The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 91 of 202
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If at the end of that time there is still uncertainty, the suspected person must be shut up
for yet a further seven days (13: 5). How this should warn us against hasty judgments,
uncharitable interpretations, or biased opinions of the actions of others.
"It is but a scab" (13: 6). The whole subject is loathsome, but also is sin, and we are
but looking into the mirror of the Word. A scab may, or may not, be a cause for putting
away. The one great point that the priest was to observe was that "it spread not". If,
however, spreading be evident, "he shall be seen of the priest again", then, if the
spreading continues, the dread sentence goes forth, "it is leprosy". Here is a lesson that
should give us pause. The person is pronounced leprous and unclean when the plague
with which he is afflicted spreads! If we would have this interpreted for us in spiritual
language, we may heed the apostle's statement:--
"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean (or
common) of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean"
(Rom. 14: 14).
"All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man that eateth with offence"
(Rom. 14: 20).
"Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not
himself in that thing which he alloweth" (Rom. 14: 22).
"We know that an idol is nothing in the world . . . . . howbeit there is not in every man
that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing
offered unto an idol . . . . . and through thy knowledge the weak brother is perishing, for
whom Christ died" (I Cor. 8: 4-11).
While we live and walk in this world it is impossible to avoid contact with evil
somewhere, and while this is to be deplored, it is but an indication of the present state of
things, and the effect upon us is described in the language of the type as, it is but a scab".
Though by no means spiritual or right, such things are not a sufficient ground for the
breaking off of fellowship, for "then must ye needs go out of the world". But where
anything tends to "spread", and weaker brethren are stumbled, then it is time to judge the
thing and pronounce it unclean.
The law of cleansing.
While we should not too quickly turn away from the awful picture of sin given in
chapter 13:, our immediate object is rather the cleansing of the leper, which is given in
chapter 14: Referring to the structure on page 141, we see that the section dealing with
the cleansing of the leper occupies verses 1-32. This, we shall discover upon reading, is
further divided into two sections. First the full ceremonial (1-20), then the provision for
one who might be too poor and unable to afford so much. This, therefore, reduces our
field of investigation to the first twenty verses. The intricate detail of this passage is apt
to overwhelm the reader, and he may thus miss one or two most essential distinctions. To
enable all to see these features we set out verses 2-20 as follows:--
A1 | 14: 2-7. Out of the camp.
A2 | 14: 8, 9. Into the camp.
A3 | 14: 10-20. At the door of the tabernacle.