Do the PURITY LAWS Prevent Sickness?
QUARANTINE come from the Bible (Lev. 13:46)? Is toxic mold the LEPROSY
of the HOUSE (Lev. 14:34)? What precautions did Moses take against VENEREAL
DISEASE (Lev. 13-15)? Is the "GERM THEORY" found in the Bible? Why forbid sexual intercourse during MENSTRUATION (Lev. 18:19)?
Is there a medical reason for being circumcised the eighth day (Gen. 17:12)?
Wasn't CIRCUMCISION abolished (Gal. 5:2)? Why not touch "the UNCLEAN thing" (2 Cor.6:17)?
What Are The Purity Laws?
The Purity laws are found mainly from Leviticus 11 to 17 and Numbers 19 as well as scattered elsewhere (Lev. 5:2-3; Num. 31:19-20; Deut. 14:3-21; 23:10-15; 24:8; 26:14). The main causes of impurity are: 1. Contact with LEPROSY (defined broadly as contagious diseases, molds and fungi), 2. Contact with SEMEN or MENSTRUAL BLOOD. 3. Contact with the DEAD BODY of man or animal. 4. Contact with an IDOL 5. Contact with human FECES or animal MANURE. 6. Eating an UNCLEAN CREATURE and 7. CHILDBIRTH. Let's examine each of these seven categories in greater detail:
The first category of impurity is LEPROSY. There are three types of LEPROSY: of men, of clothes and of buildings. The criterion for determining if the LEPROSY of a man is unclean or not is whether the hair turns white and the plague is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3) and whether it spreads (13:6) and whether there are running sores (of pus, blood, etc.) (Lev. 15:2) and raw flesh (Lev. 13:15). Isolation for one or two weeks is sometimes required to determine this (Lev. 13:4-5). Ordinary skin infections scab over within two weeks (Lev. 13:5-6). A LEPER must cover his upper lip (13:45) in case he coughs or sneezes. He must also cry "Unclean" (13:45) to warn others to keep away. He must also dwell alone in quarantine (13:46) and burn any clothes that have come in contact with his open sores (13:52,57). Washing body and clothing is required if he gets better (Lev. 14:8; 15:13). Anything he touches or sits on is also unclean (Lev. 15:11). Whoever touches his bed or chair or skin must wash his clothes and himself (Lev. 15:1-7). He can convey uncleanness by spitting on a person (15:8). Examples of LEPROSY would be CHICKENPOX and SMALLPOX, both of which are contageous. Modern LEPROSY known as HANSON'S DISEASE is transmitted from nasal drippings and saliva and requires permanent isolation since it is never cured, but only arrested (2 Ki. 7:3-10; 2 Ch. 26:21). However, GONORRHEA is most likely the disease described as a running issue, or discharge (Lev. 15:2, 22:4-5; Nu. 5:2-3). The LEPROSY of clothing is described as "greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin (leather) ... shut it (isolate it) seven days ... and if the plague be spread ... it is unclean" (Lev. 13:49-51). Examples would be the RED BACTERIA commonly found on red-spotted leather hides known as "RED HEAT." It is responsible for great losses to the leather industry. The green mold, ASPERGILLUS, is a frequent contaminant of cloth and leather. Several species of this mold grow on cloth and leather. They discolor fabrics, cause a musty odor, and damage the fibers. It is so troublesome that most leather hides are cured today by means of a brine solution followed by an inhibitor of mold and bacteria. The fungus CHAETOMIUM frequently accompanies the ASPERGILLI. If a house has mold or fungus in the timbers or on stones, it must be scraped clean of any mold and replaced with new blocks or timbers and the moldy parts taken to the dump (Lev. 14:41). If the mold spreads, the house must be torn down (14:45). Anybody living in it must wash his clothes (14:45-48).
A second category of impurity is MENSTRUATION. Beginning with the MENSTRUAL FLOW, a woman must avoid sex (Lev. 18:19) and be separate since anything she touches is unclean (Lev. 15:19-23). Beginning with the MENSTRUAL flow, the woman counts seven days of 24 hours each beginning at sunset (15:19,28) and then immerses herself in a mikvah. A mikveh can be a RIVER, LAKE, OCEAN, or SWIMMING POOL. Complete immersion may or may not be possible in a BATHTUB. A man who ejaculates SPERM must wash his body in water and wash anything else the sperm touches. His body and clothes remain unclean until the evening (Lev. 15:16-17). After having sex, both the man and woman should bathe and are unclean till evening (Lev. 15:18). The UNCIRCUMCISED are considered unclean also. "For the UNCIRCUMCISED and the UNCLEAN Shall no longer come to" Jerusalem (Isa. 52:1). "Thus saith the Lord God: No stranger, UNCIRCUMCISED in heart, or UNCIRCUMCISED in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary" (Ez. 44:9). Perhaps it is because disease germs are harder to wash off when under a flap. Revelation 14:4 says, "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins" implying that women generally ignore the Niddah separation laws. Since uncleanness is inevitable, why did Paul say no unclean person will inherit the Kingdom of God? (Gal. 5:19-21; Eph.5:3-6; Col. 3:5-6; 1 Cor. 6:9-10) Because some uncleanness is a deliberate choice: masturbating for men and refusing to practice Niddah (separation & bathing for 7 of every 28 days) for women.
A third category of impurity is the DEAD. All DEAD ANIMALS are unclean (Lev. 11:8,24,29-31; Deut. 14:8) including those normally permitted to be eaten when properly killed by man (Lev. 11:31,39). If a man touches them, he becomes unclean until evening (Lev. 11:24). Wash your clothes and yourself (17:15). If a man touches a HUMAN CORPSE, or touches a GRAVE, or a BONE, it conveys uncleanness to him (Num. 19:11-18; Lev. 22:4; Num. 6:6-7; Num. 9:10). This applies to funerals, autopsies, and soldiers in battle. Matthew 23:27 says that a sepulchre is "full of DEAD men's BONES and all UNCLEANNESS." A man who touched a CORPSE went outside the camp for seven days and underwent the purity rite, with the sprinkling of the red heifer's ashes (Num. 19:11). On the seventh day he washed his clothes and bathed himself and was unclean till evening (Num. 19:19). A human or object in the SAME ROOM as a dead body is enough to convey uncleanness to EVERYTHING in the ROOM (Num. 19:14). This is probably due to FLIES spreading the germs in any enclosed space. But rabbis have interpreted it to mean any unclean corpse that OVERSHADOWS you. They say you must not walk near a GRAVEYARD since a TOMBSTONE will OVERSHADOW you and make you unclean. Fire purifies metal utensils after they touch dead bodies (Num. 31:23). Cooking purifies properly slaughtered clean meat. When Herod founded Tiberias he supplied its inhabitants with many benefits to induce them to stay in the locality since it was built on ancient TOMBS (unmarked graves) and the people avoided uncleanness (Jos. Ant. 18:38). By extension this makes all GENTILE TOWNS UNCLEAN (Josh. 22:19; Amos 7:17). A Sadducean lawyer, who didn't believe in the Pharisaic tradition of being duty-bound to bury a corpse (Contra Ap. 2:29:211; B. Kamma 80b; Erubin 16a; BT Nazir 43b; YT Nazir 56a), was told the parable of the Good Samaritan where Jesus criticized a priest and a Levite for not being willing to risk incurring CORPSE IMPURITY on the chance that the man might still be alive (Luke 10:30-37; cp. Lev. 21:1-3 & Nu.18:2-4). If a DEAD ANIMAL touches anything, that object must be washed and is unclean till evening (Lev. 11:32) unless it is porous, as is the case with unglazed pottery which must be broken (Lev. 11:33, 35). Wet germinating seeds are made unclean by a DEAD ANIMAL (Lev. 11:38), but dry are not (11:37). A fountain can't be made unclean (11:36). No CORPSE BURIALS were permitted in Jerusalem and no CORPSES were allowed there overnight. TOMBS were marked with white paint (Matt. 23:27) because the Pharisees wanted to avoid OVERSHADOWING a CORPSE (Num. 19:14-16). Since GLUE is made from DEAD rendered ANIMALS, don't LICK STAMPS or ENVELOPES. Who makes God angry? "A people that provoketh me to anger continually ... That REMAIN AMONG the GRAVES, and lodge in the monuments" (Isa. 65:3-4). Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was one of the first to notice that childbirth fever occurred in patients who were attended by students of anatomy who went directly from the AUTOPSY room to the maternity ward. The disease was being carried directly from the DEAD BODIES to the pregnant mothers. Later, Joseph Lister recommended the use of carbolic acid solutions as a DISINFECTANT for surgical materials.
A fourth category that causes impurity would be IDOLS. "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, PURIFY yourselves, and change your garments" (Gen. 35:2). "Defile the ... graven IMAGES of silver ... throw them away as an UNCLEAN thing" (Isa. 30:22). "And I will sprinkle CLEAN water upon you and ye shall be CLEAN; from all your UNCLEANNESS and from all your IDOLS will I CLEANSE you" (Ez. 36:25) (statues of Buddha; totem poles; pictures and images of Jesus; X-mas trees; statues of Mary and the saints; obelisks; steeples). Since the Bible doesn't specify HOW the IDOL makes a person unclean, some rabbis have ruled that it is by TOUCH like a DEAD REPTILE (Lev. 11:31 ). Akiva said it was the same as a MENSTRUANT (Lev. 15:19; Av. Zar. 3:4; Shab. 9:1). Others compared IDOLS with LEPROSY (TJ Pes. 9:1,36c; see also Tosef., Av. Zar. 5:7). In the case of IDOLATROUS OFFERINGS, Judah b. Bava says it conveys impurity by OVERSHADOWING (Heb. "Ohel") like a CORPSE (Num. 19:14). The law that one passing under the SHADOW of an Asherah (idolatrous tree) becomes impure (Av. Zar. 3:8) is because it is impossible that there would be no IDOLATROUS OFFERING beneath it (ibid. 48b). Impurity by OVERSHADOWING (Kelim 1:4) is caused whether the IDOL OVERSHADOWS the person, the person OVERSHADOWS the IDOL, or something a handbreadth wide OVERSHADOWS both (Oho. 3:1; Naz. 53b; Maim. Yad, Tumat Met 1:10). This is Rabbinic innovation rather than Bible law, but it is in harmony with the principle that "Doubts in Torah law are decided stringently" (Neg. 7:4). Every December 25 there is an IDOLATROUS tree with presents under it that make people unclean (Jer. 10:1-5). But why do IDOLS make people UNCLEAN? Baal Peor (Num.25:3) says Inman, means "My Lord the OPENER," and Peor signifies "the opening of the maiden's HYMEN." The name Baal Peor says Larchi, was given to the god because his followers "distended their POSTERIORS before him and offered to him the deposit" (dung or feces) ; while the female worshippers of the idol uncovered the MONS VENERIS before it, the males were CIRCUMCISED. "Baal-Perazim" means '"Baal of the FISSURE (CLEAVAGE)" and "Baal-Tamar" means "Baal- ERECT. "Maimonides said the adoration made to this IDOL called Pehor consisted of discovering the SECRET PARTS before it. The law therefore commanded the priests to wear DRAWERS when they sacrificed, and forbade them from getting up to the altar by STEPS, lest their NAKEDNESS be UNCOVERED. In Syria, says St. Jerome, the image of Baal Peor had a PHALLUS protruding from its mouth. As Hosea says, "They went to Baal Peor, and separated (STRADDLED) themselves unto that SHAME; and their ABOMINATIONS were according as they loved" (Hos.2:16). VENEREAL DISEASE is the plague associated with Baal-peor worship. The words "joined himself" refers to pairing off of an Israelite and a Moabitess in some kind of sexual rites of worship (Num. 25:3). The plague recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:8 surely seems to be VD -- perhaps both GONORRHEA and SYPHILIS. Numbers 25:9 records the total number who died while 1 Corinthians 10:8 records the number who died in one day. Proverbs 7:23 seems to describe SYPHILIS in the latter stages: all the internal organs including the brain, spinal cord and nerves develop lesions which result in paresis, insanity and finally death.
