Leviticus 17:15
And every soul that eats that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) That which died of itself.—The law enacted here is a natural sequel to the one immediately preceding, since it is still based upon the sacredness of blood. As the body of the animal which either died a natural death, or has been torn by a wild beast, retains a great portion of its blood, it is forbidden to be eaten. The carcases, in which the blood has thus been coagulated in the veins and arteries, were given to the dogs (Exodus 22:31). The rigour with which this law was enforced may be seen from 1Samuel 14:32-35; Ezekiel 4:14, Ezek. 46:36. According to the canonical law which obtained during the second Temple, the carcase was forbidden when the animal died a natural death, or met with an accident, or was strangled to death, or was torn by a wild beast. This explains the apostolic decision, in the council at Jerusalem, about “things strangled” (Acts 15:20).

Whether it be one of your own country.—The law was not only binding upon the native Israelite, but upon the proselyte. The mere stranger, in the strict sense of the word, who had not joined the Jewish community, was allowed to eat such carcases. (See Deuteronomy 14:21.)

He shall both wash his clothes.—If he ate any of it unwittingly, he had not only to wash his garments, but immerse his whole body in water, and be excluded from the sanctuary till sundown. The sin offering prescribed in Leviticus 5:2 was not for inadvertently touching the carcase, but for neglecting the prescribed purification. (See Leviticus 5:2.)

Leviticus 17:15. That eateth — Through ignorance or inadvertency; for if it was done knowingly, it was more severely punished. A stranger — Who is a proselyte to the Jewish religion: other strangers were allowed to eat such things, (Deuteronomy 14:21,) out of which the blood was either not drawn at all, or not regularly.17:10-16 Here is a confirmation of the law against eating blood. They must eat no blood. But this law was ceremonial, and is now no longer in force; the coming of the substance does away the shadow. The blood of beasts is no longer the ransom, but Christ's blood only; therefore there is not now the reason for abstaining there then was. The blood is now allowed for the nourishment of our bodies; it is no longer appointed to make an atonement for the soul. Now the blood of Christ makes atonement really and effectually; to that, therefore, we must have regard, and not consider it as a common thing, or treat it with indifference.This law appears to be grounded on the fact that the body of an animal killed by a wild beast, or which has died of itself, still retains a great portion of its blood. The importance ascribed to this law in later times may be seen in 1 Samuel 14:32-35; Ezekiel 4:14; Ezekiel 44:31, and still more in the apostolic decision regarding "things strangled," which are pointedly connected with blood Acts 15:20. 15, 16. every soul that eateth that which died of itself (Ex 22:31; Le 7:24; Ac 15:20),

be unclean until the even—that is, from the moment of his discovering his fault until the evening. This law, however, was binding only on an Israelite. (See De 14:21).

Every soul that eateth, to wit, through ignorance or inadvertency, as appears by the slightness of the punishment; for if it was done knowingly, it was a presumptuous sin against an express law here, and Deu 14:21, and therefore more severely punished. Or a stranger; understand of the proselytes; either of the proselytes of the gate, who were obliged to observe the precepts of Noah, whereof this was one; or of the proselytes of righteousness, or converts to the Jewish religion; for other strangers were allowed to eat such things, Deu 14:21. And every soul that eateth that which died of itself,.... Through any disease upon it, or by means of any other creature seizing upon it and worrying it, or was not lawfully killed; if a man ate ever so little of it, even but the quantity of an olive, it was a breach of this law; which is connected with the preceding, there being a similarity between them, because such creatures must have their blood in them, not being regularly let out, and so eating of them would offend against the above law. It is very probable, as Grotius thinks, that Pythagoras took his notion from hence, and strictly enjoined his followers to abstain from all animals that died of themselves, as Laertius (n) and Aelianus (o) relate, and which Porphyry (p) suggests, was what universally obtained among men:

or that which was torn with beasts; though not dead, yet ready to die, and so unfit for food; See Gill on Exodus 22:31,

whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger; a native of Israel, or a proselyte of righteousness; for as for any other stranger he might eat of it, Deuteronomy 14:22,

he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water; in forty seahs of water, as the Targum of Jonathan, dip himself all over:

and be unclean until the even; and so have no conversation with men in civil or religious things:

then shall he be clean; when he has washed his garments, and bathed himself, and the evening is come, and then shall be admitted to society as before: this is to be understood of one who ignorantly eats of the above things, not knowing them to be such; otherwise, if he did it presumptuously, he was to be punished.

(n) In Vit. Pythagor. l. 8. p. 588. (o) Var. Hist. l. 4. c. 17. (p) De Abstiuentia, l. 3. sect. 18.

And every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. Cp. Leviticus 7:24, Leviticus 22:8; Deuteronomy 14:21 allowed the ‘stranger’ to eat that which ‘dieth of itself.’Verses 15, 16. - There is still another possible case. The blood of an animal may not have been shed, or not shed in such a way as to make it flow abundantly, as when the animal has died a natural death, or been killed by wild beasts. In this case, as the blood still remains in the body, the flesh may not be eaten without defilement. The defilement may be cleansed by the unclean man washing his clothes and bathing, but if he neglect to do this, he shall bear his iniquity, that is, undergo the consequence of his transgression, which he would not have undergone had he been ceremonially cleansed (cf. Exodus 22:30; chapter Leviticus 11:39; Deuteronomy 14:21). The prohibition of the eating of blood was continued by the Council of Jerusalem, but the observance of the regulation was no longer commanded as a duty binding on all men, but as a concession to Jewish feelings, enabling Jewish and Gentile converts to live together in comfort (see 1 Samuel 14:32; Ezekiel 33:35; Acts 15:20).



To this there are appended three laws, which are kindred in their nature, and which were binding not only upon the Israelites, but also upon the foreigners who dwelt in the midst of them.

Leviticus 17:8-12

Leviticus 17:8, Leviticus 17:9 contain the command, that whoever offered a burnt-offering of slain-offering, and did not bring it to the tabernacle to prepare it for Jehovah there, was to be exterminated; a command which involved the prohibition of sacrifice in any other place whatever, and was given, as the further extension of this law in Deuteronomy 12 clearly proves, for the purpose of suppressing the disposition to offer sacrifice to other gods, as well as in other places. In Leviticus 17:10-14 the prohibition of the eating of blood is repeated, and ordered to be observed on pain of extermination; it is also extended to the strangers in Israel; and after a more precise explanation of the reason for the law, is supplemented by instructions for the disposal of the blood of edible game. God threatens that He will inflict the punishment Himself, because the eating of blood was a transgression of the law which might easily escape the notice of the authorities. "To set one's face against:" i.e., to judge. The reason for the command in Leviticus 17:11, "For the soul of the flesh (the soul which gives life to the flesh) is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls," is not a double one, viz., (1) because the blood contained the soul of the animal, and (2) because God had set apart the blood, as the medium of expiation for the human soul, for the altar, i.e., to be sprinkled upon the altar. The first reason simply forms the foundation for the second: God appointed the blood for the altar, as containing the soul of the animal, to be the medium of expiation for the souls of men, and therefore prohibited its being used as food. "For the blood it expiates by virtue of the soul," not "the soul" itself. בּ with כּפּר has only a local or instrumental signification (Leviticus 6:23; Leviticus 16:17, Leviticus 16:27; also Leviticus 7:7; Exodus 29:33; Numbers 5:8). Accordingly, it was not the blood as such, but the blood as the vehicle of the soul, which possessed expiatory virtue; because the animal soul was offered to God upon the altar as a substitute for the human soul. Hence every bleeding sacrifice had an expiatory force, though without being an expiatory sacrifice in the strict sense of the word.

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