Leviticus 15 Commentary

Leviticus 15 Commentary: Natural and unnatural bodily discharge cause uncleanliness.


The closing verses summarize the chapter perfectly and explains the why of the regulations. Chapter 15 is about regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who has sexual relations with a woman who is ceremonially unclean. We have suspected hygiene as the main reasons for some of these unusual regulations. However, the bible has explained itself in verse 31. Uncleanliness is a disturbance to the LORD’s dwelling among the people.

The unnatural discharge is like a skin disease. Both should not exist in the very first place. They are a disturbance to the natural flow of wellbeing as initially intended by the LORD. The LORD hates them. They are a disturbance to His creation. No one wants a black spot on their viewing screen. No one loves a leaking juice bottle! Discharge or a skin disease is exactly that.

The natural discharge of semen for men or monthly periods for women is interesting. They cause uncleanliness! But really, didn’t the LORD create things that way? We need to look further for answers. The obvious guess is that uncleanliness of this kind is meant to create a sense of detest and distancing from such creates a sanctity for reproduction activities. It shouldn’t be commonplace in the manner of dogs. The ‘No Contact’ rule means that these processes can preserve privacy and godly dignity. The chapter dares today’s nudity and commonplace pornography.

Child bearing is a delegated task. Sanctity would help against mindlessness, prayerlessness and outright rebellion in these life-giving processes.

The physical benefits are clearly alluded to when we hear mentions of bathing with water as part of the cleansing process. Is the LORD interested in cleanliness? On the evidence of chapter 15, yes.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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