A fifth category of impurity is human FECES or EXCREMENT. Remember that if a FLY lands on FECES, and then lands on the FOOD you later eat, the FLY spreads germs to you and makes you UNCLEAN. Every time an Israelite "goes to the bathroom," he must DIG a hole and cover his DUNG with earth (Deut. 23:12-14). As a precaution against impurity it was forbidden to maintain REFUSE HEAPS or rear chickens in Jerusalem (Yad. Tumat Okhelim 16:10; bk 82b). Animal MANURE would fall into the same category. Don't step in it. BURY IT. Latrines and potties must be located outside the camp. Use a SHOVEL to cover dung (Composting toilets come closest to the Biblical ideal.). A babysitter who changed the DIAPERS of an IMMUNIZED infant with a CUT on her hand, later contracted POLIO from the VACCINE in his FECES. From the article. "Public Health Officials Know: Recently Vaccinated Individuals Spread Disease" (3 March 2015) we read that the Johns Hopkins Patient Guide warns the immunocompromised to "Avoid contact with children who are recently vaccinated," and to "Tell friends and family who are sick, or have recently had a live vaccine (such as chicken pox, measles, rubella, intranasal influenza, polio or smallpox) not to visit." A statement on the website of St. Jude's Hospital warns parents not to allow people to visit children undergoing cancer treatment if they have received oral polio or smallpox vaccines within four weeks, have received the nasal flu vaccine within one week, or have rashes after receiving the chickenpox vaccine or MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. "The public health community is blaming unvaccinated children for the outbreak of measles at Disneyland, but the illnesses could just as easily have occurred due to contact with a recently vaccinated individual," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Foundation promotes a healthy diet, non-toxic lifestyle and freedom of medical choice for parents and their children. "Evidence indicates that recently vaccinated individuals should be quarantined in order to protect the public."Scientific evidence demonstrates that individuals vaccinated with live virus vaccines such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), rotavirus, chicken pox, shingles and influenza can shed the virus for many weeks or months afterwards and infect the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. Adults have contracted polio from recently vaccinated infants. A father from Staten Island ended up in a wheel chair after contracting polio while changing his daughter's diaper. He received a 22.5 million dollar award in 2009. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, the best protection against infectious disease is a healthy immune system, supported by adequate vitamin A and vitamin C. Well-nourished children easily recover from infectious disease and rarely suffer complications. The number of measles deaths declined from 7575 in 1920 (10,000 per year in many years in the 1910s) to an average of 432 each year from 1958-1962. The vaccine was introduced in 1963. Between 2005 and 2014, there have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. and 108 deaths reported after the MMR vaccine.
A sixth category that causes impurity would be EATING UNCLEAN CREATURES (Lev. 11:45-47). "All that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters ... shall be an abomination unto you ... you shall not EAT of their flesh" (Lev. 11:10-11). Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, clams and crabs grow in fecal-contaminated waters. They are sometimes contaminated with enteric organisms which cause TYPHOID FEVER, DYSENTERY and other diseases. The degree of contamination is dependent upon the degree of pollution in the water. RED TIDE is a natural marine toxin produced by a type of plankton eaten by shellfish. Eating affected shellfish can, in extreme cases, cause PARALYSIS of the arms, legs and muscles used for breathing. The poison cannot be eliminated through cooking. "And the swine ... he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not EAT, and their carcass shall ye not TOUCH; they are unclean to you" (Lev. 11:7-8). Pork parasites can be contracted by HANDLING fresh pork. Eating infected pork that is improperly cooked can give you TRICHINOSIS. When man ingests infected pork with the Trichinella larvae, the capsule surrounding each larva is dissolved by the digestive juices and the larva attaches to the intestine. From there they may enter the blood stream by boring through the intestine, or the female may deposit them directly into the blood stream or lymph. Larvae are carried to all parts of the body, but they are capable of development only in striated muscle. Another parasite, PORK TAPEWORM, grows to be about ten to twelve feet long.
A seventh category of impurity would be from CHILDBIRTH. After the birth of a baby boy, a woman must count seven days and WASH in a mikveh. After the birth of a baby girl she must count fourteen days and WASH in a mikveh (Lev. 12:1-5).
But what is the purpose of these purity laws? Besides hygiene and health, Deuteronomy 23:14 mentions another reason for burying sewage. It says, "For the Eternal thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee, and TURN AWAY FROM THEE." The children of Israel had to be in a ritually pure state before God would COME DOWN upon Mount Sinai. "They WASHED their clothes" and didn't "COME NEAR" their "WIVES" (Ex. 19:14-15). Furthermore, every priest, Levite and worshipper who came to the Temple was required to IMMERSE in a MIKVAH before coming onto the Temple mount (Ex. 30:20; Lev. 15:31; 22:6; Nu. 5:1-4; Dt. 23:11; Yoma 3:3; TJ, Yoma 40b;.Heb. 10:22; Ant. 12:145) . "Let us draw near ... our bodies WASHED with pure water" (Heb. 10:22). The Spirit of God DESCENDED upon Jesus after he SUBMERGED in WATER (Matt. 3:16-17). As R. Pinchas said, CLEANLINESS leads to getting the Holy Spirit (Cant. Rabbah 1). Is this why there are no miracles today? Everybody is UNCIRCUMCISED and UNWASHED and CONTAMINATED? God WON'T COME near us!
Each PRIMARY cause of UNCLEANNESS can also transmit SECONDARY UNCLEANNESS to another person by direct physical contact or by mutual contact of an intermediate object: "Whatever the UNCLEAN person touches shall be UNCLEAN; and the person who touches it shall be UNCLEAN" (Num. 19:22). But if something or someone was HOLY (set apart for God's service), the HOLINESS was NOT TRANSFERRABLE: "If one bear HOLY flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be HOLY? And the priests answered ... NO" (Hag. 2:12).Thus, petting dogs and playing with cats, and raising chickens, most likely makes a person unclean also.
Did Jesus Obey The PURITY LAWS?
Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the (PURITY) law ... For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the (PURITY) law ... Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least (PURITY) commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (who did obey many PURITY LAWS), ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:17-20).
Jesus went to Jerusalem for pilgrimage festivals. John mentions five journeys: two for Passover (John 2:13; 11:55), one for Sukkot (John 7:10), one for an unspecified feast (John 5:1) and one for the Feast of Dedication -- the Temple's purification by the Maccabees (John 10:22). Entry to the temple at Passover REQUIRED special PURIFICATION; entry at other times REQUIRED at least IMMERSION in one of the many pools located next to the temple compound for this purpose. Thus, in John 5:1-2 Jesus converses with a sick man by the POOL of Beth-zatha: Evidently they were both waiting to IMMERSE. Notice that Jesus remains in and around the Temple teaching publicly to the others gathered there in the days BEFORE the feast (Mark 14:1; Matt. 21:12-15; Luke 19:45; John 2:13-17). What were they all doing gathered there? They were PURIFYING themselves. Jesus arrived in Jerusalem PRIOR to Passover because the purity rules REQUIRED IMMERSIONS in the POOLS adjoining the temple compound on the part of those intending to partake the Passover. The early church built synagogues near RIVERS because of these purity rules. "They resorted to a RIVER where we understood a minyan met" (Acts 16:112-13). Zechariah 14:20-21 says that in the future the whole city will be PURE.
When Jesus touched a dead man he made himself UNCLEAN even though the dead man was brought back to life, because "He who toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days" (Num. 19:11) and dwell "out of the camp" (Nu. 5:2). Then Jesus WASHED his clothes and BATHED his body (Num. 19:19). Did Yeshua go through a MIKVEH when he went into the temple? Yes, because "None may enter the Temple court for the service, even though he is clean, until he has immersed himself" (Yoma 3:3; TJ, Yoma 40b; Ex. 30:20; Lev.15:31; 22:6; Nu. 5:1-4; Dt.23:11; Heb.10:22; Ant.12:145). Yeshua also touched the sick, ate with sinners, touched a leper (Mark 1:40-44; cp. Lev. 14:1-32), the hemorrhaging woman and the demoniac. He approached women and gentiles. Remember they didn't have chlorine or rubbing alcohol. But Yeshua IMMERSED after these incidents and didn't visit the Temple till evening (Lev. 15:21). Jesus NEVER SINNED so these contacts with impurity were NOT SIN. Contact with impurity is unavoidable. The general rule for any man is that "WHEN he realizes it, THEN he shall be GUILTY" if he doesn't WASH (Lev. 5:3). Jesus may have even offered sin offerings when he touched a corpse. When Jesus cleansed a leper in Mark 1:44, he said, "show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy CLEANSING those things which Moses commanded" (Lev. 14:1-32) -- two birds, cedar, scarlet and hyssop.
Did Paul Obey The PURITY LAWS?
Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1). Then he said later, "Everyone who has this hope in him PURIFIES himself" (1 John 3:3). But from what?
A Christian must purify himself from the leper, menstruant, corpse, idol, manure, childbirth and unclean creature. "Touch not the UNCLEAN thing" (2 Cor. 6:17). "Now the works of the flesh ... are these ... UNCLEANNESS ... they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:21). Then he said in Ephesians 5:5, "No UNCLEAN person ... hath any inheritance in the kingdom ... of God" and "I shall bewail many who have sinned already and have not repented of the UNCLEANNESS" (2 Cor. 12:21). Romans 1:24 says, "God gave them up to UNCLEANNESS" of homosexuality. "For God has called us not to IMPURITY but to holiness" (1 Thess. 4:7). Colossians 3:5 says, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth ... UNCLEANNESS." Second Peter 2:10 says, "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of UNCLEANNESS."
In Ephesians 4:5 Paul mentions "ONE IMMERSION" which Christians call "BAPTISM" but Hebrews 6:2 mentions "IMMERSIONS" plural. BAPTISM for conversion is only ONE of the IMMERSIONS of PURITY. Others are leprosy, menstruant, corpse, idol, manure, childbirth and unclean creature.
