Leviticus 13:5
And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more:
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(5) And the priest shall look on him.—If at the end of a week there is no alteration in the symptoms, the case must be adjourned for another seven days. The same priest who inspected it at the first must examine it again, as another one could not tell whether it has spread or not. If the priest died in the interim, or was taken ill, another priest could examine the patient, but could not pronounce him unclean. If the seventh day happened to be a Sabbath or feast day, the case had to be put off to the following day.

If the plague in his sight be at a stay.—Better, if the plagued spot remain the same in its colour, that is, if the suspicious spot which caused the individual to be shut up had not altered its complexion. The expression here translated “sight” is the same which is rightly rendered by “colour” in the Authorised Version in Leviticus 13:55 of this very chapter. (Comp. also Numbers 11:7.) It will thus be seen that though the affected spot had not spread, still it retained its unhealthy and suspicious complexion.

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?And the plague spread not - Rather, advance not, so as to show that the disease is under the cuticle and assuming the symptoms of Leviticus 13:3. 3-6. the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh, &c.—The leprosy, as covering the person with a white, scaly scurf, has always been accounted an offensive blemish rather than a serious malady in the East, unless when it assumed its less common and malignant forms. When a Hebrew priest, after a careful inspection, discovered under the cutaneous blemish the distinctive signs of contagious leprosy, the person was immediately pronounced unclean, and is supposed to have been sent out of the camp to a lazaretto provided for that purpose. If the symptoms appeared to be doubtful, he ordered the person to be kept in domestic confinement for seven days, when he was subjected to a second examination; and if during the previous week the eruption had subsided or appeared to be harmless, he was instantly discharged. But if the eruption continued unabated and still doubtful, he was put under surveillance another week; at the end of which the character of the disorder never failed to manifest itself, and he was either doomed to perpetual exclusion from society or allowed to go at large. A person who had thus been detained on suspicion, when at length set at liberty, was obliged to "wash his clothes," as having been tainted by ceremonial pollution; and the purification through which he was required to go was, in the spirit of the Mosaic dispensation, symbolical of that inward purity it was instituted to promote. If the plague be at a stay: this translation is justified by the following clause, which is added to explain it. Otherwise the words are and may be rendered thus, stand or abide in its own colour; the Hebrew word being used for colour as well as for sight.

And the priest shall look on him the seventh day,.... In the day, and not in the night, as Maimonides, but not on the seventh day, if it happened to be on the sabbath (f), then it was put off till after it; and, according to the Jewish canons (g), they do not look upon plagues in the morning, nor in the evening, nor in the middle of a house, nor on a cloudy day, nor at noon, but at the fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth hours:

and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay; it appears to the priest, according to the strictest view he can take of it, that it is in the same state and condition it was, neither better nor worse:

and the plague spread not in the skin: is not greater or larger than it was, though not less:

then the priest shall shut him up seven days more; such abundant care was taken, lest after all it should prove a leprosy.

(f) Misn. Negaim, c. 1. sect. 4. (g) Misn. ib. c. 2. sect. 2.

And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more:
5. If the plague (i.e. the rising described in Leviticus 13:2) has not spread (the Heb. verb occurs only in chs. 13, 14), he is to be shut up another seven days, and if the spot then appears dull (the Heb. word in this sense is confined to the two chs.; it is applied to the eye becoming dim through age, 1 Samuel 3:2), and there is no sign of its spreading, the priest shall pronounce him clean.

Leviticus 13:5But 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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