And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying,
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.
when any man
It is not necessary to consider particularly the laws contained in this chapter, the letter of the text being in general sufficiently plain. It may, however, be observed, that from the pains which persons rendered unclean were obliged to take, the ablutions and separations which they must observe, and the privations to which they must in consequence be exposed, in the way of commerce, traffic, etc., these laws were admirably adapted to prevent contagion of every kind, by keeping the whole from the diseased, and to hinder licentious indulgences and excesses of every description.
or, running of the reins.
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.
Heb. vessel. be unclean.
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 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.
The word merchav, from rachav, to ride, here rendered by our translators saddle, and frequently chariot. Mr. Harmer thinks rather means a litter, or coune, of which we have already given a description in Ge 31:34.
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.
It is rather doubtful whether the words hath not rinsed his hands in water refer to him who was diseased, or to him who had his hands touched. Most understand it of the former, that if the person who had the issue rinsed his hands in water, just before he touched any one, he did not communicate any pollution; otherwise, he did. But the Syriac refers it to the person touched by him, though it seems strange that he should be cleansed by washing his hands, when perhaps some other part was touched.
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.
shall be broken
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.
And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
The poorer class of Arabs of our times make use of mats in their tents; and other inhabitants of these countries, who affect ancient simplicity of manners, make use of goat-skins. Dr. R. Chandler, in his Travels in Greece, tells us, that he saw some dervishes at Athens sitting on goat-skins; and that he was afterwards conducted into a room furnished in like manner, with the same kind of carpeting, where he was treated with a pipe and coffee by the chief dervish. Those that are at all acquainted with Oriental manners, in these later times, know that their dervishes (who are a sort of Mohammedan devotees, a good deal resembling the begging friars of the church or Rome) affect great simplicity, and even sometimes austerity, in their dress and way of living. As these dervishes that Dr. Chandler visited sat on goat-skins, and used no other kind of carpet for the accommodation of those who visited them: so it should seem that the Israelites in the wilderness made use of skins for mattresses to lie upon, and consequently, we may equally suppose to sit upon in the day time, instead of a carpet.
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.
and her issue
Heb. in her separation.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
19:30 21:23 Numbers 5:3 19:13,20 Ezekiel 5:11 23:38 44:5-7 Daniel 9:27 1 Corinthians 3:17 These laws were principally intended to impress the minds of the Israelites with reverence for the sanctuary; and, on the one hand, to shew them what need they had of circumspection, and purity of heart and life, in order to worship the holy God with acceptance; and, on the other hand, that being sinners in a world full of temptations and defilements, they would continually need forgiveness, through the great atonement typified by all the sacrifices, and the sanctification of the Spirit, showed forth by all the purifications. While they were encamped in the desert, it would not be very burdensome to bring the prescribed oblations; but after they were settled in Canaan, many of them at a great distance from the tabernacle, this would become much more difficult. We may, however, observe, continues Mr. Scott, that many of the cases stated only required such washings as might any where be performed, and that those, respecting which sacrifices were appointed, would more rarely occur. We may also suppose, that provided these were brought, when the person who had been unclean first came to the sanctuary, it would suffice: though distance or other hindrances prevented its being done immediately, at the expiration of the seven days.
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.