NUMBERS 5:31- Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.
This law does not turn a blind eye toward male culpability, but only addresses the difficult problem of due process when a man suspects his wife of sexual impropriety. It is better to engage a public process than to let a jealous man have his vicious way on the theory that a woman is mere property. Far from belittling women, the process recorded here protects
them, effectively barricading them from physical abuse. Women in many parts of the developing world today would embrace such protection, and in the First World, the battered wife speaks powerfully to need for communal constraints on the anger that lashes and destroys. In the light of most urban experience today, Old Testament procedure appears enlightened and effective.