|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:18-44 The priest is told what judgment to make, if there were any appearance of a leprosy in old sores; and such is the danger of those who having escaped the pollutions of the world are again entangled therein. Or, in a burn by accident, ver. 24. The burning of strife and contention often occasions the rising and breaking out of that corruption, which proves that men are unclean. Human life lies exposed to many grievances. With what troops of diseases are we beset on every side; and thy all entered by sin! If the constitution be healthy, and the body lively and easy, we are bound to glorify God with our bodies. Particular note was taken of the leprosy, if in the head. If the leprosy of sin has seized the head; if the judgment be corrupted, and wicked principles, which support wicked practices, are embraced, it is utter uncleanness, from which few are cleansed. Soundness in the faith keeps leprosy from the head.
Verses 38, 39. - The method of discriminating between leprous spots and freckled spots. In case the spots in the skin of theft flesh be darkish white; that is, of a dull or pale white, then it is only a freckled spot that groweth in the skin. This is "the harmless bohak (ἀλφός, LXX.), which did not defile, and which even the Arabs, who still call it bahak, consider harmless. It is an eruption upon the skin, appearing in somewhat elevated spots or rings of unequal sizes and a pale white colour, which do not change the hair; it causes no inconvenience, and lasts from two months to two years" (Keil). The man or woman who has this is clean.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If a man also, or a woman,.... One or the other, for the law concerning leprosy respecteth both:
have in the skin of their flesh bright spots; and them only; not any rising or swelling, nor scab, nor scall, nor boil, nor burning, only bright spots, a sort of freckles or morphew:
even white bright spots; these, Ben Gersom observes, are white spots, but not plagues; and which were in whiteness inferior to the four species of the plague of leprosy, the white spot, the white swelling, and the scab of each.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
38, 39. If a man … or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots—This modification of the leprosy is distinguished by a dull white color, and it is entirely a cutaneous disorder, never injuring the constitution. It is described as not penetrating below the skin of the flesh and as not rendering necessary an exclusion from society. It is evident, then, that this common form of leprosy is not contagious; otherwise Moses would have prescribed as strict a quarantine in this as in the other cases. And hereby we see the great superiority of the Mosaic law (which so accurately distinguished the characteristics of the leprosy and preserved to society the services of those who were laboring under the uncontagious forms of the disease) over the customs and regulations of Eastern countries in the present day, where all lepers are indiscriminately proscribed and are avoided as unfit for free intercourse with their fellow men.
Leviticus 13:38 Parallel Commentaries
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