Leviticus 15:8
And if he that has the issue spit on him that is clean; then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
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(8) If he . . . spit upon him.—Spitting in the face of a person was, and still is, commonly resorted to among Oriental nations as an expression of insult and contempt (Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 25:9; Isaiah 1:6; Job 30:10; Matthew 26:67, &c.). Suffering from the disease here discussed, the patient would naturally be more irritable, and hence be liable to give vent more frequently to this mode of expressing his wrath. Now, any person upon whom he happened to heap this indignity became defiled by the spittle in the same manner, and had to go through the same purification, as he who chanced to touch his garments, or as the physician who had to examine him.

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. No text from Poole on this verse. And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean,.... Not purposely, which is not usual for a man to do, and whenever it is done, nothing is more affronting; but accidentally, when, as Aben Ezra expresses it, he spreads his spittle, and it falls upon a clean person; and under this, as Gersom observes, is comprehended whatever is brought up by coughing, as phlegm, or flows from the nose, or is pressed out of it; and so Maimonides (z): and this may denote all corrupt communication which proceeds out of the mouth of evil men, whether immoral or heretical, which not only defiles the man himself, but those he converses with; for evil communication corrupts good manners:

then he shall wash his clothes, &c. as in the foregoing instances. See Gill on Leviticus 15:5.

(z) Hilchot Metame Mishcab, c. 1. sect. 16.

And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean; then {c} he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.

(c) Of whom the unclean man did spit.

The 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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