Leviticus 15

Chapter 15[a]

Personal Uncleanness. 1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man has a bodily discharge, that discharge is unclean. 3 This bodily discharge shall make him unclean whether it is running or it has stopped. His discharge shall make him unclean. 4 Every bed upon which he lies when he has a discharge shall be unclean, as shall everything upon which he is sitting. 5 Whoever touches his bed will wash his clothes and bathe in water and he shall be unclean until the evening. 6 Whoever sits on anything upon which the man with the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening. 7 Whoever touches a man who has had a discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening. 8 If someone who has a discharge spits on someone who is clean, that person shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening. 9 Everything that a man who has a discharge rides upon shall be unclean. 10 Whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening, and whoever carries those things must wash his clothes and bathe in water and he shall be unclean until the evening. 11 Whoever is touched by a man with a discharge who has not rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening. 12 Any clay vessel that is touched by someone with a discharge shall be broken, and any wooden utensil shall be washed.

13 “ ‘When a man has been cleansed[b] from his discharge, he shall count off seven days from his cleansing. He shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in running water, and he shall be clean. 14 On the eighth day he shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord, at the entrance to the tent of meeting, and he shall give them to the priest. 15 The priest shall then offer them, one as a sin offering and one as a burnt offering. The priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord for his discharge.

16 “ ‘If any man has an emission of semen, he shall wash his whole body with water and he shall be unclean until the evening. 17 If any semen falls on any garment or on any skin, it is to be washed with water and it shall be unclean until the evening.

18 “ ‘When a woman lies with a man and they have sex, they shall both bathe with water and they shall be unclean until the evening.

19 “ ‘If a woman has a discharge and the discharge from her body is blood, then she shall be impure for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. 20 Everything upon which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything upon which she sits shall be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening. 22 Whoever touches anything upon which she sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening. 23 Whoever touches anything that was on her bed or on something upon which she sat shall be unclean until the evening. 24 If any man lies with her so that her impurity is upon him, he shall be unclean for seven days and any bed upon which he lies shall be unclean.

25 “ ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days outside of the normal time of her impurity, or if it runs beyond the time of her impurity, then all the days when she has an unclean discharge shall be the same as the days of her menstrual impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 Every bed upon which she lies all during the time of her discharge shall be for her like the bed of her impurity. Everything upon which she sits shall be unclean, just like the uncleanness of her time of menstrual impurity. 27 Whoever touches these things shall be unclean. He shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and shall be unclean until the evening.

28 “ ‘But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall wait for seven days, and she shall then be clean. 29 On the eighth day, she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons and she shall bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 30 The priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. The priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for her impure discharge.

31 “ ‘Thus you will keep the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die[c] in their uncleanness when they defile my tabernacle that is in their midst. 32 This is the law for anyone who has a discharge or who has an emission of semen and is therefore unclean 33 and for the woman who is having her menstrual discharge, and for someone having a discharge, whether man or woman, and for the man who lies with a woman who is unclean.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 15:1 God is the master of life. For this reason, everything having to do with fertility and genital activity has an element of mystery and sacredness and acquires a religious value.
  2. Leviticus 15:13 Cleansed: God is the one who heals the person; the priest attests to the work done by God and ritually purifies the person.
  3. Leviticus 15:31 Lest they die: the importance of atonement to be made by the priest on behalf of anyone considered unclean according to the impure discharges in chapter 15. Through ritual cleansing the person is restored physically, but most importantly spiritually.

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