Numbers 5–8: On How Moses’ Test for Adultery Is Different Than Monty Python’s Test for Witches (Bible Talk, Ep. 44)

Download MP3 Bible Talk

In Numbers 5–8, Israel is still revving its engine, preparing to enter the Promised Land. For now, we read about a strange test for adultery, the genesis of the Nazirite vow, and Aaron’s blessing, one of the most well-known passages in the whole Bible.


1:41 / Where are we on Israel’s journey in the book of Numbers?

2:32 / Sam previews Numbers 5-8.

4:05 / Jim draws attention to the word “guilt” in Numbers 5:6.

5:10 / Sam argues Numbers 5-6 are about purity within the camp of Israel and what this purity is about. 

7:43 / What is Moses’ test for adultery, and why is it here?

11:09 / How do people often misinterpret Moses’ test for adultery?

12:26 / Who are the Nazarites, and what is their purpose in Israel?

14:43 / Is there any significance in the fact that Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist are Nazarites?

17:10 / Jim breaks down the Aaronic blessing phrase-by-phrase.

21:29 / What does it mean for the Lord to “put his name upon the people of Israel?”

22:55 / What’s the function of the Aaronic blessing in the plot of Numbers?

24:37 / Jim connects Numbers 8:17-18 to 3:13, which communicate the “redemption of the firstborn” through the Levites.

26:06 / What is the simple message of the really long Numbers 7? 

29:31 / How does Moses end Israel’s season of preparation to enter the tabernacle in Numbers 8?

You can listen to “The Gospel by Numbers” by Ligon Duncan here.

9Marks articles are made possible by readers like you. Donate Today.