Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 15

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2514. B.C. 1490.

This chapter contains laws concerning other ceremonial uncleannesses, contracted either by bodily disease, or some natural incidents, whether in men, Leviticus 15:1-18 , or in women, Leviticus 15:19-33 .

Verse 1

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.

Verse 2

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.”

Verse 4

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.

Verses 16-18

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.

Verse 19

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.

Verse 24

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.

Verse 31

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.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 15". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/leviticus-15.html. 1857.
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