Leviticus 15:31
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.
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(31) Thus shall ye separate.—That is, according to the regulations laid down in this chapter. “Ye”—i.e., Moses and Aaron, to whom they were conjointly addressed (see Leviticus 15:1)—are to restrain the children of Israel, lest they be punished with death when they approach the Lord in a defiled state.

Defile my tabernacle.—Better, my dwelling place, which can here be used, though in Leviticus 8:10, where it also occurs, the expression “dwelling-place” does not suit so well.

Leviticus 15:31. When they defile my tabernacle — Both ceremonially, by coming into it in their uncleanness; and morally, by the contempt of God’s express command to cleanse themselves. This shows that one main design of these laws was to impress the minds of that carnal people with a high respect and veneration for the worship of God, and whatever bore the name of sacred. It was to separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness. Hereby they were taught their privilege and their honour, that they were purified unto God a peculiar people; for that was a defilement to them which was not to others. They were also taught their duty, which was to keep themselves clean from all pollution.

From all this, 1st, Let us learn to bless God that we are not under the yoke of these carnal ordinances; that, as nothing can defile us, so nothing can destroy us, but sin. They may now partake of the Lord’s supper, who durst not then eat of the peace-offering. And the defilement we contract by our daily infirmities we may be cleansed from in secret, by the renewed acts of repentance and faith, without bathing in water, or bringing an offering to the door of the tabernacle. 2d, Let us carefully abstain from all sin, as defiling to the conscience, and particularly from all fleshly lusts; possessing our vessel in sanctification and honour, and not in the lusts of uncleanness, which not only pollute the soul, but war against it, and threaten its ruin. 3d, Let us consider, and be persuaded, how indispensably necessary real holiness is to our future happiness; and get our hearts purified by faith, that we may be admitted to see God, and enter into the heavenly sanctuary to worship and rejoice before him. Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart, and none else; for without holiness no man shall see the Lord.

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 solemn admonition is addressed to Moses and Aaron, see Leviticus 15:1.

Leviticus 15:31

My tabernacle - Strictly, "my dwelling-place" משׁכן mı̂shkān, as in Leviticus 8:10; Leviticus 17:4; Leviticus 26:11. The word rendered "tabernacle" elsewhere in Leviticus is properly "tent." See the Exodus 26:1 note.

31-33. Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness—The divine wisdom was manifested in inspiring the Israelites with a profound reverence for holy things; and nothing was more suited to this purpose than to debar from the tabernacle all who were polluted by any kind of uncleanness, ceremonial as well as natural, mental as well as physical. The better to mark out that people as His family, His servants and priests, dwelling in the camp as in a holy place, consecrated by His presence and His tabernacle, He required of them complete purity, and did not allow them to come before Him when defiled, even by involuntary or secret impurities, as a want of respect due to His majesty. And when we bear in mind that God was training a people to live in His presence in some measure as priests devoted to His service, we shall not consider these rules for the maintenance of personal purity either too stringent or too minute (1Th 4:4). When they defile my tabernacle; which they did both ceremonially, by coming into it in their uncleanness, and morally, by the gross neglect and contempt of God’s express and positive command to cleanse themselves.

Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness,.... Or because of it, and while they are in it, as from other persons, even their nearest relations, and from the house of God, as the next clause shows; or teach them, by observing the above laws and rules, to separate themselves, and that they be careful and cautions to keep themselves apart while in such impurities; and the children of Israel are only made mention of, because these laws are only binding upon them, with their proselytes and servants, free or not free (l), but not upon Gentiles; See Gill on Leviticus 15:2,

that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them; from whence it appears, that men and women, in the above circumstances, might not go into the tabernacle; and it was chiefly to prevent their access to it that these laws were given, for the greater reverence and honour of it; and that for such persons to enter there was a pollution of it, and the punishment was cutting off, or death; and for one to die in his impurity, without purification and sacrifice, was a dreadful thing, and to be deprecated, and to be guarded against by an observance of the above laws. But the Jews now say (m), that forasmuch as the reason of these precepts was, because such persons were forbidden to enter into the temple, that being destroyed, all these precepts of uncleanness are ceased also.

(l) Misn. Zabim, c. 2. sect. 1.((m) Leo Modena's History of Rites, Customs, &c. of the present Jews, par. 1. c. 8.

Thus shall ye {l} separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.

(l) Seeing that God required purity and cleanliness of his own: we cannot be his, unless our filth and sins are purged with the blood of Jesus Christ, and so we learn to detest all sin.

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[52] (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.

[52] 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.

Verse 31. - That they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them. The main purpose in the laws of uncleanness is to keep first God's house and then God's people free from the danger of defilement by foul things presenting themselves freely before him and among them. These foul things, symbolizing sinful things, create a ceremonial defilement symbolizing moral defilement.

Leviticus 15:31After the issue had ceased, she was to purify herself like the man with an issue, as described in Leviticus 15:13-15. - Obedience to these commands is urged in Leviticus 15:31 : "Cause that the children of Israel free themselves from their uncleanness, that they die not through their uncleanness, by defiling My dwelling in the midst of them." הזּיר, Hiphil, to cause that a person keeps aloof from anything, or loosens himself from it, from נזר, Niphal to separate one's self, signifies here deliverance from the state of uncleanness, purification from it. Continuance in it was followed by death, not merely in the particular instance in which an unclean man ventured to enter the sanctuary, but as a general fact, because uncleanness as irreconcilable with the calling of Israel to be a holy nation, in the midst of which Jehovah the Holy One had His dwelling-place (Leviticus 11:44), and continuance in uncleanness without the prescribed purification was a disregard of the holiness of Jehovah, and involved rebellion against Him and His ordinances of grace.
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