Numbers 5: 30-31 NRSV
Ugh! Don't get me started with this account of what happens to a woman accused of adultery. The law has already stated that a woman caught in the act of adultery would be stoned to death. But here it is only the husband's suspicion of what might be happening that causes the woman to have to swallow a compound that causes tremendous pain and can make her miscarry if she is pregnant. And if she does, she becomes an execration among the people. That is, totally abhorred. No mention of being killed but this is worse.
Okay, all this is done if the husband is jealous. No proof of adultery, simple jealousy. What if she is pregnant with his child? And innocent? Or not pregnant and has to be humiliated and tortured? If the man is so inclined toward jealousy, I would suspect that this won't be the last time he tries this. And the man who has (supposedly) slept with her is not punished at all. Also, if the woman is jealous, there is nothing she can do.
What is the meaning of all this? Prevention of the husband claiming a child that is not his as his. That is this purpose of this law - to prevent the birth of bastards.
This is the Old Testament version of abortion. And it is done by the priest in front of the sanctuary.
As a sanctity-of-human-life supporter and female bastard I would really like to cut this part out of the bible.
God, I am not happy about this scripture. Why is it in the Bible? What are you trying to say with this part of the law? What do we do with scripture that is painful, cruel and disgusting? Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims