« Prev Leviticus 13:1-59 Next »

Leviticus 13

Leviticus 13:1-59

1. And the Lord spake untoMoses and Aaron, saying,

1. Et loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen et Aharon, dicendo:

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.

2. Homo quum fuerit in cute carnis ejus tumor, vel scabies, vel alba macula, et in cute carnis ejus fuerit plaga leprae, ducetur ad Aharon sacerdotem, vel ad unum e filiis ejus sacerdotibus.

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.

3. Tune videbit sacerdos plagam in cute carnis: quod si pilus in plaga versus fuerit in albedinem, et superficies plagae profundior fuerit cute carnis ejus, plaga leprae est, et postquam viderit eum sacerdos judicabit illum contaminatum, (vel, contaminabit illum.)

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:

4. Quod si macula alba fuerit in cute carnis ejus, et profundior non fuerit aspectus ejus cute, nec pilus ejus versus fuerit in albedinem, includet sacerdos plagam septem diebus.

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:

5. Postea videbit eum sacerdos die septimo et si plaga fuerit aequalis coram oculis ejus, nee creverit plaga in cute, includet eum sacerdos septem diebus secundo.

6. And the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold,if the plague be somewhat dark, and the prague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean.

6. Tune inspiciet sacerdos ipsum die septimo iterum, et si subnigra futerit plaga, (vel, obscurius contracta,) nec creverit plaga in cute, tune mundum declarabit (vel, mundabit) eum sacerdos: scabies est: et lavabit vir vestimenta sua, et mundus erit.

7. But if the scab spread much abroad in the skin, after that he hath been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again:

7. Quod si crescendo creverit scabies in cute postquam ostensus fuerit sacerdoti in purgatione ejus, inspi-cietur secundo a sacerdote.

8. And if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy.

8. Ubi autem viderit sacerdos; crescere scabiem in cute, immundum judicabit cum sacerdos, lepra est judicabit cum sacerdos, lepra est.

9. When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest;

9. Quoties plaga lepre fuerit in homine adducetur ad sacerdotem;

10. And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh in the rising;

10. Et aspiciet sacerdos, et si tumor albus fuerit in cute, et mutaverit pilum in albedinem, et ailmentum carnis vivae in tumore,

11. It is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean, and shall not shut him up: for he is unclean.

11. Lepra inveterate, est in cute carnis ejus: ideoque contaminabit eum sacerdos, quia immundus est.

12. And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his head even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh;

12. Sin germinando germinaverit lepra in cute, et operuerit lepra totam cutem plagae, a capite ejus, et totum aspectuum oculorum sacerdotis:

13. Then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean.

13. Tunc inspiciet sacerdos, et si operuerit lepra totam carnem ejus, tunc mundam judicabit plagam: ubi tota versa est in albedinem, munda est, (vel, mundus.)

14. But when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean.

14. Quo autem die visa fuerit in eo cato viva, immundus erit.

15. And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy.

15. Et ubi viderit sacerdos carnem vivam, immundum judicabit ipsum, caro viva immunda est, lepra est.

16. Or if the raw flesh turn again, and be changed unto white, he shall come unto the priest;

16. Vel si reversa fuerit caro viva, et conversa in albedinem, tunc veniet ad sacerdotem:

17. And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the plague be turned into white; then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean.

17. Et inspiciet sacerdos: et si versa fuerit plaga in albedinem, mundam judicabit sacerdos plagam illam: munda est.

18. The flesh also, in which, even in the skin thereof, was a boil, and is healed,

18. Et si fuerit in cute carnis alicujus ulcus, (vel, pustula ardens,) et illud sanatum fuerit.

19. And in the place of the boil there be a white rising, or a bright spot, white, and somewhat reddish, and it be shewed to the priest;

19. Et extiterit in loco ulceris tumor albus, aut macula alba subrufa, ostendetur sacerdoti:

20. And if, when the priest seeth it, behold, it be in sight lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white, the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil.

20. Et quum inspexerit sacerdos, si pilus profundior fuerit cute, et pilus conversus fuerit in albedinem, contaminabit eum sacerdos: quia plaga leprae est ex ulcere germinans.

