Notes on Leviticus 14-15

Leviticus 14 is a chapter of continued instruction on how to treat leprosy. In short, when in doubt, destroy everything that a leper touches. Even the stones of the person’s house are to be tossed out, and the entire home torn down if need be. Leprosy was no joke!

Leviticus 15 is a chapter I’ve wanted to tackle for a while. It is one of the most oft used passages (always taken out of context, of course) cited by anti-Christians because of how women are unclean when they are menstruating. This, once again, proves how sexist God is.

The truth is that, as I’ve mentioned in my “Notes on Leviticus 1-4” blood is unclean. Many diseases are spread through blood today, and it takes very little imagination to consider the impact of a bloodborne illness on a group of people who spent 40 years wandering through the wilderness, relying on supernatural manna falling from heaven and water from rocks, and did not have antibiotics.

So when a woman is menstruating, blood flows from her body. This makes her unclean for, wait for it, seven days. We all know how long a period lasts. Everything that she touches becomes unclean for health reasons, including men. It’s essentially a quarantine procedure. This is not a sexist thing, unless you consider the fact that only women have periods as sexist; it is for safety.

I think a seven day waiting period is pretty tame considering what the children of Israel had to do when someone contracted leprosy.

Another reason why the charge of misogyny arises is because the rest of the chapter is never addressed. Verses 19-28 deal exclusively with a bleeding woman. Verses 1-18 deal with men who have their own issues. No anti-Christian ever talks about that.

The first problem regarding men is “a running issue out of his flesh.” This is an infected discharge of some kind. Pus, blood, and spit are considered unclean. Just as with women, anyone or anything touched by an infected man is considered unclean. When he is finally free of the disease he must wait for seven days. The same as a woman.

The SECOND issue pertaining to men is purely sexual in nature. When a man ejaculates, he is unclean for the remainder of the day. The woman he lies with is also unclean for the day. The bed and sheets where it happened is unclean as well.

Furthermore, notice that Hebrews 13:4 says “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Therefore, we can see that the unclean ejaculation here in Leviticus is within unmarried, adulterous relationships. The Bible is telling us that sex outside of marriage is “unclean” and can lead to the spread of diseases. It appears that even the ancient children of Israel may have been dealing with sexually transmitted diseases (carried by pus, blood, and spit).

No, this chapter is not sexist. It is not calling women unclean. It is a scientific text dealing with stopping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and bloodborne pathogens about 3500 years before Pasteur gave us germ theory and Fleming discovered penicillin.

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