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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Leviticus 15



Verse 2

His secret parts, called

flesh, Leviticus 6:10 12:3 Ezekiel 16:26 23:20.

Verse 3

Or if it have run, and been stopped in great measure, either by the grossness of the humour, or by some obstruction in parts that it cannot run freely, as it did, but only droppeth.

Verse 4

Every thing, Heb. vessel, by which the Hebrews understand all sorts of household stuff.

Verse 7

He that toucheth the flesh, that is, any part of his body; the word flesh being taken otherwise here than Leviticus 15:2; as the same word is frequently used in Scripture in differing significations in the same chapter, and sometimes in the same verse, as Matthew 8:22.

Verse 11

This may be understood, either,

1. Of the person touching, if he that hath an issue toucheth another with unwashen hands. Thus most take it. But why then should it be limited to his hands? for if he had touched him by any other part, as suppose by kissing him, he had defiled him, though his hands had been washed. Or rather,

2. Of the person touched, to whom the washing of his hands is prescribed as an easier way of cleansing himself, if speedily used; but if that was neglected or delayed, a more laborious course was enjoined him. And thus the Syriac interpreter understands it.

Verse 13

Is cleansed of his issue; when his issue is not only stopped in part, or for a season, but hath wholly ceased.

For his cleansing, to wit, for the use of the ceremonies prescribed in such cases. See Numbers 19:11,12. Shall be clean, i.e. admitted to converse with men, and with God in public ordinances.

Verse 15

Not as if this was in itself a sin, but only a punishment of sin; though ofttimes it was sinful, as being a fruit of a man’s intemperance and immoderate lust. See Leviticus 14:12.

Verse 16

Go out from him; not through weakness of the parts, as that Leviticus 15:3; but in his sleep, which is called nightly pollution, which, though involuntary, might arise from some lustful dream or imagination. But if it was voluntary, and by a man’s own procurement when awake, it was esteemed abominable, and a degree of murder. See Genesis 38:9.

Verse 18

Man, or, the man, to wit, that had such an issue, which is plainly to be understood out, of the whole context. For though in some special cases, relating to the worship of God, men were to forbear the use of the marriage-bed, as Exodus 19:15 1 Samuel 21:4; yet to affirm that the use of it in other cases did generally defile the persons, and make them unclean till even, is contrary to the whole current of Scripture, which affirms the marriage-bed to be undefiled, Hebrews 13:4, to the practice of the Jews, which is a good comment upon their own laws, and to the light of nature and reason.

Verse 19

Heb. And a woman, when she shall have an issue of blood, (and because that might be at her nose or other parts, he adds,) and her issue shall be in her flesh, i.e. in her secret parts, as the word flesh is taken Leviticus 15:2. So it notes her monthly disease. Apart, not out of the camp, as the lepers and some others, but from converse with her husband and others, and from access to the house of God.

Seven days; for sometimes it continues so long, and it was but decent to allow some time for purification after the ceasing of her issue.

Whosoever toucheth her, to wit, 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

He shall be unclean seven days, if he did this unwitingly; but if the man and woman did this knowingly, this was a gross sin, Ezekiel 18:6; and they being accused and convicted were punished with death, Leviticus 20:18; for as there was a turpitude in the action, so it was very prejudicial to the children then begotten, who were commonly weak, or leprous, or otherwise disordered; which was also an injury to the commonwealth of Israel, and redounded to the dishonour of God, and of the true religion, that the professors thereof gave such public evidence of their intemperance.

Verse 25

The time of her separation, to wit, the seven days mentioned Leviticus 12:2, as suppose she had the emerods, &c.

Verse 28

Seven days from the stopping of her issue, as it is apparent. And this was for trial whether it was only a temporary obstruction, or a real cessation.

Verse 31

When they defile my tabernacle; which they did both ceremonially, by coming into it in their uncleanness, and morally, by the gross neglect and contempt of God’s express and positive command to cleanse themselves.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Leviticus 15:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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