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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Leviticus Chapter 14

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1445-1444 BC)
Overview: A Handbook for the Priests and Levites (c 1-27)
Theme: Worshipping a Holy God (c 1-17)
Message: Purification After Leprosy  (v 1-56)

Leviticus 14 Commentary

(14:1-11) Presenting Yourselves - Those wanting to be purified after recovering from a skin disease had to present themselves before the priest at the entrance to the tabernacle. There the priest would offer the appropriate sacrifices, and the individuals would be declared ceremonially clean. In the New Testament, after Jesus healed a man with leprosy, he instructed him to present himself to the priest to be examined. He also told him to bring the appropriate offering in accordance with this passage (see Mark 1:40-44). Jesus hadn't yet died for the sins of the world, so he was bridging the gap between the old covenant and the new covenant (see the note on 13:47-59). As a rabbi, he was following the laws of the old covenant. As the Son of God, he was able to heal the man's leprosy. As our new High Priest, he is able to declare us healed and clean from sin and its contagiousness, which leads to death.

(14:34-35) Containing Leprosy - Could leprosy really infect someone's clothing or house? The Hebrew word for leprosy could refer to a variety of skin diseases as well as other molds and fungi. The "leprosy" found on clothing or house walls was more like a fungus--mold or mildew. Why was mildew so dangerous? It could spread rapidly and would make clothing or a house either unsound or a health risk for anyone associated with it. It was therefore important to check its spread as soon as possible. In extreme cases, if a fungus had done enough damage, the clothing was burned or the house destroyed. These specific cleansing procedures designated for affected clothing and buildings were fully required by the law (14:44:57).

(14:34) Cleansing Your Home - These instructions for purifying a house contaminated with mildew (which could lead to a contagious disease) would not be followed for over 40 years. After the giving of these laws, the Israelites wandered in the desert and did not own any homes. Yet these instructions were carefully preserved as something important for their future. Similarly, we might struggle to see the point of certain passages of Scripture when we are younger only to find them enormously helpful when we are older.

(14:54:57) Preventing Infection - God told the Israelites how to diagnose leprosy so they could avoid it or treat it. These laws were given for the people's health and protection. They helped the Israelites avoid diseases that were serious threats in that time and place. Although they wouldn't have known the medical reasons for some of these laws, their obedience to them made them healthier. Although many of God's laws must have seemed strange to the Israelites, these laws helped them avoid not only physical contamination but also moral and spiritual infection. The Word of God still provides a pattern for physically, spiritually, and morally healthy living. We may not always understand the wisdom of God's laws, but if we obey them, we
will thrive. Does this mean we are to follow the Old Testament health and dietary restrictions? In general, the basic principles of health and cleanliness are still healthful practices, but it would
be legalistic, if not wrong, to adhere to each specific restriction today. Some of these regulations were intended to mark the Israelites as different from the wicked people around them. Others
were given to prevent God's people from becoming involved in pagan religious practices, one of the most serious problems of the day. Still others related to quarantines in a culture where
an exact medical diagnosis was impossible. Today, for example, physicians can diagnose the different forms of leprosy, and they know which ones are contagious. Treatment methods have
greatly improved, and quarantine for leprosy is no longer necessary.

 

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Repentant Heart

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 14 and in today's text we see much of the Lord in this book of Leviticus which is a Priest's instructions from God for handling the sacrifices. Yesterday we looked at the disease of Leprosy and how it pictures sin as a contagious disease which can be spread to us when we don't take precautions to stay far away from its temptation. Today we see the process of showing oneself to the priest when cleansed of this disease of Leprosy by the Lord. In making application we are reminded that Lord cleanses us from sin when we come to him in the attitude of repentance. It is not our works that save us but the Lord when we present ourselves to him with a repentant Heart and receive His free pardon of sin that Christ paid when he died on the Cross. How about you? Have you come come to the Lord humbly with a repentant heart receiving the sacrifice that Christ paid on Calvary? Let us learn from today's text which reminds us that salvation is from the Lord and we can receive it when we come to Him with a repentant heart.  

 

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Leviticus 14

Leviticus 14

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 2This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:

 3And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;

 4Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

 5And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

 6As 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:

 7And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

 8And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.

 9But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean.

 10And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.

 11And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

 12And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD:

 13And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest's, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy:

 14And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

 15And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand:

 16And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD:

 17And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering:

 18And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD.

 19And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:

 20And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

 21And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;

 22And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering.

 23And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD.

 24And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD:

 25And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

 26And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:

 27And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD:

 28And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering:

 29And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.

 30And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;

 31Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.

 32This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.

 33And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

 34When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession;

 35And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house:

 36Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house:

 37And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;

 38Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days:

 39And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house;

 40Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city:

 41And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place:

 42And they shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other morter, and shall plaister the house.

 43And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and after it is plaistered;

 44Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house; it is unclean.

 45And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the morter of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place.

 46Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even.

 47And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.

 48And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plaistered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed.

 49And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

 50And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water:

 51And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:

 52And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:

 53But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.

 54This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,

 55And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,

 56And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:

 57To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.