Numbers 5:11–31 as the Old Testament Background for Revelation 8:11

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Wydawnictwo KUL
The article examines possible links between the ritual of bitter water, described in Numbers 5:11–31, and one of the aspects of the plague, described as the event following the third trumpet in the Book of Revelation (Rev 8:11). Such a connection has not been analysed by scholars so far. The ritual described in Numbers 5 not only has a legal meaning but it is also the starting point for a theological tradition of understanding adultery as a metaphor for Israel’s unfaithfulness to YHWH. The prophetic texts of the OT use motifs taken from Num 5 to depict the lawsuit that YHWH brings against the unfaithful people. According to the author of this article, the use of the motif of drinking bitter water in Rev 8:11 falls into a similar pattern. This is a ritual performed to reveal the guilt of the sinners described in Rev as hoi anthrōpoi.
Revelation of John, Book of Numbers, Sotah ritual, bitter water, idolatry, adultery
"The Biblical Annals", 2024, T. 14, nr 1, s. 93-113