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Leviticus 14-16

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Leviticus Chapter 14

Although many simply look at them as rituals, the Levitical laws of health and hygiene were based upon natural and scientific principles that are still in use today. People with an infectious disease were kept separate during the time, however long, that they were capable of infecting others. The result was that the strictly-enforced health laws prevented epidemics (note that the term "leprosy" was used to describe various infectious diseases, as well as the disease itself that is commonly known by that name).

The Tabernacle

"The Lord said to Moses, "This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest; and the priest shall go out of The Camp, and the priest shall make an examination." (Leviticus 14:1-3 RSV)

"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 [see also The Origin of Baptism]; and after that he shall come into the camp, but shall dwell outside his tent seven days." (Leviticus 14:8 RSV)

That same principle was applied to mildew (note that the laws were looking forward as well; they didn't even have houses or cities yet - they were living in tents).

"If the disease breaks out again in the house, after he has taken out the stones and scraped the house and plastered it, then the priest shall go and look; and if the disease has spread in the house, it is a malignant leprosy in the house; it is unclean. And he shall break down the house, its stones and timber and all the plaster of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city to an unclean place." (Leviticus 14:43-45 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 15

Some historians are of the belief that plumbers have saved more lives than doctors, simply by providing clean water and effective waste disposal. At any rate, clean water and proper disposal were well-known to the people of Bible History - those who obeyed The Lord's Laws, that is.

Fresh Water

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this is the law of his uncleanness for a discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped from discharge, it is uncleanness in him.

Every bed on which he who has the discharge lies shall be unclean; and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And any one who touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whoever sits on anything on which he who has the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

And whoever touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

And if he who has the discharge spits on one who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

And any saddle on which he who has the discharge rides shall be unclean. And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening; and he who carries such a thing shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

Any one whom he that has the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening." (Leviticus 15:1-11 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 16

The Levitical high priest was a foreshadow, a living symbol, of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Once per year, on the Day of Atonement, a ceremony involving two goats was done (see the Fact Finder question below).

Passover In Egypt The sacrificed goat, that represented the coming Messiah, whose blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant (see Christ's Mercy Seat):

"Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat; thus he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleannesses." (Leviticus 16:15-16 RSV)

The "scapegoat" which was put away into the wilderness (see The Devil Goat):

"And when he has made an end of atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness." (Leviticus 26:20-22 RSV)

Fact Finder: What was done on the Day of Atonement as it looked forward to Christ? What did Christ do to fulfill the Day of Atonement?
See Christ's Day Of Atonement


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