Leviticus 15:2
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.
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(2) A running issue out of his flesh.—Flesh, as is frequently the case, euphemistically denotes private parts. (See Genesis 6:10; Genesis 7:13; Leviticus 6:3; Leviticus 16:4; Ezekiel 16:26; Ezekiel 23:20, &c.)

Because of his issue he is unclean.—Better, his issue is unclean. Hence, any one coming in contact with it, or with the garment on which traces of the secretion are found, is thereby rendered unclean.

Leviticus 15:2. A running issue — A grievous and loathsome disease, and generally the consequence of sin. Such a one was in a state of uncleanness all the time it was upon him. “If it proceeded merely from innocent, accidental causes,” says Maimonides, “as a strain in the back, carrying too great a burden, or violent leaping, the man was not defiled with it, nor concerned in this law.”

15:1-33 Laws concerning ceremonial uncleanness. - We need not be curious in explaining these laws; but have reason to be thankful that we need fear no defilement, except that of sin, nor need ceremonial and burdensome purifications. These laws remind us that God sees all things, even those which escape the notice of men. The great gospel duties of faith and repentance are here signified, and the great gospel privileges of the application of Christ's blood to our souls for our justification, and his grace for our sanctification.This chapter would seem to take its place more naturally before 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. 2. When any man hath a running issue—This chapter describes other forms of uncleanness, the nature of which is sufficiently intelligible in the text without any explanatory comment. Being the effects of licentiousness, they properly come within the notice of the legislator, and the very stringent rules here prescribed, both for the separation of the person diseased and for avoiding contamination from anything connected with him, were well calculated not only to prevent contagion, but to discourage the excesses of licentious indulgence. His secret parts, called

flesh, Leviticus 6:10 12:3 Ezekiel 16:26 23:20.

Speak unto the children of Israel,.... From whence we learn, says the above mentioned writer, that these uncleannesses were only usual among the children of Israel, not among the Gentiles; that is, the laws respecting them were only binding on the one, and not on the other (s):

and say unto them, when any man; in the Hebrew text it is, "a man, a man", which the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases, a young man, and an old man:

hath a running issue out of his flesh; what physicians call a "gonorrhoea", and we, as in the margin of our Bibles, "the running of the reins":

because of his issue, he is unclean; in a ceremonial sense, though it arises from a natural cause; but if not from any criminal one, from a debauch, but from a strain, or some such like thing, the man was not defiled, otherwise he was; the Targum of Jonathan is,"if he sees it three times he is unclean;''so the Misnah (t).

(s) So Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Edaiot, c. 5. sect. 1.((t) Zabim, c. 1. sect. 1. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his {a} flesh, because of his issue he is unclean.

(a) Whose seed either in sleeping or else of weakness of nature issues at his secret part.

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.

Verses 2-15. - The first case of an issue. It appears to be identical with the disease called by physicians gonorrhea, or, perhaps, blenorrhea (cf. chapter Leviticus 22:4; Numbers 5:2). Leviticus 15:2The running issue from a man is not described with sufficient clearness for us to be able to determine with certainty what disease is referred to: "if a man becomes flowing out of his flesh, he is unclean in his flux." That even here the term flesh is not a euphemism for the organ of generation, as is frequently assumed, is evident from Leviticus 15:13, "he shall wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water," when compared with Leviticus 16:23-24, Leviticus 16:28, etc., where flesh cannot possibly have any such meaning. The "flesh" is the body as in Leviticus 15:7, "whoever touches the flesh of him that hath the issue," as compared with Leviticus 15:19, "whosoever toucheth her." At the same time, the agreement between the law relating to the man with an issue and that concerning the woman with an issue (Leviticus 15:19, "her issue in her flesh") points unmistakeably to a secretion from the sexual organs. Only the seat of the disease is not more closely defined. The issue of the man is not a hemorrhoidal disease, for nothing is said about a flow of blood; still less is it a syphilitic suppuration (gonorrhaea virulenta), for the occurrence of this at all in antiquity is very questionable; but it is either a diseased flow of semen (gonorrhaea), i.e., an involuntary flow drop by drop arising from weakness of the organ, as Jerome and the Rabbins assume, or more probably, simply blenorrhaea urethrae, a discharge of mucus arising from a catarrhal affection of the mucous membrane of the urethra (urethritis). The participle זב יהיה is expressive of continued duration. In Leviticus 15:3 the uncleanness is still more closely defined: "whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh closes before his issue," i.e., whether the member lets the matter flow out or by closing retains it, "it is his uncleanness," i.e., in the latter case as well as the former it is uncleanness to him, he is unclean. For the "closing" is only a temporary obstruction, brought about by some particular circumstance.
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