Leviticus 11:32
And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
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(32) And upon whatsoever any of them.—Better, and upon whatsoever aught of them, that is, not only if the whole carcase fell upon any of the specified vessels were the vessels in question defiled, but if a portion of the carcase came in contact with the utensils it made them unclean. (See Leviticus 11:25.) According to the law which obtained during the second Temple it was only when the portion of the carcase of an unclean animal had flesh on it that it defiled, but not otherwise. Hence the skins, hair, bones, horns, hoofs, sinews, &c. of all unclean creatures were exempted. These were made into different domestic utensils and implements. The use thus made of the parts in question also constituted one of the differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees in the time of Christ. The Sadducees regarded every portion of every unclean animal in whatever state as defiling, and hence prohibited its being made up into any vessel.

Vessel of wood.—That is, vessels made of bulrushes (Isaiah 18:2), reeds, wicker, shells of nuts, barks of trees, or of anything which grew out of the earth like wood.

Or raiment.—That is, any garment made of a woven material, such as wool, flax, hemp, or anything which grows on the dry land. Hence cloth made of a material which grows in the sea was not defiled, according to the canons which obtained during the second Temple.

Or skin.—This also, according to the same authorities, only applied to the skins of land animals; skins of aquatic creatures received no defilement.

Or sack.—From the parallel passage in Numbers 31:20, we see that by this expression here is meant garments made of stuffs of goats’ hair, in contradistinction to the textures of which the garments were made, denoted by the expression beged, “raiment.” (See also Isaiah 20:2.) Skins which were not made into garments or vessels, or which exhibited unfinished vessels, received no pollution.

11:1-47 What animals were clean and unclean. - These laws seem to have been intended, 1. As a test of the people's obedience, as Adam was forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge; and to teach them self-denial, and the government of their appetites. 2. To keep the Israelites distinct from other nations. Many also of these forbidden animals were objects of superstition and idolatry to the heathen. 3. The people were taught to make distinctions between the holy and unholy in their companions and intimate connexions. 4. The law forbad, not only the eating of the unclean beasts, but the touching of them. Those who would be kept from any sin, must be careful to avoid all temptations to it, or coming near it. The exceptions are very minute, and all were designed to call forth constant care and exactness in their obedience; and to teach us to obey. Whilst we enjoy our Christian liberty, and are free from such burdensome observances, we must be careful not to abuse our liberty. For the Lord hath redeemed and called his people, that they may be holy, even as he is holy. We must come out, and be separate from the world; we must leave the company of the ungodly, and all needless connexions with those who are dead in sin; we must be zealous of good works devoted followers of God, and companions of his people.
]The identification of "the creeping things" here named is not always certain. They are most likely those which were occasionally eaten. For the "Tortoise" read "the great lizard," for the "ferret" the "gecko" (one of the lizard tribe), for the "chameleon" read the "frog" or the Nile lizard: by the word rendered "snail" is probably meant another kind of lizard, and by the "mole" the "chameleon." 31-35. whosoever doth touch them, when … dead, shall be unclean until the even—These regulations must have often caused annoyance by suddenly requiring the exclusion of people from society, as well as the ordinances of religion. Nevertheless they were extremely useful and salutary, especially as enforcing attention to cleanliness. This is a matter of essential importance in the East, where venomous reptiles often creep into houses and are found lurking in boxes, vessels, or holes in the wall; and the carcass of one of them, or a dead mouse, mole, lizard, or other unclean animal, might be inadvertently touched by the hand, or fall on clothes, skin bottles, or any article of common domestic use. By connecting, therefore, the touch of such creatures with ceremonial defilement, which required immediately to be removed, an effectual means was taken to prevent the bad effects of venom and all unclean or noxious matter. No text from Poole on this verse.

And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean,.... Any of the above eight creeping things, that is, of their flesh, for as for their bones, nails, nerves, and skin, as before observed, being separated from them and dry, they do not defile:

whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack; every wooden vessel, as the Targum of Jonathan; and all sorts of clothes, of woollen, linen, or silk, and all sorts of skins, excepting skins of sea beasts; for these, according to the Jews (t), received no pollution; and also sacks or sackcloth, made of goats' hair, and the like:

whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done; any tool or instrument made use of by any artificer in his trade, or any vessel wrought by him:

it must be put into water; dipped into it, even into forty seahs of water, according to the Targum of Jonathan; and which is to be understood, not of any working tool, or finished vessel only, but of any vessel of wood, raiment, skin, or sack, before mentioned:

it shall be unclean until the even; even though put into water and washed:

so it shall be cleansed; in the above manner, by being put or dipped into water; or "afterwards", as the Septuagint, when it has been dipped and the even is come, and not before. (t) Bartenora in Misn. Celaim, c. 17. sect. 13.

And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or {i} skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.

(i) As a bottle or bag.

32. The case of one of these small animals creeping into a pan or bag or garment, and being found dead, seems to be contemplated. In such a case the vessel is unclean for the rest of the day and (Leviticus 11:33) if earthen must be broken, cp. Leviticus 6:28.

Leviticus 11:32In either case, anything upon which one of these animals fell became unclean, "whether a vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin." Every vessel (כּלי in the widest sense, as in Exodus 22:6), "wherein any work is done," i.e., that was an article of common use, was to be unclean till the evening, and then placed in water, that it might become clean again.
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