Leviticus 14:1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Leviticus 14:2 This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:
Leviticus 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;
Leviticus 14:4 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:
Leviticus 14:5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:
Leviticus 14:6 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:
Leviticus 14:7 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.
Leviticus 14:8 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.
Leviticus 14:9 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.
This was not a fun chapter to read. It gives very detailed instructions as to how to make person or home clean again after a bout with leprosy—both for person and for home. When reading through these sections, it is important to remember that diseases are some of the consequences of sin. So often you hear people pose the question of why a loving God would allow people to suffer from disease or bad things to happen to good people. Sin has consequences. We live in a fallen or cursed world among sinful, wicked people. Even those whom we consider to be “good” are sinners. We are all sinners until we accept God’s precious gift of redemption in Jesus by faith. Only then can we claim God’s promise that He will use all things—even sickness and tragedy—to work for good in the lives of those that love Him.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This chapter opens with instructions concerning the confirmation that one has been healed from leprosy. The healed person is to be brought to the priest to a place outside the camp to inspect the individual. If pronounced clean, two living birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop are to be provided for the cleansing process. The rest of the process is outlined in verses 5-9. The NIV Commentary provided some good insight that I never would have gotten on my own.
“The ritual of cleansing a house in vv. 49-53 is so similar to the cleansing of a diseased person that the latter passage may be used to explain the former. Verse 52 makes it quite explicit that the fresh water was mingled with the small amount of blood of the slaughtered bird and used in the cleansing. When the bird was killed over the fresh water, its blood dripped into the water. The wording of vv. 51 and 53 is so similar to that of vv. 6-7 that we may use v. 52 to interpret the action of the earlier verses to include the fresh water also in the sprinkling. The live bird was identified with the blood of the dead bird so that both penalty for and removal of sin are symbolized (cf. 16:21-28).”
John Wesley’s notes include the following bit of insight: “Cedar seems to be chosen, to note that the leper was now freed from that corruption which his leprosy had brought upon him, that kind of wood being in a manner incorruptible.”
David Guzik pointed out that the shaving of all body hair was analogous to being born again as a newborn babe—getting a completely new start in life.
It’s significant to note that no instruction is given as to how to heal someone from leprosy. It was understood that only a miracle of God could bring about such healing. That is one of the reasons that the person with leprosy is recognized as a type of the sinner. Only God can save the sinner.
Leviticus 14:10 ¶ And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.
Leviticus 14:11 And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
Leviticus 14:12 And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD:
Leviticus 14:13 And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy:
Leviticus 14:14 And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:
Leviticus 14:15 And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand:
Leviticus 14:16 And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD:
Leviticus 14:17 And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering:
Leviticus 14:18 And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD.
Leviticus 14:19 And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:
Leviticus 14:20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.
This section details the offerings (detailed in previous chapters) that are to be made at the tabernacle on the 8th day of this process. The anointing mirrored that done in the consecration process of the priests (see chapter 8).
Leviticus 14:21 ¶ And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;
Leviticus 14:22 And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering.
Leviticus 14:23 And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD.
Leviticus 14:24 And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD:
Leviticus 14:25 And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:
Leviticus 14:26 And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:
Leviticus 14:27 And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD:
Leviticus 14:28 And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering:
Leviticus 14:29 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.
Leviticus 14:30 And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;
Leviticus 14:31 Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.
Leviticus 14:32 This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.
In this section provision is made for the poor person. We are reminded that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus is for everyone despite their social standing.
Leviticus 14:33 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Leviticus 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;
Leviticus 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:
Leviticus 14:36 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:
Leviticus 14:37 And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;
Leviticus 14:38 Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days:
Leviticus 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;
Leviticus 14:40 Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city:
Leviticus 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:
Leviticus 14:42 And they shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other morter, and shall plaister the house.
Leviticus 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 plaistered;
Leviticus 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.
Leviticus 14:45 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.
Leviticus 14:46 Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even.
Leviticus 14:47 And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.
Leviticus 14:48 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.
Leviticus 14:49 And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
Leviticus 14:50 And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water:
Leviticus 14:51 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:
Leviticus 14:52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:
Leviticus 14:53 But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.
This section addresses what to do if plague is found in a house as evidenced by walls that become discolored. Every attempt is made to salvage the home. If the plague persists in spite of all efforts to eliminate it, the house is to be taken apart piece by piece and carried outside the city to a spot designated as a dumping ground for unclean things. Note that even the person that goes into the house while it is unclean is affected and must wash his clothes. This tells me that God wants us to be careful about the environment in which we choose to place ourselves. We are to be careful to avoid the places that will place our fellowship with God in jeopardy.
Leviticus 14:54 ¶ This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,
Leviticus 14:55 And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,
Leviticus 14:56 And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:
Leviticus 14:57 To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.
This concludes the teaching concerning the laws pertaining to leprosy. Verse 57 points out that the main point is understanding how to identify what is clean and what is unclean.
With the Bible as our mirror, the Christian should be able to look at his life and know when he is doing things that make him “unclean” and cause him to break fellowship with the Lord and when he is doing things that are “clean” and promote a growing fellowship and intimacy with the Lord.