The Egyptian Pharaoh and Trojan Aeneas Both Purified Themselves in Running Water
Exodus 7:15-25 mentions that Pharaoh went down to the river in the morning. It is probable that purifying by washing in the river every day was part of their religion. Virgil portrays Aeneas as thinking such a purification necessary, before he might touch the Trojan shrines, having polluted himself in battle; he says to his father Anchises, "Thou, father, take in thy hand our shrines and our house's penates; I, coming out of a war such as this, and fresh from the slaughter, May not touch them as yet, till I bathe in the live running water." The Egyptians used these purifications twice every day (Herodotus 2:37). Chaeremon says thrice every day (4:7). Cicero said, "One of the legal maxims that I have mentioned states that we should approach the gods with purity -- that is to say, with purity of mind, for this is everything. Not that the law dispenses with purity of body; but this must be understood, inasmuch as the mind is far superior to the body; and it may be observed that if we are attentive to the purity of our persons, we ought to be still more so to the purity of our souls. For the pollution of the body may indeed be removed by a few ablutions of water, or in a few days; but the stains upon the conscience cannot be obliterated by any lapse of time, and all the rivers in the world cannot wash them out." (Cicero de leg. 2:10) Therefore, take a bath before the Sabbath each week.
"They now to Cephisus their way pursue:
The stream was troubled, but the ford they knew;
With living waters in the fountain bed,
They sprinkle first their garments and their head,
Then took the way which to the temple led." (Ovid Meta. 1:367)
The "GERM THEORY" Found In The Bible?
We are not to TOUCH "the UNCLEAN thing" (2 Cor.6:17). Leper, corpse, blood, semen, idol, childbirth or pig. WASH with water after contact (Lev.15:7) "lifting up holy hands" (1 Tim. 2:8) as the priests did to prove they were clean. In Exodus 30, the priest had to wash both hands and feet before going into the temple. Use a mikveh for "IMMERSIONS" (Heb. 6:2). Rules regarding cleanliness and WASHING with WATER after contact with disease and possible sources of disease are found in many places (Lev.14:9; 15:7,13-19; 17:16; 22:6; Num.19:7-8; Jer.2:22). Dishwashers, clotheswashers, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls are biblical (Num.31:20-24). We are to use HYSSOP (SOAP) (Num. 19:18) as well as BALM (Jer.51:8) and WINE (Luke 10:34) as ANTISEPTIC. The "FULLER'S SOAP" (Mal.3:2) was probably LYE (a caustic solution made by dissolving wood ash in water). Jacob said, "Be clean, and change your garments" (Gen. 35:2). Burning INCENSE produces phenol commonly called CARBOLIC ACID. In the operating room it acts as an ANTISEPTIC. Is this why INCENSE accompanied temple sacrifices (Ex.30:1)?
Even laws concerning QUARANTINE (Lev. 12:1-4; 13:46) and USING A HANDKERCHIEF or FACE MASK over mouth and nose as doctors and dentists do (Lev.13:45) are present! It is a common practice in hospitals today to SHAVE OFF body and facial HAIR for more thorough cleaning just as the Bible says (Lev.13:33,45-46; 14:8-9). Doctors wash after AUTOPSIES (Num.19:16-18). Before germs were ever discovered, we find in Leviticus 11:34-35 and 38 that water was considered a channel or vehicle SPIT was regarded as an infective discharge (Lev.15:8). Sanitary paper TOILET SEAT COVERS are in obedience to Leviticus 15:4-6 as well as TOILET PAPER and PAPER TOWELS. Herpes and Gonorrhea both can be contracted from clothing, towels, and toilet seats (Time magazine, Aug.2 1982, p.66). Wood, cloth and hides retain germs until washed (Lev.11:32; Num. 31:20-24). UNGLAZED pottery (including inside surfaces) must be broken since it is porous and cannot be easily cleansed of disease germs (Lev. 11:33). This means that CHIPPED CHINA and CRACKED CERAMIC DINNERWARE should be discarded! John 2:6 mentions "six waterpots of STONE, after the manner of the PURIFYING of the Jews." STONE containers don't transmit IMPURITY to the contents. Germs can be DILUTED to the point they are not harmful (Lev.11:36). All metals can be STERILIZED of germs by fire (Num.31:22-24). It wasn't practical to BOIL water since fuel was scarce and metal containers were required.
The reason objects were "unclean until the evening" even after being washed in water is that this is enough time for the infectious organisms to dissipate with the drying process and exposure to SUNLIGHT (p.131, R.K. Harrison's Leviticus).
The sun's ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT kills bacteria and germs including Anthrax, Bubonic plague, Strep, Tuberculosis, Cholera, Staph, E. Coli, and Dysentery. Operating rooms that suspend ULTRAVIOLET LIGHTS from the ceiling kill all bacteria within eight feet in 10 minutes. Factory workers have 50% fewer colds where UV lights are used to sanitize the air-borne bacteria (Sunlight by Zane Kime pp. 167, 180). Yet patients in hospitals are prevented from going outside in the sun, and often are quarantined indoors so they can't have the benefits of UV and vitamin D.
Since they had NO REFRIGERATION, meat began to SPOIL after TWO DAYS so was commanded to be burned (Lev.7:15-17; 19:7; Num.9:12; Ex.12:10; 29:34). Containers of food and drink must be COVERED (Num. 19:15) or else the bugs get in and "gnats" must be strained out (Matt. 23:24). A person can't SNEEZE into a closed container. GARBAGE should also be put into a CONTAINER with a LID because of rats, crows and flies. CANCER of the cervix and penis are much lower percentage in CIRCUMCISED populations (Gen.17:12). Dunghills were forbidden and no dead body was to remain unburied overnight. SEWAGE was to be BURIED (Deut.23:12-14). Their BURIAL of SEWAGE not only fertilized the crops, but also prevented it from seeping into water supplies or spreading to the food via flies. Typhoid fever and dysentery spread this way. Our modern sewer system mixes the sewage with water, pumps it for miles to a sewage treatment plant, and then finally pumps the water back out, purifies it, and leaves the dry fertilizer which is then sold back to the public! What a costly, inefficient method compared to the Bible! By using COMPOSTING TOILETS we can fertilize our own land with no sewer bill. Ordinary toilets in the U.S. use drinking water to transport feces. At 3.5 to 10 gallons per flush, this adds up to a national total of approximately 1 billion gallons of water a day. Modern science recognizes "RUNNING WATER" (Num.19:17; Lev.15:13) as better than STAGNANT pools of water because the sun's ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT can penetrate tiny water droplets killing bacteria and germs. This principle is used even today. WATERFALLS and FOUNTAINS (Lev.11:29-36) not only allow this penetration, but also AERATE the water allowing oxygen to attack any microorganisms present. Neither the sun nor the air can penetrate deeply into a STAGNANT pool (see Num. 19). Sunlight purifies sea water 12 feet deep (p. 170, Kime). Air destroys the anaerobic Tetanus bacteria.
The purity of water supplies had to be ensured. It was not practical to boil water since fuel was scarce and metal containers were required. But if a DEAD ANIMAL was found in an earthen vessel, the water in that container was forbidden. But this did not apply to water from a spring or river (Lev.11:29-36). The elders at Jericho knew that their town's
epidemic was somehow connected with the water from the spring (there was only one), so they asked Elisha to purify it (2 Ki. 2:19-22). Water can be purified by adding chlorine or boiling it or by spraying it into the air in the presence of sunlight (oxygen and UV rays kill germs). TYPHOID FEVER, CHOLERA and BILHARZIA may be carried by infected water.
BUBONIC PLAGUE is associated with MICE (1 Sam.6:4). It is transmitted by the bite of a rodent flea. The flea regurgitates a trace of bacteria whenever it bites its victim. Bubos or mounds are formed in the groins and armpits matching the description in 1 Sam. 5:9: "They had emerods (not hemeroids but lumps) in their secret parts." Thomas A. Edison once said, "The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." The people who refuse to follow the PURITY laws are "UNCLEAN" and won't inherit the kingdom of God (Eph. 5:5).
Was CIRCUMCISION Abolished?
God commanded circumcision (Gen. 17:10). John the Baptist and Jesus were both CIRCUMCISED (Luke 1:59; 2:21). Paul was CIRCUMCISED "the eighth day" (Phil. 3:5). Paul said CIRCUMCISION has much VALUE (Rom. 3:1). Isaiah 52:1 says, "For the UNCIRCUMCISED and the UNCLEAN Shall no longer come to" Jerusalem. Ezekiel 44:9 says, "Thus saith the Lord God: No stranger, UNCIRCUMCISED in heart, or UNCIRCUMCISED in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary". Perhaps it is because disease germs are harder to wash off when under a flap.
Why then do we find a CONTROVERSY over CIRCUMCISION in the New Testament? Because some SHAMMAITE Pharisees required STRANGERS to be CIRCUMCISED PRIOR to DWELLING among Israelites (Talmud Yevamot 46b; Acts 15:5; Gal. 5:1-6). Paul and Barnabas "had no small dissension and disputation with them" (Acts 15:2) because Paul was trained by Rabbi Gamaliel the elder, grandson of HILLEL, and followed the HILLELITE oral law of Moses (Acts 22:3) which required BAPTISM rather than CIRCUMCISION as the INITIATORY RITE. "Repent and be BAPTISED" (Acts 2:38) -- not CIRCUMCISED. Paul never taught "Jews ... NOT to CIRCUMCISE their children" (Acts 21:21). Instead, Paul believed "all things which are WRITTEN in the law and in the prophets" (Acts 24:14) and had committed no offense against the Torah (25:8). He hadn't even violated the ORAL traditions (28:17) of HILLEL. Later Paul makes the point that God forgives sin BEFORE strangers are CIRCUMCISED (Rom. 4:7-12). Therefore, if you are called by God, CIRCUMCISION is not INITIALLY required for forgiveness of sin (1 Cor. 7:18-19). However, it is required prior to eating Passover (Ex. 12:43). Numbers 9:14 says, "You shall have ONE LAW both for the stranger and the native."
What was the INITIATION RITE? According to the Talmud (Yevamot 46b), Rabbi Joshua of Bet HILLEL ruled that both males and females performed BAPTISM when the Israelites received the Torah at Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:10,14-15), whereas Rabbi Eliezer the SHAMMAITE believed that men underwent CIRCUMCISION ONLY, and he makes no mention of any ceremony for women.
Furthermore, the schools of HILLEL and SHAMMAI differed on the issue of a proselyte who had ALREADY BEEN CIRCUMCISED before the time of his conversion: "Beit SHAMMAI states: 'One must DRAW from him the BLOOD of CIRCUMCISION'; Beit HILLEL states: 'One need NOT DRAW the BLOOD of CIRCUMCISION from him'" (Tosef., Shab. 15:9; TB, Shab. 135a). Most of the rabbinic authorities decided in favor of Beit SHAMMAI (Tos. to Shab. 135a; Maim. Yad, Issurei Bi'ah 14:5; Sh. Ar., YD 268:1). In the circumcision benediction of proselytes, the statement is made: "Who hast sanctified us with Thy commandments and hast commanded us to circumcise proselytes and to DRAW from them the BLOOD of the COVENANT" (Shab. 137b). In other words, CUT a CIRCUMCISED man just in order to make him BLEED.
