Or if a soul touch any unclean thing
Meaning an Israelite, for only such were bound by this law, which pronounced a person unclean that touched anything that was so in a ceremonial sense; this is the general, including whatsoever by the law was unclean; the particulars follow:
whether [it be] a carcass of an unclean beast,
as the camel, the coney, the hare, and the swine, ( Leviticus 11:2-3 )
or a carcass of unclean cattle;
as the horse, and the ass, which were unclean for food, and their dead carcasses not to be touched, ( Leviticus 11:26-28 )
or the carcass of unclean creeping things:
such as are mentioned in ( Leviticus 11:29-31 )
and if it be hidden from him;
that he has touched them; or the uncleanness contracted by touching, he having inadvertently done it; or being ignorant of the law concerning such uncleanness:
he also shall be unclean;
in a ceremonial sense, by thus touching them:
of a breach of the command which forbids the touching of them: this is by way of prolepsis or anticipation; for as yet the law concerning unclean beasts, and creeping things, and pollution by touching them, was not given: Jarchi and Gersom interpret this guilt, of eating of holy things, and going into the sanctuary when thus defiled: in the Jewish Misnah F23 it is said, the word "hidden" is twice used, to show that he is guilty, for the ignorance of uncleanness, and for the ignorance of the sanctuary.
F23 Misn. Shebuot, c. 2. sect. 5.