Secret Uncleanness
Leviticus 15:2-33
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When any man has a running issue out of his flesh…

All the uncleannesses here enumerated are such as were, for the most part, unknown except to the individual alone. They must, therefore, refer to sins of solitude and secrecy. The lesson is here taught that we may be great sinners without anybody else knowing anything about it. There may be a very correct exterior life, and yet a secret cherishing of pride, and lust, and unbelief, and a secret painting of the walls with imagery, as much unfitting us for the society of the pure and good as any open and outbreaking wickedness. "The lively imagination of a gay, poetic mind is not less sinful when it scatters forth its luscious images, than the dull, brutal feelings of the stupid, ignorant boor." Even the quiet and involuntary exudations of natural feeling are often to be numbered with the uncleanest things. It is amazing how deep-seated the contaminations of sin are. A man may be truly penitent. He may be set to be a good servant of God; and yet, every now and then, he will find the disgusting uncleanness of sin quietly and unintentionally escaping from him, contaminating himself and those who come in contact with him or touch what he has touched. His whole nature is yet so full of remaining corruption that the least agitation causes it to trickle over. He lies down to sleep, and presently he finds it in his dreams. He puts forth his hand to welcome a friend, and the very touch sometimes awakes wrong echoes in the soul. He is accidentally thrown into the mere neighbourhood of sin, and the very atmosphere about him seems at times to be laden with excitations of impurity. His depravity cleaves to him like an old sore. Nor are these secret and involuntary outflowings of corruption mere trifles, unworthy of notice. They are here set forth under images and types among the most offensive and disgusting. They are too loathsome for public recital — too hideous even for the mind to dwell upon. God intends thus to signify His deep abhorrence of our inherent corruptions. He means to intimate to us that we have reason to be ashamed and confounded at the secret disorder which still works in us. Nay, He yet adds to these defilements a judicial sentence. They were uncleannesses which excluded from the sanctuary and everything holy. They brought condemnation with them. And some of them were so bad as to need atonement by blood. We need, therefore, to be on our guard against the beginnings of evil. It is indeed melancholy that we, as Christians, still have so much impurity cleaving to us. But still it is not without its good effects. We need something to keep us humble, to drive us continually to the throne of grace, and to keep us ever mindful of our dependence upon the mercy of God. It helps to soften us towards the failings of others, and to make us charitable in our judgments of offenders. It helps greatly to reconcile us to the idea of dying. It contributes to make our dying day a blessed day, because it will put an everlasting end to these vexations. Then we shall be delivered. "from the body of this death."

(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'When any man has a discharge from his body, because of his discharge he is unclean.

Purity Required
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