21. But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be not lower than the skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days:

21. Et si viderit cam sacerdos, et non fuerit in ea pilus albus, nec fuerit profundior cute, sed fuerit subobscura, tunc includet eum sacerdos septem diebus.

22. And if it spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague.

22. Si vero crescendo creverit per cutem, immundum judicabit eum sacerdos: plaga est.

23. But if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not, it is a burning boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

23. Si vero suo loco constiterit macula alba, nec ereverit, adustio ulceris est: mundum (vel, mundam) judicabit eum sacerdos.

24. Or if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white;

24. Quum fuerit caro in cujus cute erit adustio ignis, et in viva carne adustionis macula alba subrufa, vel alba.

25. Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the hair in the bright spot be turned white, and it be in sight deeper than the skin, it is a leprosy broken out of the burning: wherefore the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy.

25. Inspiciet eum sacerdos: et, si versus fuerit pilus in albedinem in macula illa, et superficies ejus fuerit profundior cute, lepra est in adustione germinans: ideo immundam judicabit eam sacerdos, plaga leprae est.

26. But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hair in the bright spot, and it be no lower than the other skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days:

26. Quod si inspexerit eam sacerdos, et non fuerit in macula pilus albus, nec profundior cute, sed fuerit subnigra, includet eum sacerdos septem diebus.

27. And the priest shall look upon him the seventh day: and if it be spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy.

27. Postea inspiciet eum sacerdos die septimo: et si crescendo creverit in cute, immundam judicabit eam sacerdos, plaga leprae est.

28. And if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not in the skin, but it be somewhat dark; it is a rising of the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him clean: for it is an inflammation of the burning.

28. Quod si in loco suo steterit macula, nec creverit per cutem, et eadem fuerit contracta, (vel, subnigra,) tumor adustionis est: ideoque mundum judicabit eum sacerdos: quia ardor exustionis est.

29. If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard;

29. Si viro aut mulieri exorta fuerit plaga in capite, aut in barba.

30. Then the priest shall see the plague: and, behold, if it be in sight deeper than the skin; and there be in it a yellow thin hair; then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a dry scall, even a leprosy upon the head or beard.

30. Tune inspiciet sacerdos plagam: et si superficies ejus profundior erit cute, et fuerit in ea pilus flavus et tenuis, immundum judicabit sacerdos: macula nigra est, lepra capitis aut barbae est.

31. And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it be not in sight deeper than the skin, and that there is no black hair in it; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague of the scall seven days:

31. Si autem inspexerit sacerdos plagam maculae nigrae, et superficies ejus non fuerit profundior cute, nec pilus niger in ea, includet sacerdos plagam maculae nigrae septem diebus.

32. And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the plague: and, behold, if the scall spread not, and there be in it no yellow hair, and the scall be not in sight deeper than the skin;

32. Et quum inspexerit sacerdos die septima, si non creverit macula illa nigra, nec in ea fuerit pilus, et aspectus maculae nigrae non fuerit profundior cute:

33. He shall be shaven, but the scall shall he not shave; and the priest shall shut up him that hath the scall seven days more:

33. Tune radetur, sed maculam nigram non radet, includetque sacerdos maculam nigram septem diebus secundo.

34. And in the seventh day the priest shall look on the scall: and, behold, if the scall be not spread in the skin, nor be in sight deeper than the skin; then the priest shall pronounce him clean: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean.

34. Postea, inspiciet sacerdos maculam nigram die septima: et, si non creverit macula nigra in cute, nec superfides ejus profundior fuerit cute, mundum judicabit eum sacerdos: lavabitque vestimenta sua, et mundus erit.

35. But if the scall spread much in the skin after his cleansing;

35. Si autem crescendo creverit macula per cutera post purificationem suam,

36. Then the priest shall look on him: and, behold, if the scall be spread in the skin, the priest shall not seek for yellow hair; he is unclean.

36. Tune inspiciet eam sacerdos: et, si creverit macula illa in cute, non requiret ad examen sacerdos pilum flavum: immundus est.

