Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 4: Harmony of the Law, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com
1. And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying,
1. Loquutus est autem Jehova ad Mosen et Aharon, dicendo,
2. 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.
2. Loquimini ad filios Israel, et dicite eis, Unusquisque quum semen ejus defluet de carne sua, immundus est.
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.
3. Haec vero erit immunditia ejus in semine ipsius, si emittat caro ejus semen suum, vel clauserit carnem suam semine suo, immunditia ejus est.
4. Every bed whereon he lieth that hath the issue is unclean: and every thing whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean.
4. Onme stratum in quo jacuerit qui patitur fluxum seminis, immundum erit: et omne id super quo sederit, immundum erit.
5. And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
5. Quicunque item tetigerit lectum ejus, lavabit vestimenta sua, posteaquam laverit sese aqua: eritque immundus usque ad vesperam.
6. 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.
6. Et qui sederit super alquid super quo sederit seminifluus, lavabit vestimenta sua, posteaquam laverit se aqua: eritque immundus usque ad vesperam.
7. 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.
7. Qui vero tetigerit carnem seminiflui, lavabit vestimenta sua, posteaquam laverit sese aqua: eritque immundus usque ad vesperam.
8. 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 uncleau until the even.
8. Et si despuerit seminifluussuper mundum, lavabit vestimenta sua posteaquam laverit se aqua: eritque immundus usque ad vesperam.
9. And what saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean.
9. Et omne sagma super quo equitaverit seminifluus, immundum erit.
10. 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.
10. Atque omnis qui tetigerit omne quitquid fuerit subter eum, immundus erit usque ad vesperam et qui portaverit ea, lavabit vestimenta sua, posteaquam laverit sese aqua: eritque immundus usque ad vesperam.
11. And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shalt wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
11. Omnis autem quem tetigerit seminifluus, et manus suas non abluerit aqua, lavabit vestimenta sua: posteaquam laverit sese aqua: eritque immundus usque ad vesperam.
12. 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.
12. Et vas fictile quod tetigerit seminifluus, confringetur: onme auterm vas ligneum lavabitur aqua.
13. 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.
13. Quum autem mundatus fuerit seminifluus a fluxusuo, numerabit sibi septem dies ab emundatione sua, lavabitque vestimenta sua, posteaquam laverit quoque carnem suam aqua viva: et mundus erit.
14. 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:
14. Die vero octava capiet sibi duos turtures, aut duos pullos columbinos, venietque coram Jehova ad ostium tabernaculi conventionis, et tradet eos sacerdoti.
15. 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.
15. Quos sacrificabit sacerdos, unum pro peccato, et alterum in holocaustum: et emundabit illum sacerdos coram Jehova a fluxu ipsius.
16. 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.
16. Quum autem ex aliquo egressa fuerit effusio seminis, lavabit aqua totam carnem suam: immun-dusque erit usque ad vesperam.
17. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
17. Et omnis vestis, omnisque pellis super quam fuerit aliquid de effusione seminis, lavabitur aqua et immunda erit usque ad vesperam.
18. 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.
18. Mulier quoque cum quo dormierit vir patiens effusionem seminis, lavabitur aqua et immunda erit usque ad vesperam.
19. 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.
19. Mulier autem quum fuerit fluens sanguine, et erit fluxus ejus per carnem ejus, septem diebus erit in separatione sua: et omnis qui tetigerit eam, immundus erit usque ad vesperam.
20. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.
20. Et omne super quo jacuerit separatione sua, immundum erit: omne quoque super quo sederit, immundum erit.
21. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe hinself in water, and be unclean until the even.
21. Omnis praeterea qui tetigerit lectum ejus, lavabit vestimenta sua, et lavabit sese aqua: immundusque erit usque ad vesperam.
22. And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
22. Omnis etiam qui tetigerit quamcunque sedem super quam sederit, lavabit vestimenta sua, posteaquam laverit sese aqua: immundusque erit usque ad vesperam.
23. 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.
23. Quod si instrumentum aliquod fuerit super stratum ipsum, vel super sellam super quam sederit: quum tetigerit illud aliquis, immundus erit usque ad vesperam.
24. 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.
24. Quod si dormiendo dormierit quis cum ea, et fuerit immunditia ejus super eum, immundus erit septem diebus: et omne stratum super quo dormierit, immundum erit.
25. 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.
25. Mulier autem, quum fluet fluxum sanguinis ultra menses suos: cunctis diebus fluxus immunditiae suae erit sicut diebus menstrui sui, immunda est.
26. 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.
26. Omne stratum in quo dormierit cunctis diebus fluxus sui, sicut stratum menstrui sui erit, et omnis sedes super qua sederit, immunda erit secundum immunditiam menstrui sui.
