Leviticus 13:21
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:
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(21) But if the priest.—In the absence, however, of these two symptoms, the patient is to be put in quarantine for one week only.

Leviticus 13:21-24. Dark — Or, and be contracted. A plague — Or, the plague of leprosy, of which he is speaking. A hot burning — A burning of fire, by the touch of any hot iron, or burning coals, which naturally makes an ulcer or sore in which the following spot is.

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.Lower than the skin - Rather, reaching below the scarf skin. 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. But be somewhat dark, or, and be contracted; of which Leviticus 13:6.

But if the priest look on it,.... Upon a person in a like case as first described, having had a boil, and that healed, and afterwards a white swelling, or a bright spot in the place of it:

and, behold, there be no white hairs therein; not two hairs turned white, as Gersom interprets it:

and if it be not lower than the skin; the bright spot not lower than the skin; not having got into the flesh, only skin deep: the Targum of Jonathan is, not lower in whiteness than the skin; for the bright spot is described as white, and so the rising or swelling, Leviticus 13:19,

but be somewhat dark; or rather "contracted"; to which spreading is opposed in the next verse; See Gill on Leviticus 13:6,

then the priest shall shut him up seven days; to wait and see whether it will spread or not: a boil and burning, the Jews say, make a man unclean in one week, and by two signs, the white hair, and the spreading; by the white hair, both at the beginning and at the end of the week after dismission, and by spreading at the end of the week after it (q).

(q) Misn. Negaim, c. 3. sect. 4.

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:
Leviticus 13:21But if the hair had not turned white upon the spot, and there was no depression on the skin, and it (the spot) was pale, the priest was to shut him up for seven days. If the mole spread upon the skin during this period, it was leprosy; but if the spot stood in its place, and had not spread, it was השּׁחין צרבת, "the closing of the abscess:" literally "the burning;" here, that part of the skin or flesh which has been burnt up or killed by the inflammation or abscess, and gradually falls off as scurf (Knobel).
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