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December 3, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: 1 Corinthians 15-16
Audio: 1 Corinthians 15-16

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Leviticus 15 (ESV)

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this is the law of his uncleanness for a discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is blocked up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. Every bed on which the one with the discharge lies shall be unclean, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And anyone who touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever sits on anything on which the one with the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches the body of the one with the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And if the one with the discharge spits on someone who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And any saddle on which the one with the discharge rides shall be unclean. 10 And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening. And whoever carries such things shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 11 Anyone whom the one with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 12 And an earthenware vessel that the one with the discharge touches shall be broken, and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.

13 “And when the one with a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes. And he shall bathe his body in fresh water and shall be clean. 14 And on the eighth day he shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and come before the Lord to the entrance of the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. 15 And the priest shall use them, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord for his discharge.

16 “If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening. 17 And every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with water and be unclean until the evening. 18 If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water and be unclean until the evening.

19 “When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. 20 And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. 21 And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 22 And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. 24 And if any man lies with her and her menstrual impurity comes upon him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

25 “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. 26 Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity. 27 And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 28 But if she is cleansed of her discharge, she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and bring them to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting. 30 And the priest shall use one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for her unclean discharge.

31 “Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”

32 This is the law for him who has a discharge and for him who has an emission of semen, becoming unclean thereby; 33 also for her who is unwell with her menstrual impurity, that is, for anyone, male or female, who has a discharge, and for the man who lies with a woman who is unclean.

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Next: Leviticus 16

Back: Leviticus 14

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Defiling God's Tabernacle 

    Today's chapter concludes the regulations for uncleanness – specifically in relation to discharges from the reproductive organs of men and women. These unclean discharges not only make the person unclean but through transmission makes anyone who comes in contact with it unclean. 

    While these disorders symbolize sin, the Bible does not view reproduction or the natural bodily functions related to it as sinful. Something which is regarded as unclean has to do with what is permitted but is not the same as "sinful."

    The ESV Study Bible notes on "uncleanness" from Leviticus 13:3 says, "Modern readers should not confuse this kind of 'uncleanness' with 'under God’s condemnation,' nor even with 'excluded from the love of the community': the purpose of this law is to prevent what is unclean from coming into contact with what is holy (a contact that would be dangerous for the unclean person and for the whole community)."

    Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 232). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

    On this topic, Gordon Wenham writes, "Those who were unclean could not participate in divine worship in the tabernacle. If they did, they not only polluted the tabernacle but were liable to death at the hands of God. This had been emphasized at the law-giving on Sinai. On that occasion the people were told to wash (Exodus 19:10) and refrain from sexual intercourse (Leviticus 19:15) on pain of death (Leviticus 12, 21). The danger of entering into the tabernacle in an unfit condition has been illustrated by the fate of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10). Though some types of uncleanness only require a period of waiting and washing to be purged, repeated warnings are given about the consequences of ignoring these rituals. 'He will bear his iniquity' (Leviticus 17:16; Leviticus 19:8; Leviticus 22:9), 'he will be cut off' (Leviticus 20:18). Clearly the layman had to know when he was unclean, lest by infringing these regulations he became liable to these severe penalties. It was the purpose of these laws to explain the conditions that made a man unclean, so that he might avoid actions that might bring down God’s wrath upon him."

    R.C. Sproul's notes are also helpful, "The NT shows God, the giver of perfect life, incarnate in Jesus Christ, healing those who suffered exclusion from His presence under these OT rules (Matthew 9:20–22). The divine program of redemption was historically progressive. The old covenant arrangements that seem so strange to us were early object lessons, a 'guardian' pointing forward to the full redemption accomplished in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:24, 25)."

    Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 177). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.

    And finally some insight from Herbert Lockyer, "A holy God must have holy people. This is why we have a solemn emphasis on sin as being ingrained in man's nature. Distinction must be drawn between sin (root) and sins (fruit); between unconscious sins and conscious sins. Unconscious sins are indicated in this chapter as requiring atonement and cleansing equally with all conscious sins."

    With all this background in view, it makes Jesus interaction with the woman who had a discharge for twelve years in Luke 8 even more powerful. 

    "And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, 'Who was it that touched me?' When all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!' 46 But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.' 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace'" (Luke 8:43-48).

    I am so grateful that in my uncleanness, Jesus does not cast me aside but He cleanses me. 

  2. Thank you, Scott, for sharing the spiritual wisdom from your studies on uncleanness in the Old Testament. The passages you shared here were so helpful. 

    I was thinking about the miracle of God protecting His people from disease spread by contact with bodily fluids — without microscopes, lab tests, etc., who would have known these things but God? 

    I was also struck by the absolute impossibility I see here for any man or woman of reproductive age to escape the state of being unclean, and thus able to say, “I don’t need God to make ME clean.” Here, the Lord in His goodness creates an impossible standard for holiness…and shows our need for a Savior. 

    The standard for holiness is still impossible. Apart from Christ, we are without hope. But by faith in Him, and that only by God’s grace, we are made clean! Thanks be to God!

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

  3. I love that last verse! I've dealt with health problems for most of my life, but I know that one day, I will be completely healed, and I will be with Jesus, clean. 💖

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