lunar) water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her (Castor) husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her (lunar) belly shall swell, and her (lunar) thigh shall rot: and the (Pollux) woman shall be a curse among her (Gemini) people.
28 And if the (Pollux) woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
29 This is the law of jealousies, when a (Pollux) wife goeth aside to another instead of her (Castor) husband, and is defiled;
30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his (Pollux) wife, and shall set the woman before the (Shekinah) Lord, and the (Hercules) priest shall execute upon her all this law.
31 Then shall the (Castor) man be guiltless from iniquity, and this (Pollux) woman shall bear her iniquity.