Leviticus 17:15 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(15) That which died of itself.—The law enacted here is a natural sequel to the one immediately preceding, since it is still based upon the sacredness of blood. As the body of the animal which either died a natural death, or has been torn by a wild beast, retains a great portion of its blood, it is forbidden to be eaten. The carcases, in which the blood has thus been coagulated in the veins and arteries, were given to the dogs (Exo. 22:31). The rigour with which this law was enforced may be seen from 1Sa. 14:32-35; Eze. 4:14, Ezek. 46:36. According to the canonical law which obtained during the second Temple, the carcase was forbidden when the animal died a natural death, or met with an accident, or was strangled to death, or was torn by a wild beast. This explains the apostolic decision, in the council at Jerusalem, about “things strangled” (Act. 15:20).
Whether it be one of your own country.—The law was not only binding upon the native Israelite, but upon the proselyte. The mere stranger, in the strict sense of the word, who had not joined the Jewish community, was allowed to eat such carcases. (See Deu. 14:21.)
He shall both wash his clothes.—If he ate any of it unwittingly, he had not only to wash his garments, but immerse his whole body in water, and be excluded from the sanctuary till sundown. The sin offering prescribed in Lev. 5:2 was not for inadvertently touching the carcase, but for neglecting the prescribed purification. (See Lev. 5:2.)
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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.