[The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible used throughout except where noted. Bracketed material are comments made by Moza.]
Leviticus 13:1-14:5713:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: Aaron is addressed...because the laws concerning leprosy chiefly concerned the priests, whose business it was to judge of it, and cleanse from it; and so Ben Gersom observes, mention is made of Aaron here, because to him and his sons belonged the affair of leprosies, to pronounce unclean or clean, to shut up or set free.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.--Matthew 16:19
13:2 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; The place where this disorder appears is "in the skin of the flesh"; that is, where there is a skin, and that is seen; for there are some places, the Jewish writers say, are not reckoned the skin of the flesh, or where that is not seen, and such places are excepted, and they are these; the inside of the eye, of the ear, and of the nose: wrinkles in the neck, under the pap, and under the arm hole; the sole of the foot, the nail, the head and beard.
[This is interesting in light of where the leprosy would have been first noticed by everyone. The two places where a person could not hide the leprosy from anyone would be the face and the hands (feet?). These are the two places where the mark of the beast is to be administered, and this is the main thrust of this study-- leprosy = mark of the beast.]
then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: there was no pollution nor purification of the leprosy, but by the mouth or determination of a priest. And a good man that was desirous, and made conscience [sic] of observing the laws of God, when he observed anything of the above in him, and had any suspicion of his case, would of himself go, and show himself to the priest; but if a man did not do this, and any of his neighbours observed the appearances on him, brought him to the priest whether he would or not.
13:3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: Whether it be a swelling, scab, or a bright spot that appears, and judge of it by the following rules, and none but a priest might do this:
and when the hair in the plague is turned white, it arising in a place where hair grows, and which hair is not naturally white, but of another colour, but changed through the force of the plague; and there were to be two hairs at least, which were at first black, but turned white; so Jarchi and Ben Gersom: and these hairs, according to the Mishnah, must be white at bottom; if the root (or bottom) is black, and the head (or top) white, he is clean; if the root white, and the head black, he is defiled; for hairs turning white is a sign of a disorder, of weakness, or a decay of nature, as may be observed in ancient persons:
[I don't mean to go into this much detail, but I thought it was pertinent as I believe this is where the teaching regarding whether a red heifer is acceptable or not originates. The red heifer born in Israel was "disqualified" for having too many white hairs growing out of the same follicle.]
and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, [Many people believe some sort of chip will be implanted in those who receive the mark. Others believe it may be some sort of tattoo. One of the definitions of tattoo according to Websters is: "an indelible mark or figure fixed upon the body by insertion of pigment under the skin or by production of scars." (scar=scab) ]
it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. This was an emblem of sin, and the corruption of nature, which is an uncleanness, and with which every man is defiled, and which renders him infectious, nauseous, and abominable; and of which he is only to be cured and cleansed by Christ, the great High Priest, through his blood, which cleanses from all sin. The above...may be seen in sinners, as in the leper, who are without moral and spiritual strength to keep the law of God, to do anything that is spiritually good, to regenerate, renew, convert, and sanctify themselves, or to bring themselves out of the state of pollution, bondage, and misery, in which they are; and, like the leprosy, sin lies deep in man; it is in his flesh, in which dwells no good thing, and in which there is no soundness; it does not lie merely in outward actions, but it is in the heart, which is desperately wicked.
13:4 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: [This is for cases where it is not very plain that it is leprosy. He is shut up to see what happens.]
13:5 And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: In the day, and not in the night, as Maimonides, but not on the seventh day , if it happened to be the sabbath, then it was put off till after it; and, according to the Jewish canons, they do not look upon plagues in the morning, nor in the evening, nor in the middle of a house, nor on a cloudy day, nor at noon, but at the fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth hours.
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:
[I am now going to skip over the verses that pertain to not being sure whether it is leprous or not. I am working under the assumption that the mark is true leprosy (though the fact that the mark does not spread [or does it?] is duly noted) and to be treated as such. There is one exception that would make someone unclean even if the condition didn't seem to spread--if his hair fell out, starting from the back of the head which is suspicious of leprosy.]
