Day 42: Cleanliness Laws

Leviticus 11-15

A brief word about this section of Leviticus as the reading is long. It is important to understand the meaning of clean vs. unclean. It was not a hygienic term, nor did it refer to moral standing. It simply referred to a ritual state. The ESV Study Bible compares ritual cleanness to being registered to vote. If you’re registered, you can vote. Similarly, if you are ritually clean, you are permitted in the camp – or community. If you are ritually unclean, you must stay outside the camp until which time you are made ritually clean.

This concept is foreign to us because the cleanliness laws have been made obsolete by the new covenant. The purpose of these laws was to set Israel apart as a holy nation, different than the surrounding nations. Now that the new covenant has made the gospel available to all nations, the need for laws that make the Israelite nation unique is no longer needed. (For a New Testament example, see Acts 10, the story of Peter and Cornelius.)

So, enjoy today’s reading ;)

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