Leviticus 14:6
As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:
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(6) And shall dip them and the living bird.—With the crimson thread the priest tied together lengthwise the bundle of hyssop and the cedar wood, extended about them the wings and the tail of the living bird, and then dipped all the four in the mixture of blood and water which was in the earthen vessel.

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.Running water - literally, living water, i. e. water fresh from the spring Genesis 26:19; Numbers 19:17. 5-9. the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed … over running water—As the blood of a single bird would not have been sufficient to immerse the body of another bird, it was mingled with spring water to increase the quantity necessary for the appointed sprinklings, which were to be repeated seven times, denoting a complete purification. (See 2Ki 5:10; Ps 51:2; Mt 8:4; Lu 5:14). The living bird being then set free, in token of the leper's release from quarantine, the priest pronounced him clean; and this official declaration was made with all solemnity, in order that the mind of the leper might be duly impressed with a sense of the divine goodness, and that others might be satisfied they might safely hold intercourse with him. Several other purifications had to be gone through during a series of seven days, and the whole process had to be repeated on the seventh, ere he was allowed to re-enter the camp. The circumstance of a priest being employed seems to imply that instruction suitable to the newly recovered leper would be given, and that the symbolical ceremonies used in the process of cleansing leprosy would be explained. How far they were then understood we cannot tell. But we can trace some instructive analogies between the leprosy and the disease of sin, and between the rites observed in the process of cleansing leprosy and the provisions of the Gospel. The chief of these analogies is that as it was only when a leper exhibited a certain change of state that orders were given by the priest for a sacrifice, so a sinner must be in the exercise of faith and penitence ere the benefits of the gospel remedy can be enjoyed by him. The slain bird and the bird let loose are supposed to typify, the one the death, and the other the resurrection of Christ; while the sprinklings on him that had been leprous typified the requirements which led a believer to cleanse himself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and to perfect his holiness in the fear of the Lord. No text from Poole on this verse.

As for the living bird, he shall take it,.... And dispose of it as after directed; for there was an use for that:

and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop; which were all bound up in one bundle, but whether the living bird was joined to them is a question; according to Jarchi they were separate, the bird by itself, and the cedar wood, &c. by themselves; they were neither bound together nor dipped together; and Ben Gersom is very distinct and expressive; we learn from hence, says he, that three were bound up in one bundle, but the living bird was not comprehended in that bundle; but according to the Misnah (c) they were all joined together, for there it is said, he (the priest) takes the cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop, and rolls them up with the rest of the scarlet thread, and joins to them the extreme parts of the wings and of the tail of the second bird and dips them; and this seems best to agree with the text, as follows:

and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water; that is, into the blood of it as mixed with the running water in the earthen vessel, which together made a sufficient quantity for all these to be dipped into it; whether separately, first the living bird, and then the cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop, or all together: the bird that was kept alive was a type of Christ, who as a divine Person always alive, and ever will; he is the living God, and impassable: the dipping of this living bird in the blood of the slain one denotes the union of the two natures in Christ, divine and human, and which union remained at the death of Christ; and also shows that the virtue of Christ's blood arises from his being the living God: the dipping of the cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop, into the same blood, signifies the exercise of the several graces of the Spirit upon Christ, as crucified and slain, and their dealing with his blood for pardon and cleansing, as faith and hope do, and from whence love receives fresh ardour and rigour.

(c) Ebr. Concord. part. 64. No. 318. & Bartenora in ib.

As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:
Verse 6. - As for the living bird, he shall take it. The wings and tail of the bird were extended, and in this position it was dipped into the blood and water in the earthenware dish, and with it, the bunch made up of cedar, hyssop, and scarlet wool. Leviticus 14:6The priest was to have one of the birds killed into an earthen vessel upon fresh water (water drawn from a fountain or brook, Leviticus 15:13; Genesis 26:19), that is to say, slain in such a manner that its blood should flow into the fresh water which was in a vessel, and should mix with it. He was then to take the (other) live bird, together with the cedar-wood, scarlet, and hyssop, and dip them (these accompaniments) along with the bird into the blood of the one which had been killed over the water. With this the person cured of leprosy was to be sprinkled seven times (see Leviticus 4:6) and purified; after which the living bird was to be "let loose upon the face of the field," i.e., to be allowed to fly away into the open country. The two birds were symbols of the person to be cleansed. The one let loose into the open country is regarded by all the commentators as a symbolical representation of the fact, that the former leper was now imbued with new vital energy, and released from the fetters of his disease, and could now return in liberty again into the fellowship of his countrymen. But if this is established, the other must also be a symbol of the leper; and just as in the second the essential point in the symbol was its escape to the open country, in the first the main point must have been its death. Not, however, in this sense, that it was a figurative representation of the previous condition of the leper; but that, although it was no true sacrifice, since there was no sprinkling of blood in connection with it, its bloody death was intended to show that the leper would necessarily have suffered death on account of his uncleanness, which reached to the very foundation of his life, if the mercy of God had not delivered him from this punishment of sin, and restored to him the full power and vigour of life again. The restitution of this full and vigorous life was secured to him symbolically, by his being sprinkled with the blood of the bird which was killed in is stead. But because his liability to death had assumed a bodily form in the uncleanness of leprosy, he was sprinkled not only with blood, but with the flowing water of purification into which the blood had flowed, and was thus purified from his mortal uncleanness. Whereas one of the birds, however, had to lay down its life, and shed its blood for the person to be cleansed, the other was made into a symbol of the person to be cleansed by being bathed in the mixture of blood and water; and its release, to return to its fellows and into its nest, represented his deliverance from the ban of death which rested upon leprosy, and his return to the fellowship of his own nation. This signification of the rite serves to explain not only the appointment of birds for the purpose, since free unfettered movement in all directions could not be more fittingly represented by anything than by birds, which are distinguished from all other animals by their freedom and rapidity of motion, but also the necessity for their being alive and clean, viz., to set forth the renewal of life and purification; also the addition of cedar-wood, scarlet wool, and hyssop, by which the life-giving power of the blood mixed with living (spring) water was to be still further strengthened. The cedar-wood, on account of its antiseptic qualities (ἔχει ἄσηπτον ἡ κέδρος, Theodor. on Ezekiel 17:22), was a symbol of the continuance of life; the coccus colour, a symbol of freshness of life, or fulness of vital energy; and the hyssop (βοτάνη ῥυπτική, herba humilis, medicinalis, purgandis pulmonibus apta: August. on Psalm 51), a symbol of purification from the corruption of death. The sprinkling was performed seven times, because it referred to a readmission into the covenant, the stamp of which was seven; and it was made with a mixture of blood and fresh water, the blood signifying life, the water purification.
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