37. But if the scall be in his sight at a stay, and that there is black hair grown up therein; the scall is healed, he is clean: and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

37. Quod si in oculis ejus constiterit macula, et pilus niger fuerit in ea, sanata est macula illa, mundus est, et mundum judicabit eum sacerdos.

38. If a man also or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots;

38. Quum in cute carnis viri aut mulieris fuerint maculae, maculm inquam albae.

39. Then the priest shall look: and, behold, if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh be darkish white; it is a freckled spot that groweth in the skin; he is clean.

39. Inspiciet sacerdos, et, si in cute carnis corum fuerint maculae albae, subnigrae (vel, contractae,) macula alba est quod floret in cute, mundus est.

40. And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean.

40. Vir quum depilatum fuerit caput ejus, calvus est, mundus est.

41. And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean.

41. Quod si ex parte faciei suae caput habuerit depilatum, recalvaster est, mundus est.

42. And if there be in the bald head, or bald forehead, a white reddish sore, it is a leprosy sprung up in his bald head, or his bald forehead.

42. Quod si in calvitio ejus aut parte depilata fuerit plaga alba, subrufa, lepra germinans est in calvitie, vel parte ejus depilata.

43. Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the rising of the sore be white reddish in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, as the leprosy appeareth in the skin of the flesh;

43. Aspiciet ergo eum sacerdos: et, si tumor plagae albus, rufus in calvitio ejus aut parte depilata, sicut species leprae in cute carnis,

44. He is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head.

44. Vir leprosus est, immundus est: contaminando contaminabit illum sacerdos: in capite ejus est plaga ejus.

45. And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.

45. Leprosi autem in quo fuerit plaga illa, vestimenta erunt scissa, et caput ejus nudum, et pilum labri operiet, et Immundus, immundus sum clamabit.

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.

46. Cunctis diebus quibus fuerit plaga in eo, contaminabitur, immudus est: seorsum habitabit: extra castra mansio ejus erit.

47. The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment;

47. Si in veste fnerit plaga leprae, in veste lanea, aut in veste linea,

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;

48. Aut in stamine, aut in subtegmine ex lino, aut ex lana, aut in pelle, aut in quovis opere pelliceo:

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 shewed unto the priest:

49. Et fuerit plaga illa viridis aut rufa in veste, aut in stamine, vel in subtegmine, vel in quovis opere pelliceo, plaga leprae est, ostendetur sacerdoti.

50. And the priest shall look upon the plague, and shut up it that hath the plague seven days:

50. Et inspiciet sacerdos plagam, includetque plagam illam septera diebus.

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.

51. Postea inspiciet plagam illam die septimo: si creverlt plaga illa per vestera, vel per subtegmen, vel pellem in omni opere pelliceo, lepra corodentis plagae est, immunda est.

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.

52. Comburetque vestem, vel stamen, vel subtegmen ex lana, vel ex lino, vel quovis opus pelliceum in quo fuerit plaga illa: quia lepra corrodens est, igni comburetur.

53. And if the priest shall look, and, behold, the plague be not spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin;

53. Quod si, ubi inspexerit sacerdos, ecce non creverit plaga illa in veste, vel in stamine, vel in subtegmine, vel in quovis opere pelliceo.

54. Then the priest shall command that they wash the thing wherein the plague is, and he shall shut it up seven days more:

54. Tune praecipiet sacerdos, et lavabunt id in quo est plaga: et recludet illud septem diebus secundo.

55. And the priest shall look on the plague, after that it is washed: and, behold, if the plague have not changed his colour, and the plague be not spread; it is unclean; thou shalt burn it in the fire; it is fret inward, whether it be bare within or without.

55. Inspiciet vero sacerdos, postquam lotum fuerit, plagam illam: et, si non mutaverit plaga illa colorem suum, nec plaga creverit, immunda est, igni combures illud: corrosio est in calvitio ejus vel in parte ejus depilata.

56. And if the priest look, and, behold, the plague be somewhat dark after the washing of it; then he shall rend it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof:

56. Quod sidum inspexerit sacerdos, ecce, subobscura fuerit plaga postquam lota fuit, abscindet eam e veste, vel epelle, vel e stamine, vel e subtegmine

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.

57. Quod si comspecta fureit ultra in veste, vel in stamine, vel in subtegmine, vel in quovis opere pelliceo lepra germinans est, igni combures illud in quo fuerit, lavabitur secundo, et mundum erit.

58. And the garment, either warp or woof, or whatsoever thing of skin it be, which thou shalt wash, if the plague be departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and shall be clean.

58. Vestis autem, sive stamen, sive, subtegmen, aut quoivis opus pelliceum quod laveris, si recesserit ab eis plagra, lavabitur secundo, et mundum erit.

59. This is the law of the plague of leprosy in a garment of woollen or linen, either in the warp, or woof, or any thing of skins, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.

59. Haec est lex leprae vestimenti lanei, vel linei, vel staminis, vel subtegminis, vel cujusvis operis pellicei ad judicandum illud mundum vel immundum.


2. When a man shall have in the skin. Since every eruption was not the leprosy, and did not render a man unclean, when God appoints the priests to be the judges, He distinguishes by certain marks a common eruption from the leprosy; and then subjoins the difference between the various kinds of leprosy. For the disease was not always incurable; but, only when the blood was altogether corrupted, so that the skin itself had become hardened by its corrosion, or swollen by its diseased state. This, then, must be observed in the first place, that the Greek and Latin word lepra, and the Hebrew צרעת tzaragmath, extend further than to the incurable disease, which medical men call elephantiasis 44     LadrerieFr. both on account of the hardness of the skin, and also its mottled color; not, however, that there is an entire agreement between the thickness of the man’s skin and that of an elephant, but because this disease produces insensibility of the skin. This the Greeks call Ψώρα, and if it be not a kind of leprosy, it is nearly allied to it. Thus we see that there was a distinction between the scab and leprosy; just as now-a-days, if it were necessary to judge respecting the itch, (which is commonly called the disease of St. Menanus, 55     St. Mehan — Fr. C. probably wrote Melanus. St. Mean, or Melanus, was a Welshman, who founded the monastery of Gael, now called St. Meen’s, of which he became abbot, and where he died. At his tomb wonderful cures were effected, chiefly of cutaneous diseases, especially “itch and scab, to which a mineral well, which bears the name of the saint, and in which the patient bathes, seems greatly to contribute,” quoth honest Alban Butler. the marks must be observed, which distinguish it from leprosy. But, as to the various kinds of leprosy, I confess that I am not a physician, so as to discuss them accurately, and I purposely abstain from close inquiry about them, because I am persuaded that the disease here treated of affected the Israelites in an extraordinary manner, which we are now unacquainted with; for what do we now know of a leprous house? Indeed it is probable that, since heathen writers knew that the Jewish people suffered from this disease, they laid hold of it as the ground of their falsehood, that all the descendants of Abraham were infected with the itch, and were driven away from Egypt, lest others should catch it from them. That 66     The reference here, I think, ought to be Josephus, Jewish Antiq., Book 3. ch. 11. Section 4. See also, “Against Apion,” Book 1. Section 25, et seq. Tacitus, Hist. v. 3. Justin, 36. 2. this was an ancient calumny appears from Josephus, both in the ninth book of his Antiquities, and in his Treatise against Apion; and it is repeated both by C. Tacitus and Justin. Yet I make no doubt that the Egyptians, a very proud nation, in order to efface the memory of their own disgrace, and of the vengeance inflicted upon them by God, invented this lie, and thus grossly turned against this innocent people what had happened to themselves, when they were smitten with boils and blains. But we shall see hereafter, amongst God’s curses, that He chastised His people with the same plagues as He had inflicted on the Egyptians:

"The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab,” etc. (Deuteronomy 28:27.)

Whence it may be probably inferred, that God avenged the crimes of His ancient people with special judgments, which are now unknown to us; just as afterwards new diseases arose, from which those in old times were free. At any rate, Josephus, by clear and solid arguments, exposes the absurdity of this accusation, that Moses was driven from Egypt with a crowd of exiles, lest they should infect the country with their disease; because, if they had been universally affected with this malady, he never would have imposed such severe laws for separating the lepers from general society.

