Now if that title doesn’t capture your attention, then I give up on writing titles. I don’t have a lot of time, so I shall make this quick. I was reading Ezekiel 18 this morning which is really quite a fascinating chapter. It’s incredibly repetitive, but a great chapter for all Christians to read in order to understand the importance of righteousness. I’ll probably write a different post on that later.
But yeah, back to menstruation.
God is speaking through Ezekiel and He’s listing things you shouldn’t do in order to be sinless and righteous. The list is actually quite long, but I was expecting just to read a bunch of common sense type things. And then right at the top of this list was Ezekiel 18:5-6.
But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period–
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see that coming. I remembered that this was against the Law in Bible times, but I didn’t expect to see it here, right at the top of a list of what righteousness looks like. It just seemed out of place. So I wanted to just take a super quick look through some commentaries to get hopefully a better understanding. However, it seems almost all my commentaries focus on the major parts of this chapter, so here’s at least a little help:
Leprosy and elephantiasis were said to be the fruit of such a connection [Jerome]. Chastity is to be observed even towards one’s own wife (Le 18:19; 20:18).
Both adultery (Ex. 20:14; Lev. 20:10) and intercourse during the menstrual period (Lev. 18:19) were prohibited by the Mosaic Law. The righteous man in Ezekiel’s hypothetical case faithfully maintained sexual purity.
And incase you care, elephantiasis is the following:
A condition in which a limb or other part of the body becomes grossly enlarged due to obstruction of the lymphatic vessels, typically by the nematode parasites that cause filariasis.
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset, David Brown and David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997). Eze 18:6.
John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary., The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985). 1:1260.
New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc.