And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying,Leviticus 15:1. The laws in this chapter, although, in the main, aiming at the same end with the foregoing cases, namely, to teach the necessity of moral purity, and preserve the reverence due to the worship of God, yet were also particularly intended as a restraint upon immoderate indulgences of the flesh.
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean.Leviticus 15:2. A running issue — A grievous and loathsome disease, and generally the consequence of sin. Such a one was in a state of uncleanness all the time it was upon him. “If it proceeded merely from innocent, accidental causes,” says Maimonides, “as a strain in the back, carrying too great a burden, or violent leaping, the man was not defiled with it, nor concerned in this law.”
And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness.
Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean.Leviticus 15:4. Every bed whereon he lieth, &c. — Thus, such persons were cut off from all communications with mankind, and were shunned and avoided by every one, as an abomination. And this could not but tend to render them all extremely careful not to bring upon themselves so loathsome a disease.
And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And he that sitteth on any thing whereon he sat that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And he that toucheth the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean; then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And what saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean.
And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And the vessel of earth, that he toucheth which hath the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.
And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.
And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and give them unto the priest:
And the priest shall offer them, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue.
And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even.Leviticus 15:16-18. And be unclean until the even — So as that they should not dare to approach the sanctuary for that day; until even — That is, till next day began. This law served both to preserve a due regard to natural purity, and to restrain the immoderate use of the marriage-bed.
And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.
And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.Leviticus 15:19. She shall be put apart — Not out of the camp, but from converse with her husband and others, and from access to the house of God. Seven days — During the time of her infirmity, which might perhaps continue so long, and it was decent to allow time for her purification after the ceasing of her issue. Whosoever toucheth her — Of grown persons; for the infant, to whom in that case she might give suck, was exempted from this pollution by the greater law of necessity, and by that antecedent law, which required women to give suck to their own children.
And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.
And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even.
And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.Leviticus 15:24. Seven days — If he did this ignorantly; but if it were done with his own knowledge, and that of the woman, they were both, after being accused and convicted, to be punished with death, Leviticus 20:18; for as there was a turpitude in the action, so it would be very prejudicial to the children should any be then begotten, as they would probably be weak or leprous. Hence an excellent author is of opinion that this law was given for this very reason, to prevent the Jews from contracting and propagating some grievous disorder. Moses, or rather God, the author of the Mosaic law, by this prohibition, as in many other instances, consulted the health and safety of his people. To this we may add, that it would have redounded to the dishonour of God, and of the true religion, if the professors thereof should give such public evidence of their intemperance.
And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.
Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation.
And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.
And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.
Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.Leviticus 15:31. When they defile my tabernacle — Both ceremonially, by coming into it in their uncleanness; and morally, by the contempt of God’s express command to cleanse themselves. This shows that one main design of these laws was to impress the minds of that carnal people with a high respect and veneration for the worship of God, and whatever bore the name of sacred. It was to separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness. Hereby they were taught their privilege and their honour, that they were purified unto God a peculiar people; for that was a defilement to them which was not to others. They were also taught their duty, which was to keep themselves clean from all pollution.
From all this, 1st, Let us learn to bless God that we are not under the yoke of these carnal ordinances; that, as nothing can defile us, so nothing can destroy us, but sin. They may now partake of the Lord’s supper, who durst not then eat of the peace-offering. And the defilement we contract by our daily infirmities we may be cleansed from in secret, by the renewed acts of repentance and faith, without bathing in water, or bringing an offering to the door of the tabernacle. 2d, Let us carefully abstain from all sin, as defiling to the conscience, and particularly from all fleshly lusts; possessing our vessel in sanctification and honour, and not in the lusts of uncleanness, which not only pollute the soul, but war against it, and threaten its ruin. 3d, Let us consider, and be persuaded, how indispensably necessary real holiness is to our future happiness; and get our hearts purified by faith, that we may be admitted to see God, and enter into the heavenly sanctuary to worship and rejoice before him. Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart, and none else; for without holiness no man shall see the Lord.
This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith;
And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.