Leviticus 15

Leviticus 15 focuses a bit more on being clean for worship.  Leviticus is a book which was written so that the people of God would come to understand how to worship before a holy and righteous God.  The Lord desired the worship and lifestyle of His people to be distinct from the ungodly nations around them.  Leviticus addresses guidelines in four areas:

  1. offerings/sacrifices
  2. priestly duties
  3. uncleanness in worship
  4. individual holiness

This chapter addresses several areas of uncleanness in human discharge and is given to help the priests separate the holy from the unholy.  So God gets pretty granular in His instruction here, and while it falls short of an anatomy lesson, it certainly does get right down to the basics of life.  Concerning male bodily discharges, there are two different kinds mentioned: unnatural discharges and natural discharges.  He does the same with women.  In both cases, there are very specific instructions given as to how to become clean again so one could resume worship of God.

For men, unnatural discharges were primarily caused by a sexually transmitted disease (probably gonorrhea) would render a man ceremonially unclean.  “When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean”.   Since the discharge from the organ is highly contagious, anything or anyone who touched the discharge also became unclean and needed to follow specific guidelines for becoming clean again.  After the cleansing had taken place, the individual had to wait seven days and then on the eighth day offer a sin offering and burnt offering.  With a natural discharge, primarily related to intercourse, the man was unclean til evening and merely had to wash his body to become clean again.

With women any unnatural discharge was probably caused by a disease.  She remained unclean until the discharge was cleared up.  “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity….all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness”.  A woman’s natural discharge would happen once a month and make her unclean for seven days.  There was a specific set of steps a woman was required to go through each month to once again become clean.  While this all may seem a bit over the top, God did not want His people to come before Him with any type of bodily impurity, whether it was natural or unnatural.  He had strict guidelines that were designed to remind the people that they were also to be pure in heart when they worshipped Him!

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