Leviticus 15:9
And what saddle soever he rides on that has the issue shall be unclean.
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(9) And what saddle soever.—Better, and any carriage. The word here translated “saddle” only occurs twice more: viz., 1Kings 5:6 in Hebrew, or Leviticus 4:26 in English, where it is rendered “chariot” in the Authorised Version, and in Song of Solomon 3:10, where it is translated “covering” but where it manifestly denotes the seat inside the palanquin. With the feminine termination the word in question occurs no less than forty-four times, and is invariably translated in the Authorised Version “chariot.” What kind of vehicle the masculine form of the expression in question denotes in the three passages in which it occurs must be decided from the context. In Kings, the horses which are used in connection with it show that it was a carriage drawn by animals. In Canticles it is a vehicle, or the essential part of it, carried by men, and this is the kind of vehicle meant in the passage before us. It is the well-known palanquin so largely used in the East.

Shall be unclean.—The conveyance used is to be unclean, and hence, is not to be used by any one else. It will be seen that the present text does not say how long the vehicle is to be defiled, though in every other instance the time is fixed. (See Leviticus 15:5-11.) There can, therefore, hardly be any doubt that the reading in the LXX., which has here until evening, is the original one, and that the words have dropped out of the Hebrew text.

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. 9. what saddle … he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean—(See on [42]Ge 31:34). No text from Poole on this verse. And what saddle soever he sitteth upon that hath the issue,.... When he rides upon any beast, horse, ass, or camel, whatever is put upon the creature, and he sits upon it, the saddle, and whatever appertains to it, the housing and girdle:

shall be unclean; and not fit for another to use, but be defiling to him, as follows.

And what {d} saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean.

(d) The word signifies every thing on which a man rides.

9. saddle] any seat in a carriage or other kind of conveyance is included.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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