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Volume 19 - Page 41 of 154 Index | Zoom | |
After childbirth: for a man child 7 days; for a maid child 14 days, and a further
period of either 33 or 66 days until the days of purifying be fulfilled. At the end of this
time a sin offering was made and atonement accomplished--"and she shall be clean"
(Lev. 12: 1-8).
Uncleanness arising from leprosy might be in a man, in his garment, or in a house, and
cleansing was effected after the leprosy had departed, or, in the case of a person, if it had
covered the whole skin and turned white. Garments were burned or washed in water,
houses were demolished, or scraped, and a very elaborate ceremonial cleansing (to which
a special paper must be devoted) is described in Lev. 14:: "The law of the leper in the
day of his cleansing."
Other cases of uncleanness are specified in Lev. 15:, and the chapter concludes:--
"Thus 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" (Lev. 15: 31).
Certain animals were set aside as unclean, and defilement was contracted even by
touching them, to say nothing of eating them. To touch a grave rendered a person
unclean; hence arose the custom of whitening sepulchres to make them easily visible.
To touch a dead body, or to enter a tent where the dead lay, rendered a person unclean.
The scrupulous sanitation of the law of Moses must be studied to be appreciated. For
example, the destruction of vessels upon which the carcass of a mouse had fallen was
commanded without a reason being given. Modern sanitation warns against mice and
rats as carriers of plague, and endorses the teaching of the law. Some commands
concerning personal cleanliness are too intimate for our pages, but we believe every one
would be at least physically the better for a little more of this "law" in their daily routine.
Spiritual application of this truth.
Taking the great mass of detail concerning uncleanness as read, we must consider the
spiritual application which Scripture makes of this matter.
"Wash thine heart from wickedness", says Jer. 4: 14; nevertheless, though nitre and
much soap be used, Israel's iniquity would still be marked before the Lord (An
opportunity here for a lesson to children, with a handkerchief, marking ink, soap, soda
"Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings", says Isa. 1: 16, yet in
1: 18 it is added: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." This
will be accomplished by the Lord Himself, for "in that day there shall be a fountain
opened for sin and for uncleanness:" (Zech. 13: 1), of which Psa. 51: supplies a
prophetic anticipation: "Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from
my sin . . . . . wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."