27. And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himseIf in water, and be unclean until the even.
27. Quicunque tetigerit cam immundus erit, lavabitque vestimenta sua, et lavabit se aqua, immundusque erit usque ad vesperam.
28. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.
28. Quod si mundata fuerit a fluxu suo, tunc numerabit sibi septem dies, et postea mundabitur.
29. 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.
29. Die autem octava tollet sibi duos turtures, aut duos pullos columbinos: afferetque illos ad sacerdotem ad ostium tabernaculi conventionis.
30. 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.
30. Et faciet sacerdos unum in hostiam pro peccato, et alterum in holocaustum: emundabitque illam sacerdos coram Jehova a fluxu immunditiae suae.
31. 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.
31. Separabitque filios Israel ab imnmnditias suas, ne moriantur propter immunditias suas, dum polluertint tabernaculum, quod est in medio eorum.
32. This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith;
32. lsta est lex patientis fluxum seminis, et ejus ex quo egreditur effusio seminis, ut sit immundus propter illam.
33. 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.
33. Et aegrotantis in fluxu suo, et ejus qui profundit fluxum suum, sive sit masculus, sive foemina, et viri qui dormierit cum immunda.
2 When any man hath a running issue. He here alludes to other species of contamination, for which a solemn purification is required. And, first, he teaches that men are defiled by the flow of the seminal fluid, which occurs in two ways, either when it involuntarily bursts out in sleep, or when it escapes gradually in the disease, which the Greeks call γονόρ᾿ῥοια This Supplement might, as I have said, be appended to the Seventh Commandment, because every 17 indisposition arising from lust appears here to be condemned; but, if we look more closely, we shall perceive that it is a general law for the cultivation of purity, and which must not be confined to chastity alone. For this flux, arising from disease and debility, unless it be contracted from immoderate venery, has nothing in common with venereal lust. Besides, what is immediately after added concerning the menstruation of women, is connected with other forms of uncleanness and defilement. The sum then is, that the seminal-flux is reckoned among the pollutions which prevented the Israelites from entering the tabernacle, and from the external service of God; and thence the rule must always be borne in mind, that whatever proceeds from an unclean man is corrupt, and that no one can duly offer either himself, or what he possesses, to God, except he who is pure and perfect in soul and body. Thus Paul explains the end and object of this ceremony, when he exhorts believers that, being received as God’s peculiar people, they should cleanse themselves
"from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.”
But Moses further declares, that uncleanness is contracted, not only when the seed is emitted, but when it is retained; and that not only is the man himself rendered unclean, but whatever he may have touched — his bed, his seat, his saddle, his clothes; and that the contagion extends to others also, if any should have lain on the same bed, or ridden on the same saddle. Thus did God desire to impress them with horror, that they might be more accustomed to fly from all impurity. Nor would the crime have been detestable: in itself, had not spiritual purity been set forth under this external exercise and symbol. Thus, too, in (Ps. 24:3, 4), the truth of this figure is described:
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart."
Therefore he who was conscious of no sin in the seminal-flux, still must be reminded by this sign of the corruption of his nature; and at the same time be an example to others, that all should diligently take heed to themselves, because corruption cleaves to the whole human race. In the ablution the remedy of the evil was proposed, since the mark of ignominy induced them to repentance. It is expedient that whosoever is infected with any stain should be brought to shame, so as to be displeased with himself; but the acknowledgment of the evil would produce despair, unless the hope of pardon were associated with it. Therefore, those to whom purification was necessary, are always sent to water; and, whenever water is mentioned, the passage in St. John should be brought to mind, that Christ came “by water and blood,” to purge and expiate all uncleanness. (1Jo 5:6.) Besides the water, a sacrifice of turtle doves, or two young pigeons is added; and this has reference to the same thing; viz., that purification for the unclean must be sought for elsewhere, which we have at length obtained by the sacrifice of Christ.
19. And if a woman have an issue. Women are now spoken of who suffer under a twofold issue of blood; for with almost all it occurs every month, (whence it is called menses, or menstruation,) and some labor under a constant hemorrhage. He declares both to be unclean; and, after menstruation, a certain period of separation is appointed, during which the law prohibited their cohabitation with men; but, if the blood flowed beyond the usual time, the time of purification is postponed until it ceased. Whence it appears, that in every shameful thing the Jews were reminded of their uncleanness, that thus they might be accustomed to modesty and seek after purity. And this still more clearly appears at the end of the chapter, where it is said, (v. 3l,) “Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not — when they defile my tabernacle.” God, I say, briefly sets forth His intention that He would drive away all profanation far from His people; because he desires sincerity to prevail amongst his worshippers, and cannot bear his tabernacle to be polluted by any stain.
“Toute intemperance de la chair et lubricite, qu’on appelle.” — Fr. The negative is here added from the Fr