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Daily Bible Reading (daily) February 1
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Leviticus 14:1--16:34

Context
Purification of Diseased Skin Infections

14:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 14:2 “This is the law of the diseased person on the day of his purification, when 1  he is brought to the priest. 2  14:3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine the infection. 3  If the infection of the diseased person has been healed, 4  14:4 then the priest will command that two live clean birds, a piece of cedar wood, a scrap of crimson fabric, 5  and some twigs of hyssop 6  be taken up 7  for the one being cleansed. 8  14:5 The priest will then command that one bird be slaughtered 9  into a clay vessel over fresh water. 10  14:6 Then 11  he is to take the live bird along with the piece of cedar wood, the scrap of crimson fabric, and the twigs of hyssop, and he is to dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird slaughtered over the fresh water, 14:7 and sprinkle it seven times on the one being cleansed 12  from the disease, pronounce him clean, 13  and send the live bird away over the open countryside. 14 

The Seven Days of Purification

14:8 “The one being cleansed 15  must then wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and bathe in water, and so be clean. 16  Then afterward he may enter the camp, but he must live outside his tent seven days. 14:9 When the seventh day comes 17  he must shave all his hair – his head, his beard, his eyebrows, all his hair – and he must wash his clothes, bathe his body in water, and so be clean. 18 

The Eighth Day Atonement Rituals

14:10 “On the eighth day he 19  must take two flawless male lambs, one flawless yearling female lamb, three-tenths of an ephah of choice wheat flour as a grain offering mixed with olive oil, 20  and one log of olive oil, 21  14:11 and the priest who pronounces him clean will have the man who is being cleansed stand along with these offerings 22  before the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent.

14:12 “The priest is to take one male lamb 23  and present it for a guilt offering 24  along with the log of olive oil and present them as a wave offering before the Lord. 25  14:13 He must then slaughter 26  the male lamb in the place where 27  the sin offering 28  and the burnt offering 29  are slaughtered, 30  in the sanctuary, because, like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; 31  it is most holy. 14:14 Then the priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the right earlobe of the one being cleansed, 32  on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe 33  of his right foot. 14:15 The priest will then take some of the log of olive oil and pour it into his own left hand. 34  14:16 Then the priest is to dip his right forefinger into the olive oil 35  that is in his left hand, and sprinkle some of the olive oil with his finger seven times before the Lord. 14:17 The priest will then put some of the rest of the olive oil that is in his hand 36  on the right earlobe of the one being cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the blood of the guilt offering, 14:18 and the remainder of the olive oil 37  that is in his hand the priest is to put on the head of the one being cleansed. So the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord.

14:19 “The priest must then perform the sin offering 38  and make atonement for the one being cleansed from his impurity. After that he 39  is to slaughter the burnt offering, 14:20 and the priest is to offer 40  the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. So the priest is to make atonement for him and he will be clean.

The Eighth Day Atonement Rituals for the Poor Person

14:21 “If the person is poor and does not have sufficient means, 41  he must take one male lamb as a guilt offering for a wave offering to make atonement for himself, one-tenth of an ephah of choice wheat flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of olive oil, 42  14:22 and two turtledoves or two young pigeons, 43  which are within his means. 44  One will be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 45 

14:23 “On the eighth day he must bring them for his purification to the priest at the entrance 46  of the Meeting Tent before the Lord, 14:24 and the priest is to take the male lamb of the guilt offering and the log of olive oil and wave them 47  as a wave offering before the Lord. 14:25 Then he is to slaughter the male lamb of the guilt offering, and the priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the right earlobe of the one being cleansed, 48  on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe 49  of his right foot. 14:26 The priest will then pour some of the olive oil into his own left hand, 50  14:27 and sprinkle some of the olive oil that is in his left hand with his right forefinger 51  seven times before the Lord. 14:28 Then the priest is to put some of the olive oil that is in his hand 52  on the right earlobe of the one being cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the place of the blood of the guilt offering, 14:29 and the remainder of the olive oil that is in the hand 53  of the priest he is to put 54  on the head of the one being cleansed to make atonement for him before the Lord.

