And the vessel of earth, that he touches which has the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the vessel of earth . . . shall be broken.—For the reason why vessels of a porous clay must be destroyed when contaminated by defilement, see Leviticus 6:28; Leviticus 11:33. This, however, is the only instance where an earthen vessel touched on the outside was defiled, thus again showing the intense loathing with which the guilt of this kind of infirmity was regarded.
Every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.—As these kinds of vessels were both more expensive and more difficult to restore, the Law, which so frequently takes into consideration the circumstances of the people, mercifully spares the more costly utensils. These are to undergo the same baptism as human beings. The administrators of the law during the second Temple took the expression “wood” in a more generic sense, as denoting more enduring material than clay; hence they included vessels made of copper, brass, silver, &c. With regard to the manner in which the vessels thus polluted are to be immersed, they ordained that if the utensil is dipped with its mouth downward, or if the vessel, at the time of its immersion, contains any liquor except water, the baptism is illegal. They, moreover, ordained that all new vessels which are purchased, or otherwise acquired, must likewise be immersed, for fear lest the maker, or some of those who have handled them prior to the purchase, might have been in a state of defilement. Hence the orthodox Jews to this day literally baptize cups, plates, knives, forks, or any new utensil which they buy. It is to this law that Christ refers when He says, “And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing [literally, the baptism] of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables,” or, as the Margin has it more correctly, “beds,” or couches (Mark 7:4).Leviticus 12:1-8, with the subject of which it is inmediately connected. Compare especially Leviticus 12:2 with Leviticus 15:19. It stands here between two chapters, with neither of which has it any close connection.
and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water; and after that be used: what should be the reason why an earthen vessel defiled by touching should be broken, and a wooden vessel defiled in the same way should not, but be rinsed and cleansed, when an earthen vessel might as well be rinsed and fit for use as that, is not easy to say; it depended upon the will of the lawgiver: according to Ainsworth, the one may signify the destruction of reprobate persons, the other the cleansing of penitent sinners.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.Leviticus 15:5), or sat upon it (Leviticus 15:6), or touched his flesh, i.e., his body (Leviticus 15:7), was unclean, and had to bathe himself and wash his clothes in consequence.
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