Verse 31. "Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness" - By this separation the cause became less frequent, and the contagion, if it did exist, was prevented from spreading. So pest-houses and fever-wards are constructed for the purpose of separating the infected from the sound; and thus contagion is lessened, and its diffusion prevented.
"That they die not" - That life may be prolonged by these prudential cares; and that he who is morally and legally unclean, may not presume to enter into the tabernacle of God till purified, lest he provoke Divine justice to consume him, while attempting to worship with a polluted mind and impure hands. 1. How unpromising and how forbidding, at the first view, is this chapter! and yet how full of wise, humane, and moral regulations, manifesting at once the wisdom and kindness of the great Legislator! Every word of God is pure in itself, and of great importance to us. He who cannot derive instruction from the chapter before him, and be led by a proper consideration of its contents to adore the wisdom and goodness of God, must have either a very stupid or a very vitiated mind. 2. In all these ordinances we may plainly see that God has purity of heart continually in view-that the soul may be holy, he cuts off the occasions of sin; and that men may be obliged to keep within due bounds, and possess their vessels in sanctification and honour, he hedges up their way with briars and thorns, and renders transgression painful, shameful, and expensive. 3. Preventing grace is not less necessary than that which saves and which preserves.
These three chapters, avoided and neglected by most, contain lessons of instruction for all; and though many things contained in them belong exclusively to the Jewish people as to the letter, yet in their spirit and gracious design they form a part of those revealed things which are for us and for our children; and although they cannot be made the subject of public oral instruction, yet they are highly necessary to be known, and hence the advantage of reading the Scriptures in regular order in private.
May we read so as to understand, and practice what we know, that, being wise unto salvation, we may walk as children of the light and of the day, in whom there shall be no occasion of stumbling!