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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-12


Verses 1-12:

"Issue," zob, "flowing." The term occurs 13 times in the Hebrew text, all in chapter 15. Some suggest the "issue" in verses 2-15 is identical with the disease of gonorrhea, or some similar disease. It seems unlikely that such stringent laws should be enacted merely for a mere boil or common carbuncle.

One who had this "issue" was under the three following restrictions:

1. He himself was ceremonially unclean; 2. He was not allowed to come near the sanctuary; 3. Every person and thing which came in contact with him in any way was unclean.

These strict provisions typify the loathsome and degrading nature of sin. It defiles the one who is infected thereby, and it causes defilement of those with whom he comes in contact, 2Co 6:14-17.

Verses 13-15

Verses 13-15:

When the victim was cured of his "issue," either by medication or by Divine intervention, he was to observe the prescribed ritual for his ceremonial cleansing:

1. He must mark seven days from the time of his cure, possibly to observe for a recurrence of the disease.

2. He must wash his clothes, and bathe himself in "running water."

3. He must bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, to the priest, one as a Sin Offering, and the other as a Burnt offering.

Verses 16-18

Verses 16-18:

A man was considered ceremonially unclean by reason of any seminal emission, either by involuntary nocturnal emission (De 23:10), masturbation (Ge 28:9, 10), or sexual intercourse. The woman with whom the man had sexual relations also became ceremonially unclean.

Cleansing of and purification from uncleanness by seminal emission did not require any kind of sacrifice; it merely required a washing of the body and of the garments. This implies that no sin was involved which required the shedding of blood.

Verses 19-24

Verses 19-24:

The "issue" of this text is that of ordinary menstruation, see Le 20:18. During her monthly menstrual period, a woman was regarded as ceremonially unclean. This does not imply that there is something sinful or morally defiling in the normal physical process of menstruation. The uncleanness associated with this function was likely due to the blood of the menses.

All persons and things with which the woman came in contact during her menstrual period were considered unclean. This uncleanness was purified by the simple act of washing with water; no sacrifice was involved. This implies that there was no moral offense associated with this uncleanness.

Verses 24: "flowers," niddah, "impurity, separation," from nada, "flowing." This is a reference to the menses.

Verses 25-27

Verses 25-27:

This is the case of an excessive or an abnormal menstruation, or of a hemorrhage such as may be caused by a tumor or other disorder of the female reproductive organs. An example of such is the woman with the "issue of blood," who was healed by the touch of Jesus, Mt 9:20; Mr 5:25; Lu 8:43. Any disease involving a hemorrhage or discharge from the reproductive organs caused the victim to be ceremonially unclean.

Verses 28-30

Verses 28-30:

When the woman was fully free from any discharge, she marked off a period of seven days. At the end of this time, she brought two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, to the priest who officiated at the "door" of the tabernacle. One bird was for a Sin Offering, the other for a Burnt Offering. When these offerings were completed, she was ceremonially cleansed and purified.

Verses 31-33

Verses 31-33:

The primary purpose of the laws regarding cleanness was ceremonial, not merely sanitary or hygienic. It was to reinforce the purity and holiness of God and His house, and to insure that there would be no corruption or defilement of His house by the very appearance of anything unclean.

Israel’s laws, particularly those having to do with diet, dress, and decorum, were for the purpose of emphasizing the holiness of the Chosen People. They were to be different from their heathen neighbors, in all areas of life.

This illustrates the principle of holy living for God’s child today. Some things which may be permissible for the people of the world are forbidden to the child of God, Ro 12:1,2; 1Co 9:22-27.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Leviticus 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/leviticus-15.html. 1985.
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