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Leviticus 15:19-30

Female Bodily Discharges

15:19 “‘When a woman has a discharge 1  and her discharge is blood from her body, 2  she is to be in her menstruation 3  seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening. 15:20 Anything she lies on during her menstruation will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 15:21 Anyone who touches her bed must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:22 Anyone who touches any furniture she sits on must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:23 If there is something on the bed or on the furniture she sits on, 4  when he touches it 5  he will be unclean until evening, 15:24 and if a man actually has sexual intercourse with her so that her menstrual impurity touches him, 6  then he will be unclean seven days and any bed he lies on will be unclean.

15:25 “‘When a woman’s discharge of blood flows 7  many days not at the time of her menstruation, or if it flows beyond the time of her menstruation, 8  all the days of her discharge of impurity will be like the days of her menstruation – she is unclean. 15:26 Any bed she lies on all the days of her discharge will be to her like the bed of her menstruation, any furniture she sits on will be unclean like the impurity of her menstruation, 15:27 and anyone who touches them will be unclean, and he must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 9 

Purity Regulations from Female Bodily Discharges

15:28 “‘If 10  she becomes clean from her discharge, then she is to count off for herself seven days, and afterward she will be clean. 15:29 Then on the eighth day she must take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons 11  and she must bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, 15:30 and the priest is to make one a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 12  So the priest 13  is to make atonement for her before the Lord from her discharge of impurity.

1 tn See the note on Lev 15:2 above.

2 tn Heb “blood shall be her discharge in her flesh.” The term “flesh” here refers euphemistically to the female sexual area (cf. the note on v. 2 above).

3 tn See the note on Lev 12:2 and R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 1:925-27.

4 tn Heb “and if on the bed it (הוּא, hu’) is or on the vessel which she sits on it, when he touches it….” The translation and meaning of this verse is a subject of much debate in the commentaries (see the summary in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:938-40). It is difficult to determine what הוּא refers to, whether it means “he” referring to the one who does the touching, “it” for the furniture or the seat in v. 22, “she” referring to the woman herself (see Smr היא rather than הוא), or perhaps anything that was lying on the furniture or the bed of vv. 21-22. The latter view is taken here (cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 202).

5 tn The MT accent suggest that “when he touches it” goes with the preceding line, but it seems to be better to take it as an introduction to what follows (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 202).

6 tn Heb “and if a man indeed lies with her and her menstrual impurity is on him.”

7 tn Heb “And a woman when the flow of her blood flows.”

8 tn Heb “in not the time of her menstruation or when it flows on her menstruation.”

9 tn See the note on v. 5 above.

10 tn Heb “And if…” Although this clause is parallel to v. 13 above, it begins with וְאִם (vÿim, “and if”) here rather than וְכִי (vÿkhi, “and when/if”) there.

11 tn Heb “from the sons of the pigeon,” referring either to “young pigeons” or “various species of pigeon” (contrast J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:168 with J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 14; cf. Lev 1:14 and esp. 5:7-10).

12 tn Heb “And the priest shall make the one a sin offering and the one a burnt offering.”

13 tn Heb “And the priest.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here.

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