The previous sections discussed what makes a person unclean. This reading spends a little time explaining how to make yourself clean after having an infectious skin disease or coming into contact with mildew.
If the person dies from a skin disease, he is to be cleansed with the blood a clean bird, hyssop, cedar and scarlet yarn. Another bird is to be released into the woods after the cleansing ritual is complete.
If the person is still alive, he has to compeltely shave and bathe. Then he must spend 7 days outside of his tent and then shave again (everything... including eyebrows!). On the 8th day he makes a blood and grain sacrifice with help from the priest. The passage is a little redundant and repeats the same things several time. I am not sure what the purpose of this is...
If someone has mildew in their house, a priest will close it off for 7 days. If the mildew is spreading after 7 days, the whole house has to be gutted and pieces replaced. If the mildew comes back the whole house has to be destroyed (boy aren't you glad there are easier ways to deal with mold and mildew now?!) The house is then purified in the same way someone with leprosy is (with blood, hyssop, etc.).
The next section brought out the 5th grader in me and made me giggle. If a man has any kind of discharge, he and anyone/thing he comes into contact will be unclean for 7 days until he is ceremonially cleansed. As for semen, the man (and woman) are both supposed to wash themselves and remain unclean until evening. I am not sure what the distinction between "discharge" and "semen" are, but I don't really want to look into it further :\
As for the ladies... when Aunt Flo is in town, you are basically described as the walking plague...
20 " 'Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 22 Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening.
If that passage doesn't make you feel attractive, I don't know what would.
Remember, this seems like a lot; but you have to keep in mind that conditions were a lot worse back then and every step had to be taken to ensure a sanitary environment. God used these methods to keep the Temple and his people clean and healthy. While cumbersome, it was a fantastic showing of God's provision and sovereign grace.
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