13:45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, not that he might the more easily put on his clothes without hurting him, as some have thought; or that the corrupt humours might evaporate more freely, for evaporation would rather be hindered than promoted by being exposed to cold; nor that he might be known and better avoided, for his cry after mentioned was sufficient for that; but as a token of mourning: and so Aben Ezra having mentioned the former reason, that he might be known by going in a different habit, adds, or the sense is, as a token of mourning; for he was to mourn for the wickedness of his actions; for, for his works came this plague of leprosy upon him; and so the Jews in common understand it, not as a disease arising from natural causes, but as a punishment inflicted by God for sin; wherefore this rite of rending the garments was an emblem of contriiton of heart, and of sorrow and humiliation for sin.
and his head bare, or "free" from cutting or shaving, but shall let his hair grow; and so the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi interpret it; or free from any covering upon it, hat, or cap, or turban: Ben Gersom observes, that the making bare the head, or freeing it, is taken different ways; sometimes it is used of not shaving the head for thirty days, and sometimes for the removal of the vail, or covering of the head it has been used to; but in this place it cannot signify the nourishing of the hair, but that his head ought to be covered: and so Maimonides observes, that a leper should cover his head all the days he is excluded, and this was a token of mourning also.
and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, as a mourner.
Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.--Ezekiel 24:17
Jarchi interprets it of both lips, upper and under, which were covered with a linen cloth or vail thrown over the shoulder, and with which the mouth was covered; and this was done, as Aben Ezra says, that the leper might not hurt any with the breath of his mouth.
and shall cry, Unclean, unclean; as he passed along in any public place, that everyone might avoid him, and not be polluted by him: the Targum of Jonathan is: "a herald shall proclaim and say, Depart, depart from the unclean." So every sinner sensible of the leprosy of sin in his nature, and which appears in his actions, should freely confess and acknowledge his uncleanness, original and actual, the impurity of his heart and life, and even of his own righteousness in the sight of God, and have recourse to Christ, and to his blood, for the cleansing him from it.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.--Isaiah 6:5a
13:46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; in a separate house or apartment, as Uzziah did; none were allowed to come near him, nor he to come near to any.
And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.--2 Chronicles 26:21
without the camp shall his habitation be. Without the three camps, as the same Jewish writer interprets it, the camp of God, the camp of the Levites, and the camp of Israel: so Miriam, when she was stricken with leprosy, was shut out of the camp seven days.
And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.--Numbers 12:14,15
This was observed while in the wilderness, but when the Israelites came to inhabit towns and cities, then lepers were excluded from thence; for they defiled, in a ceremonial sense, every person and thing in a house they came into, whether touched by them or not. So Bartenora observes, that if a leprous person goes into any house, all that is in the house is defiled, even what he does not touch; and that if he sits under a tree, and a clean person passes by, the clean person is defiled; and if he comes into a synagogue, they make a separate place for him ten hands high, and four cubits broad, and the leper goes in first, and comes out last. The Persians, according to Herodotus, had a custom much like this; he says, that if any of the citizens had a leprosy or a morphew, he might not come into the city, nor be mixed with other Persians (or have any conversation with them), for they say he has them because he has sinned against the sun.
[This makes me think that it would be almost impossible to find anywhere on earth that wasn't defiled, and speaks to the removal of the undefiled bride during the time of testing.]
13:47 The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment; [Why other materials are not mentioned is explained as either because those were the two most popular at the time of writing and therefore encompassed the whole, or that things like satin and silk are not "hurt" by the leprosy.]
13:48 Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woollen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin;
13:49 And if the plague be greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and shall be showed unto the priest:
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale [chloros=green, yellowish pale] horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.--Revelation 6:7,8
13:50 And the priest shall look upon the plague, and shut up it that hath the plague seven days:
[The first part speaks to the person, this part speaks of the clothes contaminated with leprosy.]
13:51 And he shall look on the plague on the seventh day: if the plague be spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in a skin, or in any work that is made of skin; the plague is a fretting leprosy; it is unclean.
13:52 He shall therefore burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in woollen or in linen, or any thing of skin, wherein the plague is: for it is a fretting leprosy; it shall be burnt in the fire. Which may teach both to hate the garment spotted with the flesh, and to put no trust in and have no dependence on a man's own righteousness, which is as filthy rags.
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.--Jude 23
[The garments worn by the righteous are of linen, and without these there is no admittance to the wedding supper of the Lamb]
[The rest of the chapter goes on to describe what to do if the leprosy has not spread and is not germaine to this study.]
14:2 This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: Not into the camp, or city, or house, where the priest was, for till he was cleansed he could not be admitted into either; besides, the priest is afterwards said to go forth out of the camp to him; but he was to be brought pretty near the camp or city, where the priest went to meet him. As the leper was an emblem of a polluted sinner, the priest was a type of Christ, to whom leprous sinners must be brought for cleansing.
