Select Commentary| Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible| 利| Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 |
Total 33 verses in Chapter 15: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 |


a running…: or, running of the reins
b thing: Heb. vessel
c put…: Heb. in her separation


1 耶和华对摩西和亚伦说:
1And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying,

Laws concerning uncleanness of men, 1-12.

Mode of cleansing, 13-15.

Of uncleanness, accidental and casual, 16-15.

Laws concerning the uncleanness of women, 10-27.

Mode of cleansing, 28-30.

Recapitulation of the ordinances relative to the preceding

cases, 31-33.


2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean.a
2 Verse 2. When any man hath a running issue] The cases of

natural uncleanness, both of men and women, mentioned in this

chapter, taken in a theological point of view, are not of such

importance to us as to render a particular description

necessary, the letter of the text being, in general, plain

enough. The disease mentioned in the former part of this

chapter appears to some to have been either the consequence of a

very bad infection, or of some criminal indulgence; for they

find that it might be communicated in a variety of ways, which

they imagine are here distinctly specified. On this ground the

person was declared unclean, and all commerce and connection

with him strictly forbidden. The Septuagint version renders

hazzab, the man with the issue, by ογονορρυης, the man with a

gonorrhoea, no less than nine times in this chapter; and that it

means what in the present day is commonly understood by that

disorder, taken not only in its mild but in its worst sense,

they think there is little room to doubt. Hence they infer that

a disease which is supposed to be comparatively recent in

Europe, has existed almost from time immemorial in the Asiatic

countries; that it ever has been, in certain measures, what it

is now; and that it ever must be the effect of sensual

indulgence, and illicit and extravagant intercourse between the

sexes. The disgraceful disorder referred to here is a foul blot

which the justice of God in the course of providence has made in

general the inseparable consequent of these criminal

indulgences, and serves in some measure to correct and restrain

the vice itself. In countries where public prostitution was

permitted, where it was even a religious ceremony among those

who were idolaters, this disease must necessarily have been

frequent and prevalent. When the pollutions and libertinism of

former times are considered, it seems rather strange that

medical men should have adopted the opinion, and consumed so

much time in endeavouring to prove it, viz., that the disease is

modern. It must have existed, in certain measures, ever since

prostitution prevailed in the world; and this has been in every

nation of the earth from its earliest era. That the Israelites

might have received it from the Egyptians, and that it must,

through the Baal-peor and Ashteroth abominations which they

learned and practised, have prevailed among the Moabites, &c.,

there can be little reason to doubt. Supposing this disease to

be at all hinted at here, the laws and ordinances enjoined were

at once wisely and graciously calculated to remove and prevent

it. By contact, contagion of every kind is readily

communicated; and to keep the whole from the diseased must be

essential to the check and eradication of a contagious disorder.

This was the wise and grand object of this enlightened

Legislator in the ordinances which he lays down in this chapter.

I grant, however, that it was probably of a milder kind in

ancient times; that it has gained strength and virulence by

continuance; and that, associated with some foreign causes, it

became greatly exacerbated in Europe about 1493, the time in

which some have supposed it first began to exist, though there

are strong evidences of it in this country ever since the

eleventh century.

3And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness.
4Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean.b
5And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
6And he that sitteth on any thing whereon he sat that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
7And he that toucheth the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
8And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean; then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
9And what saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean.
10And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
11And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
11 Verse 11. And whomsoever he toucheth] Here we find that the

saliva, sitting on the same seat, lying on the same bed, riding

on the same saddle, or simple contact, was sufficient to render

the person unclean, meaning, possibly, in certain cases, to

communicate the disorder; and it is well known that in all these

ways the contagion of this disorder may be communicated. Is it

not even possible that the effluvia from the body of an infected

person may be the means of communicating the disease? Sydenham

expressly says that it may be communicated by lactation,

handling, the saliva, sweat, and by the breath itself, as well

as by those grosser means of which there is no question. But

the term unclean, in this and the following cases, is generally

understood in a mere legal sense, the rendering a person unfit

for sacred ordinances. And as there was a mild kind of

gonorrhoea that was brought on by excessive fatigue and the

like, it may be that kind only which the law has in view in the

above ordinances.

12And the vessel of earth, that he toucheth which hath the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.
13And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.
14And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and give them unto the priest:
15And the priest shall offer them, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue.
16And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even.
17And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
18The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.
18 Verse 18. They shall both bathe themselves] What a wonderful

tendency had these ordinances to prevent all excesses! The

pains which such persons must take, the separations which they

must observe, and the privations which, in consequence, they

must be exposed to in the way of commerce, traffic, &c., would

prevent them from making an unlawful use of lawful things.



19 ¶ And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.c
20And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.
21And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
22And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
23And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even.
24And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.
24 Verse 24. The common sense of all mankind has led them to

avoid the gross impropriety referred to in this verse; and it

has been a general opinion, that off-spring obtained in this way

has been infected with leprous, scrofulous, and other deeply

radicated diseases, from which they and their posterity have

been scarcely ever freed. In , persons guilty of

this are condemned to death; here only to a seven days'

separation; because, in the former case, Moses speaks of the act

when both the man and woman were acquainted with the situation:

in the latter, he speaks of a case where the circumstance was

not known till afterwards; at least, so it appears these two

places should be understood, so as to be reconciled.

25And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.
26Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation.
27And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
28But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.
29And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
29 Verse 29. Two turtles, or two young pigeons] In all these

cases moral pollution was ever considered as being less or more

present, as even such infirmities sprang from the original

defection of man. On these accounts sacrifices must be offered;

and in the case of the woman, one of the birds above mentioned

must be sacrificed as a sin-offering, the other as a

burnt-offering, .

30And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.
31Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.
31 Verse 31. Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from

their uncleanness] By this separation the cause became less

frequent, and the contagion, if it did exist, was prevented from

spreading. So pest-houses and fever-wards are constructed for

the purpose of separating the infected from the sound; and thus

contagion is lessened, and its diffusion prevented.

That they die not] That life may be prolonged by these

prudential cares; and that he who is morally and legally

unclean, may not presume to enter into the tabernacle of God

till purified, lest he provoke Divine justice to consume him,

while attempting to worship with a polluted mind and impure


1. How unpromising and how forbidding, at the first view, is

this chapter! and yet how full of wise, humane, and moral

regulations, manifesting at once the wisdom and kindness of the

great Legislator! Every word of God is pure in itself, and of

great importance to us. He who cannot derive instruction from

the chapter before him, and be led by a proper consideration of

its contents to adore the wisdom and goodness of God, must have

either a very stupid or a very vitiated mind.

2. In all these ordinances we may plainly see that God has

purity of heart continually in view-that the soul may be holy,

he cuts off the occasions of sin; and that men may be obliged to

keep within due bounds, and possess their vessels in

sanctification and honour, he hedges up their way with briars

and thorns, and renders transgression painful, shameful, and


3. Preventing grace is not less necessary than that which saves

and which preserves. These three chapters, avoided and

neglected by most, contain lessons of instruction for all; and

though many things contained in them belong exclusively to the

Jewish people as to the letter, yet in their spirit and gracious

design they form a part of those revealed things which are for

us and for our children; and although they cannot be made the

subject of public oral instruction, yet they are highly

necessary to be known, and hence the advantage of reading the

Scriptures in regular order in private. May we read so as to

understand, and practise what we know, that, being wise unto

salvation, we may walk as children of the light and of the day,

in whom there shall be no occasion of stumbling!

32This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith;
33And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.