Leviticus 13:29
If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard;
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(29) If a man or woman.—The fourth case, discussed in Leviticus 13:29-37, is leprosy on the head or chin. Cases where this distemper attacks first the hairy parts are not uncommon.

Leviticus 13:29. Upon the head or beard — Pliny tells us, that a kind of disease came into Italy in the middle of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, which commonly began in the chin, and was therefore called mentagra, and was so filthy, that any death was preferable to it. It was a foul tetter, scab, or scurf, not unlike a ring-worm, which, from the chin, often ran over the face, the neck, the breast, and the hands. Was not this similar to this plague of leprosy in the beard and head here spoken of? Bishop Patrick thinks it was. And Maimonides tells us that, in this sort of leprosy, the hair on the head or beard fell off by the roots, and the place of the hair remained bare.

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."And if the glossy spot continues unchanged and makes no advance in the skin, and is rather indistinct" (see the note at Leviticus 13:6), "it is the mark of the inflammation, and the priest shall pronounce him clean, for it is the (mere) hurt of inflammation." 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. No text from Poole on this verse.

If a man or a woman hath a plague upon the head or the beard. Any breaking out in those parts a swelling, scab, or spot, on a man's beard or on a woman's head; or on the head of either man or woman; or on a woman's beard, if she had any, as some have had though not common. If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard;
Leprosy in the hair of the head or face (29–37)

The treatment is similar to that in the preceding cases, but two periods of confinement are prescribed, and the hair is to be shaven after the first seven days.

Verses 29-37. - The method of discriminating between a leprous spot on the head or beard and an ulcer in the same place. The symptoms of leprosy are the same as before, except that the hairs in this case are of a reddish-yellow colour instead of white. The treatment is also the same, with the addition of shaving the head or beard except at the place where the suspicious spot has appeared. In verse 31 the priest is ordered to shut up (or bandage) the patient, if

(1) the spot be only in the upper cuticle, and

(2) there is no black hair in it.

We should have expected rather from the second condition if there be black hair in it, or if there be no yellow hair in it; and Keil accordingly proposes to omit the negative or to change the word "black" for "yellow," the two words in the original being easily interchangeable. The present reading is. however. defensible. The fact of the spot being not below the cuticle was a very favorable symptom; there being no black hair was a very unfavourable symptom. Under these circumstances, the priest delays his judgment in the ordinary way. Leviticus 13:29Leprosy upon the head or chin. - If the priest saw a mole upon the head or chin of a man or woman, the appearance of which was deeper than the skin, and on which the hair was yellow (צהב golden, reddish, fox-colour) and thin, he was to regard it as נתק. Leprosy on the head or chin is called נתק, probably from נתק to pluck or tear, from its plucking out the hair, or causing it to fall off; like κνήφη, the itch, from κνάω, to itch or scratch, and scabies, from scabere. But if he did not observe these two symptoms, if there was no depression of the skin, and the hair was black and not yellow, he was to shut up the person affected for seven days. In בּו אין שׁחר (Leviticus 13:31) there is certainly an error of the text: either שׁחר must be retained and אין dropped, or שׁהר must be altered into צהב, according to Leviticus 13:37. The latter is probably the better of the two.
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