By July 6, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Leviticus 13: The Law of Skin Diseases, Texts and Traditions, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ktav Publishing House, Hoboken NJ, 1998.

The Hebrew Bible
In addition to tending to the sacrificial offerings, priests also had a medical function. They were entrusted with the examination of persons and objects for the possibility of injection with zara‘at, a contagious disease here translated “leprosy,” which could infect people, leather, fabrics, and plaster or mud-covered bricks. Those affected were declared “impure” and had to be quarantined until the disease healed, or, if it never did, the person so affected had to live outside the camp permanently.

13-1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying-

2 When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling, a rash, or a discoloration, and it develops into a scaly affection on the skin of his body, it shall be reported to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons, the priests. 3 The priest shall examine the affection on the skin of his body- if hair in the affected patch has turned white and the affection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a leprous affection; when the priest sees it, he shall pronounce him unclean. 4 But if it is a white discoloration on the skin of his body which does not appear to be deeper than the skin and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall iso1ate the affected person for seven days. 5 On the seventh day the priest shall examine him, and if the affection has remained unchanged in color and the disease has not spread on the skin, the priest shall isolate him for another seven days. 6 On the seventh day the priest shall examine him again- if the affection has faded and has not spread on the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean. It is a rash; he shall wash his clothes, and he shall be clean. 7 But if the rash should spread on the skin after he has presented himself to the priest and been pronounced clean, he shall present himself again to the priest. 8 And if the priest sees that the rash has spread on the skin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is leprosy….

45 As for the person with a leprous affection, his clothes shall be rent, his head shall be left bare, and he shall cover over his upper lip; and he shall call out, “Unclean! Unclean!” 46 He shall be unclean as long as the disease is on him. Being unclean, he shall dwell apart; his dwelling shall be outside the camp….

Posted in: Exodus

Post a Comment