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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 15

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-33

  1. Intro:
    1. Discharge(24 x’s); Unclean(29 x’s); Bathe in water(11 x’s)
      1. Is this really still an issue???
      2. Yes! – In most 3rd world countries.
      3. I’ve seen: lady urinate next to her a chair right after a conference on hygiene. – syringes & other med supplies discarded out into an open air corridor at a hospital. – Used plastic gloves being dried out. - Cat up on a gurney licking the waste from a man w/tetanus.– Large rats running through the hospital. – Wiped dry blood on a table w/a 1” plastic covered foam “mattress” – China train station, feces on track.
    2. These truths on hygiene that we take so much for granted still need to be taught today.
      1. Story of “Black Death” (William Barclay pg.82)
      2. “It is notable that in the Middle Ages, when, on a number of occasions, up to a third of the population of Europe’s cities perished from the plague which they called the Black Death, Jews, though living in the confined areas of the ghettos of those same cities, suffered from the plague to a much lesser extent than did their fellow-citizens. In their bewilderment, therefore, there were those who declared that since the Jews “were not dying like flies as we Gentiles are”, clearly the devil must be looking after his own. Such ignorant and biased persons added fuel to the fires of the latent anti-Semitism of the times, and continued to arouse the bereaved citizens to take vengeance on those “enemies of Christ”, the Jews. But the near immunity of the Jew from infection in reality sprang from the fact that he kept strictly the laws of hygiene that we find in our book of Leviticus…”
    1. The chapter can be cut in half: DISCHARGE OF THE MAN! (1-18); & DISCHARGE OF THE WOMAN! (19-30)
      1. Regarding (16-18) – In no way was marital intimacy “a sin”, but we know today “any” body fluids can transmit uncleanness(disease) to someone else!
      2. The body is not sinful, & bodily functions are not morally defiling. But our nature(flesh) is sinful & produces what is sinful & defiling.
        1. If we are not careful we may touch others & defile them as well.
        2. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.”
    2. Or, it be sliced another way: DISCHARGE FROM INFECTIONS! (1-15); & NORMAL FUNCTIONS OF THE BODY! (16-30)
      1. Regarding normal functions of the body, this brings about ceremonial uncleanness not moral uncleanness.
      2. There was also a contrast going on here of Pagan Religions!
        1. Pagan Religions typically coupled worship of deities w/sexual intercourse, & often included Temple Prostitutes.
        2. But in Israel sexual intercourse made both the male & female ritually unclean. And no ritually unclean person could take part in the worship.
      3. This chapter suggests sin as ingrained in the nature! (e.g. sacrifices are nec. see vs.14,15).
        1. It goes far deeper than any act of the will.
        2. There is a real distinction between Sin & Sins, between Root & Fruit, between Nature & Practice.
        3. The former are suggested & symbolized by this chapter, & need atonement & cleansing equally w/those of which we are conscious.
    3. PURPOSE OF THE LAWS! (31-33)
      1. Sanitation & health were part of those laws.
        1. Public health value was important.
        2. Personal Hygiene & God’s concern for women are certainly involved in these regulations, but the main thrust is enforcing personal sanctity.
        3. But fundamentally God was teaching His people how to live separate from defilement.
        4. And the priest was both doctor(diagnosing) & pastor(dealing w/the intimacies of the home)
          1. He taught the rich & poor, educated & uneducated alike, some simple rules of hygiene, including some facts about infections & how to deal w/it.
      2. Even the “things” needed to be cleansed! (saddle they sat on, pottery & wood they touched).
        1. The prophet Zechariah said, “In that day "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. (Zech.14:20,21)
        2. Even the kitchen & the stable can be holy places! (holiness everywhere & in everything)
        3. Q: Is your VCR Holy?(set apart) From your VCR to your family car; from your PC to your DVD; from your magazine to your latrine, these should be things & places in which you set apart as holy in your life…Have you?
        4. Q: Which of these I named need to be sanctified again in your life?
    4. Other places in scripture where these issues in this chapter come up?
      1. In 2 Samuel it shows the heinousness of David’s lust for the body of Bathsheba was compounded by the fact that she was “purifying herself from her uncleanness.”
        1. “Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.” Or, “When she purified herself from her uncleanness”, then she went back home. (2 Sam.11:4)
        2. See Lev.15:19.
        3. This allowed the woman, during her menstruation, to have rest.
      2. Rachael used her monthly period as a ploy when she deceived her father about his household gods.
        1. Gen.31:34,35 “Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel's saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. And she said to her father, "Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me." And he searched but did not find the household idols.”
        2. See Lev.15:20
      3. Rom.12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you “present your bodies” a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
    5. Not let’s go to the NT & look at a woman with this ch.’s problem.
  3. THE WOMEN W/THE ISSUE OF BLOOD! (Mark 5:25-34)
    1. HER HOPELESSNESS! (25,26a)
      1. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
      2. 1st a wealthy religious leader & now an anonymous poor woman.
      3. 12 years! - 12 years of segregation in certain ways, that we learn from lev.15. How miserable!
      4. Dr. Luke said it was incurable by any human physician.
        1. ​​​​​​​Lk.8:43 “who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,”
      5. Our Hopelessness:
        1. ​​​​​​​Maybe tonight you come utterly Hopeless
        2. There are no hopeless situations. There are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
        3. Cynicism is cancer of the spirit. The bad cells of sarcasm attack the good cells of hope and, if undiagnosed, will eventually destroy them. (Fred Smith)
        4. Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope! (Gilbert Beenken)
    2. HER HELPLESSNESS! (26b)
      1. She expended all her property & it grew worse!
      2. Our Helplessness:
        1. ​​​​​​​Ps,10:14 “The helpless commits himself to You;”
        2. When you’re at the end of your rope…let go of the rope… God is there to catch you!
    3. HIS HEM! (2729)
      1. Her touch should have made Him defiled, instead His Divine Power brought health & cleansing in response to her faith.
      2. The Hem/boarder (Lk.8:44) is clearly (κρασπεδου − kraspedoo) which means tassel or fringe.
        1. The outer garment Jesus would have worn was rectangular in shape. It would have had a tassel in all 4 corners. With a hole in the middle it was often worn like a poncho, w/a tassel in the front, 1 on each side, & 1 in the back. – Which she would have touched!
        2. This is the cloak of Mt.5:40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic(undergarment), let him have your cloak also.
        3. See Numbers 15:37
          1. Naturally the Pharisees had a problem w/pride w/this also, "But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.”
      3. Touching the Hem of His garment was like turning on the brightest flood light in the middle of a photographers dark room!
      4. Our Hem Grabbing:
        1. ​​​​​​​If you can’t grasp his hand, touch His Hem! – That is your 1st step of faith.
        2. See, just being in the crowd is no assurance of receiving the blessing!
    4. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​HER HONESTY! (30-33)
      1. (33) “& told Him the whole truth” – Perhaps she feared that, from the impure nature of her disease, that He would have been offended that she touched Him.
        1. She poured out to Him the story of her long sufferings.
      2. (30) “Who touched my clothes?” – He asked this not to obtain info, for he had already healed her, & must have known the blessing was conferred; but He did it, that the woman might herself make a confession of the whole matter, by which the power of her faith, & the greatness of the miracle, might be made manifested, to the Praise of God.
        1. He wouldn’t permit her to steal away in to the crowd & remain anonymous.
        2. Had she, she would never have had the opportunity to glorify God by her testimony; & she would have never heard His special words of blessing.
      3. Our Honesty:
        1. ​​​​​​​When we come before the Lord we need to tell Him “the whole truth” also!
        2. Pour out to Him your story! – He has time to listen – He cares – He comforts – He has compassion!
    5. HER FAITH! (34)
      1. “made you well” – to be saved. (He calls her daughter)
      2. Jesus made it clear that her faith, not the tassels, had obtained the cure!
      3. Our Faith:
        1. ​​​​​​​Q: Are you trusting in the Tassels? - The tangible, the touchable things?
        2. Our faithin Him” should be as Paul said in 2 Cor.1:9 “we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,”
        3. Poem:
          “She, too, who touched Thee in the press, And healing virtue stole,

          Was answered---‘Daughter, go in peace, Thy faith hath made thee whole.’ Concealed amid the gathering throng, She would have shunned Thy view; And if her faith was firm and strong, Had strong misgivings too.

          Like, her, with hopes and fears, we come To touch Thee, if we may; O send us not despairing home; Send none unhealed away.”
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 15". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-15.html. 2017.
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