- This chapter contains laws concerning other ceremonial uncleannesses, contracted either by bodily disease, or some natural incidents, whether in men, verse 1-18, or in women, verse
A running issue - Commonly called the running of the reins, a grievous and loathsome disease, which is generally the consequence of sin.
His flesh be stopped - That is, if it have run, and be stopped in great measure, either by the grossness of the humour, or by some obstructions that it cannot run freely.
The flesh - That is, any part of his body.
And hath not rinsed - That is, the person touched, to whom the washing of his hands is prescribed, if speedily done; but if that was neglected, a more laborious course was enjoined.
When he is cleansed - When his issue hath wholly ceased.
An atonement - Not as if this was in itself a sin, but only a punishment of sin; though oft-times it was sinful, as being a fruit of intemperance.
A man - Or, The man, that had such an issue, which is plainly to be understood out of the whole context. For though in some special cases relating to the worship of God, men were to forbear the use of the marriage-bed, yet to affirm that the use of it in other cases did generally defile the persons, and make them unclean till even, is contrary to the whole current of scripture, which affirms the marriage-bed to be undefiled, Hebrews 13:4, to the practice of the Jews, which is a good comment upon their own laws, and to the light of nature and reason.
And if a woman - Heb. And a woman when she shall have an issue of blood, and her issue shalt be in her flesh, that is, in her secret parts, as flesh is taken, Leviticus 15:2. So it notes her monthly disease. Put apart - Not out of the camp, but from converse with her husband and others, and from access to the house of God. Seven days - For sometimes it continues so long; and it was decent to allow some time for purification after the ceasing of her issue. Whosoever toucheth her - Of grown persons. For the infant, to whom in that case she might give suck, was exempted from this pollution by the greater law of necessity, and by that antecedent law which required women to give suck to their own children.
Seven days - If he did this ignorantly; but if the man and woman did this knowingly, being accused and convicted, they were punished with death, Leviticus 20:18, for as there was a turpitude in the action, so it was very prejudicial to the children then begotten, who were commonly weak, or leprous; which was also an injury to the commonwealth of Israel, and redounded to the dishonour of God and of the true religion, that the professors thereof gave such public evidence of their intemperance.
Seven days - From the stopping of her issue. And this was for trial, whether it was only a temporary obstruction, or a real cessation.
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. The grand reason of all these laws was, to separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness. Hereby they were taught their privilege and honour, that they were purified unto God, a peculiar people; for that was a defilement to them, which was not so to others. They were also taught their duty, which was to keep themselves clean from all pollutions.