Leviticus 14

Leviticus 14 continues with the laws around leprosy.  In this chapter, God instructs the priests on how to cleanse someone that has recovered from the disease.  That certainly didn’t happen all the time, but it obviously did on occasion.  “This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing”.  Oh what a great day that had to be for one who has been living outside the camp since the disease infected them.  They’ve been away from their family and home for some time, and now they are ready to re-enter the camp.

The priest went out of the camp to the place the person was staying to do an inspection.  Once it appeared the person was clean, the priest would begin the process of restoring the person to the community.  “He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean”.  There was quite a process to go through – from washing all his clothing to shaving the hair off his body.  He still had to wait seven days – sort of an in between stage – where the person lived outside his tent until one final inspection.

Of course there were offerings that were part of the cleansing, and the priests were deeply involved in the entire process.  This chapter addresses one more job that the priests had – that of being home inspectors.  God told them that some homes might be impacted with leprosy, and it was their job to get everyone out when the head of the house came and told them, and determine if the disease had infected the house.  So they really had a varied set of things they needed to take care of as priests.

When notified, the priest would to visit the house.  “Then the priest shall command that they empty the house before the priest goes to examine the disease….the priest shall go in to see the house…. if the disease has not spread in the house after the house was plastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean”.  This is one nasty disease that not only impacted people, but also could affect garments and even houses.  So the priest had to be very versed in health and disease management.

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