Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
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.The Uncleanness of Issues and their Cleansing
As regards men (1–18)
2. an issue out of his flesh] by flesh is here meant the private parts, as in Leviticus 6:10, Leviticus 16:4. Everything which a man in this condition touched was unclean, so that anyone coming in contact with the man, or with anything that he had touched, must wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and was not considered purified until the evening.
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.
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 he that toucheth the flesh of him 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.9. saddle] any seat in a carriage or other kind of conveyance is included.
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.11. without having rinsed his hands in water] This is the only case mentioned in the law where a person who is unclean can, by washing his hands, avoid communicating uncleanness to another.
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.12. The difference between the earthen and wooden vessel is the same as that in Leviticus 6:28, Leviticus 11:32 f. The rabbis inferred from this verse that metal vessels should be washed. The Jew who purchased a brasen pot was bound to wash it, for it might have been handled by one who was ritually unclean. These ‘washings of cups, and pots, and brasen vessels,’ are referred to in Mark 7:4.
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.13. When the man is physically cured, he has yet to observe the rules for ritual purification, and to offer sacrifices, a Sin-Offering and a Burnt-Offering.
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.16. A similar precept is found in Deuteronomy 23:10.
And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
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.18. As unclean they could not take part in the service of the sanctuary. Similar limitations are found Exodus 19:15; 1 Samuel 21:5 f.
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.As regards women (19–30)
19–24. Normal periodical issues. The uncleanness of these issues is similar to that in the preceding case (cp. Leviticus 15:4-11), but no sacrifice is required at the close of the period. For the belief in early religions that in such cases special precautions were needed against maleficent spiritual agencies, see Rob.-Sm. Rel. Sem.2 447 ff., and Frazer, G.B.3, Pt II. pp. 145 ff.
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 whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall 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.24. It is generally supposed that the case treated in this verse is different from that contemplated in Leviticus 18:19, Leviticus 20:18. If, as some think, the three passages refer to the same act, they cannot all be from the same source.
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.25–30. If the issue be abnormal, it is of the nature of a disease, and is treated in the same manner as the first case (Leviticus 15:2-15). The woman in the Gospel (Matthew 9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43) was thus afflicted.
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.
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.
And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
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.
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.31. A reason for these purifications is given.
my tabernacle] Another name for the tabernacle is (Heb. mishkân) dwelling, e.g. Exodus 25:9 R.V. mg. In Exodus 25-27, and in parts of 35–40 the word is used to denote the structure described in 26, 36, and distinguished as the ‘tabernacle’ from the ‘tent over the tabernacle’ (Exodus 26:7; Exodus 36:14 in R.V.). But in other passages it is used as the equivalent of the ‘tent of meeting’ for the tabernacle with its covering tent. It indicates the place where God dwells among the children of Israel according to His promise (so in Leviticus 16:16, Leviticus 26:11 f.; Exodus 29:45; cp. Exodus 25:8; Numbers 5:3; Numbers 35:34), and is used only of the tabernacle1 (in the plur., Numbers 24:5, it is used of Israel in poetical parallelism with ‘tents’). The combination ‘tabernacle of the tent of meeting’ occurs Exodus 40:2; Exodus 40:6; Exodus 40:29†. As the A.V. renders both ‘ohel (see on Leviticus 1:1) and mishkân by ‘tabernacle,’ the difference does not appear in that version.
 The use of the word tabernacle of the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (see McNeile C. B. ad loc. Numbers 16:24; Numbers 16:27) is very strange, and the text must be considered doubtful.
This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith;32, 33. The concluding vv. include all the cases mentioned in this chapter. Cp. the conclusion to ch. 11.
The gradations in the methods of cleansing should be noted: (a) the uncleanness lasted till the end of the day, and ceased without any further ceremonial, ‘he shall be unclean until the even’; (b) washing the clothes and bathing in running water is added (Leviticus 15:13); (c) sacrifices must also be offered, for the leper, a woman in childbirth (ch. 12) and two cases in ch. 15 (Leviticus 15:15; Leviticus 15:30).
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.