197 – COHERENCE – I
(THE UNDEFILED BED)
We do not accept inconsistency in men, because men are rational. As to God, there cannot be inconsistency. Whoever reads the New Testament is amazed with the love of God for men. The life and work of Jesus Christ, his Son, harmonize so well with the goodness and mercy of the Father, that as two distinct persons as the Son and the Father may be, the unity of purpose is absolute. Congruity is absolute and fascinates us. Let us analyze parts of the Old Testament and see if coherence is absolute there.
According to the law of Jehovah, the human sperm is filthy. “Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening” (Lev. 15:16-18). The seed of the sexual intercourse, that is, the sperm, is so filthy that Jehovah compared it to leprosy (Lev. 22:4).
Let us look at the menses of the woman. “When a woman has a discharge, if the discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything also on which she lies during her menstruation impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. And anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. And whoever touches any thing on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. Whether be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, shall be unclean until evening. And if a man actually lies with her, so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean” (Lev. 15:19-24). “When she becomes clean from her discharge, she shall count off for herself seven days; and afterward she shall be clean. Then on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them in to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on her behalf before Jehovah because of her impure discharge” (Lev. 15:28-30). We ask ourselves, then: Menstruation is part of every woman’s nature, and is, even then, considered unclean? And is the woman unclean for seven days yet, after her menstruation ceases? And does she have to bring two turtledoves or two pigeons as atonement for sin? What sin? This poorly explained issue goes on further. The pregnant woman would become unclean. Jehovah said to Moses: “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary, until the days of her purification are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days. And when the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting, a one year old lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering” (Lev. 12:2-6). And to close this issue, we read in the book of Job: “How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4). “Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!” (Job 14:4). And we also read in Malachi 2:15: “But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then, to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.” Now, if the seed of the sexual intercourse of man is unclean, it makes the woman unclean through the sexual relation. And if, also, the blood of the woman’s menstruation is unclean, it makes the woman unclean seven times more than the man’s seed, that is, the sperm. Menstruation is also called ovulation, for it is simply that: the body of the woman discarding the old ovules, in order to produce new ones. By the mechanism of the sexual intercourse the male sperm, unclean by nature, fertilizes the unclean ovule of the woman. The child that is born, either male or female, is unclean. The period of purification of the woman for a male child is forty days, and for a female child is eighty days, and a sacrifice is offered for the sin of giving birth to a child, for the child born is unclean. We want to make three observations:
- Why does the birth of a baby girl makes the mother unclean for eighty days, and, in the case of a baby boy, the mother will be unclean for forty days only? Is the woman more unclean than the man? Inconsistency. Jehovah discriminates between men and women.
- Is the giving birth to children sin? God created male and female, and gave them the most sublime command, blessing them, in addition. “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:27-28). In the narrative of creation, procreation is a blessing of God, and Jehovah declares in his law that procreation is a filthy thing. Inconsistency. It looks as if Jehovah was not present in chapter one of Genesis. By the way, Tetragrammaton (the name of Jehovah) does not come up until chapters two and three of Genesis. The truth is that Jehovah demanded sacrifices to atone for the sin of the woman that gives birth to an unclean child unto Jehovah.
- The seed of the husband is unclean; the ovule of the woman is also unclean, for twice as much time. The child born is also unclean, and the bearing of children so sinful and filthy, that the couple offers sacrifices to atone for the sin, and also to cleanse both the parents and the newborn baby.
In this “show” of uncleanness, Jehovah declares that children are his inheritance for the couple. Is the inheritance of Jehovah unclean? The text says, “Behold, children are a gift of Jehovah; the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Ps. 127:3). An unclean reward? Inconsistency.
In the New Testament, to give birth to children is such a sublime event that the apostle Paul says that the Christian woman will be saved through the bearing of children (1 Tim. 2:15). There is nothing more sublime for a mother than to give birth to the hoped for, dreamed about, born at last son.
In the book of Hebrews, we read, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled” (Heb. 13:4). What is an undefiled bed? It is the bed where there is no unclean sperm, no unclean ovulation, neither there are unclean children, because God the Father is the father of the family, and he is the God of all the families, even the families of the non-Christian. Paul expresses himself in this way: “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Eph. 3:14-15). There are no unclean children in the undefiled bed, but holy children alone (1 Cor. 7:12-14). In the New Testament, now, we find consistency.
By PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA