There are four types of bodily discharges mentioned in Leviticus 15, and all the four rendered one “unclean” for at least seven days and required sacrifices to be declared “clean” again. The four types of discharge are:
- A chronic male discharge verses 1-15.
- Emissions of semen verses 16-18.
- A woman’s discharge during menstruation verses 19-24.
- A chronic female issue of blood verses 25-30.
The four bodily discharges have to do with fertility (or periods of infertility) and the proper function of the sexual organs. The literary structure of this chapter balances two types of discharge, chronic and intermittent, dealing with both sexes, making four specific cases. Verses 2-15 relate to a chronic discharge in the male, a “running issue out of his flesh.” The exact nature of the disease is not known. Some suggestions have been hemorrhoids or gonorrhea, or some venereal disease.
The latter is based upon the Greek version of the Old Testament (Septuagint), and most commentators accept this diagnosis. The striking thing about the uncleanness associated with these discharges is that not only the affected person became unclean but also people and objects that came in contact with him, and these, in their turn, could become secondary sources of uncleanness. The type of uncleanness was more “infectious” than the uncleanness of skin diseases dealt with (in chapters 13 and 14) or unclean animals (in chapter 11). For example, any “bed” (verse 4-5), chair (verse 1 or “saddle” (verse 9) became unclean and also a source of secondary pollution. Verses 16-18 contain regulations governing an occasional emission of semen. The “seed of copulation” (Literally “outpouring of seed”), in intercourse (verse 18), or at other times (verses 16-17), also caused pollution (compare Exodus 19:15; Lev. 22:4; Deut. 23: 10-11; 1 Sam. 21:5; 2 Sam.11: 11). It required no sacrifice, but the man and woman had to wash and wait until evening, verses 16-18. The practical effect of this legislation was that when a man had religious duties to perform, whether this involved worship or participation in God’s holy wars, sexual intercourse was not permitted. Verses 19-24 relate to women and the intermittent discharges associated with menstruation. Then specific rules governing a chronic emission are dealt with in verses 25-30.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the prepuce or foreskin of a male. The word ‘circumcise’ literally means “to cut around.” As a religious rite, circumcision was required of all of Abraham’s descendants as a sign of the covenant God made with him (Genesis 17:9-14; Acts 7:8). The Mosaic Law repeated the requirement (Leviticus 12:2-3), and Jews have continued to practice circumcision (Joshua 5:2-3; Luke 1:59; Acts 16:3; Philippians 3:5). The rite of circumcision was given to Abraham in Genesis 17. All the males among God’s people were physically marked (on the sexual organ) as set apart for the Lord.
Abraham and all his “seeds” were to “walk before God faithfully and be blameless.” In the light of circumcision as a covenantal sign, an entire chapter (Leviticus 15: 1-33) is devoted to the productivity and proper use of the sexual organs. Wives of circumcised men have a much lower risk of contracting cervical cancer because the lack of a foreskin reduces the male’s ability to harbor and transmit the human papillomavirus. Circumcision saves newborn babies from blood clotting. Blood clot level in newborn babies shows that circumcision on the eight-day (Gen. 17:12) is the safest time to have surgery in a male’s life.
Modern research shows that most new deadly strains of influenza arise under conditions where people are in close contact with pigs and birds. Pigs function as a bridge between the bird and human forms of influenza – originate in China, Hong Kong & other areas where people live close to pigs. 1, 17:13; Dt. 23: 12-13, These bible passages dispose of excrement and blood properly. Effective disposal will save people from contagious diseases and epidemics.
Fornication / Adultery
Exodus 20: 14; Pr. 5 warn the people of committing fornication or adultery. The best way to protect oneself against sexually transmitted diseases is by avoiding fornication and adultery. The health reasons avoiding fornication or adultery include unwanted pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) like HIV/Aids, Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B & C, Human Papillomavirus, Syphilis, and reproductive impairment caused by STDs. The risk of sexually transmitted diseases leading to death or inability to reproduce (have children) is the primary health reason for sexual abstinence until marriage and fidelity in marriage (Note 40).