14:3 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;
[Again, I am skipping over the parts that deal with lepers who have been healed.]
14:34 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;
14:35 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: he must not say expressly there is one, how certain soever he may be of it, because the matter must be determined by a priest: so runs the Jewish canon, he whose the house is comes and declares to the priest, saying, there appears to me as a plague in the house; and though he is a wise man, and knows that there is a plague certainly, he may not determine, and say, there appears to me a plague in the house, but there appears to me as it were a plague in the house; it looks like one, there is some reason to suspect it.
14:36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, Clear it of all persons and things; everybody was obliged to go out of it; and all the furniture of it, all the household goods in it, were to be removed from it.
before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: as would be the case should the priest view it, and pronounce it unclean before the removal of them; agreeably to which is the Jewish tradition, before a priest comes to see the plague, not anything in the house is defiled; but after he is come to see it, even bundles of sticks, and of reeds, are defiled, which are not reckoned under the uncleanness to be removed: so that this was a kindness to the owner of the house, that his loss might not be so great as it otherwise would be, if he did not take care to get his goods out previous to the inspection of the priest.
and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house: to examine it, whether the signs of leprosy are in it.
14:37 And he shall look on the plague, That which is taken or suspected to be one, being pointed unto by the owner of the house.
and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house for there it chiefly was, if not solely; and from hence Gersom infers that it must be a walled house, and that it must have four walls, neither more nor fewer; and with this agrees the Mishnah, according to which it must be four square.
...and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.--Isaiah 11:12b
with hollow streaks, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall; These signs agree with the other signs before given of leprosy in men and garments; the first, the hollow strakes, which are explained by being lower in appearance than the wall, a sort of corrosion or eating into it, which made cavities in it, answer to the plague being deeper than the skin of the flesh in men; and the colours greenish or reddish, or exceeding green or red, as Gersom, are the same with those of the leprosy in clothes; and some such like appearances are in saltpetre walls, or in walls eaten by saline and nitrous particles; and also by sulphurous, oily, and arsencial ones, as Scheuchzer observes, and are not only tending to ruin, but unhealthful, as if they had rather been eaten by a canker or spreading ulcer; who also speaks of a fossil, called in the German language "steingalla," that is, the gall of stones, by which they are easily eaten into, because of the vitriolic salt of the fire stone, which for the most part goes along with that mineral, which is dissolved by the moist air. Though this leprosy, in the walls of a house, seems not to have risen from any natural causes, but was from the immediate hand of God; and there have been strange diseases, which have produced uncommon effects on houses, and other things: in the times of Narses is said to be a great plague, especially in the province of Liguria, and on a sudden appeared certain marks and prints on houses, doors, vessels, and clothes, which, if they attempted to wash off, appeared more and more.
14:38 Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, thereby signifying that it was not fit to be inhabited, and there standing to see it shut up, as follows:
and shut up the house seven days: to observe what alteration would be made in that time, and which would sooner be discovered in a house uninhabited.
14:39 And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house;
14:40 Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, In there appeared any cavities, or the above colours, and these spreading: in order to put a stop thereunto, these stones were to be drawn or pulled out, as the word signifies, in such manner as not to endanger the fall of the house.
and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city: where dead carcasses were laid, and dung, and filth of every sort; and being laid in such a place, it would be known that theyw ere unclean, as Aben Ezra observes, and so would not be made use of for any purpose.
And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD. Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.--Jeremiah 51:24-26
14:41 And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place:
14:42 And they shall take other stones, From elsewhere, such as are sound and whole.
and put them in the place of those stones; such as will exactly answer them, as to number and size, and so fill up the space vacant by the removal of the other, and support the building.
and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaster the house. The master of the house was to do this, or take care that it was done.
14:43 And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and after it is plastered;
14:44 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.
14:45 And he shall break down the house, Order it to be pulled down, and demolished entirely, that is, the priest shall give such orders; but Gersom thinks this was to be done by the owner of the house, and that he was to do it himself, and have no associate with him in it.
the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the mortar of the house; and, according to the Jewish canons, a house was not defiled with the plague of leprosy, unless it had in it stones, and timber, and dust, or earth.
and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place. Such materials were not to be made use of to rebuild that house, or to be employed in the building of any other. This house may be an emblem of a visible church of God on earth, which is often in Scripture compared to an house, as that signifies both an edifice and a family, and is sometimes called the house of the living God; and into which sometimes the leprosy of immorality and profaneness gets and spreads, or of errors and heresies, which creep in unawares, spread themselves graudally, and sometimes very fast, and eat as do a canker, and are very troublesome and defiling; and which God permits to enter in, that they which are approved might be made manifest: now when this is the case, or there is any appearance of it, the priests, the ministers of the Lord, are to be told of it, who are to examine into it, and rebuke sharply, as the case requires; and care is to be taken that the infection spread not; the tainted stones, immoral or heretical persons, are to be removed from the communion of the church, and others to be put in their room, as may present; such as are dug out of the common quarry of nature, and separated from the rest of the world, and are hewn and squared by the Spirit and grace of God, and are become lively stones; such are to be added to the church for the support and increase of it. Sharp reproofs are to be given to those who are incorrigible, which may be signified by the scraping of the house; and forgiveness, tenderness, and love, that covers a multitude of sins, are to be shown to those who truly repent, of which plastering may be an emblem; but if, after all, the above disorders in principle and practice spread, and they appear to be incurable, then the house is pulled down, the church-state or candlestick is removed out of its place.
14:46 Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even. Might not have any conversation with men until the evening was come, and he had washed himself; nay, according to the Mishnah, if a clean person thrust in his head, or the greatest part of his body, into an unclean house, he was defiled; and whoever entered into a leprous house, and his clothes are on his shoulder, and his sandals (on his feet), and his rings on his hands, he and they are unclean immediately.
14:47 And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.
14:54 This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,
14:55 And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,
14:56 And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:
14:57 To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.
There are other parallels that could be added, but the point is to try and start thinking of these leprosy laws in a much grander sense than just as something that happened thousands of years ago as isolated incidences to a few individuals. These laws still have a bearing on us now, especially in these end-times.
Hansen's disease [leprosy] is classified, according to initial symptoms, as tubercular (or nodular), anesthetic (or macular), or mixed. In Tubercular Hansenosis, the first sign is often the appearance of a red spot, or of a rash of red spots, on the face or on the extremities. The spots are often insensible to pain. At the same time, a small ulcer forms in the mucous membrane of the nose. Months to years later, small, hard nodules form in the deep layer of skin of the face and the limbs, and the superficial layer of the skin thickens. The sweat and oil glands are destroyed, and the hair is shed. The nostrils and ear lobes become swollen, and the entire face becomes somewhat lionlike, producing the typical "Leonine" appearance.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. -- 1 Peter 5:8
The nodules increase in size until larger than a walnut, and ulcerate. As the disease progresses the skin becomes white and scaly, and sloughs off. The bones of the nose, upper jaw, and digits become soft and distorted, and are eventually destroyed. In anesthetic Hansenosis, the first sign is often sharp pains in the limbs, accompanied by intense itching and discoloration of the skin. The patient is at first intensely sensitive to pain, and sweats a great deal. Large white spots, or macules, appear over the body. Several years later the palms of the hand and soles of the feet become insensitive to pain, and eventually the entire body loses sensation to such a degree that the patient may be completely unaware of severe burns. The destruction of skin and bones which follows resembles the final stages of nodular Hansenosis. In mixed Hansenosis, the initial symtpoms of both tubercular and anesthetic Hansenosis are present. In all forms of the disease the bacillus attacks the gonads, causing sterility; it occasionally attacks the eyes, producing blindness.
(Universal Standard Encyclopedia)
In spite of its medicinal applications, henna is mainly used as a dye plant. L. inermis has been important as an orange-red colorant for hair, skin, and nails in the Middle East since ancient times; introduced to Europe at the end of the 19th century, it became an important constituent of hair tints and conditioners.
Parts used: Leaves, flowers, oil.
Properties: An astringent herb, with a tealike aroma, that controls bleeding and is antibacterial.
Uses of the Herb:
Aromatic: Lilac-scented oil is used in perfumery.
Medicinal: Internally for amebic dysentery. Externally for skin diseases (including leprosy), wounds, ulcers, and herpes.
Economic: Used for dyeing hair, feet, and hands.
(The Herb Society of America Encyclopedia of Herbs, Deni Bown)
"A Bride's Hand Decorated with Henna"
Some Middle Eastern countries have special henna nights a couple of days before a wedding. The bride and her friends decorate their hands with henna. The use of henna is also very prevalent in Hindu cultures and has made some inroads in America. Madonna is the latest celebrity to jump on this bandwagon (3/98).
See also Forehead and Hand
See also Mark