Leviticus 15:12 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(12) And the vessel of earth . . . shall be broken.—For the reason why vessels of a porous clay must be destroyed when contaminated by defilement, see Lev. 6:28; Lev. 11:33. This, however, is the only instance where an earthen vessel touched on the outside was defiled, thus again showing the intense loathing with which the guilt of this kind of infirmity was regarded.
Every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.—As these kinds of vessels were both more expensive and more difficult to restore, the Law, which so frequently takes into consideration the circumstances of the people, mercifully spares the more costly utensils. These are to undergo the same baptism as human beings. The administrators of the law during the second Temple took the expression “wood” in a more generic sense, as denoting more enduring material than clay; hence they included vessels made of copper, brass, silver, &c. With regard to the manner in which the vessels thus polluted are to be immersed, they ordained that if the utensil is dipped with its mouth downward, or if the vessel, at the time of its immersion, contains any liquor except water, the baptism is illegal. They, moreover, ordained that all new vessels which are purchased, or otherwise acquired, must likewise be immersed, for fear lest the maker, or some of those who have handled them prior to the purchase, might have been in a state of defilement. Hence the orthodox Jews to this day literally baptize cups, plates, knives, forks, or any new utensil which they buy. It is to this law that Christ refers when He says, “And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing [literally, the baptism] of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables,” or, as the Margin has it more correctly, “beds,” or couches (Mar. 7:4).
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
Charles John Ellicott (1819 - 1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.
His works include:
- An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897. (Editor)
- A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878.