When "certain men ... came down from Judea (and) taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be CIRCUMCISED after the MANNER of MOSES, ye cannot be saved" (convert to Judaism) (Acts 15:1), they were speaking from the perspective of the SHAMMAITE ORAL law. This is proven by the fact that the WRITTEN Torah says hardly anything about the "MANNER" in which it is to be done. They believed that their ORAL Torah was also given by God to MOSES on Mount Sinai at the same time as the WRITTEN Torah (Ber. 5a; Ex. R. 47:1; Shab. 31a). It does specify the MANNER in which CIRCUMCISION is to be done (Shab. 9:3; 18:3; 19:1-6; Pesachim 3:7; Megillah 2:4; N'darim 3:11; Arakhin 2:2; K'ritot 1:1 and N'ga'im 7:5). "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees (SHAMMAITES), who believed, saying that it was needful to CIRCUMCISE them (Gentiles), and to command them to keep the (SHAMMAITE ORAL) law of Moses" (Acts 15:5). Paul was trained by Rabbi Gamaliel the elder, grandson of HILLEL, and followed the HILLELITE oral law of Moses. Paul said, "I am a Pharisee" (Acts 23:6). He was "zealous of the traditions" of his fathers (Gal.1:14) and urged Gentiles to "hold the traditions which ye have been taught" (2 Th. 2:15) -- the HILLELITE traditions which require ONLY BAPTISM when converting to Judaism, or for those already circumcised, to require no further CUTTING to DRAW BLOOD when converting to Judaism. Peter points out that "God made a choice among us, that the Gentiles by MY mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe (not by the mouth of a SHAMMAITE). "And God ... gave them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us. And put no difference between us and them (even though they weren't CIRCUMCISED)... Now, therefore, why ... put a YOKE upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (15:7-10) The "YOKE" is clearly the strict ORAL law of the SHAMMAITES since they sat in Moses' seat in 50 A.D. (see Gal. 5:2-3). The "YOKE of the Mitzvot" (B'rakhot 2:2 & Sifra 57b) is a Talmudic phrase referring to ORAL law or "TRADITIONS of the elders" (Mark 7:3). Paul said, "Be not entangled again with the YOKE of BONDAGE" (Gal. 5:1). Jesus said, "You have made the commandment of God of none effect by your (ORAL) TRADITION" (Matt. 15:6). Jesus also said, "My YOKE is EASY"(HILLELITE) (Matt. 11:30). "For he is not (only) a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is (only) outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly (also) ; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit (also), and not in the letter (only); whose praise is not of men (only), but of God (also)." (Rom. 2:28-29).
Nobody is debating the 613 written commands of the Torah! They are "a LAW of LIBERTY" (James 2:10-12). Paul said this LAW was "HOLY, JUST and GOOD" (Rom. 7:12) and he said "we ESTABLISH the (written) LAW" (Rom.3:31) which requires CIRCUMCISION. Instead it is the "middle wall of partition between us ... the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph. 2:14-15) such as the "prohibition of bread, oil, wine and daughters of gentiles" which was one of the 18 decrees passed by Bet SHAMMAI which Peter deliberately violated (Acts 10:28; 11:3). The teaching that Gentiles are unclean is "of scribal origin" (Nid. 69b) and unrelated to the impurities mentioned in the Torah (cf. Tosef., Zar. 2:1; Nid. 34a). Also, "the daughters of the Cutheans (Samaritans) are considered menstruous from infancy" (Gentile uncleanness) -- another of the 18 decrees promulgated near 15 B.C. (TJ Shab. 1:7, 3c; Shab. 17b).
The "false brethren" of Galatians 2:4 who came in secretly to spy on UNCIRCUMCISED Christians were SHAMMAI Pharisees. They were "somewhat" because they were in the majority and IN CONTROL of the San Hedrin in 53 A.D. Because of the SHAMMAITE antagonism toward Gentile converts and the SHAMMAITE rule that Jews can't eat with non-Jews, Peter stopped eating with Gentile converts (Gal. 2:12). Paul then asks, "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law" (Gal. 3:2) -- meaning the SHAMMAI ORAL LAW including CIRCUMCISION? No. "Repent and be BAPTISED" (Acts 2:38) was the method.
Cornelius the centurion received the Holy Spirit without being CIRCUMCISED according to the SHAMMAITE ORAL LAW (Acts 10:44-45). In Galatians 4:17 we read that these SHAMMAITES would "exclude you" (Gentiles can't achieve salvation). In Acts 16:15 a new convert named Lydia said, "If you have judged me to be faithful in the Lord, COME INTO MY HOUSE, and abide there." She was testing them to see whether they followed SHAMMAITE ORAL LAW or not. First Thessalonians 2:14-16 says that the Jews who killed Christ and the prophets and have persecuted Christians also "forbid us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved" because they are SHAMMAITE Pharisees who follow the eighteen measures and require CIRCUMCISION before conversion -- before the stranger could "sojourn among you." But to require CIRCUMCISION of a stranger implies he is a servant (Ex. 12:44) and not free to decide whether or not he wants to keep the Passover. The law merely says, "There shall no stranger eat" of the Passover (Ex. 12:43).
The MINIMUM requirements of strangers "to sojourn among" Israelites were that they not offer sacrifices to demon idols (Lev. 17:7-9) or eat blood (Lev. 17:10-11) or eat animals that had been killed by other animals or died of disease or strangulation preventing the blood from draining (Lev. 17:12-16) and that they avoid any sexual misconduct (Lev. 18:1-26). This we find summarized in Acts 15:20 , 29 and 21:25. Compare the seven Noachide Laws (Sanh. 56a). There were other laws specifically addressed to the stranger such as avoiding blasphemy (Lev. 24:16), incest (Lev. 18:26), participating in the religious festivals (Deut. 16:11,14), fasting and resting on Yom Kippur (Lev. 16:29), getting rid of leaven on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:19), and using the red heifer (Nu. 19:10). But as Yebamoth 47a explains, the rabbis "do not ... tell him (the proselyte) TOO MUCH, or enter into TOO MANY DETAILS" upon initial conversion. The Israelites at Sinai also said, "We will do and we will hear" (Ex. 24:7) obliging themselves to OBEY the whole Torah BEFORE they KNEW what it required.
But the very next verse of Acts shows that converts were expected to attend synagogues "every Sabbath day" where Moses is read (Acts 15:21). As Exodus 20:10 says, "the stranger that is within thy gates" "shalt not do any work" on the Sabbath cp. Deut. 5:14). Attending with Jews shows that the SAME DOCTRINAL OBEDIENCE was expected of both. As Numbers 9:14 says, "You shall have ONE LAW both for the stranger and the native." As Leviticus 19:34 says, "The stranger that dwells with you shall be unto you AS ONE BORN AMONG YOU and thou shalt love him as thyself." As Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, "Teach all nations to OBSERVE ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you." And if you will "enter into life, KEEP the COMMANDMENTS" (Matt. 19:17). (Strangers who sojourn among you must obey the same Old Testament as the Israelites obey.) When a STRANGER eventually decides to observe Passover, he must be CIRCUMCISED (Ex. 12:48). Christians should be CIRCUMCISED, but NOT as a pre-conversion SHAMMAITE DEMAND prior to DWELLING among Israelites (Gal. 5:1-6) and NOT to DRAW BLOOD when the man has already been CIRCUMCISED. Paul never taught "Jews ... NOT to CIRCUMCISE their children" (Acts 21:21). Instead, Paul believed "all things which are WRITTEN in the law and in the prophets" (Acts 24:14) and had committed no offense against the Torah (25:8). He hadn't even violated the ORAL traditions (28:17) of HILLEL. Therefore, if you are called by God, Shammaite CIRCUMCISION is not required for forgiveness of sin (1 Cor. 7:18-19; Rom. 4:7-12). Hillelite BAPTISM is the INITIATORY RITE. Perhaps this is what Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 7:19 when he said, "Circumcision (according to the commandments of men) is nothing, and uncircumcision (according to the commandments of men), but the keeping of the commandments of God." Galatians 5:12 says, "I wish those who are so eager to CUT your bodies would CUT themselves off from you altogether" (Phillips).
CIRCUMCISION is a law of health. Squamous-cell CARCINOMA (cancer of the penis) is virtually unknown among males who have been circumcised. Sexual relations with uncircumcised males has also been linked to female uterine CERVIX CANCER. "Most experts feel that these cancers are caused by smegma, a filthy and foul-smelling paste of bacteria and dead cells trapped under the foreskin" (p.89, McMillen's None Of These Diseases). CANCER of the CERVIX is one of the most common cancers in women. It comprises 25 percent of all cancers in women. In 1954, a large study of 86,214 women in Boston revealed that CANCER of the CERVIX in non-Jewish women was eight-and-one-half times more frequent than in Jewish women (New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 30, 1954, pp. 555-559).
Genesis 17:12 says, "And he that is eight days old shall be CIRCUMCISED among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed." (cp. Gen.21:4 & Lev.12:3)
Why the eighth day? Because this is the safest time, medically speaking. "At birth a baby's intestines contain no bacteria. Between the fifth to seventh day of life, these bacteria begin to proliferate and produce the important vitamin K. This vitamin goes to the liver where it plays an important part in forming four different clotting proteins. If any one of these proteins is missing, serious bleeding may result.... One of the proteins dependent on vitamin K is called prothrombin ... An average eight-day-old baby has MORE AVAILABLE prothrombin than on ANY OTHER DAY of his life" (McMillen, p.92). Yahweh was allowing for sufficient vitamin K to be built up. The Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University states: Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. The "K" is derived from the German word "koagulation." Coagulation refers to the process of blood clot formation. Newborn infants, in general, have low vitamin K status for the following reasons: 1) vitamin K is not easily transported across the placental barrier; 2) the newborn's intestines are not yet colonised with bacteria that synthesise menaquinones; and 3) the vitamin K cycle may not be fully functional in newborns, especially premature infants.
The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded in 1989 that there may be "medical benefits and advantages" to CIRCUMCISION. URINARY TRACT INFECTION during the first year of life of UNCIRCUMCISED boys is ten times that of their CIRCUMCISED counterparts. Incidence of PENILE CANCER is much lower in CIRCUMCISED men (Science News, March 11, 1989, p.150). After studying the incidence of AIDS in Africa, researcher Jean L. Marx concluded that UNCIRCUMCISED men may be five to eight times more likely to get AIDS during heterosexual intercourse than men who have been CIRCUMCISED (Science, Aug.4, 1989, pp.470-471). "The exact cause of PENILE CANCER is unknown; however, it's generally associated with poor personal hygiene, and phimosis (tight prepuce) in UNCIRCUMCISED men. This may account for the low incidence among Jews, Muslims, and people of other cultures that practice CIRCUMCISION at birth or shortly thereafter" (p.246, Diseases). Furthermore, UNCIRCUMCISED men are more likely to become infected with CHANCROID. "Poor personal hygiene may predispose males -- especially those who are UNCIRCUMCISED -- to this disease. CHANCROID is transmitted through sexual contact" (p.998). "To prevent chancroid ... wash the genitalia with soap and water after sexual activity" (p.999, Diseases). Also "BALANITIS, a relatively uncommon penile disease, occurs in the UNCIRCUMCISED male when the glans penis becomes inflamed ... (this disease) is probably transmitted through sexual contact, and is likely to develop in males with long prepuces, especially those who improperly retract their prepuces and observe poor personal hygiene" (pp.1002-1003, Diseases).
The foreskin originated after man sinned and ate the forbidden fruit (Gen.3:21). As such, the foreskin represents a physical and symbolic curse. The UNCIRCUMCISED male may be part of the reason God said to the woman, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception" (Gen.3:16) via UTERINE CANCER, CHANCROID, etcetera. In order to undo the curse, we must take of the tree of God's knowledge, the Bible, and be CIRCUMCISED.
PURITY LAWS Prevent The Spread of Disease
Any contact with SEMEN or SPERM made people or clothing unclean (Ex.19:15; Lev.22:4; 15:16-18; Deut.23:10; 1 Sam.21:4-5; 2 Sam.11:11) "until the evening" (Lev.15:16-18).
But "AIDS can even be spread by CASUAL CONTACT at public gatherings, etcetera. The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine cited diseased homosexual FOOD HANDLERS as a major cause of increase in AMEBIASES and HEPATITIS in San Francisco and Minneapolis" (p.266, Biblical Principles). The "AIDS virus has been isolated from BLOOD, SEMEN, SERUM, SALIVA, URINE and now TEARS. If the virus exists in these fluids, the better part of wisdom dictates that we assume the possibility that it can also be transmitted by these routes. It seems reasonable, therefore, that AIDS victims should not DONATE BLOOD or blood products, should not contribute to SEMEN BANKS, should not donate tissues or organs to ORGAN BANKS, should not work as DENTAL or MEDICAL TECHNICIANS, and should probably not be employed as FOOD HANDLERS." (Dr. Richard Restack, Washington Post, Sept.8, 1985) In addition, "the AIDS virus is transmitted in BREAST MILK" from mother to child (A1, Seattle Times, Sat. April 25, 1992). AIDS victims should not breast feed their young. The "AIDS lentivirus can remain infectious outside the body for up to TEN DAYS" (p.110, The AIDS Cover-up? by Gene Antonio).
The Centers for Disease Control on November 15, 1985 and April 11, 1986 issued recommendations for preventing transmission of AIDS between dentists and patients. These recommendations, including the wearing of MASKS and GLOVES, have been adopted by the nation's dentists. Furthermore, the Washington State Dental Disciplinary Board recently passed some of the toughest new infection-control regulations in the nation. Dentists are now required to HEAT-STERILIZE dental equipment after use on each patient; use NEW GLOVES each time a different patient's mouth is touched; WEAR MASKS during most procedures except when a mask might hinder the proce- dure; WEAR GOGGLES when splatter is expected; USE PROTECTIVE COVERS on instrument trays, light handles and other equipment; and test STERILIZE equipment at least once a week to ensure it is properly STERILIZING instruments. (A2, Seattle Times, Wed. June 3, 1992). In London an intruder and guest had a fist-fight at a wedding reception. Both men sustained facial injuries with PROFUSE BLEEDING. The intruder was HIV-1 positive. The guest tested positive in two weeks (Lancet 1992, p.246). Also, "SALIVA was the mode of transmission from a man with transfusion-acquired AIDS to his wife. Their relationship was, according to Dr. Jerome Groopman of Harvard, "LIMITED TO KISSING" (Lancet, Dec.22/29, 1984). The Gay Men's Health Crisis recognizes the threat of aerosol-borne infections. In its literature it advises: "Persons with AIDS who are COUGHING should cover their mouths with tissues or HANDKERCHIEFS." Dr. Walter R. Dowdle, in a pamphlet distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services, advises: "Do not share toothbrushes, razors, or other items that could be contaminated with BLOOD." Dr. William A. Hazeltine stated that "AIDS may, in fact, be transmissible by TEARS, SALIVA, BODILY FLUIDS and MOSQUITO BITES." FRENCH KISSING (your tongue in the other person's mouth) is a risky undertaking. The percentage of AIDS cases among people who have no identifiable risk ranges from 22 percent statewide in Florida to 50 percent in the cases of Belle Glade, Florida. "BLOOD-SUCKING INSECTS (mosquitos and bedbugs) are a logical means of transfer of blood-borne agents, especially in the tropics," Dr. Mark E. Whiteside wrote in Genetic Engineering News, (Nov.-Dec. 1986). At least five, and perhaps as many as 30 patients had been infected with HIV by HEALTH CARE WORKERS as of 1992 (Annals Internal Medicine, 1992).
"CONDOMS fail from 15 to 44 percent of the time in preventing pregnancies, and yet our government wants teens to trust them to protect them from receiving a virus which is 450 times smaller than the sperm they fail to stop" -- James Dobson's open letter of Feb.13, 1992. "Safe sex" is not safe. Furthermore, researchers have found HOLES IN LATEX SURGICAL GLOVES that are big enough to allow ten AIDS viruses to pass through them side by side (Focus On The Family Newsletter, 2-13-92, p.2). In addition, the Food And Drug Administration announced that over fifty patients and health care workers have died from ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK due to exposure to latex. Latex is in hundreds of products (e.g. gloves, condoms, dental dams). The FDA spokesman noted, "It is possible to become allergic to latex from continued use" (Wall Street Journal, 2-25-92).
"About 70 percent of AIDS victims throughout the country are male HOMOSEXUALS and BISEXUALS" (p.15, The Koop Report, Oct.22, 1986). Then promiscuous HOMOSEXUALS infect intravenous DRUG USERS, hemophiliacs, blood recipients and PROSTITUTES. They in turn pass the virus on to PROMISCUOUS heterosexuals who infect their wives, who then infect their children. Meanwhile, the general public is never completely safe because of casual methods of transmission. Yes, AIDS is a DIVINE JUDGMENT from God. The fact that innocent victims also suffer and die is not due to God being unfair. Instead, it is due to a lawless society which doesn't enforce the death penalty for HOMOSEXUALITY or QUARANTINE for innocent victims who test positive. The AIDS virus is proving to be an amazingly resourceful foe, constantly changing itself to escape new medicines and the body's own defenses. No effective treatment is in sight, nor is a vaccine near.
QUARANTINE In The Bible
The Bible teaches that HOMOSEXUALS should be executed (Lev. 20:13) and the innocent victims infected should be QUARANTINED. "And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent (torn), and his head bare (bald), and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip (handkerchief), and shall cry, 'unclean, unclean.' All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell ALONE; without the camp shall his habitation be" (Lev.13:45-46). We read of four lepers who were SHUT OUTSIDE the walls of Samaria during a siege (2 Ki. 7:3). King Uzziah when stricken with the disease had to dwell in a "SEPARATE HOUSE" (also called a "lazar house") until the day of his death, and might not come into the house of the Lord (2 Chr.26:21). The lepers in the gospel accounts were treated the same way apparently. Josephus tells us that the surrounding nations made no attempt to ISOLATE their lepers, and allowed them to hold high office of state, and to visit temples (Ant.3:11:4). In certain districts of Jerusalem, the unclean walked in the MIDDLE of the road or bridge while the clean walked on the SIDEWALKS (Shek. 8:1). Our word "QUARANTINE" actually comes from the Bible. It was noticed in Italy in the fourteenth century (1350 A.D.) that Jews escaped lightly when others died in epidemics of plague, and it was rightly concluded that this might be due to their laws of uncleanness after touching dead bodies. So the Jewish code was made compulsory on the whole community, and at a later date, a period of FORTY DAYS of ISOLATION, taken from that mentioned in the law of Moses (Lev.12:1-4), became recognized as the proper time. The Italian word for forty is "QUARENTA," hence our word "QUARANTINE." This is unnecessarily long for most infections. If the deceased had died of SMALLPOX, or BUBONIC PLAGUE, or some other contageous disease, these precautions would have been very valuable and effective. However, the medical profession no longer observes them, because they distinquish between the dangerous and the harmless by performing an autopsy. When a MICROSCOPE and a BLOOD TEST are not available, it is safer to treat all deaths as if they were contageous (The Bible And Modern Medicine, A. Rendle Short, M.D., F.R.C.S., pp.43-46). Whoever buried the dead became unclean for a week, and had to live in ISOLATION outside the camp. He must undergo the usual ceremonies, which included BATHING, and WASHING his CLOTHES, before he could return to the community and be clean again. The U.S. Navy has been testing and EXCLUDING HIV infected recruits and REMOVING HIV infected sailors since 1986. The result has been a declining rate of those infected: from 3.6 per 1000 in the first quarter of 1986 to .5 per 1000 in the last quarter of 1989. The general population uses education and its infection rate continues upward (American Journal of Public Health, 1992) (Num.5:3,4; 19:11-22). LEPROSY spread over southern Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until the principles of Moses were enacted. BLACK PLAGUE was also brought under control by using Leviticus 13 (Medical Science And The Bible, R. William, 1948, p.244; History Of Public Health, George Rosen, pp.63-65). As Dr. Richard Restak noted: "QUARANTINES have been very effective in beating outbreaks of SCARLET FEVER, SMALLPOX and TYPHOID in this century.... Throughout history true humanitarianism has traditionally involved the compassionate but firm SEGREGATION of those afflicted with communicable disease from the well. By carrying out such a policy, diseases have been contained" (pp.37-38, The New American, Jan.19, 1987).
Moses Knew How To Avoid Contagious Sexual DISEASES
In addition to CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for ADULTERERS and HOMOSEXUALS (Lev.20:13), and QUARANTINE for those victims infected with communicable diseases (Lev.13:45-46), other ideas are given.
Leviticus 15:2-12 describes a chronic discharge from the male penis. The most likely diagnosis of the emission would be GONORRHEA (cp. Lev.22:4; Num. 5:2). Many of the discharges from unclean people would not be infective, but those due to GONORRHEA would be. It requires a bacteriological or microscopic examination to distinguish between them, and since these were not available, it was safest to regard ALL as infective and to act accordingly. The sufferer was to be
reckoned unclean, and so were his CLOTHES, his BED, his CHAIR, his SADDLE, his FLESH, his SPIT and anything he touched without first WASHING his hands (15:11).
If the unclean person SPAT on someone else, the SPIT conveyed the uncleanness. Doctors attach great significance now to the SPUTUM as a vehicle for infection. A period of SEVEN DAYS had to elapse after the discharge ceased before there was any question of the patient being regarded as clean. These precautions were a great safeguard against passing on the disease. One danger would have been that the infection might get into the eyes, especially of children, and lead to blindness (see pp.42-43, A. Rendle Short's The Bible And Modern Medicine). Both HERPES and GONORRHEA can be contracted from clothing and towels occasionally. "Two U.C.L.A. researchers have reported that HERPES viruses can live on towels for up to 72 hours and on TOILET SEATS for at least four. In one test, a SEAT used by a woman with thigh lesions showed live HERPES viruses 90 minutes later.... Dr. Harold Kessler of Rush Presbyterian -- St. Luke's, in Chicago, says HERPETICS should use their own towels, though the chances of passing on the infection via a towel are only about 1 percent. The virus dies so fast on a TOILET SEAT, he says, that the risk of infection from that source is very slight indeed" (p.66, Aug.2, Time 1982). The Bible says, "everything, whereon he SITTETH, shall be unclean" (Lev.15:4). In addition, we find that TRICHOMONIASIS can be transmitted by "contaminated douche equipment or moist washcloths" and "LYMPHO- GRANULOMA VENEREUM is caused "rarely, through nonsexual person-to-person contact or contact with contaminated objects" and SYPHILIS can be transmitted by "kissing or close bodily contact" occasionally. Both GENITAL WARTS and CHANCROID are spread as a result of "poor hygiene" after sexual activity.
