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Leviticus 13 "1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: 3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. 4 If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days: 5 And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more:"

The next three chapters in Leviticus are about leprosy, running sores, and issues of blood. The rules for determining disease and quarantining it are very specific. The rules for the priests to determine if a person actually had leprosy are very entailed in Leviticus. One reason it was so important is that it spread so easily. Today, when a child gets measles, his parents keep him home until he isn't contagious so his classmates won't become infected. The disease of leprosy ate away at the flesh of it's victims taking fingers, toes and even ears and noses. It ate holes in the flesh causing the person to contract infection and finally die. It was very important that, once a person was diagnosed with the disease, he not pass it on to family members and friends; it could have wiped out the whole nation of Israel! Leprosy is still prevalent in other countries today. If you would like to see this devastating disease at work, CLICK HERE. WARNING! These pictures are not pretty!

When a person had a sore or a scab on his flesh that didn't go away, he was brought to the priest. The priest looked at it and tried to determine if it was leprosy. If he wasn't sure by just looking, he would quarantine him for seven days, then look at the sore again. If it had began to heal he was pronounced clean and allowed to go home. If the priest still wasn't sure, he would quarantine him for another seven days. If the sore spot had sunk below the flesh or the hair around the area had turned white (or died) he was pronounced leprous. There are some instances of people being cured. In 2 Kings 14, Naaman had leprosy and was healed by dipping seven times in the Jordan river but this was a supernatural healing, not a medical one! And we will see in chapter 14 that it talks about a leper being healed but I think this probably didn't happen often. Luke 4:27 says there were many lepers in Israel at the time of Elisha the prophet but none of them were healed except Naaman.

Leviticus 13 "46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be. 57 And if it appear still in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a spreading plague: thou shalt burn that wherein the plague is with fire."

The dictionary defines leprosy as: "A chronic, mildly contagious granulomatous disease of tropical and subtropical regions, caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, characterized by ulcers of the skin, bone, and viscera and leading to loss of sensation, paralysis, gangrene, and deformation." But it must have been thought more than just mildly contagious in Moses and Aaron's day. Verse 46 says when a person was diagnosed as leprous he had to live alone outside the camp. Even his clothes had to be burned if they had the leprous infection on them!

Leprosy is much like sin today. It starts out as a small spot and grows deeper, taking more and more of it's victim as it spreads and it is highly contagious!

Psalm 38:1 "O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. 4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. 6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh."

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CHAPTER 14

Leviticus 14: "1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: 3 And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; 4 Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: 5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: 6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: 7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. 8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days. 9 But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean."

There must have been instances of lepers becoming clean or this chapter would not have been necessary! The first part deals with how they were to be reunited with their families. First, the priest went to them, outside the camp. If they were found to be clean, the priest had to offer a sacrifice for them, outside the camp! The priest took two birds for the sacrifice. The first bird was slain, the second bird was dipped in the blood of the slain bird and then it was set free. Some of the blood from the slain bird was sprinkled on the former leper. Notice the hyssop that was used in this ceremony. Psalms 51:7 says, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Also notice that one of the birds were set free! This exemplifies Christ dying on the cross for our sins. He bled and died so that we could be covered by His blood and be set free from sin! The former leper was allowed to come into the camp but was still not allowed to go into his house. He had to live outside his home for seven days. On the seventh day he had to shave off all his hair and wash himself and his clothes. On the eighth day he had to take an offering to the priests. There isn't room here to print all the scripture in this chapter so I urge you to read the strict ritual of this offering. Some of the blood was applied to the former leper's ear, thumb and toe. Even though the spots of leprosy were gone, the blood of the sacrifice had to be applied before he was pronounced completely clean and allowed to go home! Verses 21 through 32 deal with the sacrifice of a poor person. No one was exempt from offering a sacrifice for sins and trespasses.

Leviticus 14:33 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 34 When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession; 35 And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house: 36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house: 44 Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house: it is unclean. 45 And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the morter of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place. 48 And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plaistered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed."

The remainder of the fourteenth chapter sets forth the ritual of cleansing for a house that has a plague of any kind in it. This was probably a growing fungus or mold. We know, even today, that fungus and mold growing inside the walls of a house can cause sickness and, sometimes, even death!

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CHAPTER 15

Leviticus 15:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any ' man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean. 3 And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness. 4 Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean. 5 And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 19 And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. 20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. 21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even."

"Leprosy has two common forms, tuberculoid and lepromatous, and these have been further subdivided. Both forms produce lesions on the skin, but the lepromatous form is most severe, producing large disfiguring nodules. All forms of the disease eventually cause peripheral neurological damage (nerve damage in the extremities) manifested by sensory loss in the skin and weakness of the muscles. People with long-term leprosy may lose the use of their hands or feet due to repeated injury which results from absent sensation."

Another whole chapter is devoted to running issues of the flesh. After a person is healed of any running sore or issue of blood, they had to offer a sacrifice before they were pronounced clean. Anyone who touched them or any of their clothes or anything they had sat or lain on would also be unclean. Remember in Genesis 31 when Rachel would not stand up after her father entered her tent? She made the excuse, "Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me." She had hidden her father's images in the camel's furniture and sat on it knowing her father would not touch where she was sitting if she told him she was having her customary issue of blood!

Leviticus 15:16 "And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. 17 And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. 18 The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even."

Even when a couple had sex, they had to bathe and were considered unclean until the evening. If people were more cautious about cleanliness in these areas today, I'm sure there would be much less disease!

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