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Volume 21 - Page 90 of 202 Index | Zoom | |
#78. "The law of the leper in the day of his cleansing."
(Lev. 13: and 14:).
pp. 141 - 147
The great outstanding type of cleansing in Leviticus is that of the leper, given in
chapter 14:--"The law of the leper in the day of his cleansing." Before we can hope to
appreciate the blessing of this typical cleansing we must have some understanding of the
nature of the defilement, and this necessitates a consideration of chapter 13: also. In
13: the priest pronounces the leper unclean, while in 14: he pronounces him clean.
Alongside the main subject of the leper and his cleansing are the related subjects of
leprosy in a garment or in a house. Leprosy in the person is typical of sin within, it is
indeed "deeper than the skin" (Lev. 13: 2). Leprosy in the garments is typical of our
"habits"--the English idiom retains the figure, for we still speak of some clothing as a
"habit", e.g., "a riding habit". Scripture uses the figure continually. "Be clothed with
humility." "The robe of righteousness." "Put on (as clothing) the new man." The house
speaks of relationships--home, witness, service, etc., "The house of God", "The
household of God", "The household of faith". The subject matter of Lev. 13: and 14:
is disposed as follows:--
The law of leprosy (Lev. 13: and 14:).
A | 13: 1-46. The leper. Pronounced unclean.
B | 13: 47-57. Leprosy in a garment.
C | 13: 58. Cleansing of garment.
D | 13: 59. "The law."
A | 14: 1-32. The leper. Pronounced clean.
B | 14: 33-47. Leprosy in a house.
C | 14: 48-53. Cleansing of house.
D | 14: 54-57. "The law."
Upon reading Lev. 13: one of the first impressions received is the extraordinary care
that the priest must exercise in judging as to whether the person before him is, or is not,
suffering from leprosy. No hasty judgment is allowed. No indiscriminate generalizings,
for leprosy cuts a man off from fellowship with God and his neighbours, deprives him of
all visible means of grace, all domestic and social privileges, and consequently it must be
dealt with most carefully. The priest is given the most detailed account of the symptoms,
and his diagnosis does not depend upon his feelings or his reasoning, but upon the Word
of God. Then, observe the care that must be exercised whenever there is a doubt in the
mind of the priest.
"Then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days" (Lev. 13: 4).