And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white…
And the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. In the Hebrew commonwealth:
1. There were those who were reasonably suspected of leprosy, i.e., of "uncleanness."
2. It was a matter of the gravest consequence to know whether these suspicions were well founded or not. For ascertained leprosy meant unfitness to approach God in worship, exclusion from the fellowship of his people, etc.
3. It was the function of the priest to decide positively in the matter. The priest was to "look on him, and pronounce him unclean," or, on the other hand, to rule that he was clean (verse 6). In every commonwealth today, in the whole human world -
I. THERE ARE THOSE REASONABLY SUSPECTED OF SIN. These are not the few exceptions; they are the multitude without exception (Psalm 14:23).
II. IT IS A MATTER OF THE GRAVEST CONSEQUENCE TO KNOW WHETHER WE ARE SINFUL OR NOT. For sin means
(1) unlikeness to God;
(2) separation from God;
(3) condemnation by God, both here and hereafter;
(4) exclusion from the home of the holy. Hence we must ask -
III. WHO ARE THEY ON WHOM THIS GREAT DECISION IS DEVOLVED. It rests with no human priest to decide on our state before God. Our own heart must condemn us if we are to have that conviction of sift which leads to contrition for sin and to "repentance and remission of sin."
1. God will be our Divine Helper. He helps us to a right conclusion by his informing Word and by his illuminating Spirit.
2. Our fellow-men will be human helpers; they will guide us to an understanding of the Word of the Lord, and, directed by their own experience, will lead us to judge truly concerning our spiritual condition. Their aid will be ministerial, not authoritative.
3. We ourselves must decide in the last resort. This is one of those grave matters in which "every man must bear his own burden." We must recognize, with the eyes of our own soul, the signs and tokens of guilt in our heart and life. It must be the deliberate utterance of our own judgment, as well as the sigh of our own spirit, and the cry of our own lips, "I have sinned against the Lord ;" "Unclean, unclean!" When we look at our inner selves as well as outer life; when we consider what we have left undone of all our obligations, as well as what we have done that has been forbidden; when we contrast our hearts and lives with the precepts of God's holy Law and the ideal of human perfection in the example of our sinless Saviour; we shall have no hesitation in concluding that we are "utterly unclean," that we deserve exclusion from the friendship of God and the fellowship of the holy, and that it is our heavenly wisdom to seek at once his blessed presence who will say to us, "Wilt thou be made whole?" and to gain at once the touch of his mighty hand who, in answer to our earnest prayer, will respond by saying, I will; be thou clean." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.
WEB: and the priest shall examine the plague in the skin of the body: and if the hair in the plague has turned white, and the appearance of the plague is deeper than the body's skin, it is the plague of leprosy; and the priest shall examine him, and pronounce him unclean.