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Numbers 5:31

Context
5:31 Then the man will be free from iniquity, but that woman will bear the consequences 1  of her iniquity.’” 2 

Numbers 14:34

Context
14:34 According to the number of the days you have investigated this land, forty days – one day for a year – you will suffer for 3  your iniquities, forty years, and you will know what it means to thwart me. 4 

Numbers 18:1

Context
Responsibilities of the Priests

18:1 5 The Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your tribe 6  with you must bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, 7  and you and your sons with you must bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Numbers 18:23

Context
18:23 But the Levites must perform the service 8  of the tent of meeting, and they must bear their iniquity. 9  It will be a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations that among the Israelites the Levites 10  have no inheritance. 11 

Numbers 30:15

Context
30:15 But if he should nullify them after he has heard them, then he will bear her iniquity.” 12 

1 sn The text does not say what the consequences are. Presumably the punishment would come from God, and not from those administering the test.

2 tn The word “iniquity” can also mean the guilt for the iniquity as well as the punishment of consequences for the iniquity. These categories of meanings grew up through figurative usage (metonymies). Here the idea is that if she is guilty then she must “bear the consequences.”

3 tn Heb “you shall bear.”

4 tn The phrase refers to the consequences of open hostility to God, or perhaps abandonment of God. The noun תְּנוּאָה (tÿnuah) occurs in Job 33:10 (perhaps). The related verb occurs in Num 30:6 HT (30:5 ET) and 32:7 with the sense of “disallow, discourage.” The sense of the expression adopted in this translation comes from the meticulous study of R. Loewe, “Divine Frustration Exegetically Frustrated,” Words and Meanings, 137-58.

5 sn This chapter and the next may have been inserted here to explain how the priests are to function because in the preceding chapter Aaron’s position was affirmed. The chapter seems to fall into four units: responsibilities of priests (vv. 1-7), their portions (vv. 8-19), responsibilities of Levites (vv. 20-24), and instructions for Levites (vv. 25-32).

6 tn Heb “your father’s house.”

7 sn The responsibility for the sanctuary included obligations relating to any violation of the sanctuary. This was stated to forestall any further violations of the sanctuary. The priests were to pay for any ritual errors, primarily if any came too near. Since the priests and Levites come near all the time, they risk violating ritual laws more than any. So, with the great privileges come great responsibilities. The bottom line is that they were responsible for the sanctuary.

8 tn The verse begins with the perfect tense of עָבַד (’avad) with vav (ו) consecutive, making the form equal to the instructions preceding it. As its object the verb has the cognate accusative “service.”

9 sn The Levites have the care of the tent of meeting, and so they are responsible for any transgressions against it.

10 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Levites) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

11 tn The Hebrew text uses both the verb and the object from the same root to stress the point: They will not inherit an inheritance. The inheritance refers to land.

12 sn In other words, he will pay the penalty for making her break her vows if he makes her stop what she vowed. It will not be her responsibility.



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