Special Forms of Uncleanness and Their Cleansing.
IN THE CASE OF MEN. - V.1. And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying, v.2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, either a catarrhal affection of the urethra or a latent flowing of semen with a continuous discharge, because of his issue he is unclean, Levitically impure. V.3. And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, that is, whether the matter flows without stopping, or whether it is sometimes temporarily retained, it is his uncleanness. V.4. Every bed whereon he lieth that hath the issue is unclean; and everything, every piece of furniture, whereon he sitteth shall be unclean. V.5. And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. V.6. And he that sitteth on anything whereon he sat that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. V.7. And he that toucheth the flesh, that is, the body, of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. V.8. And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean, as might inadvertently happen, then he (the clean person) shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. V.9. And what saddle soever, wagon or seat of a wagon, he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean. V.10. And whosoever toucheth anything that was under him, any garment, saddle, or vessel upon which the unclean person lay or sat, 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. V.11. 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. The washing of the hands prevented the communication of the uncleanness on the part of the person suffering with the issue, for the uncleanness was of a symbolical character. V.12. 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. V.13. And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue, when the flow has stopped, then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, to be sure that a recurrence of the trouble was excluded, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh, his body, in running water, and shall be clean. V.14. And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtle-doves or two young pigeons, offerings of the humblest kind indeed, but serving just the same for the purpose of upholding the relation between God and the sinner, and come before the Lord unto the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and give them unto the priest; v.15. 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. On account of the uncleanness there had existed an estrangement between God and the afflicted person, and this was now removed by the sacrifice of faith. V.16. And if any man’s seed of copulation go out from him, inadvertently, during sleep, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. V.17. And every garment and every skin whereon is the seed of copulation shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The law seems to refer to involuntary emissions only, but its provisions naturally would serve to check the terrible sin of self-pollution. V.18. The woman also with whom man shall lie, in the chief relation peculiar to the marital estate, with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even. This law must have acted as a very effective check upon mere sensual passions. Cp. Ex. 19, 15; 1 Sam. 21, 5. 6; 2 Sam. 11, 4. “This defilement is connected with the general sinful condition of man, and did not pertain to his original state.”
IN THE CASE OF WOMEN. - V.19. And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, the regular menstrual flow, she shall be put apart seven days; and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even; every form of contact, even if it was ever so slight, rendered unclean for the day. V.20. And everything that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean; everything also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean; beds and chairs and every other article of furniture upon which she rested were here included. V.21. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even, having become Levitically defiled by the mere outward contact. V.22. And whosoever toucheth anything that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. V.23. And if it, any of the menstrual discharge, be on her bed, or on anything whereon she sitteth, when he, any person, toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. V.24. And if any man lie with her at all, in the specific marital relation, and her flowers, some of the discharge, be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean; he will enter into the condition of her Levitical uncleanness. V.25. And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, beyond the normal limit of seven days, as in the case of the woman whom Jesus healed, Matt. 9, 20-22, 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; during that whole period she was to be regarded as being in the uncleanness of menstruation. V.26. 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. V.27. And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. V.28. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself Seven days, as in the case of the man, v.13. and after that she shall be clean. V.29. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, the wild turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. V.30. 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. While ordinary menstruation required no sacrifice, this abnormal flow, being an uncleanness which estranged from God, made an offering of atonement necessary, for the Lord wanted external, physical purity as a mark and expression of internal cleanness in all the members of His people. V.31. Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, set them apart as people consecrated to the Lord, that they die not in their uncleanness when they defile my Tabernacle that is among them. The measures here ordered were not merely sanitary, but they also regulated sexual life among the Israelites, besides being typical of the perfect purity which the Lord expects from all His children at all times. V.32. This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him and is defiled therewith, v.33. and of her that is sick of her flowers, with the menstrual flow, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean. Christian spouses will keep in mind at all times that they know how to possess their organs and vessels in sanctification and honor, not in the loathsome lust of concupiscence, as the Gentiles that know not God, 1 Thess. 4, 4. 5.