Leviticus 13:48
Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woolen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Leviticus 13:48. In the warp or woof — A learned man renders it, in the outside, or in the inside of it. If the signification of these words be doubtful now, as some of those concerning the living creatures and precious stones are confessed to be, it is not material to us, this law being abolished; it sufficeth that the Jews understood these things by frequent experience.13:47-59 The garment suspected to be tainted with leprosy was not to be burned immediately. If, upon search, it was found that there was a leprous spot, it must be burned, or at least that part of it. If it proved to be free, it must be washed, and then might be used. This also sets forth the great evil there is in sin. It not only defiles the sinner's conscience, but it brings a stain upon all he has and all that he does. And those who make their clothes servants to their pride and lust, may see them thereby tainted with leprosy. But the robes of righteousness never fret, nor are moth-eaten.Rather, "And the clothing in which there is a stroke of leprosy, whether the stroke is in clothing of wool or in clothing of linen; or in yarn for warp or in yarn for woof, either for linen clothing or for woolen clothing; or in a skin of leather or in any article made of leather." 47-59. The garment … that the … leprosy is in—It is well known that infectious diseases, such as scarlet fever, measles, the plague, are latently imbibed and carried by the clothes. But the language of this passage clearly indicates a disease to which clothes themselves were subject, and which was followed by effects on them analogous to those which malignant leprosy produces on the human body—for similar regulations were made for the rigid inspection of suspected garments by a priest as for the examination of a leprous person. It has long been conjectured and recently ascertained by the use of a lens, that the leprous condition of swine is produced by myriads of minute insects engendered in their skin; and regarding all leprosy as of the same nature, it is thought that this affords a sufficient reason for the injunction in the Mosaic law to destroy the clothes in which the disease, after careful observation, seemed to manifest itself. Clothes are sometimes seen contaminated by this disease in the West Indies and the southern parts of America [Whitlaw, Code of Health]; and it may be presumed that, as the Hebrews were living in the desert where they had not the convenience of frequent changes and washing, the clothes they wore and the skin mats on which they lay, would be apt to breed infectious vermin, which, being settled in the stuff, would imperceptibly gnaw it and leave stains similar to those described by Moses. It is well known that the wool of sheep dying of disease, if it had not been shorn from the animal while living, and also skins, if not thoroughly prepared by scouring, are liable to the effects described in this passage. The stains are described as of a greenish or reddish color, according, perhaps, to the color or nature of the ingredients used in preparing them; for acids convert blue vegetable colors into red and alkalis change then into green [Brown]. It appears, then, that the leprosy, though sometimes inflicted as a miraculous judgment (Nu 12:10; 2Ki 5:27) was a natural disease, which is known in Eastern countries still; while the rules prescribed by the Hebrew legislator for distinguishing the true character and varieties of the disease and which are far superior to the method of treatment now followed in those regions, show the divine wisdom by which he was guided. Doubtless the origin of the disease is owing to some latent causes in nature; and perhaps a more extended acquaintance with the archæology of Egypt and the natural history of the adjacent countries, may confirm the opinion that leprosy results from noxious insects or a putrid fermentation. But whatever the origin or cause of the disease, the laws enacted by divine authority regarding it, while they pointed in the first instance to sanitary ends, were at the same time intended, by stimulating to carefulness against ceremonial defilement, to foster a spirit of religious fear and inward purity. In the warp, or woof; a learned man renders it, in the outside, or in the inside of it. If the signification of these words be doubtful or unknown now, as some of those of the living creatures and precious stones are confessed to be, it is not material to us, this law being abolished; it sufficeth that the Jews understood these things by frequent experience. Whether it be in the warp, or woof, of linen, or of woollen,.... When these are woven and mixed together, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to judge whether the plague of leprosy was in the one or in the other; one would think it should be unavoidably in both; wherefore Castalio renders the words, whether "in the outer part of it, or in the inner"; in the outside or inside, or what we call the right side or the wrong side of the cloth: but to me it seems that the warp and woof, whether of linen or woollen, are here distinguished not only from garments made of them, but from the cloth itself, of which they are made, and even to be considered before they are wrought together in the loom; and, according to the Jews, when upon the spindle (m):

whether in a skin, or anything made of skin; that is, whether in unwrought skin, which is not made up in anything, or in anything that is made of skins, as tents, bottles, &c. but skins of fishes, according to the Jewish traditions, are excepted; for so they say (n), sea skins, i.e. skins of fishes, are not defiled by plagues (of leprosy); for which the commentators (o) give this reason, that as wool and linen are of things which grow out of the earth, so must the skins be; that is, of such animals as live by grass, that springs out of the earth; but if anything was joined unto them, which grew out of the earth, though but a thread, that received uncleanness, it was defiled.

(m) Misn. Negaim, c. 11. sect. 8. (n) Misn. Negaim, c. 11. sect. 1.((o) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Edait, c. 7. sect. 8.

Whether it be in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of woolen; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
48. whether it be in warp, or woof] The LXX. and other versions translate thus; another suggestion is that different ways of working up the material are meant (so R.V. mg.).Verse 48. - Whether it be in the warp, or woof. It is hardly possible that such a fault as leprosy or mildew could appear in one set of the threads without affecting the others, provided that both were equally good when they were made up into the cloth; but it is quite possible that a heap of yarn, used either for the warp or for the woof, might have been injuriously affected before it was woven, and then the fault would naturally make its appearance where the mischief had been originally done. Whether in a skin, or in anything made of skin. An example of the first would be a sheepskin cloak; the second would designate anything made of leather. But if a white reddish mole was formed upon the bald place before or behind, it was leprosy breaking out upon it, and was to be recognised by the fact that the rising of the mole had the appearance of leprosy on the skin of the body. In that case the person was unclean, and to be pronounced so by the priest. "On his head is his plague of leprosy," i.e., he has it in his head.
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