Leviticus 11:39-40 NASB

39 ‘Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening. 40 He too, who eats some of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening, and the one who picks up its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

But in the other texts it says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness

Leviticus 17:11 NASB

11 For the [e]life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the [f]life that makes atonement.’

And again here

.Hebrews 9:22 NASB

22 And according to the [w]Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

So how was the atonement made here without the ritual of shedding blood?

2 Answers 2


It does not say that it is a sin, it merely says that they are unclean. Same as a person who has a wet dream or has sex with his wife is unclean till he washes.(Leviticus 12) It is not a sin to have sex with your wife. The same goes for this.


The author qualifies each independent clause by the use of σχεδόν. According to LSJ,1 σχεδόν can mean “roughly speaking” or “generally speaking.” As such, σχεδόν acknowledges the existence of so-called exceptions to the rule.

Lünemann wrote,2

The conceding, moreover, of the existence of single exceptions, by virtue of σχεδόν, finds its justification, as regards the first half of the clause, in Exodus 19:10; Leviticus 15:5 ff., Leviticus 15:27; Leviticus 16:26; Leviticus 16:28; Leviticus 22:6; Numbers 31:22-24; as regards the second half, in Leviticus 5:11-13.


1 p. 1744
2 p. 621


Huther, Johann Eduard; Lünemann, Georg Konrad Gottlieb. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, and to the Epistle to the Hebrews. Trans. Hunter, David; Evans, Maurice J. New York: Funk, 1885.

Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; et al. A Greek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1940.

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