God first commands that, whenever a suspicion of leprosy arose, the man was to present himself to the priest; if any symptom of leprosy appeared, He commands him to be shut up for a period of seven days, until it should appear from the progress of the disease that it was incurable leprosy. That God should have appointed the priests to be judges, and those, too, only of the highest order, is a proof that His spiritual service was rather regarded than mere bodily health. If any shall inquire whether leprosy is not a contagious disease, and whether it be not therefore expedient that all who were affected by it should be removed from intercourse with others, I admit, indeed, that such is the case, but I deny that this was the main object in view. For, in process of time, physicians would have been better able to decide by their art and skill: whereas God enjoined this decision upon the priests alone, and gave them the rule whereby they were to judge. Nor did He appoint the Levites indiscriminately, but only the sons of Aaron, who were the highest order, in order that the authority of the decision might be greater. It was, then, by a gross error, or rather impudence, that the Papal priests (sacrifici) assumed to themselves this jurisdiction. It was (they say) the office of the chief priests under the Law to distinguish between the kinds of leprosy; and, therefore, the same right is transferred to the bishops. But they carry the mockery still further: the official 77     Monsieur I’official, etc. — Fr. the bishop’s representative, sits as the legitimate judge; he calls in physicians and surgeons, from whose answers he pronounces what he confesses he is ignorant of himself. Behold how cleverly they accommodate a legal rite to our times! The mockery, however, is still more disgusting, when in another sense they extend to the whole tribe of priests what they have said to belong solely to the bishops; for, since the sin under which all labor is a spiritual leprosy, they thence infer that all are excluded from the congregation of the faithful until they shall have been purged and received by absolution, which they hold to be the common office of all the priests. They afterwards add, that judgment cannot be pronounced till the cause is heard, and so conclude that confession is necessary. But, if they choose to have recourse to subtleties, reason would rather conduct us to the opposite conclusion; for God did not desire the priests to take cognizance of a hidden disease, but only after the manifest symptoms had appeared: hence it will follow, that it is preposterous to bring secret sins to judgment, and that wretched men are dragged to their confession contrary to all law and justice. But, setting aside all these absurdities, an analogy must be observed between us and God’s ancient people. He of old forbade the external uncleanness of the flesh to be tolerated in His people. By Christ’s coming, the typical. figure has ceased; but we are taught that all uncleanness, whereby the purity of His services is defiled, is not to be cherished, or borne with amongst us. And surely excommunication answers to this ceremony; since by it the Church is purified, lest corruptions should everywhere assail it, if wicked and guilty persons occupied a place in it promiscuously with the good. The command of God that, whilst the disease was obscure and questionable, the infected person should be shut up for seven days, recommends moderation to us, lest any, who is still curable, should be condemned before his time. In fact, this medium is to be observed, that the judge should not be too remiss and hasty in pardoning, and still that he should temper severity by justice; and especially that he should not be too precipitate in his judgment. What we translate “shall pronounce him clean, or unclean,” is in Hebrew, “shall clean, or unclean him;” thus the dignity of the judgment is more fully established, as though it had proceeded from God Himself; and assuredly no medical skill could declare on the seventh day a leprosy to be incurable, respecting which there was doubt so short a time before, unless God should in some special manner discover the uncleanness, and guide the eyes of the priests by His Spirit.

29 If a man or woman. What is here spoken of is not the baldness which so often occurs in old age; but that loss of hair, which is the consequence of leprosy, is distinguished from any other, the cause of which may be some indisposition, and which yet does not pollute a man. But, inasmuch as some kinds of baldness do not so greatly differ at first sight from leprosy, — such, for instance, as ophiasis and alopecia 88     “Ophiasis, (ὀφιασις Gr.,) a disease, in which the hair grows thin, and falls off, leaving the parts smooth and winding like the folds of a serpent.”
   "Alopecia, (ἀλωπεκια of ἀλωπηξ, a fox, Gr., the fox-evil,) a disease called the scurf, when the hairs fall from the head by the roots.” — Bailey’s Dictionary.

