15:1–33 This chapter deals with the uncleanness caused by discharges from the sexual organs: (a) long-term male discharge (e.g., gonorrhea; vv. 2–15); (b) short-term male discharges (vv. 16–18); (c) short-term female discharge (menstruation, vv. 19–24); and (d) long-term female discharges (vv. 25–30). That perfectly natural processes like sexual intercourse (v. 18) or menstruation should make someone unclean (i.e., unfit to worship) is surprising. But all these cases involve the loss of bodily fluids (blood or semen), and any loss of a “life fluid” suggested death and was incompatible with the presence of God, who is perfect life.
The New Testament shows God, the giver of perfect life, incarnate in Jesus Christ, healing those who suffered exclusion from His presence under these Old Testament rules (Matt. 9:20–22). The divine program of redemption was historically progressive. The old covenant arrangements that seem so strange to us were early object lessons, a “guardian” pointing forward to the full redemption accomplished in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:24, 25).