14:30 “He will then make one of the turtledoves 55  or young pigeons, which are within his means, 56  14:31 a sin offering and the other a burnt offering along with the grain offering. 57  So the priest is to make atonement for the one being cleansed before the Lord. 14:32 This is the law of the one in whom there is a diseased infection, 58  who does not have sufficient means for his purification.” 59 

Purification of Disease-Infected Houses

14:33 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 14:34 “When you enter the land of Canaan which I am about to give 60  to you for a possession, and I put 61  a diseased infection in a house in the land you are to possess, 62  14:35 then whoever owns the house 63  must come and declare to the priest, ‘Something like an infection is visible to me in the house.’ 14:36 Then the priest will command that the house be cleared 64  before the priest enters to examine the infection 65  so that everything in the house 66  does not become unclean, 67  and afterward 68  the priest will enter to examine the house. 14:37 He is to examine the infection, and if 69  the infection in the walls of the house consists of yellowish green or reddish eruptions, 70  and it appears to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 71  14:38 then the priest is to go out of the house to the doorway of the house and quarantine the house for seven days. 72  14:39 The priest must return on the seventh day and examine it, and if 73  the infection has spread in the walls of the house, 14:40 then the priest is to command that the stones that had the infection in them be pulled and thrown 74  outside the city 75  into an unclean place. 14:41 Then he is to have the house scraped 76  all around on the inside, 77  and the plaster 78  which is scraped off 79  must be dumped outside the city 80  into an unclean place. 14:42 They are then to take other stones and replace those stones, 81  and he is to take other plaster and replaster the house.

14:43 “If the infection returns and breaks out in the house after he has pulled out the stones, scraped the house, and it is replastered, 82  14:44 the priest is to come and examine it, and if 83  the infection has spread in the house, it is a malignant disease in the house. It is unclean. 14:45 He must tear down the house, 84  its stones, its wood, and all the plaster of the house, and bring all of it 85  outside the city to an unclean place. 14:46 Anyone who enters 86  the house all the days the priest 87  has quarantined it will be unclean until evening. 14:47 Anyone who lies down in the house must wash his clothes. Anyone who eats in the house must wash his clothes.

14:48 “If, however, the priest enters 88  and examines it, and the 89  infection has not spread in the house after the house has been replastered, then the priest is to pronounce the house clean because the infection has been healed. 14:49 Then he 90  is to take two birds, a piece of cedar wood, a scrap of crimson fabric, and some twigs of hyssop 91  to decontaminate 92  the house, 14:50 and he is to slaughter one bird into a clay vessel over fresh water. 93  14:51 He must then take the piece of cedar wood, the twigs of hyssop, the scrap of crimson fabric, and the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and in the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 14:52 So he is to decontaminate the house with the blood of the bird, the fresh water, the live bird, the piece of cedar wood, the twigs of hyssop, and the scrap of crimson fabric, 14:53 and he is to send the live bird away outside the city 94  into the open countryside. So he is to make atonement for the house and it will be clean.

Summary of Purification Regulations for Infections

14:54 “This is the law for all diseased infections, for scall, 95  14:55 for the diseased garment, 96  for the house, 97  14:56 for the swelling, 98  for the scab, 99  and for the bright spot, 100  14:57 to teach when something is unclean and when it is clean. 101  This is the law for dealing with infectious disease.” 102 

Male Bodily Discharges

15:1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 15:2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When any man 103  has a discharge 104  from his body, 105  his discharge is unclean. 15:3 Now this is his uncleanness in regard to his discharge 106  – whether his body secretes his discharge or blocks his discharge, he is unclean. All the days that his body has a discharge or his body blocks his discharge, 107  this is his uncleanness. 108 

15:4 “‘Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, 109  and any furniture he sits on will be unclean. 110  15:5 Anyone who touches his bed 111  must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 112  15:6 The one who sits on the furniture the man with a discharge sits on must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:7 The one who touches the body 113  of the man with a discharge must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:8 If the man with a discharge spits on a person who is ceremonially clean, 114  that person must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:9 Any means of riding 115  the man with a discharge rides on will be unclean. 15:10 Anyone who touches anything that was under him 116  will be unclean until evening, and the one who carries those items 117  must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:11 Anyone whom the man with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water 118  must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:12 A clay vessel 119  which the man with the discharge touches must be broken, and any wooden utensil must be rinsed in water.

Purity Regulations for Male Bodily Discharges

15:13 “‘When the man with the discharge becomes clean from his discharge he is to count off for himself seven days for his purification, and he must wash his clothes, bathe in fresh water, 120  and be clean. 15:14 Then on the eighth day he is to take for himself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, 121  and he is to present himself 122  before the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent and give them to the priest, 15:15 and the priest is to make one of them a sin offering 123  and the other a burnt offering. 124  So the priest 125  is to make atonement for him before the Lord for 126  his discharge.

15:16 “‘When a man has a seminal emission, 127  he must bathe his whole body in water 128  and be unclean until evening, 15:17 and he must wash in water any clothing or leather that has semen on it, and it will be unclean until evening. 15:18 When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman and there is a seminal emission, 129  they must bathe in water and be unclean until evening.

Female Bodily Discharges

15:19 “‘When a woman has a discharge 130  and her discharge is blood from her body, 131  she is to be in her menstruation 132  seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening. 15:20 Anything she lies on during her menstruation will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 15:21 Anyone who touches her bed must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:22 Anyone who touches any furniture she sits on must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:23 If there is something on the bed or on the furniture she sits on, 133  when he touches it 134  he will be unclean until evening, 15:24 and if a man actually has sexual intercourse with her so that her menstrual impurity touches him, 135  then he will be unclean seven days and any bed he lies on will be unclean.

15:25 “‘When a woman’s discharge of blood flows 136  many days not at the time of her menstruation, or if it flows beyond the time of her menstruation, 137  all the days of her discharge of impurity will be like the days of her menstruation – she is unclean. 15:26 Any bed she lies on all the days of her discharge will be to her like the bed of her menstruation, any furniture she sits on will be unclean like the impurity of her menstruation, 15:27 and anyone who touches them will be unclean, and he must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 138 

Purity Regulations from Female Bodily Discharges

15:28 “‘If 139  she becomes clean from her discharge, then she is to count off for herself seven days, and afterward she will be clean. 15:29 Then on the eighth day she must take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons 140  and she must bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, 15:30 and the priest is to make one a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 141  So the priest 142  is to make atonement for her before the Lord from her discharge of impurity.

Summary of Purification Regulations for Bodily Discharges

15:31 “‘Thus you 143  are to set the Israelites apart from their impurity so that they 144  do not die in their impurity by defiling my tabernacle which is in their midst. 15:32 This is the law of the one with a discharge: the one who has a seminal emission 145  and becomes unclean by it, 146  15:33 the one who is sick in her menstruation, the one with a discharge, whether male or female, 147  and a man 148  who has sexual intercourse with an unclean woman.’”

The Day of Atonement

16:1 The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons when they approached the presence of the Lord 149  and died, 16:2 and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother that he must not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil-canopy 150  in front of the atonement plate 151  that is on the ark so that he may not die, for I will appear in the cloud over the atonement plate.

Day of Atonement Offerings

16:3 “In this way Aaron is to enter into the sanctuary – with a young bull 152  for a sin offering 153  and a ram for a burnt offering. 154  16:4 He must put on a holy linen tunic, 155  linen leggings are to cover his body, 156  and he is to wrap himself with a linen sash 157  and wrap his head with a linen turban. 158  They are holy garments, so he must bathe 159  his body in water and put them on. 16:5 He must also take 160  two male goats 161  from the congregation of the Israelites for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 16:6 Then Aaron is to present the sin offering bull which is for himself and is to make atonement on behalf of himself and his household. 16:7 He must then take the two goats 162  and stand them before the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, 16:8 and Aaron is to cast lots over the two goats, 163  one lot for the Lord and one lot for Azazel. 164  16:9 Aaron must then present the goat which has been designated by lot for the Lord, 165  and he is to make it a sin offering, 16:10 but the goat which has been designated by lot for Azazel is to be stood alive 166  before the Lord to make atonement on it by sending it away to Azazel into the wilderness. 167 

The Sin Offering Sacrificial Procedures

16:11 “Aaron is to present the sin offering bull which is for himself, and he is to make atonement on behalf of himself and his household. He is to slaughter the sin offering bull which is for himself, 16:12 and take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord 168  and a full double handful of finely ground fragrant incense, 169  and bring them inside the veil-canopy. 170  16:13 He must then put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the cloud of incense will cover the atonement plate which is above the ark of the testimony, 171  so that he will not die. 172  16:14 Then he is to take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the eastern face of the atonement plate, 173  and in front of the atonement plate he is to sprinkle some of the blood seven times with his finger. 174 

16:15 “He must then slaughter the sin offering goat which is for the people. He is to bring its blood inside the veil-canopy, 175  and he is to do with its blood just as he did to the blood of the bull: He is to sprinkle it on the atonement plate and in front of the atonement plate. 16:16 So 176  he is to make atonement for the holy place from the impurities of the Israelites and from their transgressions with regard to all their sins, 177  and thus he is to do for the Meeting Tent which resides with them in the midst of their impurities. 16:17 Nobody is to be in the Meeting Tent 178  when he enters to make atonement in the holy place until he goes out, and he has made atonement on his behalf, on behalf of his household, and on behalf of the whole assembly of Israel.

16:18 “Then 179  he is to go out to the altar which is before the Lord and make atonement for it. He is to take 180  some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it all around on the horns of the altar. 16:19 Then he is to sprinkle on it some of the blood with his finger seven times, and cleanse and consecrate it 181  from the impurities of the Israelites.

The Live Goat Ritual Procedures

16:20 “When he has finished purifying the holy place, 182  the Meeting Tent, and the altar, he is to present the live goat. 16:21 Aaron is to lay his two hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of the Israelites and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins, 183  and thus he is to put them 184  on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man standing ready. 185  16:22 The goat is to bear on itself all their iniquities into an inaccessible land, 186  so he is to send the goat away 187  in the wilderness.

The Concluding Rituals

16:23 “Aaron must then enter 188  the Meeting Tent and take off the linen garments which he had put on when he entered the sanctuary, and leave them there. 16:24 Then he must bathe his body in water in a holy place, put on his clothes, and go out and make his burnt offering and the people’s burnt offering. So he is to make atonement 189  on behalf of himself and the people. 190 

16:25 “Then he is to offer up the fat of the sin offering 191  in smoke on the altar, 16:26 and the one who sent the goat away to Azazel 192  must wash his clothes, bathe his body in water, and afterward he may reenter the camp. 16:27 The bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought to make atonement in the holy place, must be brought outside the camp 193  and their hide, their flesh, and their dung must be burned up, 194  16:28 and the one who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may reenter the camp.

Review of the Day of Atonement

16:29 “This is to be a perpetual statute for you. 195  In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you must humble yourselves 196  and do no work of any kind, 197  both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides 198  in your midst, 16:30 for on this day atonement is to be made for you to cleanse you from all your sins; you must be clean before the Lord. 199  16:31 It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must humble yourselves. 200  It is a perpetual statute. 201 

16:32 “The priest who is anointed and ordained to act as high priest in place of his father 202  is to make atonement. He is to put on the linen garments, the holy garments, 16:33 and he is to purify 203  the Most Holy Place, 204  he is to purify the Meeting Tent and the altar, 205  and he is to make atonement for 206  the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 16:34 This is to be a perpetual statute for you 207  to make atonement for the Israelites for 208  all their sins once a year.” 209  So he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 210 

1 tn Heb “and.” Here KJV, ASV use a semicolon; NASB begins a new sentence with “Now.”

2 tn The alternative rendering, “when it is reported to the priest” may be better in light of the fact that the priest had to go outside the camp. Since he or she had been declared “unclean” by a priest (Lev 13:3) and was, therefore, required to remain outside the camp (13:46), the formerly diseased person could not reenter the camp until he or she had been declared “clean” by a priest (cf. Lev 13:6 for “declaring clean.”). See especially J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:831, who supports this rendering both here and in Lev 13:2 and 9. B. A. Levine, however, prefers the rendering in the text (Leviticus [JPSTC], 76 and 85). It is the most natural meaning of the verb (i.e., “to be brought” from בּוֹא [bo’, “to come”] in the Hophal stem, which means “to be brought” in all other occurrences in Leviticus other than 13:2, 9, and 14:2; see only 6:30; 10:18; 11:32; and 16:27), it suits the context well in 13:2, and the rendering “to be brought” is supported by 13:7b, “he shall show himself to the priest a second time.” Although it is true that the priest needed to go outside the camp to examine such a person, the person still needed to “be brought” to the priest there. The translation of vv. 2-3 employed here suggests that v. 2 introduces the proceeding and then v. 3 goes on to describe the specific details of the examination and purification.

3 tn Heb “and he shall be brought to the priest and the priest shall go out to from outside to the camp and the priest shall see [it].” The understood “it” refers to the skin infection itself (see the note on 13:3 above). The referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “And behold, the diseased infection has been healed from the diseased person.” The expression “diseased infection” has been translated as simply “infection” to avoid redundancy here in terms of English style.

