Leviticus 14:39
And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(39, 40) And the priest shall come again.—If on inspecting it again at the end of the first week’s quarantine, the priest finds that the depression or discolouring has spread in the walls, thus indicating the progress of the disease, just as in the case of leprous men and garments (see Leviticus 13:5), he is to order the affected stones which exhibit these symptoms to be pulled out of the walls, and to be cast into the unclean receptacle which was prepared outside every city for carcases and filth of every kind, just as there was outside the city a clean place for the deposition of the ashes of the sanctuary. (See Leviticus 4:11.) It will be seen that out of the eight verbs used in Leviticus 14:40-42 in connection with the removing of the affected stones and the constitution of new ones, the scraping, and the plaistering, six are in the plural: viz., they shall take, they shall cast (Leviticus 14:40); they shall pour out, they shall scrape off (Leviticus 14:41); they shall take, they shall put them (Leviticus 14:42); and two are in the singular: viz., he shall take other mortar, he shall plaister (Leviticus 14:42). From this the authorities during the second Temple concluded, and hence enacted, that if the affected stones are in a partition wall which divides two houses occupied by two different owners, both alike must take part in the first six acts, whilst the new mortaring and the plaistering must be done by the owner of the affected house alone.

14:33-53 The leprosy in a house is unaccountable to us, as well as the leprosy in a garment; but now sin, where that reigns in a house, is a plague there, as it is in a heart. Masters of families should be aware, and afraid of the first appearance of sin in their families, and put it away, whatever it is. If the leprosy is got into the house, the infected part must be taken out. If it remain in the house, the whole must be pulled down. The owner had better be without a dwelling, than live in one that was infected. The leprosy of sin ruins families and churches. Thus sin is so interwoven with the human body, that it must be taken down by death.Hollow strakes ... - Rather, depressed spots of dark green or dark red, appearing beneath (the surface of) the wall.34-48. leprosy in a house—This law was prospective, not to come into operation till the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan. The words, "I put the leprosy," has led many to think that this plague was a judicial infliction from heaven for the sins of the owner; while others do not regard it in this light, it being common in Scripture to represent God as doing that which He only permits in His providence to be done. Assuming it to have been a natural disease, a new difficulty arises as to whether we are to consider that the house had become infected by the contagion of leprous occupiers; or that the leprosy was in the house itself. It is evident that the latter was the true state of the case, from the furniture being removed out of it on the first suspicion of disease on the walls. Some have supposed that the name of leprosy was analogically applied to it by the Hebrews, as we speak of cancer in trees when they exhibit corrosive effects similar to what the disease so named produces on the human body; while others have pronounced it a mural efflorescence or species of mildew on the wall apt to be produced in very damp situations, and which was followed by effects so injurious to health as well as to the stability of a house, particularly in warm countries, as to demand the attention of a legislator. Moses enjoined the priests to follow the same course and during the same period of time for ascertaining the true character of this disease as in human leprosy. If found leprous, the infected parts were to be removed. If afterwards there appeared a risk of the contagion spreading, the house was to be destroyed altogether and the materials removed to a distance. The stones were probably rough, unhewn stones, built up without cement in the manner now frequently used in fences and plastered over, or else laid in mortar. The oldest examples of architecture are of this character. The very same thing has to be done still with houses infected with mural salt. The stones covered with the nitrous incrustation must be removed, and if the infected wall is suffered to remain, it must be plastered all over anew. No text from Poole on this verse. And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look,.... On the seventh day from his shutting of it up, he shall open it again, go into it, and observe in what condition it is:

and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house: the hollow strakes are become deeper, or the coloured spots are become larger: spreading was always a sign of leprosy, both in the bodies of men, and in garments.

And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
The law concerning the leprosy of houses was made known to Moses and Aaron, as intended for the time when Israel should have taken possession of Canaan and dwell in houses. As it was Jehovah who gave His people the land for a possession, so "putting the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of their possession" is also ascribed to Him (Leviticus 14:34), inasmuch as He held it over them, to remind the inhabitants of the house that they owed not only their bodies but also their dwelling-places to the Lord, and that they were to sanctify these to Him. By this expression, "I put," the view which Knobel still regards as probable, viz., that the house-leprosy was only the transmission of human leprosy to the walls of the houses, is completely overthrown; not to mention the fact, that throughout the whole description there is not the slightest hint of any such transmission, but the inhabitants, on the contrary, are spoken of as clean, i.e., free from leprosy, and only those who went into the house, or slept in the house after it had been shut up as suspicious, are pronounced unclean (Leviticus 14:46, Leviticus 14:47), though even they are not said to have been affected with leprosy. The only thing that can be gathered from the signs mentioned in Leviticus 14:37 is, that the house-leprosy was an evil which calls to mind "the vegetable formations and braid-like structures that are found on mouldering walls and decaying walls, and which eat into them so as to produce a slight depression in the surface."

(Note: Cf. Sommer (p. 220), who says, "The crust of many of these lichens is so marvellously thin, that they simply appear as coloured spots, for the most part circular, which gradually spread in a concentric form, and can be rubbed off like dust. Some species have a striking resemblance to eruptions upon the skin. There is one genus called spiloma (spots); and another very numerous genus bears the name of lepraria.")

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