In 2 Corinthians 6:17, is it referring to the "unclean [thing]" or "unclean [person]"? Did Paul say what he meant and mean what he said?:
New American Standard Bible "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] διὸ ἐξέλθατε ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν, καὶ ἀφορίσθητε, λέγει Κύριος, καὶ ἀκαθάρτου μὴ ἅπτεσθε· κἀγὼ εἰσδέξομαι ὑμᾶς·
The grammar suggests anything unclean, human or not but the context suggests that Paul is using this passage to refuse association ("be separate", "don't touch", etc.) with unholy people.
It appears that Paul is citing it authoritatively to describe the proper relationship (or rather, non-relationship) that a Christian should have with non-believers. This seems odd to me on several levels but right now I'm focused on the implications for how to handle prophecy and how citing this might have been overkill for what Paul wanted to forbid. Might this have given rise to his need to clarify:
1Co 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter to stop associating with people who are sexually immoral— 1Co 5:10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, greedy, robbers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you to stop associating with any so-called brother if he is sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunk, or a robber. You must even stop eating with someone like that. 1Co 5:12 After all, is it my business to judge outsiders? You are to judge those who are in the community, aren't you? 1Co 5:13 God will judge outsiders. "Expel that wicked man."
Paul seems to think that the prophecy from Isaiah is limited in scope to "bad believers" rather than unbelievers. But is it?
The nature of my question is puzzlement that Paul would appeal to a prophecy about national deliverance and not taking souvenirs in a possibly inappropriate and demonstrably confusing way. I'm trying to understand if there is a more precise way of looking at this.