Today's passage: Leviticus 13
- Chapters 13 and 14 give instruction on what to do concerning leprosy (Skin diseases). Chapter 13 deals with the diseases and what to do when the disease is present. Chapter 14 gives law for what to do once the disease has been healed.
- The word used for these diseases has historically been “leprosy.” However, a number of different diseases may be in view here. Furthermore, what is often referred to as leprosy today is actually a condition that would not have been present in this time in Israel. With all this in mind, it's hard to know all the diseases which were included in what is called “leprosy” in the Old Testament Law.
- Here's a helpful article from Answers in Genesis.
- When the leprosy (or the “disease”) was in people's clothing, this was likely a mold or fungus.
- From the ESV Study Bible notes; being declared unclean “requires such persons to live outside the camp until they are free of their disease, and to present a sacrifice as part of a cleansing ceremony. Modern readers should not confuse this kind of “uncleanness” with “under God's condemnation,” nor even with “excluded from the love of the community”: the purpose of this law is to prevent what is unclean from coming into contact with what is holy (a contact that would be dangerous for the unclean person and for the whole community).”
Questions to consider:
- How were the priests serving the well-being of the people in these laws? What was their task? Why would it have made sense for the priests to carry out these laws in that day and age?
- In what way was the leprous person loving his neighbor as himself by being obedient to these laws (In the same way a person with a terrible stomach flu loves his neighbors by staying home from work or school)?
- How did Jesus show his divinity and love with the leprous man in Matthew 8:1-4?