“And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean. Le 15:3 And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness.” (Leviticus 15:1-3)
Up to this point, the diseases described have been visible. Unfortunately, not all infectious diseases appear on the skin, making them harder to detect. Any discharge from a persons flesh, whether through a break in the skin or one of the body orifices indicates an underlying problem, whether pus from a deep wound, vomit, or nasal discharge from a runny nose, and indicated a possible contagious condition. The discharge itself would carry the pathogens of the underlying disease, making it a problem, but a person could still be contagious even when the discharge stopped.
“Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that sitteth on any thing whereon he sat that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that toucheth the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean; then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And what saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And the vessel of earth, that he toucheth which hath the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water. ” ( Leviticus 15:4-12)
Anything which the infected person had touched was a potential source of infection, so anyone who touched something that infected person had touched needed to wash his clothes and take a bath, and avoid coming in contact with others until evening. If the infected person touched anyone without first washing his hands, they were at risk and needed to take a bath and wash their clothes. If he threw up or coughed close enough to get drops of spit on them, they also needed to change clothes and bathe. Doing so would greatly reduce the likliehood of spreading the disease.
“And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.” (Leviticus 15:13)
If the discharge stopped, the person was to wait seven days to be sure it was actually healed. Before going out into the public, he was to take a bath in running water and wash his clothes to get rid of any lingering pathogens.
“And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and give them unto the priest: And the priest shall offer them, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue.” (Leviticus 15:14-15)
On the eighth day after the issue stopped, the person was to take two turtledoves or young pigeons to the priest. One was to be offered as a sacrifice for any sin during his illness, and the other as a burnt offering thanking God for his recovery.
“And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.” (Leviticus 15:16-18)
Semen can carry all of the sexually transmitted diseases, as well as almost any other infectious disease. Because of the risk, if a man had ejaculated, he was to bathe and anything that had come in contact with the semen was to be washed to remove possible infection. For the same reason both the man and woman were to bathe after having sex.
“And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even.
And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.” (Leviticus 15:19-24)
The menstrual cycle is a process whereby the woman’s body eliminates possible disease causing organisms which have gotten into the womb. The discharge is a potential disease hazard, like any other discharge. Anything thing that came in contact was to be washed and any person was to bathe and wash his clothes if he touched those things. Because of the risk, a person who had sex with a woman during menstruation was to isolate himself for seven days to be sure he wasn’t infected. The things he touched were to be considered potential hazards as well.
Some doctors today are concerned that the popularity of oral sex is facilitating the spread of certain diseases by bypassing the natural protection designed into the woman’s reproductive system.
“And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean. Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. “ (Leviticus 15:25-27)
An unusually long period of discharge, especially for more then a week indicated a problem. The woman was to follow the same protocol until the discharge stopped, and anyone who came in contact with things which might be infected was to bathe and wash his clothes, avoiding contact with others until evening.
“But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.” (Leviticus 15:28-30)
She was to wait seven days after the discharge stopped to be sure there was no longer any danger. On the eighth day she was to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons. One was to be offered for any sin during that time and the other as thanksgiving for her recovery.
“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.” (Leviticus 15:31)
By following these rules, the danger of death from communicable diseases would be greatly reduced, and public religious meetings would not become a way of spreading disease. God would not find it necessary to kill them to protect others.
“This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith; And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.” (Leviticus 15:32-33)
Most of our vaccination programs would be unnecessary if we taught people to have a similar concern for the health of others.