Leviticus 14-15 Weirdest law award goes to the Jews

From Leviticus 14-15

03 Leviticus SacrificeI enjoyed today’s reading. On closer inspection this passage I found quite provocative. Its the instructions for the cleansing of a person who had a skin disease.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

[14:1] The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [2] “This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, [3] and the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, (Lev 14.1-3)

03 Leper outside Camp

You may remember from yesterday’s post, lepers were required to live outside the camp. The priest (who Ive drawn in the centre of the camp with the tent of meeting) has to go outside the camp because the leper can’t go inside the camp.

[4] the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds and cedarwood and scarlet yarn and hyssop. (Lev 14.4)

03 ingredients

[5] And the priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthenware vessel over fresh water. (Lev 14.5)

03 Bird killed

[6] He shall take the live bird with the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. (Lev 14.6)

03 Dip ingredients

[7] And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed of the leprous disease. Then he shall pronounce him clean and shall let the living bird go into the open field. (Lev 14.7)

03 Pronounced clean

[8] And 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. (Lev 14.8a)

03 Shave and bathe

And after that he may come into the camp, but live outside his tent seven days. (Lev 14.8b)

03 Leper inside Camp

[9] And on the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair, and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean. (Lev 14.9)

03 Shave and bathe

[10] “And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish, and a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, and one log of oil. (Lev 14.10)

03 lamb

[11] And the priest who cleanses him shall set the man who is to be cleansed and these things before the LORD, at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

[12] And the priest shall take one of the male lambs and offer it for a guilt offering,

along with the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. (Lev 14.11-12)


[13] And he shall kill the lamb in the place where they kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the place of the sanctuary. For the guilt offering, like the sin offering, belongs to the priest; it is most holy. (Lev 14.13)

03 lamb and oil

[14] The priest shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and the priest shall put it on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. (Lev 14.14)

03 blood body stuff

[15] Then the priest shall take some of the log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand [16] and dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand and sprinkle some oil with his finger seven times before the LORD. (Lev 14.15-16)

03 Priest before the LORD

[17] And some of the oil that remains in his hand the priest shall put on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. (Lev 14.17)

03 body stuff

[18] And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed. (Lev 14.18)

03 Oil on the head

Then the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD.

[19] The priest shall offer the sin offering, to make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. And afterward he shall kill the burnt offering. [20] And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. (Lev 14.19-20a)

03 Blood and fire

Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean. (Lev 14:20b)

03 All inside

The person who had the skin disease can live inside the camp now.

Story of Jesus

I might just quote a few relevant passages in my mind which speak to this. They are;

Jesus’ definition of what is truly unclean.

[14] And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: [15] There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” (Mk 7:14-15)

A comment of Peter’s in the Jerusalem council;

[10] Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? (Acts 15:10)

Paul’s statement that states Gentiles don’t have to live by the Jewish cleanliness laws which were part of the ‘works of law’. But the Jewish believers are free to keep observing them.

[28] For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. [29] Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, [30] since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. [31] Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (Rom 3:28-31)

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.