   "These regulations will be better understood from the fact, that the Orientals distinguish two sorts of baldness. The first is that which begins from the forehead, and the other that which begins from behind. The Hebrew has a distinct name for each of these. By the Arabian poets also, the former is distinguished as the ‘noble baldness,’ because it generally proceeded from the wearing of a helmet; whilst the latter was stigmatized as ‘servile baldness.’ With this understanding, let us read the terms ‘bald’ קרח, (kareach) in verse 40, and ‘forehead-bald’ גבח (gibeach) in verse 41. (See Michaelis, iii. 285.)Illustrated Comment., in loco.
— it is therefore necessary to distinguish them.

44. He is a leprous man, he is unclean. In the first part of the verse he says that the leprous man must be counted unclean; but, in the latter part, he commands the priest to give sentence against this uncleanness, lest it should be carried into the congregation. On this ground he says, “his plague is upon his head,” which is as much as to say, that he is sentenced to just ignominy, for Moses takes it for granted that God holds up to public infamy whomsoever He smites with leprosy, and thence reminds them that they justly and deservedly bear this punishment.

The two following verses contain the form in which the sentence is executed, viz., that the man should wear a rent in his garment, which is to be the mark of his disgrace, that he should walk with his head bare, and with his mouth covered, (for this I take to be the meaning of the covering of his lip;) and besides this, that he is to be the proclaimer of his own pollution; finally, that he must dwell without the camp, as if banished from communication with men. Moses here 99     Add. Fr., “en parlant de l’oster du camp;” in speaking of putting him out of the camp. refers to the existing state of the people, as long as they sojourned in the desert; for after they began to inhabit the land, the lepers were driven out of the towns and villages to dwell by themselves. I know not whether the opinion of some is a sound one, that they were enjoined to cover the mouth or lip, lest by the infection of their breath they should injure others. My own view is rather, that because they were civilly dead, they also bore the symbol of death in having the face covered — as their separation deprived them of the ordinary life of men. Where we translate “shall cry, Unclean, unclean,” some, taking the verb, יקרא yikra, 1010     יקרא. He shall cry, or call out. Had it been passive it would have been יקרא There is, therefore, no ambiguity as to the voice, except to such as deny the authority of the points, or read Hebrew without them. — W indefinitely, construe it passively, “shall be called,:” and I admit that in many passages it has the same force as if it were in the plural number. But, because the repetition of the word “unclean” is emphatic, it is probable that the word is not to be taken simply for “to call,” (vocare;) and therefore, I rather incline to the opinion that, by the command of the Law, they warned all with their own mouth not to approach them, lest any one should incautiously pollute himself by touching them; although their uncleanness was perhaps proclaimed publicly, so that all might mutually exhort each other to beware And Jeremiah seems to allude to this passage, where, speaking 1111     Fr., “en parlant des pollutions de la ville de Jerusalem, il dit que tous pourront bien crier, ‘Souillez, retirez vous, retirez vous,’” in the speaking of the pollutions of the city of Jerusalem, he says, that all might well cry, “Ye polluted, depart ye, depart ye.” A. V. “It is unclean, (or Margin, ye polluted,) depart, depart,” etc. of the defilements of the city, he says that all men cried

"Unclean; fly ye, fly ye.” (Lamentations 4:15)

58. And the garment. This kind of disease, God, in his infinite clemency, has willed to be unknown to us. He has indeed subjected woolen garments and furs to the ravages of the moth, and vessels of various kinds to rust, and other corruptions; in fact, has surrounded the human race with rottenness, in order that everywhere our eyes should light on the punishment of sin; but what the leprosy of garments may be, is unknown. But its expiation under the Law admonished his ancient people that the must carefully beware of even external uncleanness, so as to cleanse themselves “from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.” It has appeared to me sufficient to touch upon the sum of the matter, because it would be almost superfluous labor to insist upon the words, although I should be unwilling to condemn the diligence of those who examine these points also; but it is not my purpose to perform the office of the grammarian.

« Prev Leviticus 13:1-59 Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection