Reading through the Bible: day 46

Leviticus 13 -14

Laws for leprosy

Chapters 13 and 14 are quite long, so for your sakes I’ve only done them today.

These chapters seem to exclusively cover laws for leprosy. Leprosy in the Bible is a generic term for skin ailments, which can be confusing for modern readers who think of the actual ailment known as leprosy.

Instructions for identifying whether the diseases were infections or not are given and what should be done about it. Essentially no cure is given, whatever the problem was, it would have to run its cycle. The solution was exclusively to protect the community, and thus people were quarantined.

Chapter 14 covers a whole lot of ritual, and it would be easy to make the mistake that this was seen as a cure. 14:3 makes it clear that the ritual came after recovery, and was not part of the recovery, but part of the person being declared clean. The release of the bloody pigeon seems to have some symbolism beyond the redemptive power of Christ’s blood, since it isn’t found in other rituals. When the person was found to be cured, the release of the dove may have signified that the stigma and memory of the problem should also be released. This would bear importance to us (should it be the case), since once we have given our lives to Christ, the onus is on us (with the aid of Christ) to release the uncleanliness of sin in our lives.

I will reiterate what I said yesterday, that being ill or pregnant is not sinful, but are situations that require some kind of sterilisation, which resembles what Christ’s sacrifice does for us.

What are your thoughts?

Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading the Bible.


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