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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The woman also with whom man shall lie.—Better, And if a man lie with a woman, that is, even when what is specified in Leviticus 15:16 takes place in intercourse between man and woman lawfully married, it pollutes both the husband and the wife. They have accordingly both to immerse their whole bodies, and remain unclean till sundown, and were debarred from the privileges of the sanctuary during that day. Hence abstinence from conjugal intercourse was regarded as a necessary preparation for the performance of sacred duties. He who had approached his wife could not draw nigh to God (Exodus 19:15), and was not allowed to partake of sacred meals. (Comp. 1Samuel 21:5-6.) The law of pollution was not designed to put a check upon marriage, since matrimony is a Divine institution (Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:21-25), but it is intended to prevent husband and wife from making an immoderate use of their conjugal life, and thus to preserve them in health and vigour by prescribing such constant purifications after it. This is probably the reason why other nations of antiquity enacted similar laws. Thus the Hindoos and the Babylonians bathed after conjugal intercourse. The Egyptian priests abstained from it when they had to perform sacred duties, and the laity were not allowed to enter the precincts of the Temple unless they submitted to ablutions. Mahommed, for the same reason, enjoins lustrations upon all the faithful before reciting their prayers.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.
they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even; so Herodotus (f) reports, that as often as a Babylonian man lay with his wife, he had used to sit by consecrated incense, and the woman did the same: and in the morning they were both washed, and did not touch any vessel before they had washed themselves; and he says the Arabians did the like: and the same historian relates (g) of the Egyptians, that they never go into their temples from their wives unwashed; see Exodus 19:15.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.Verse 18. - The third case of an issue (cf. Exodus 19:15; 1 Samuel 21:5; 1 Corinthians 7:5). Leviticus 11:33 and Leviticus 6:21.
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