Leviticus 14:1
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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(1) And the Lord spake unto Moses.—The regulations for the purification of the leper are delivered to Moses alone, who is to communicate them to Aaron and his sons, whilst the rules by which the distemper is to be discerned were given both to Moses and Aaron. (See Leviticus 13:1.) The reason for this is probably that Moses was designed by God as the great law-giver and teacher of the priesthood as well as of the laity.



Leviticus 14:1 - Leviticus 14:7

The whole treatment of leprosy is parabolic. Leprosy itself is a ‘parable of death.’ The horrible loathsomeness, the contagiousness, the non-curableness, etc. So the man was shut out from camp and from sanctuary. There was a double process in the cleansing rite, restoring to each.

I. Sketch the ceremonial. Two birds, one slain over a vessel of water so that its blood drained in. Then the living bird was to be dipped into this water and blood, along with cedar, scarlet, and hyssop, and the man sprinkled seven times and the living bird set loose.

II. The significance. This elaborate symbolism was partly intelligible even then. Two birds, like the two goats on the Atonement Day. Did both in some sense symbolise the man? The first one was not exactly a sacrifice. Its death points to the physical death which was the end of the disease, but also in some sense its death symbolised the death by which cleansing was secured.

{a} The purifying water is made by blood added to it, i.e. cleansing by sacrifice.

‘By water and by blood.’

{b} The sevenfold sprinkling. The cedar, symbol of incorruptibility; the scarlet, of full vital energy; the hyssop, of purifying. So the thought was suggested of the communication of cleansing, full health and incorruption, undecaying strength; all physical contrasts to leprosy sevenfold.

{c} The free, glad activity. The freed bird. The restored leper.Leviticus 14:1. The priests having been instructed in the foregoing chapter how to judge of the leprosy, are here directed concerning the kinds and manner of those sacrifices and ceremonies which were requisite for the legal purification of the leper, after the priest judged him to be healed, in order that he might be readmitted to the civil and religious privileges of the Jewish community.14:1-9 The priests could not cleanse the lepers; but when the Lord removed the plague, various rules were to be observed in admitting them again to the ordinances of God, and the society of his people. They represent many duties and exercises of truly repenting sinners, and the duties of ministers respecting them. If we apply this to the spiritual leprosy of sin, it intimates that when we withdraw from those who walk disorderly, we must not count them as enemies, but admonish them as brethren. And also that when God by his grace has brought to repentance, they ought with tenderness and joy, and sincere affection, to be received again. Care should always be taken that sinners may not be encouraged, nor penitents discouraged. If it were found that the leprosy was healed, the priest must declare it with the particular solemnities here described. The two birds, one killed, and the other dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed, and then let loose, may signify Christ shedding his blood for sinners, and rising and ascending into heaven. The priest having pronounced the leper clean from the disease, he must make himself clean from all remains of it. Thus those who have comfort of the remission of their sins, must with care and caution cleanse themselves from sins; for every one that has this hope in him, will be concerned to purify himself.The leper was excluded not only from the sanctuary but from the camp. The ceremony of restoration which he had to undergo was therefore twofold. The first part, performed outside the camp, entitled him to come within and to mix with his brethren, Leviticus 14:3-9. The second part, performed in the court of the tabernacle and separated from the first by an interval of seven days, restored him to all the privileges of the covenant with Yahweh, Leviticus 14:10-32. CHAPTER 14

Le 14:1-57. The Rites and Sacrifices in Cleansing of the Leper.Rites and sacrifices for the cleansing of a leper; the leprosy being healed, and judged so by the priest, who, going without the camp, must take two living clean birds, &c. The manner of it: one to be slain, the other to be let loose, Leviticus 14:1-9. On the eighth day two male lambs and one ewe lamb, and meat-offering, Leviticus 14:10-20. If poor, Leviticus 14:21-32. Of the leprosy of houses, how to be known, Leviticus 14:33-48. The manner of cleansing them, Leviticus 14:49-53. A repetition of this and the former chapter, Leviticus 14:54-57.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... In order to deliver the same to Aaron, who, and the priests his successors, were chiefly to be concerned in the execution of the law given:


as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
The purification of the leper (ch. Leviticus 14:1-32)

The ceremonies to be observed are of two kinds:

(1)  before the leper is brought into the camp,

(a)  by the priest (Leviticus 14:2-7),

(b)  by the leper (Leviticus 14:8),

  (2)  after the leper is readmitted to the camp, but remaining outside his tent seven days,

(c)  by the leper on the seventh day (Leviticus 14:9),

(d)  the sacrificial ritual on the eighth day (Leviticus 14:10-20),

(e)  modification for the poor leper (Leviticus 14:21-32).

The leper was regarded (1) as one dead (see on Leviticus 13:45 f.), (2) as unclean, (3) as smitten of God: hence the ceremonial indicated (1) restoration to life, (2) removal of uncleanness, (3) readmission to God’s presence.

(1) is thought to represent the older rite, while Leviticus 14:14-20 are later, giving more detail and laying greater stress on religious motives.

THE FORM OF PURIFICATION OF THE LEPER (Leviticus 14:1-32). This is the most minute of all the forms of purification, those for purification from contact with a dead body (Numbers 19) and for the cleansing of a defiled Nazarite (Numbers 6) being alone to be compared with it in this respect. Some purifications were accomplished, as we have seen, in a very summary manner: one who touched the carcass of a beast that had died a natural death had only to wash his clothes (Leviticus 11:40). The greater and more significative the defilement, the more careful and the more significative must be the cleansing. Leprous uncleanness excluded the leper both from the camp and from the sanctuary, from the rights both of citizen. ship and of Church-membership, with which the rights of the family were also associated; consequently there had to be a double form of restoration, each with its special ceremonies. The manner of the first reconciliation is detailed in verses 1-8, of the second in verses 9-32. If the mole had not spread during the seven days, the priest was to cause the fabric in which the mole appeared to be washed, and then shut it up for seven days more. If the mole did not alter its appearance after being washed, even though it had not spread, the fabric was unclean, and was therefore to be burned. "It is a corroding in the back and front" (of the fabric of leather). פּחתת, from פּחת, in Syriac fodit, from which comes פּחת a pit, lit., a digging: here a corroding depression. קרחת a bald place in the front or right side, גּבּחת a bald place in the back or left side of the fabric or leather.
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