Richard Agee

Leviticus 13: Leprosy of the soul

Richard AgeeIn Leviticus 10, Aharon (Aaron) and his sons were ordained as priests. In Leviticus 11-12, they are charged with teaching the people of God to distinguish holy from unholy, “clean” from “unclean.” Once we have been taught by our High Priest, Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ), about what is holy and clean, we need to live in that truth. From this we learn how holiness can be just skin-deep if the heart doesn’t change.

Leprosy in this passage is not just one condition. Leprosy is an overarching term for various skin diseases in both humans and articles of clothing. It includes instructions on how priests were to pronounce a diagnosis of boils, burns and other skin conditions.

There are “white” or “bright spots.” There are also other kinds of spots. These are various contagious diseases. 

Some of these quarantines or isolation periods could last as long as three weeks, the person is examined in periods of seven days, which brings to mind the current Ebola crisis in which the WHO recommends a 21-day quarantine from the last known date of potential exposure to the disease. 

In Lev. 13:14-17, some translations call it “raw flesh” but a more accurate translation of this phrase would be “living tissue” or “healthy tissue.” If after the boil or “leprosy” disappears, healthy skin comes up, the person is in recovery and clean. 

During most of these examinations, even during the “quarantine” or isolation, the person was not utterly isolated from family and friends. Most of these conditions do not appear to be permanent or permanently contagious. 

Lev. 13:42-46 describes a type of leprosy or skin disease that is highly contagious. The quarantine called for here is not a temporary quarantine for the purpose of diagnosis or healing but a permanent quarantine. 

Lev. 13:47 to the end of the chapter describes different “leprosy” that can be found in linen, wool or leather garments. The leather can come from any clean animal, including sheep, goat and cattle. 

What does this have to do with God? It looks like it’s all about people. Why does God want us to this? 

Think about the diseases that go deeper than the skin. The deeper the disease, the more serious it has to be treated. More work has to be done to heal the disease. 

We’ll continue our examination of this issue next week as Leviticus 14 continues the discussion.

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.

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