Leviticus 13:10
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;
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(10) If the rising be white.—If the distemper actually returns, one of two symptoms indicates it. A white rising will be noticed in the skin, which changes the black hair into white. The white hair only then indicates the disorder when it co-exists with the white rising or swelling which produced it. If the original white swelling, which discoloured the hair, disappears, and a fresh white swelling forms itself around the existing white hair, it is no indication of uncleanness.

And there be quick raw flesh in the rising.—Rather, or if there be, or and likewise if there be, &c. This clause gives the second of the two symptoms, either of which indicates the return of the disorder. According to the administrators of the law during the second Temple, the phrase here translated “quick raw flesh” in the Authorised Version, which literally means “the quickening of live flesh,” denotes “sound flesh,” or a spot in the flesh assuming the appearance of life after it had been paled by the whiteness which overspread the whole surface. The size of this spot of live flesh, which indicated the disease and made the patient unclean, had to be at least that of a lentil. This rendering is given by the LXX,, the Chaldee, &c. An insulated spot of sound flesh in the midst of a tubercle was considered a sign of the fretting and consuming progress which the disease made in the surrounding flesh.

13:1-17 The plague of leprosy was an uncleanness, rather than a disease. Christ is said to cleanse lepers, not to cure them. Common as the leprosy was among the Hebrews, during and after their residence in Egypt, we have no reason to believe that it was known among them before. Their distressed state and employment in that land must have rendered them liable to disease. But it was a plague often inflicted immediately by the hand of God. Miriam's leprosy, and Gehazi's, and king Uzziah's, were punishments of particular sins; no marvel there was care taken to distinguish it from a common distemper. The judgment of it was referred to the priests. And it was a figure of the moral pollutions of men's minds by sin, which is the leprosy of the soul, defiling to the conscience, and from which Christ alone can cleanse. The priest could only convict the leper, (by the law is the knowledge of sin,) but Christ can cure the sinner, he can take away sin. It is a work of great importance, but of great difficulty, to judge of our spiritual state. We all have cause to suspect ourselves, being conscious of sores and spots; but whether clean or unclean is the question. As there were certain marks by which to know it was leprosy, so there are marks of such as are in the gall of bitterness. The priest must take time in making his judgment. This teaches all, both ministers and people, not to be hasty in censures, nor to judge anything before the time. If some men's sins go before unto judgment, the sins of others follow after, and so do men's good works. If the person suspected were found to be clean, yet he must wash his clothes, because there had been ground for the suspicion. We have need to be washed in the blood of Christ from our spots, though not leprosy spots; for who can say, I am pure from sin?If the rising be white - Or, If there be a white rising. The term very probably denotes the white Bulla or patch of Anaesthetic elephantiasis when it has re-appeared.

Quick raw flesh in the rising - The margin gives the literal rendering. The symptom here noted exhibits a more advanced stage of the disease. The expression might denote an ulcer or open sore with "proud flesh" appearing in it.

9-37. if the rising be white—This BRIGHT WHITE leprosy is the most malignant and inveterate of all the varieties the disease exhibits, and it was marked by the following distinctive signs: A glossy white and spreading scale, upon an elevated base, the elevation depressed in the middle, but without a change of color; the black hair on the patches participating in the whiteness, and the scaly patches themselves perpetually enlarging their boundary. Several of these characteristics, taken separately, belong to other blemishes of the skin as well; so that none of them was to be taken alone, and it was only when the whole of them concurred that the Jewish priest, in his capacity of physician, was to pronounce the disease a malignant leprosy. If it spread over the entire frame without producing any ulceration, it lost its contagious power by degrees; or, in other words, it ran through its course and exhausted itself. In that case, there being no longer any fear of further evil, either to the individual himself or to the community, the patient was declared clean by the priest, while the dry scales were yet upon him, and restored to society. If, on the contrary, the patches ulcerated and quick or fungous flesh sprang up in them, the purulent matter of which, if brought into contact with the skin of other persons, would be taken into the constitution by means of absorbent vessels, the priest was at once to pronounce it an inveterate leprosy. A temporary confinement was them declared to be totally unnecessary, and he was regarded as unclean for life [Dr. Good]. Other skin affections, which had a tendency to terminate in leprosy, though they were not decided symptoms when alone, were: "a boil" (Le 13:18-23); "a hot burning,"—that is, a fiery inflammation or carbuncle (Le 13:24-28); and "a dry scall" (Le 13:29-37), when the leprosy was distinguished by being deeper than the skin and the hair became thin and yellow. If the rising be white, to wit, with a preternatural and extraordinary whiteness, as Numbers 12:10. And there be; or rather, or, the copulative put for the disjunctive, as hath been noted before; for either of these were signs of a leprosy, and one of these may seem inconsistent with the other; the former sign of white hair supposing the skin in which the hair was to remain, and the latter of live flesh supposing the skin to be consumed by the leprosy.

Quick raw flesh showed that this was not a superficial leprosy, but one of a deeper and more malignant nature, that had eaten into the very flesh, for which cause it is in the next verse called an old, or inveterate, or grown leprosy. And the priest shall see him,.... Look at him, and closely and narrowly inspect and examine his case:

and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin; this is another appearance of the leprosy; the preceding were a bright spot, and the scab of it; but this a rising or white swelling in the skin, as white as pure wool, as the Targum of Jonathan:

and it have turned the hair white; to the whiteness of an egg shell, or the film of it, as the same Targum; that is, hath turned the hair of another colour, into white which was before black:

and there be quick raw flesh in the rising, or swelling; or "the quickening" or "quickness of live flesh" (l) either such as we call proud flesh, which looks raw and red; or sound flesh, live flesh being opposed to that which is mortified and putrid; and so Jarchi renders it by "saniment", a French word for "soundness": and the Septuagint version, in this and all other places where the word is used, renders it "sound": this clause may be considered disjunctively, as by Gersom, "or there be quick raw flesh"; for either the hair turning white, or quick raw flesh, one or the other, and one without the other was a sign of leprosy, so Jarchi observes; even this is a sign of uncleanness, the white hair without the quick flesh, and the quick flesh without the white hair: this may seem strange that quick and sound flesh should be a sign of the leprosy and its uncleanness; though it should be observed, it is such as is in the rising or swelling: and in things spiritual, it is a bad sign when men are proud of themselves and have confidence in the flesh; when in their own opinion they are whole and sound, and need no physician; when they trust in themselves that they are righteous, and boast of and have their dependence on their own works; he appears to be in the best state and frame that cried out as David did, that there is "no soundness in his flesh", Psalm 38:3.

(l) "vivacitas carnis vivae", Montanus, Vatablus.

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;
But if the bright spot was white upon the skin, and its appearance was not deeper than the skin, and the place therefore was not sunken, nor the hair turned white, the priest was to shut up the leper, i.e., preclude him from intercourse with other men, for seven days, and on the seventh day examine him again. If he then found that the mole still stood, i.e., remained unaltered, "in his eyes," or in his view, that it had not spread any further, he was to shut him up for seven days more. And if, on further examination upon the seventh day, he found that the mole had become paler, had lost its brilliant whiteness, and had not spread, he was to declare him clean, for it was a scurf, i.e., a mere skin eruption, and not true leprosy. The person who had been pronounced clean, however, was to wash his clothes, to change himself from even the appearance of leprosy, and then to be clean.
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