And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,The leper was excluded not only from the sanctuary but from the camp. The ceremony of restoration which he had to undergo was therefore twofold. The first part, performed outside the camp, entitled him to come within and to mix with his brethren, Leviticus 14:3-9. The second part, performed in the court of the tabernacle and separated from the first by an interval of seven days, restored him to all the privileges of the covenant with Yahweh, Leviticus 14:10-32.
This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:
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;
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:These birds were provided by the priest for the man. They were not, like the offerings for the altar, brought by the man himself (compare Leviticus 14:4 with Leviticus 14:10), they were not presented nor brought near the sanctuary, nor was any portion of them offered on the altar.
Cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop - These three substances were used as the common materials in rites of purification (compare Exodus 12:22; Numbers 19:8; Psalm 51:7; Hebrews 9:19): the "cedar", or juniper, the resin or turpentine of which was a preservative against decay, and employed in medicines for elephantiasis and other skin diseases: the "scarlet", a "tongue," or band, of twice-dyed scarlet wool, with which the living bird, the hyssop, and the cedar wood were tied together when they were dipped into the blood and water: the color expressing the rosiness associated with health and vital energy: and the "hyssop" (see Exodus 12:22), probably the Caper plant, whose cleansing virtues as a medicine, and use in the treatment of ulcers and diseases of the skin allied to leprosy, were known to the ancients. It has been conjectured that the scarlet band was used to tie the hyssop upon the cedar, so as to make a sort of brush, such as would be convenient for sprinkling.
And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:Running water - literally, living water, i. e. water fresh from the spring Genesis 26:19; Numbers 19:17.
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:
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.Seven times - The seal of the covenant, expressed in the number seven (compare Leviticus 14:9), was renewed in sprinkling him who, during his leprosy, had lived as an outcast. The details of a restoration to health and freedom appear to be well expressed in the whole ceremony. Each of the birds represented the leper. They were to be of a clean kind, because they stood for one of the chosen race. The death-like state of the leper during his exclusion from the camp was expressed by killing one of the birds. The living bird was identified with the slain one by being dipped in his blood mixed with the spring water that figured the process of purification, while the cured leper was identified with the rite by having the same water and blood sprinkled over him. The bird then liberated was a sign that the leper left behind him all the symbols of the death disease and of the remedies associated with it, and was free to enjoy health and social freedom with his kind. Compare Colossians 2:12.
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.
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.The best of all types of the healing of the Spirit, was the healing of the leper. In his formal cleansing, consecration, and atonement by sacrifice (see the notes at Leviticus 14:9-20), the ministers of the sanctuary bore public witness that he was restored to the blessing of communion with his brethren and with Yahweh. Hence, when the Son of God proved His divine mission by healing the lepers Matthew 11:5, He did not excuse them from going to the priest to "offer for the cleansing those things which Moses commanded" Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14 "for a testimony to the people" Matthew 8:4.
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.Two young rams from one to three years old (not lambs), a ewe lamb in her first year (see Leviticus 12:6), three-tenth parts of an ephah (something over ten pints and a half) of fine flour mingled with oil, and a log (about half a pint; see Leviticus 19:35) of oil. The priest presented both the man and his offerings to Yahweh at the entrance of the tent of meeting. See Leviticus 1:3.
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:
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:This trespass-offering, with its blood and the oil, must be regarded as the main feature in the ceremony: no alteration being permitted even in the case of the poor Leviticus 14:21-23. There appears to be no other case in which an entire victim was waved (see Leviticus 7:30) before Yahweh. The Levites are spoken of as "a wave offering," Numbers 8:11-15 (see the margin). The man in this case, represented by his trespass-offering, was dedicated as a Wave-offering in like manner.
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:It is most holy - See Leviticus 6:25 note.
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:In the same way, and with the same significance as in Leviticus 8:23. It is said that a portion of the blood was caught by the priest in the palm of his hand as it ran from the victim.
And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand:
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:The sevenfold sprinkling of the oil before the sanctuary, in addition to the waving of it, seems to have been intended to consecrate it to represent the spiritual gift consequent upon the covenant, the sealing of which had been figured by the sacramental blood of the offering.
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:Him that is to be cleansed - Of him that has been cleansed. The significance of the act is similar to that in Leviticus 8:11, Leviticus 8:15.
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.
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:The cleansed leper was now in a position to avail himself of the accustomed law of sacrifice as one completely restored. The ewe lamb was now offered in his behalf as a sin-offering, one of the young rams as a burnt-offering, and the fine flour mingled with oil as a meat-offering.
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.
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;
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.
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.
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:
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:
And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:
And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD:
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:
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.
And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;
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.
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.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,This section is separated from that on leprosy in clothing Leviticus 13:47-59 with which it would seem to be naturally connected, and is placed last of all the laws concerning leprosy, probably on account of its being wholly prospective. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, the materials of their dwellings were of nearly the same nature as those of their clothing, and would be liable to the same sort of decay. They were therefore included under the same law.
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;
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:
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:
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;Hollow strakes ... - Rather, depressed spots of dark green or dark red, appearing beneath (the surface of) the wall.
Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days:
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;
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:
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:
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.
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;
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.
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.
Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even.
And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.
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.
And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:Cleanse the house - Strictly, "purge the house from sin." The same word is used in Leviticus 14:52; and in Leviticus 14:53 it is said, "and make an atonement for it." Such language is used figuratively when it is applied to things, not to persons. The leprosy in houses, the leprosy in clothing, and the terrible disease in the human body, were representative forms of decay which taught the lesson that all created things, in their own nature, are passing away, and are only maintained for their destined uses during an appointed period, by the power of Yahweh.
And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water:
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:
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:
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 is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,
And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,
And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:
To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.