Do not put oil on the meal offering of a woman suspected of adultery

The Literal Commandment

the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity." (Numbers 5:15)

 

The literal commandment is that a priest must most pour oil on the meal offering of a woman suspected of adultery.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment is a reflection of G-d's grace and legal protection for those who might not otherwise be able to defend themselves against false accusations of adultery. In other cultures, it was enough for a man to accuse his wife of adultery to be able to divorce her or have her put to death.

This was not acceptable in G-d's economy so He provided protection against such abuses that involved His supernatural involvement.

In a similar way, we see G-d's supernatural involvement in the work of Messiah sparing us from the charges of the accuser, the enemy of our soul.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

No evidence is given in Scripture that Messiah literally fulfilled this command: He never was married and never accused a wife of adultery.

He was also not a Levitical priest and would have never applied the process to a woman accused of adultery.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional observance of this commandment is highly involved and complicated... so much so that it has an entire tractate (section) of the Talmud dedicated to this topic. The woman accused of adultery in Hebrew is called a sotah and Tractate Sotah of the Talmud goes into great detail about the supernatural process described in the Bible.

This specific part of the commandment was usually performed in a literal sense: not putting oil on the meal offering of a woman suspected of adultery.

 

Other Notes

We are not able to fulfill this commandment today because we lack a standing Temple and a functioning Levitical priesthood which are required by this commandment.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 137
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 4
  • Mishneh Torah Book Women
  • Mishneh Torah Category 24- Woman Suspected of Adultery
  • Reference Numbers 5:15
  • Scripture Book Numbers
  • Chapter 5
  • Verse 15
  • English the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity.
  • Hebrew טו וְהֵבִיא הָאִישׁ אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ, אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן, וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָהּ עָלֶיהָ, עֲשִׂירִת הָאֵיפָה קֶמַח שְׂעֹרִים; לֹא-יִצֹק עָלָיו שֶׁמֶן, וְלֹא-יִתֵּן עָלָיו לְבֹנָה--כִּי-מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הוּא, מִנְחַת זִכָּרוֹן מַזְכֶּרֶת עָו‍ֹן.
  • Greek 15 καὶ ἄξει ὁ ἄνθρωπος τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν ἱερέα καὶ προσοίσει τὸ δῶρον περὶ αὐτῆς τὸ δέκατον τοῦ οιφι ἄλευρον κρίθινον, οὐκ ἐπιχεεῖ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸ ἔλαιον οὐδὲ ἐπιθήσει ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸ λίβανον, ἔστιν γὰρ θυσία ζηλοτυπίας, θυσία μνημοσύνου ἀναμιμνήσκουσα ἁμαρτίαν.
  • Parashah 35- Naso
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 366
  • Sef. Hach. Command To put no oil in the meal-offering of a sotah
  • Category Marriage and Family
  • We can fullfill today No

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