The Bible instructs men to "go abroad out of the camp" (Deut.23:10) and "wash his flesh with water" (Lev.22:6) after his "seed goeth from him" (22:4). "Genital HERPES is usually transmitted through sexual contact, but contamination from infected toilet seats, towels and bathtubs also occurs." To prevent GONORRHEA, "avoid sharing washcloths or douche equipment" and when treating a patient with GONORRHEA, "Double bag all soiled dressings and contaminated instruments; wear GLOVES when handling contaminated material and giving patient care"(from pp.992-999 of Diseases and p.1617 of Merck Manual).
Wouldn't it be simpler for these medical textbooks to merely say "TOUCH NOT the unclean thing" (2 Cor.6:17)? They are merely echoing the remarks in Leviticus 15, written about 3500 years ago. "Most STD germs are very fragile. They require warmth and moisture; when they become dry, they die quickly. They are also sensitive to temperature change, to sunlight, and to other environmental influences. Outside the body, they are very weak and short-lived" (p.21, Sexuality and Sexually Transmitted Diseases by McIlhaney, Jr., M.D.).
Paul, at Philippi, not knowing where the synagogue might be, felt pretty sure that the first place to look for it was along the RIVER bank; the necessity for many ceremonial washings made the Jews favor RIVERSIDES for their places of worship. Again and again in the law we read, "he shall WASH his clothes." In this regard it is interesting that both GENITAL WARTS and CHANCROID are spread as a result of "poor hygiene" after sexual activity. Preventive measures include "regularly WASHING genitalia with soap and water" (p.994, Diseases).
SOAP In The Bible
The art of SOAP-MAKING is very ancient. "Though thou wash thee with lye, and take thee much SOAP, yet thine iniquity is marked before me" (Jer.2:22). According to A. Rendle Short, lye (Heb. "nether," Greek "nitron," modern "natron," that is, fossil carbonate of soda) was boiled with olive oil to make SOAP, or the ash of certain plants belonging to the salt-wort and grass-wort families was used to supply the alkali" (p.39). Adding a little wood ash and water to grease will form a crude SOAP if heated over a fire. The wood ash contains lye. According to Jean S. Morton, Science in the Bible, page 213, "the nitre in Jeremiah 2:22 is potassium nitrate. But the word nitre does not convey the true meaning of the Herbrew, because nitre has no cleaning properties. The same word appears in Proverbs 25:20 where it reacts with vinegar (acetic acid). This chemical reaction with vinegar and potassium or sodium carbonate is possible, but not with nitre. The Hebrew word nether probably means natron, or sodium carbonate. Natron was mined in Egypt and used on mummies. The Israelites would have known of this chemical, but it is doubtful that the pure chemical was used in fullering, because the Talmud specifies plant ashes as the source for the fuller's soap.... (Saltwort) plants accumulate both potassium and sodium salts.
In Jeremiah 8:22 we read, "Is there no BALM in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughters of my people recovered?" There are several implications here. One is, that where there is a physician, recovery from sickness is at least to be hoped for. Another, that the treatment might very well be the application of a local remedy, perhaps something of the nature of BALSAM of Peru containing some aromatic BENZOIN derivative, which would be mildly ANTISEPTIC (pp.28-29, A. Rendle Short). "Go up into Gilead, and take BALM, O virgin the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured" (Jer. 46:11). "Babylon is fallen down and destroyed.... Take BALM for her pain, if so be, she may be healed" (Jer.51:8). This BALM may well have been of the nature of frankincense or some similar aromatic juice from a shrub, containing BENZOIN. If so, it would be pleasant-smelling, and with definite ANTISEPTIC properties, and therefore quite useful (p.72, A. Rendle Short).
In Leviticus 13:4 we read about "HYSSOP." HYSSOP OIL is an ANTISEPTIC that kills bacteria and fungi. Wet branches of HYSSOP were used to shower water on the unclean person. Most authorities believe HYSSOP is a kind of marjoram plant growing in the middle east. The sweet-smelling oil of marjoram is still used in perfumes, and it contains about 50 percent CARVACROL. CARVACROL is almost identical to THYMOL, an ANTIFUNGAL and ANTIBACTERIAL agent still used in medicine (p.26, McMillen's None Of These Diseases). Did the English word "SOAP" come from the Hebrew word "HYSSOP?" Both were antiseptic and sound similar.
It would be a wise policy to regard everyone and everything as "unclean" and then to act accordingly. We live in a society that ignores the Bible. Thus we should be careful to "TOUCH NOT the UNCLEAN thing" (2 Cor.6:17) and to BATHE and WASH DAILY (Num.19; Lev.11-15). We should use SOAP (Num. 19:18) and avoid sitting in PUBLIC CHAIRS or using PUBLIC TOWELS or TOILETS. WASH hands and food before EATING (Lev.22:6) and WASH after going to the BATHROOM (cp. Deut.23:12-14). WASH after touching DEAD RATS and INSECTS (Lev.22:5-6) and DEAD people (Num.19:16). WASHING is a physical law of health. Paul made it clear that "divers washings" were "imposed on them until the time of reformation" (Heb.9:10) referring to the ritualistic, priestly washings as in Exodus 29:4; 30:19-21; 40:12; Leviticus 16:4,24; Deuteronomy 21:6; etcetera, connected to the Temple. But Paul also spoke of a "doctrine of BAPTISMS" (Heb.6:2) which was not connected to the temple and Christ said that he came not "to destroy the law" (Matt.5:17). If WASHINGS were abolished, why do we still use BATHTUBS and SHOWER STALLS today? Why do doctors WASH after autopsies?
Numbers 19 mentions the "water of ... purification" (19:9) used to wash any person who had touched "a dead body" (Nu. 19:16). The ingredients were "cedar wood, and hyssop and scarlet" (Num. 19:6) burned up with a red heifer to produce ashes (19:9). To obtain lye, water is poured through ashes to concentrate it into a cleaning agent. Hyssop contains carvacrol which is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. Cedar oil is an antifungal insecticide. Wool fibers (scarlet wool -- Heb. 9:19) would provide the abrasive. This "water of ... purification" is therefore a recipe for ANTISEPTIC, LYE SOAP.
Why Forbid Sexual Intercourse During MENSTRUATION?
As soon as a woman feels the approach of MENSTRUATION (Yoreh De'ah 184:2), or the beginning of MENSTRUAL FLOW, a woman must avoid sex (Lev. 18:19) and be SEPARATE since anything she touches is unclean (Lev. 15:19-23). After the cessation of MENSTRUAL flow, the woman washes her clothes and immerses herself in a mikvah (Lev. 15:21-22) since she is included in "whosoever." This usually takes place on day number 6 or 7. A mikveh can be a RIVER, LAKE, OCEAN, or SWIMMING POOL. Complete immersion may or may not be possible in a BATHTUB. The woman should be completely naked and completely submerged. Even though a MENSTRUAL PERIOD lasts on average 4.6 days, she must complete the seven-day requirement. Thus the total time that husband and wife must sleep in SEPARATE BEDS APART each month would be seven days (Lev.15:19) -- a seven-day vacation from husband and children each month -- not 12 days as Orthodox Jews believe.
Anybody or anything touching the woman during this time would be made unclean "until the evening" (Lev.15:19-23) unless the actual blood of MENSTRUATION got on a man who lay down with her, in which case "he shall be unclean seven days" (Lev.15:24). This cycle should be taken into consideration when setting the date of a wedding so that the honeymoon avoids the days of SEPARATION. Even then, if there is BLOOD on the wedding night due to breaking the hymen, the bride must count seven days and wash in a mikveh before the couple can have sex. Menstruants are excluded from camp (Nu. 5:1-4). After the birth of a baby boy, a woman must count seven days and WASH in a mikveh. After the birth of a baby girl she must count fourteen days and WASH in a mikveh (Lev. 12:1-5). Pregnant women (nine months) and some nursing mothers (Lactation continues for one to two years) and women after menopause all do not have MENSTRUAL periods. How many couples in America follow these laws today? As Isaiah 64:6 says, "all our righteousnesses are as filthy (lit. "MENSTRUOUS") rags." Revelation 14:4 says, "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins" indicating that the overwhelming majority of women don't follow Niddah laws of separation and immersion.
Women who observe NIDDAH (Menstrual Uncleanness) have a much lower rate of CERVICAL CANCER. In 1954, a large study of 86,214 women in Boston revealed that CANCER of the CERVIX in non-Jewish women was eight-and-one-half times more frequent than in Jewish women (New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 30, 1954, pp. 555-559).
The regulations that prevent a man from having sex with a woman during MENSTRUATION (Lev.15:19-33; 18:19; 20:18; Ez.18:6) illustrate once again the medical wisdom of the Bible. Contact with MENSTRUAL blood during coitus is supposed to be a cause of non-specific URETHRITIS in the male. Furthermore, during MENSTRUATION, some women experience MIGRAINE, low BACKACHE and associated IRRITABILITY, painful abdominal CRAMPS and profuse BLEEDING. Many women feel inexplicably depressed during MENSTRUATION. "Most crimes of VIOLENCE committed by women occur during MENSTRUAL periods" (p.32, Reuben). A clinical impression also exists that the body has LESS RESISTANCE to infection during menstruation (p. 204, Parsons and Sommers, Gynecology). MENSTRUATION is not a time for a woman to be around a husband or children. This humane law places the woman in a state of isolation, and some rest from her normal duties, at this critical time each month. One study indicates a greater risk for developing painful CYSTS on the ovaries or other pelvic organs, commonly causing INFERTILITY according to the A.M.A., by engaging in vaginal intercourse during MENSTRUATION (Journal of Reproductive Medicine, vol.34 (11), 1989). A November 1991 survey of medical hot lines by Time magazine advises women to avoid vaginal intercourse during MENSTRUATION since the AIDS virus passes more EASILY from the man to the woman during this time. HEPATITIS B virus could also be transmitted in this way.
We notice also that the HEMORRHAGING woman touched the border of Christ's garment SECRETLY because of the fact that this action would make a man unclean (Mark 5:25-34). This shows how much faith and confidence she had in Christ's ability to heal. Instead of her making him UNCLEAN, he made her CLEAN. She risked the wrath of critics because of her confidence in his contagious power to heal. Normally only UNCLEAN can "contaminate" CLEAN (Hag.2:11-13). Her continuous BLEEDING perhaps resulted from a uterine fibroid of the reproductive system (Lev.15:25-27).
Although wilful violation of any Bible law is sin, impurity is not associated with sinfulness. For instance, having intercourse (Lev. 15:18), giving birth (Lev. 12:1-8), burying the dead (Lev. 21:1-3) or touching a corpse, seminal emissions (Lev. 15:1-18), menstruating (Lev. 15:19-30) or becoming leprous (Lev. 13:1-46) or a leprous house (Lev. 14:34-53) all cause impurity but none are sinful acts per se.
Is Toxic Mold the LEPROSY of the HOUSE?
When the Schnepp family moved into their new home, they began having repeated ear infections, respiratory infections, dizzy spells and memory lapses. "In metro Detroit, at least 100 cases have been reported to environmental companies, attorneys, health officials and others." At Schnepp's house, SEWAGE BACKUPS were frequent." When an environmental company assessed the indoor AIR QUALITY, it was linked to the HEALTH PROBLEMS. "The house, according to the assessment, was full of SLIMY BLACK MOLD identified as STACHY- BOTRYS, ASPERGILLUS and CLADOSPORIUM. The fungi can cause allergies, respiratory infections, asthma-like conditions, neurological disorders and brain damage, researchers say. "The toxic molds need plenty of water, commonly found in roof, pipe, or basement leaks, said Connie Morbach, vice president of Sanit-Air, an environmental testing company in Troy. "Toxic molds MULTIPLY on DRYWALL, CEILING TILE and other POROUS materials that have become more popular than plaster and brickwork in homes. Porous building material that has STAYED WET for a WEEK has a fungi and bacterial content similar to RAW SEWAGE, Morbach said." "To help avoid the problem, homeowners should check for signs of WATER LEAKAGE, especially in the basement, and immediately dry areas of moisture. Adequate VENTILATION -- including exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms -- is also important, Morbach said. Energy-efficient homes have compounded the problem by SEALING PEOPLE INSIDE with the contaminants, she said." "Thousands of homeowners nationwide are suing builders and insurers for health and property damages allegedly caused by MOLD." "Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing, and those with immune-system problems may have increased risk for infection from MOLD, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention." Schnepp's son's eyes were shut and swollen until he removed his son from the home. "Schnepp said his children are no longer sick but he is concerned about possible long-term effects of the exposure. A doctor who specializes in environmental cases diagnosed Schnepp's wife this year as having scarring and a growth on a lung caused by MOLD, Schnepp said" (the Seattle Times, Sunday, September 23, 2001, A14 - A15, "Toxic molds threaten dream houses").
When a plague of LEPROSY is in a house, "Then the priest shall command that they EMPTY the house." The LEPROSY is described as "hollow streaks, greenish (ASPERGILLI fungus is green) or reddish (RED BACTERIA)" that penetrate beneath the surface of the wall. "Then the priest shall ... shut up the house seven days." If on the seventh day the plague is "SPREAD in the walls" then the infected building materials are scraped or taken to the dump and new materials put into the walls. If the priest then returns and finds LEPROSY again in the wall, the whole house is torn down (Lev. 14:35-45). The green ASPERGILLI cause several diseases. Some produce a toxic substance that causes CANCER. Still others cause ASPERGILLOSIS, a lung disease that closely resembles tuberculosis. Vinegar is a natural way to remove mold and mildew. Other natural mold removers are borax or hydrogen peroxide.
Is More Than One Baptism Required For Salvation?
Since no UNCLEAN person hath any inheritance in the kingdom of God (Eph. 5:5), taking a BATH regularly is required of Christians. It was not a new concept that John the Baptist invented. BAPTISM was one of three requirements for the conversion of a proselyte to Judaism. "One is not a convert until he is circumcised and IMMERSES" (Seder Nashim, Tractate Yevamot, Gemara, ch.4, Folio 46b). Then a sacrifice was the third. But where did that idea of IMMERSION of converts come from? Before receiving the law on Mount Sinai, the people were required to WASH their clothes (and by implication themselves also) and stay away from their wives (menstruation & ejaculation make a person unclean again) (Ex. 19:14-15). Was that ancient BAPTISM merely a once-in-a-lifetime event? IMMERSION upon conversion only? Many "Christian" churches seem to think so. But if Israelites -- after being BAPTIZED -- then touched an unclean thing, they must be BAPTIZED AGAIN. "Baptism must be REPEATED as a means of PURIFICATION from sin, and proof against disease" (Encyc. Brit. vol. 8, p. 842, 11th ed.). They were required to "WASH their clothes and BATHE with water" and were "unclean till evening" (Lev. 15:5). It was a regular way of life. Josephus says the Essenes BATHED DAILY in a mikveh (Wars 2:8:5). This is "the doctrine of BAPTISMS" (Heb. 6:2) plural -- not just one BAPTISM at conversion -- or at Mount Sinai. BAPTISMS are still obligatory. From Lev. 11:32; 13:54-58; 14:8; 15:1-27; 16:24-28; 17:15; Num. 19:19 and Deut. 23:11 we see a way of life. The early church met near a RIVER for this reason (Acts 16:12-13) and Paul said, "Touch not the unclean thing" (2 Cor. 6:17). Why not touch a corpse? Why not touch a menstruant? Because "no unclean person hath any inheritance in the kingdom" (Eph. 5:5). Today sinks have been provided to IMMERSE dirty hands and bathtubs have been provided to IMMERSE dirty bodies. Good sanitation and hygiene require it just as much today as in ancient times. Yes, more than one BAPTISM is required for salvation.
Why Immerse In A Pool Of Water?
Immersion bathing is common to most ancient religions. Shintoists, Buddhists, and Hindus all recognize ablution as part of their ritual practice and there is ample evidence concerning its role in ancient Egypt and Greece (Herodotus Histories 2:37; Hesiod Opera et Dies, 722). Most ancient peoples held doctrines about ritual purity and immersion was the most common method of purification. Both Jewish (Tosefta Yada'im 2:20) and Christian tradition (Eusebius Eccles. History 4:22) name a late Second Temple purity group "the immersers."
Paul mentioned the "doctrine of BAPTISMS" (Heb. 6:2) or immersions. There are SIX GRADES of baptistries (mikvaot) found in the Mishnah. Each is for specific kinds of ritual purification. 1. Ponds; 2. Rain puddles while it is raining; 3. A pool containing 60 gallons of water; 4. A spring in which drawn water forms the greater part; 5. Smitten spring water and 6. Living Water (Mishnah Mikvaot 1:1-8).
Also there are at least EIGHT REASONS for immersion: conversion, leprosy, corpse, menstruant, idol, manure, unclean creature, and childbirth.
Finally, in Jewish tradition there are THREE TYPES of immersion according to the type of impurity involved: Complete immersion, immersion of hands and feet, and immersion of hands only.
IMMERSION of HANDS and FEET is required for the priests before participating in the Temple service (Ex. 30:17).
IMMERSING the HANDS is required only in one scripture -- Leviticus 15:11. According to one tradition, the disciples of Hillel and Shammai were responsible for the concept of "impurity of the hands" and washing the hands as a means of purification (Shab. 14a-b). It seems that the rabbinic custom spread from the priests, who washed their hands before eating consecrated food, to the pious among the laity (Hulin 106A) and finally became universal. The detailed regulations concerning "impurity of the hands" constitute one of the 18 decrees adopted by the School of Shammai against the School of Hillel, and it met at first with considerable opposition. In order to establish the practice the rabbis warned of dire consequences for those who disregarded it, even going so far as to predict premature death (Shab. 62b; Sot. 4b). R. Akiva, who personally disapproved of the ordinance, nevertheless used the limited water allowed him in prison for this ablution rather than for drinking (Er. 21b).
In the New Testament there are several references which suggest that Jesus and his disciples demonstrated their opposition to rabbinic authority by disregarding this ordinance (Mark 7:1; Matt. 15:1; Luke 11:37). Matthew 15 has the Pharisees complaining to Jesus that his disciples DO NOT WASH their HANDS BEFORE EATING. Luke 11:37 relates that a Pharisee invited Jesus for a meal, and was surprised that Jesus DIDN'T WASH his HANDS FIRST. Jesus replied, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup" and this leads into an attack on the Pharisees. Jesus is clearly referring here to the dispute between the two schools over WHEN the washing should take place (Mishnah Berakhot 51b). According to the Talmud (ibid. 43a), meals of the Pharisees would begin with the drinking of a cup of wine, after which they would break bread together. Bet Shammai taught that the HANDS must be WASHED BEFORE filling the cup of WINE, whereas Bet Hillel ruled that the WASHING should take place later, BEFORE partaking of the BREAD. The Talmud (ibid. 52a-b) explains that Bet Shammai were concerned that the CUP of wine might become ritually unclean from the hands, whereas Bet Hillel held that it is permitted to use a CUP that has become unclean from the OUTSIDE. The passage in Luke is therefore telling us that Jesus upheld Bet Hillel's ruling concerning the OUTSIDEof the CUP, and wished to WASH later, BEFORE the BREAD. The Talmud makes clear that Bet Shammai considered those follow-ing Bet Hillel's ruling as eating with unclean hands (since the unclean CUP could defile the hands) and this explains the accusation against the disciples. Jesus said these Pharisees "made the commandment of God of none effect by your (ORAL) TRADITION" (Matt. 15:6). Rabbi Hillel had argued that "If a vessel's outer part was rendered unclean ... its inner part ... remains clean. But if its inner part becomes unclean the whole is unclean" (Mishnah Kelim 25:6) and Jesus extended this principle to humans by saying, "Ye (Shammai) Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness' (Luke 11:39; Mark 7:15; Matt. 15:11). See also Sotah 4b and Shabbath 62b.
TOTAL IMMERSION is required for most cases of ritual impurity decreed in the Torah. Biblical law allows any collection of water, drawn or piped, to be used for immersion as long as it contains enough for a person to totally immerse himself (Yad, Mikva'ot 4:1). Rabbinic law requires a person or object to be totally submerged in either "living water" (spring, river, sea) or a mikveh (120 gallons of piped, not bucketed water). The priest had to immerse in order to EAT of the "holy things" and participate in the TEMPLE SERVICE. They used the Sea of Solomon in the First Temple (1 Ki. 7:23; 2 Chr. 4:2). Regular Israelites immersed in order to ENTER the TEMPLE grounds (Ex. 30:20; Lev. 15:31; 22:6; Nu. 5:1-4; Dt. 23:11; Yoma 3:3; TJ, Yoma 40b; Heb.10:22; Ant. 12:145). Converts to Judaism immersed totally as part of the CONVERSION ceremony to attain full Jewish status, although there is a difference of opinion concerning whether it is required for males in addition to circumcision, or instead of it (Yev. 46a). The Niddah (menstruant) immersed in order to be able to HAVE SEX again. Immersion is still practiced by various groups particularly on the eve of the Sabbath and festivals. New vessels and utensils bought from gentiles "ye shall make go through the water" for PURIFICATION (Num. 31:23). Each Christian must purchase a large TUB or small POOL and add CLOROX bleach. See www.behlencountry.com for economical "watering troughs." He must SUBMERGE himself once a day since we live in an UNCLEAN society. But what is the purpose of washing after a seminal discharge? Or after touching a dead lizard? Or after going to the bathroom? Besides hygiene and health and being able to enter camp again (Nu. 5:1-4), Deuteronomy 23:14 mentions another reason. It says, "For the Eternal thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee, and TURN AWAY FROM THEE. " Also notice that the children of Israel had to be in a ritually pure state before God would COME DOWN upon Mount Sinai. "They WASHED their clothes" and didn't "COME NEAR" their "WIVES" (Ex. 19:14-15). Furthermore, every priest, Levite and worshipper who came to the Temple was required to IMMERSE in a MIKVAH before even coming onto the Temple mount (Yoma 3:3; TJ, Yoma 40b; Ex. 30:20; Lev. 15:31; Nu. 5:1-4; Dt.23:11; 22:6; Heb. 10:22) . "Let us draw near ... our bodies WASHED with pure water" (Heb. 10:22). The Spirit of God DESCENDED upon Jesus after he SUBMERGED in WATER (Matt. 3:16-17). As R. Pinchas said, CLEANLINESS leads to getting the Holy Spirit (Cant. Rabbah 1). This may be the reason why there are no miracles today. Everybody is UNCIRCUMCISED and UNWASHED and CONTAMINATED.
Is this why pious Jews immerse themselves before the major festivals, particularly the Day of Atonement, and there are hasidic sects whose adherents immerse themselves on the eve of the Sabbath as well. Ablution at the proper time is considered to be a mitzvah and may be performed even on the Sabbath, the Day of Atonement, and the Ninth of Av when bathing is otherwise forbidden. In addition to the "IMMERSIONS" (Heb. 6:2) that Paul spoke about, Christians also have "ONE IMMERSION" (Eph. 4:5). "The Eternal, the FOUNTAIN of LIVING WATERS" (Jer. 17:13); "just as the mikveh cleanses the impure, so will God cleanse Israel" (Yom. 85b). "The Lord is the MIKVEH of Israel" (M. Yoma 8:9). Hillel told his students that taking a BATH was a good deed because "if the statues erected to kings in the theaters and circuses are WASHED and SCRUBBED by those in charge of them ... how much more should we, who have been created in his image and likeness, take care of our bodies" (Lev. Rabbah 34).
Messiah Will SPRINKLE All Nations
The Messiah will "SPRINKLE clean WATER upon you (Israel), and you shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you" (Ez. 36:25). This water was the "water of separation" (Nu. 19:9) made from the ashes of the red heifer used for purifying those who touch a human corpse or grave or for furniture or utensils or containers in the same room as a human corpse (Nu. 19:11). The Red Heifer symbolizes the resurrection of the bride who dies red but comes back as white ashes purifying the unclean. "For if ... the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, How much more shall the blood of Christ?" (Heb. 9:13-14). The Messiah will "SPRINKLE many nations" (Isa. 52:15) with BLOOD as the anti-type of Moses who "took the BLOOD, and SPRINKLED it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Eternal hath made with you, concerning all these words" (Ex. 24:8). (See Ex. 29:16 & Lev. 1:5 & Ez. 43:18).
"Because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities," the ungodly "are AFFLICTED," and many "shall not live out HALF their days" (Ps. 107:17; 55:23).
"Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will mean HEALTH for your flesh and VIGOR for your bones" (Pr. 3:7,8; NAB). "My son, forget not My law, but let thy heart keep My commandments: for LENGTH of DAYS, and LONG LIFE, and PEACE, shall they add to thee" (Pr. 3:1-2).
"If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Eternal thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put NONE of these DISEASES upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians" (Ex. 15:26). "Bless the Eternal ... who HEALETH all thy DISEASES" (Ps. 103:2-3)
"The Lord will take away from thee all SICKNESS" (Deut. 7:12-15). "Them that honour Me I will honour" (1 Sam. 2:30).
"Everyone who has this hope in him PURIFIES himself" (1 John 3:3, NIV). "Let us PURIFY ourselves from everything that CONTAMINATES body and spirit" (2 Cor. 7:1, NIV).
"Do His will as if it were your own, so that He will do your will as if it were his. Nullify your own will before His so that he will nullify the will of others before you" (Pirke Avot 2:4).
Rules Of Hygiene
1. Latrines must be outside the camp (Deut. 23:12-15) and away from food and water, wells and streams (Ez. 4:12).
2. Cover excrement with earth using a shovel (Deut. 23:12-15) to prevent flies from spreading germs from feces to food.
3. Criminals must be killed and buried the same day (Deut. 21:23).
4. All metal war booty sterilize by fire (Nu.31:21-24).
5. Non-metal war booty purify by immersing in water (Nu. 31:23).
6. Cover blood of slaughtered animals with dust (Lev. 17:13-14).
7. Exclude persons with open sores from camp (Lev. 15:1-15; Nu.5:1-4) and those who have ejaculated (Deut. 23:11).
8. Exclude persons who have touched a corpse from camp (Num. 5:1-4).
9. Exclude persons who touch a dead animal from camp (Lev. 11:8-31; Nu. 5:1-4).
10. Whatever the dead animal falls on must be washed (Lev. 11:32-43).
11. Keep your clothes clean (Eccl. 9:8) and "change your garments" (Gen. 35:2). Wash clothes and bathe if you do touch anything unclean (Lev. 15:7) to prevent skin infections. Use hyssop (soap) (Num. 19:18).
12. Animals that die on their own should not be eaten (Deut. 14:21). They may have died of a deadly disease and weren't bled properly.
13. Meat was burned if not eaten after two days (Lev. 7:17; 19:7) since they had no refrigeration.
14. Cover nose and mouth with handkerchief or face mask when you cough or sneeze (Lev. 13:45).
15. Wash hands with soap and water before handling food (Lev. 22:4-6). The Biblical phrase "sanctify yourselves" (Lev. 11:44) is interpreted as "wash before eating" and "be ye holy" (Lev. 11:44) as "wash after eating" (since they ate with their fingers) in Berachot 53b.
16. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet (Ber. 15a).
17. Use antiseptic such as hyssop -- Num. 19:18; balm -- Jer. 51:8; fuller's soap -- Mal. 3:2; wine -- Luke 10:34; iodine or hydrogen peroxide on all cuts and any impurity. Cover any open wound with a bandage. Germs can't enter through unbroken skin.
Salt in a wound is also antiseptic.
18. Purify water by adding chlorine or boiling it or by spraying it into the air (fountains) in the presence of sunlight (oxygen and UV rays kill germs). This eliminates
Cholera, Typhoid, and Dysentery.
19. No sex outside of marriage prevents venereal disease (Ex. 20:5,16)
20. Don't shave open sores scabbed over (Lev. 13:33).
21. "Be ye separate ... and touch not the unclean" (2 Cor. 6:17).
22. Quarantine for infectious diseases (Lev. 12:1-4; 13:46).
23. Containers of food and drink must be covered (Num. 19:15) and gnats strained out (Matt. 23:24). Cover garbage cans.
24. Men must be circumcised the eighth day (Gen. 17:12).
25. Unglazed pottery must be broken when it becomes unclean (Lev. 11:33).
26. Don't eat unclean creatures (Lev. 11; Deut. 14).
27. No sex from onset of menstruation till seven days later (Lev. 18:19; 15:19-23).
28. No sex for one or two weeks after a woman gives birth ((Lev. 12:1-5).
After contacting a leper, corpse,
blood, semen, saliva, idol, manure or pig we must WASH with water
(Lev.15:7) "lifting up holy hands" (1 Tim. 2:8) as the priests
did to prove they were clean. Use a mikveh for "IMMERSIONS" (Heb.
6:2). Washing machines are biblical (Num.31:20-24). Jacob said, "Be
clean, and change your garments" (Gen. 35:2). Use HYSSOP or SOAP (Lev.13:4) and BALM (Jer.51:8) and WINE for cuts
(Luke 10:34). INCENSE produces carbolic acid which acts as ANTISEPTIC in operating rooms. Is this why it accompanied temple sacrifices (Ex.30:1)?
Joseph Lister recommended the use of carbolic acid solutions as a DISINFECTANT for surgical materials. Use a HANDKERCHIEF or FACE MASK as doctors and dentists do (Lev.13:45) and WASH after AUTOPSIES (Num.19:16-18). Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis noticed that CHILDBIRTH FEVER occurred in patients attended by students of anatomy who went
directly from the AUTOPSY room to the maternity ward. UNGLAZED pottery (porous) must be broken if a DISEASED man touches it (Lev.11:33). SPIT is an INFECTIVE DISCHARGE (Lev.15:8). PAPER TOILET SEAT COVERS obey Leviticus 15:4-6 to prevent HERPES and GONORRHEA infection. "Two U.C.L.A. researchers have reported
that HERPES viruses can live on towels for up to 72 hours and on TOILET SEATS for at least four" (p.66, Aug.2, Time 1982). The Bible says, "everything, whereon he SITTETH, shall
be unclean" (15:4). Next Lesson:
Which Day is the SABBATH? | Back to Home | Email
METAL can be STERILIZED by FIRE (Num.31:22). BURIAL of SEWAGE (Deut.23:12-14) prevented TYPHOID FEVER and DYSENTERY. Use "RUNNING WATER" (Num.19:17;
Lev.15:13), not STAGNANT which harbors CHOLERA, BILHARZIA and TYPHOID FEVER. BUBONIC PLAGUE is associated
with MICE (1 Sam.6:4). MEAT began to SPOIL after two
days so was BURNED (Lev.7:15-17) since they had no REFRIGERATORS. CANCER of the cervix and penis are much lower percentage in CIRCUMCISED populations (Gen.17:12). Containers of food and drink must be COVERED (Num. 19:15) to protect against sneezing, coughing and insect contamination.
Otherwise the "gnats" must be strained out (Matt. 23:24). Biblical
"LEPROSY" may be referring to CHICKENPOX and SMALLPOX,
both of which are CONTAGEOUS. Modern LEPROSY known as HANSON'S DISEASE is transmitted from nasal drippings and saliva and requires
permanent isolation since it is never cured, but only arrested (2 Ki. 7:3-10;
2 Ch. 26:21). However, GONORRHEA is most likely the disease described
as "a running issue" or "discharge" (Lev. 15:2, 22:4-5;
Nu. 5:2-3). "LEPROSY" of clothing is described as "greenish
or reddish in the garment, or in the skin (leather)... shut it (isolate
it) seven days... and if the plague be spread... it is unclean "(Lev.
13:49-51). Examples would be RED BACTERIA commonly found on
red-spotted leather hides known as "RED HEAT." Green
mold, ASPERGILLUS, is a frequent contaminant of cloth and leather.
It discolors fabrics, causes a musty odor, and damages fibers. It is so
troublesome that most leather hides are cured today by means of a brine
solution followed by an inhibitor of mold and bacteria. The fungi CHAETOMIUM, CLADOSPORIUM and STACHYBOTRYS frequently accompany the ASPERGILLI.
If a house has mold or fungus in timbers or on stones, it must be scraped
clean of any mold and replaced with new blocks or timbers and the moldy
parts taken to the dump (Lev. 14:41). If mold spreads, the house must be
torn down (14:45). Anybody living in it must wash his clothes (14:45-48).
Why? Because these fungi cause ALLERGIES, RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS, ASTHMA-like conditions, NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS and BRAIN DAMAGE according to researchers.
Another cause of uncleanness is MENSTRUATION. Beginning with MENSTRUAL FLOW, a woman must avoid sex (Lev. 18:19) and be separate since anything
she touches is unclean (Lev. 15:19-23). The flow usually stops at day 5 of the count toward
seven days of 24 hours each beginning at sunset (15:19,28). When it stops, the woman should
immerse herself in a mikvah. A mikveh can be a RIVER, LAKE, OCEAN, or SWIMMING POOL. Wives who observe NIDDAH (7 days per month in separate beds) have a much lower rate of CERVICAL CANCER. In 1954, a large study of 86,214 women in Boston revealed
that CANCER of the CERVIX in non-Jewish women was eight-and-one-half
times more frequent than in Jewish women (New England Journal of Medicine,
Nov. 30, 1954, pp. 555-559). People who refuse to follow these purity laws
are called "UNCLEAN" and won't inherit the kingdom of God