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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Leviticus

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Leviticus 14: Cleansings

 

Part A: Cleansing after skin healing

v.1-3 The Process begins by checking the skin infection

v.8,9 A Process to show a thorough outward cleansing

v.10,11 The Cleansed Person brought with three offerings

v.12-18 The Guilt Offering Presented

v.19-20 The three further offerings to be presented

v.21,22 Options for Poor People

v.23-29 Offering the Guilt Offering

v.30-32 Offering Birds

Part B: Cleansing Mould

v.33-36 Preparing House for Inspection (in the Land)

v.37,38 House Shut for a week for serious mould

v.39-41 Removal of contaminated stones & materials

v.42-45 Remedial Actions

v.46,47 Uncleanness from usage

v.48-53 Physical & Spirit Cleansing

v.54-67 Summary

 

 

v.1-3 The Process begins by checking the skin infection

 

v.1 The Lord said to Moses,

v.2 “These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest:

v.3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them .

 

[Notes: The first half of this chapter is about restoring the previously infected person to the community of God's people and into God's presence.]

 

 

If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease, [ The Hebrew word for defiling skin disease, traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verses 7, 32, 54 and 57. ]

v.4 the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed.

v.5 Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot.

v.6 He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water.

v.7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the defiling disease, and then pronounce them clean. After that, he is to release the live bird in the open fields.

 

[Notes: The key is IF they have been healed. This is a procedure that is sufficiently detailed as to show a ritual speaking of cleansing and restoration.]

 

 

v.8,9 A Process to show a thorough outward cleansing

 

v.8 “The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days.

v.9 On the seventh day they must shave off all their hair; they must shave their head, their beard, their eyebrows and the rest of their hair. They must wash their clothes and bathe themselves with water, and they will be clean.

 

[Notes: The clothes and the person themselves are to be thoroughly washed to be acceptable to the community, but only after having ‘camped out' for seven days.]

 

 

v.10,11 The Cleansed Person brought with three offerings

 

v.10 Three lambs presented

v.10 On the eighth day they must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with 11 pounds [5k] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, and about 1/3 quart [0.3 l] of oil.

v.11 One lamb acts as a substitute to take the disease and be cleansed

v.11 The priest who pronounces them clean shall present both the one [the person] to be cleansed and their offerings before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

 

[Notes: The process continues when the person is healed and starts with three lambs.]

 

 

v.12-18 The Guilt Offering Presented

 

v.12 One of the lambs offered as a Guilt Offering

v.12 “Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with 1/3 quart [0.3 l]; of oil; he shall wave them before the Lord as a wave offering.

v.13 To be slaughtered by the bronze altar, part to be given to the priest

v.13 He is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary area where the sin offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy.

v.14 Blood dabbed on the extremities of the cleaned person

v.14 The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.

v.15-18 Oil used in the procedure

v.15 The priest shall then take some of the 1/3 quart [0.3 l] of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand,

v.16 dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the Lord seven times.

v.17 The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering.

v.18 The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for them before the Lord .

 

[Notes: The first ram is offered as a guilt offering – to acknowledge there has been a problem to be dealt with that incapacitated the person spiritually. Blood (sign of life having been given) and oil (sign of the presence of God) are applied. The use of the word ‘atonement' here means being cleansed and put right [made whole] before God.]

 

 

v.19-20 The Three further offerings to be presented

 

v.19 “Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from their uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering

v.20 and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering , and make atonement for them, and they will be clean.

 

[Notes: The sin offering puts right before God, the burnt offering acknowledges desire to be one with God and pleasing to Him, and the grain offering adds to that, the desire to be reinstated into fruitfulness within the community.]

 

 

v.21,22 Options for Poor People

 

v.21 “If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with about 3.5lb [1.6k] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, 1/3 quart [0.3 l] of oil,

v.22 and two doves or two young pigeons, such as they can afford , one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.

 

[Notes: If the person is poor and cannot afford three sheep, then they can offer one sheep and two birds.]

 

 

v.23-29 Offering the Guilt Offering

 

v.23 “On the eighth day they must bring them for their cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord.

v.24 The priest is to take the lamb for the guilt offering, together with 1/3 quart [0.3 l] of oil, and wave them before the Lord as a wave offering.

v.25 He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.

v.26 The priest is to pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand,

v.27 and with his right forefinger sprinkle some of the oil from his palm seven times before the Lord .

v.28 Some of the oil in his palm he is to put on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.

v.29 The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for them before the Lord .

 

[Notes: The procedure for the poor person laid out with the one lamb.]

 

 

v.30-32 Offering Birds

 

v.30 Then he shall sacrifice the doves or the young pigeons, such as the person can afford,

v.31 one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. In this way the priest will make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.”

v.32 These are the regulations for anyone who has a defiling skin disease and who cannot afford the regular offerings for their cleansing.

 

[Notes: The two birds act as sin offering and burnt offering as before.]

 

 

v.33-36 Preparing House for Inspection (in the Land)

 

v.33 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,

v.34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mould in a house in that land,

v.35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mould in my house.'

v.36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mould, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.

 

[Notes: Turning to the question of mould, the Lord prepares them for when they enter the Promised Land. If mould occurs in a house, empty it, before the priest inspects it.]

 

 

v.37,38 House Shut for a week for serious mould

 

v.37 He is to examine the mould on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall,

v.38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days.

 

[Notes: If this looks like serious mould, shut up the house and see what it does over the next week.]

 

 

v.39-41 Removal of contaminated stones & materials

 

v.39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mold has spread on the walls,

v.40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town.

v.41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town.

 

[Notes: If the mould has continued. initially at least, just remove the contaminated stones and plaster.]

 

 

v.42-45 Remedial Actions

 

v.42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.

v.43 “If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered,

v.44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean.

v.45 It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.

 

[Notes: New stones and plaster can then be put in to replace the ones removed. If the mould persists the house is to be demolished.]

 

 

v.46,47 Uncleanness from usage

 

v.46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening.

v.47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash their clothes.

 

[Notes: No one may inhabit the house without becoming unclean while it is closed up.]

 

 

v.48-53 Physical & Spirit Cleansing

 

v.48  “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mold has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the defiling mold is gone.

v.49 To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop.

v.50 He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot.

v.51 Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times.

v.52 He shall purify the house with the bird's blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn.

v.53 Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”

 

[Notes: Here is a ceremony that recognises the agreement that the house has been cleansed.]

 

  

v.54-67 Summary

 

v.54 These are the regulations for any defiling skin disease, for a sore,

v.55 for defiling molds in fabric or in a house,

v.56 and for a swelling, a rash or a shiny spot,

v.57 to determine when something is clean or unclean.

These are the regulations for defiling skin diseases and defiling molds.

 

[Notes: Summarizing what the last two chapters have covered.]

       

       

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 15