And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)With hollow strakes, greenish or reddish.—If the house is really leprous, the priest on inspecting it will find in the walls the same three symptoms which are visible in the skin of leprous human beings: (1) hollow strakes, or, rather, deep cavities or depressions, which the ancient canons define as a depression deeper than the rest of the wall, being the same symptom as in man (see Leviticus 13:3); (2) a greenish or (3) a reddish spot, which were the second and third symptoms of leprosy in men and garments. (Comp. Leviticus 13:49.) According to the canons which obtained during the second Temple, the size of this discoloured spot on the wall had to be that of two beans.Leviticus 14:37. In the walls of the house — This, it seems, was an extraordinary judgment of God peculiar to this people, either as a punishment of their sins, which were much more aggravated and inexcusable than the sins of other nations; or as a special help to repentance, which God afforded them above other people; or as a token of the mischievous nature of sin, typified by leprosy, which did not only destroy persons, but their habitations also. Hollow streaks — Such as were in the bodies of leprous persons.In the walls of the house this was an extraordinary judgment of God peculiar to this people, either as a punishment of their sins, which were much more sinful and inexcusable than the sins of other nations; or as a special mean and help to repentance, which God afforded to them above other people; or as a document of the mischievous nature of sin, typified by leprosy, which did not only destroy persons, but their habitations also: see Zechariah 5:4.
With hollow strakes, such as were in the bodies of leprous persons, Leviticus 13:3.
and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house; for there it chiefly was, if not solely; and from hence Gersom infers that it must be a walled house, and that it must have four walls, neither more nor fewer; and with this agrees the Misnah (l), according to which it must be four square; the signs of which were, when it appeared:
with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall: these signs agree with the other signs before given of leprosy in men and garments; the first, the hollow strakes, which are explained by being lower in appearance than the wall, a sort of corrosion or eating into it, which made cavities in it, answer to the plague being deeper than the skin of the flesh in men; and the colours greenish or reddish, or exceeding green or red, as Gersom, are the same with those of the leprosy in clothes; and some such like appearances are in saltpetre walls, or in walls eaten by saline and nitrous particles; and also by sulphureous, oily, and arsenical ones, as Scheuchzer observes (m), and are not only tending to ruin, but unhealthful, as if they had rather been eaten by a canker or spreading ulcer; who also speaks of a fossil, called in the German language "steingalla", that is, the gall of stones, by which they are easily eaten into, because of the vitriolic salt of the fire stone, which for the most part goes along with that mineral, which is dissolved by the moist air. Though this leprosy, in the walls of a house, seems not to have risen from any natural causes, but was from the immediate hand of God; and there have been strange diseases, which have produced uncommon effects on houses, and other things: in the times of Narses is said to be a great plague, especially in the province of Liguria, and on a sudden appeared certain marks and prints on houses, doors, vessels, and clothes, which, if they attempted to wash off, appeared more and more (n).And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow streaks, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 14:21-32.
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