Numbers 19:13
Whoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifies not himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet on him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 19:13. Whosoever toucheth — If this transgression be done presumptuously; for if it was done ignorantly, he was only to offer a sacrifice. Defileth the tabernacle — By approaching to it in his uncleanness: for holy things or places were ceremonially defiled with the touch of any unclean person or thing. Is upon him — He continues in his guilt, not now to be washed away by this water, but to be punished by cutting off.19:11-22 Why did the law make a corpse a defiling thing? Because death is the wages of sin, which entered into the world by it, and reigns by the power of it. The law could not conquer death, nor abolish it, as the gospel does, by bringing life and immortality to light, and so introducing a better hope. As the ashes of the heifer signified the merit of Christ, so the running water signified the power and grace of the blessed Spirit, who is compared to rivers of living water; and it is by his work that the righteousness of Christ is applied to us for our cleansing. Those who promise themselves benefit by the righteousness of Christ, while they submit not to the grace and influence of the Holy Spirit, do but deceive themselves; we cannot be purified by the ashes, otherwise than in the running water. What use could there be in these appointments, if they do not refer to the doctrines concerning the sacrifice of Christ? But comparing them with the New Testament, the knowledge to be got from them is evident. The true state of fallen man is shown in these institutions. Here we learn the defiling nature of sin, and are warned to avoid evil communications.One practical effect of attaching defilement to a dead body, and to all that touched it, etc., would be to insure early burial, and to correct a practice not uncommon in the East, of leaving the deal to be devoured by the wild beasts. 12. He shall purify himself … the third day—The necessity of applying the water on the third day is inexplicable on any natural or moral ground; and, therefore, the regulation has been generally supposed to have had a typical reference to the resurrection, on that day, of Christ, by whom His people are sanctified; while the process of ceremonial purification being extended over seven days, was intended to show that sanctification is progressive and incomplete till the arrival of the eternal Sabbath. Every one knowingly and presumptuously neglecting to have himself sprinkled with this water was guilty of an offense which was punished by excommunication. Whosoever toucheth, to wit, if this transgression be done presumptuously; for if it was done ignorantly, he was only to offer sacrifice, Leviticus 5:3,6,17.

Defileth the tabernacle of the Lord, by approaching to it in his uncleanness; for holy things or places were ceremonially defiled with the touch of any unclean person or thing. See Leviticus 15:31 16:16 Haggai 2:13.

His uncleanness is yet upon him; he continues in his guilt and filth, not now to be washed away by this water, but to be punished by cutting off. Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself,.... With the ashes of the heifer, or water of purification, and so neglects the means which God has appointed for his cleansing:

defileth the tabernacle of the Lord; that is, if he goes into it in his uncleanness, which it was not lawful for him to do: from the Jews the Assyrians seem to have borrowed some customs of theirs, as related by Lucian (r), who upon burying a dead cock reckoned seven days, see Numbers 19:11; and then went into the temple, for before they might not go in, nor perform holy service; such laws they use, that if anyone sees a dead carcass, he may not go that day into the temple; but he goes in the day following, after he has purified himself:

and that soul shall be cut off from Israel; either be excommunicated from the church, or die by the hand of the civil magistrate, or by the immediate hand of God; that is, if he knew he had touched a dead body, and wilfully neglected the means of his purification, and so sinned presumptuously; otherwise, if all this was done ignorantly, an atonement was made for it, Leviticus 5:3.

because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; as all are who are not sprinkled with the blood of Christ:

his uncleanness is yet upon him; and will remain, nothing can remove it; as nothing can remove the stain and blot of sin but the blood of Christ; and where that is not applied it will remain marked before God, and will lie upon the sinner to his utter condemnation and ruin; see Jeremiah 2:22.

(r) De Dea Syria.

Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be {g} cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.

(g) So that he should not be esteemed to be of the holy people, but as a polluted and excommunicated person.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 13. - Defileth the tabernacle of the Lord. On the bearing of this remarkable announcement see Leviticus 15:31. The uncleanness of death was not simply a personal matter, it involved, if not duly purged, the whole congregation, and reached even to God himself, for its defilement spread to the sanctuary. Cut off from Israel, i.e., excommunicate on earth, and liable to the direct visitation of Heaven (cf. Genesis 17:14). The persons who took part in this - viz., the priest, the man who attended to the burning, and the clean man who gathered the ashes together, and deposited them in a clean place for subsequent use - became unclean till the evening in consequence; not from the fact that they had officiated for unclean persons, and, in a certain sense, had participated in their uncleanness (Knobel), but through the uncleanness of sin and death, which had passed over to the sin-offering; just as the man who led into the wilderness the goat which had been rendered unclean through the imposition of sin, became himself unclean in consequence (Leviticus 16:26). Even the sprinkling water prepared from the ashes defiled every one who touched it (Numbers 19:21). But when the ashes were regarded in relation to their appointment as the means of purification, they were to be treated as clean. Not only were they to be collected together by a clean man; but they were to be kept for use in a clean place, just as the ashes of the sacrifices that were taken away from the altar were to be carried to a clean place outside the camp (Leviticus 6:4). These defilements, like every other which only lasted till the evening, were to be removed by washing. The ashes thus collected were to serve the congregation נדּה למי, i.e., literally as water of uncleanness; in other words, as water by which uncleanness was to be removed. "Water of uncleanness" is analogous to "water of sin" in Numbers 8:7.
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