“Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘When any man has a discharge from his body, the discharge is unclean. The discharge is unclean no matter whether it continues flowing or has stopped; it is still his uncleanness. Every bed which the person with the discharge lies on is unclean, and everything he sits on is unclean. Whoever touches his bed is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water; he will be unclean until evening.“-Leviticus 15:1-5
The first 18 verses of Leviticus chapter 15 apply only to men and boy does this chapter hit the ground running.
Right out of the starting gate, we’re told, “if any man has a discharge from his body……”.
Depending on your Bible translation, we’re told the discharge originates from one’s “flesh” or “body”.
The original Hebrew here is BASAR and it does indeed mean “flesh” or “body”.
However, in this context it is being used as a euphemism for the male sexual organ (the penis).
The first thing I want to say is this is NOT seminal ejaculation we’re talking about here.
That’s dealt with from verse 16.
We’re talking about an ABNORMAL discharge and how to recognize whether or not it’s abnormal.
Just as we were provided a comprehensive list of the symptoms of TZARA-AT (skin disease), we are now presented with a list of what constitutes ABNORMAL discharges from the male organ.
There are basically two characteristics of the discharge as follows:
-A liquid discharge that “flows” or “runs”
-A syrupy thick fluid that blocks or seals the opening of the male organ
A man who has either of these two symptoms is UNCLEAN.
Not only does whatever the afflicted man touch become UNCLEAN, anyone who comes along afterwards and touches what the man with the discharge touched will also become UNCLEAN and he or she can now spread UNCLEANNESS to other people or things.
A domino chain of UNCLEANLINESS is put into effect.
We can see that this type of condition is much more contagious than TZARA-AT because the UNCLEANNESS from TZARA-AT does not spread from person to person.
Again, notice we see impurity being transmitted from a person to an object to another person to another object and on and on.
However, although this type of discharge is much more contagious than TZARA-AT, it isn’t anywhere near as serious.
If a person touches an object that the man with a discharge laid on, all he or she has to do is immerse in water and wait until the sun sets and his or her CLEANNESS will be restored.
Atonement sacrifices are NOT necessary.
The UNCLEANNESS can spread by direct touch or if the person with a discharge spits on another.
Verse 9 also adds that whatever the UNCLEAN person rides on, like a horse saddle, will also become UNCLEAN.
And if that person touches the saddle, he or she is also UNCLEAN until sunset.
However, verse 11 offers an interesting twist.
“If the person with the discharge fails to rinse his hands
in water before touching someone,
that person is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water;
he will be unclean until evening.”
So it would appear that if the infected man washed his hands with water, this prevents him from infecting somebody else and His UNCLEANNESS will not be transferred.
This is interesting.
Hence, for secondary forms of UNCLEAN transmission, washing your hands will prevent transmission to a third party.