5 tn The term rendered here “crimson fabric” consists of two Hebrew words and means literally, “crimson of worm” (in this order only in Lev 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52 and Num 19:6; for the more common reverse order, “worm of crimson,” see, e.g., the colored fabrics used in making the tabernacle, Exod 25:4, etc.). This particular “worm” is an insect that lives on the leaves of palm trees, the eggs of which are the source for a “crimson” dye used to color various kinds of cloth (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 86). That a kind of dyed “fabric” is intended, not just the dye substance itself, is made certain by the dipping of it along with the other ritual materials listed here into the blood and water mixture for sprinkling on the person being cleansed (Lev 14:6; cf. also the burning of it in the fire of the red heifer in Num 19:6). Both the reddish color of cedar wood and the crimson colored fabric seem to correspond to the color of blood and may, therefore, symbolize either “life,” which is in the blood, or the use of blood to “make atonement” (see, e.g., Gen 9:4 and Lev 17:11). See further the note on v. 7 below.

6 sn Twigs of hyssop (probably one or several species of marjoram thymus), a spice and herb plant that grows out of walls in Palestine (see 1 Kgs 4:33 [5:13 HT], HALOT 27 s.v. אֵזוֹב, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 195), were particularly leafy and therefore especially useful for sprinkling the purifying liquid (cf. vv. 5-7). Many of the details of the ritual procedure are obscure. It has been proposed, for example, that the “cedar wood” was a stick to which the hyssop was bound with the crimson material to make a sort of sprinkling instrument (Hartley, 195). In light of the burning of these three materials as part of the preparation of the ashes of the red heifer in Num 19:5-6, however, this seems unlikely.

7 tn The MT reads literally, “And the priest shall command and he shall take.” Clearly, the second verb (“and he shall take”) contains the thrust of the priest’s command, which suggests the translation “that he take” (cf. also v. 5a). Since the priest issues the command here, he cannot be the subject of the second verb because he cannot be commanding himself to “take” up these ritual materials. Moreover, since the ritual is being performed “for the one being cleansed,” the antecedent of the pronoun “he” cannot refer to him. The LXX, Smr, and Syriac versions have the third person plural here and in v. 5a, which corresponds to other combinations with the verb וְצִוָּה (vÿtsivvah) “and he (the priest) shall command” in this context (see Lev 13:54; 14:36, 40). This suggests an impersonal (i.e., “someone shall take” and “someone shall slaughter,” respectively) or perhaps even passive rendering of the verbs in 14:4, 5 (i.e., “there shall be taken” and “there shall be slaughtered,” respectively). The latter option has been chosen here.

8 tn Heb “the one cleansing himself” (i.e., Hitpael participle of טָהֵר, taher, “to be clean”).

9 tn Heb “And the priest shall command and he shall slaughter.” See the note on “be taken up” (v. 4).

10 tn Heb “into a vessel of clay over living water.” The expression “living [i.e., ‘fresh’] water” (cf. Lev 14:50; 15:13; Num 19:17) refers to water that flows. It includes such water sources as artesian wells (Gen 26:19; Song of Songs 4:15), springs (Jer 2:13, as opposed to cisterns; cf. 17:13), and flowing streams (Zech 14:8). In other words, this is water that has not stood stagnant as, for example, in a sealed-off cistern.

sn Although there are those who argue that the water and the blood rites are separate (e.g., E. S. Gerstenberger, Leviticus [OTL], 175-76), it is usually agreed that v. 5b refers to the slaughtering of the bird in such a way that its blood runs into the bowl, which contained fresh water (see, e.g., N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers [NCBC], 74; G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 208; J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:836-38; cf. esp. Lev 14:51b, “and dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and in the fresh water”). This mixture of blood and water was then to be sprinkled on the person being cleansed from the disease.

11 tc Heb “the live bird he [i.e., the priest] shall take it.” Although the MT has no ו (vav, “and”) at the beginning of this clause, a few medieval Hebrew mss and Smr have one and the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate translate as if it is there. The “but” in the present translation reflects this text critical background, the object-first word order in the clause with the resumptive pronoun at the end, and the obvious contrast between the slaughtered bird in v. 5 and the live bird in v. 6.

12 tn Heb “the one cleansing himself” (i.e., Hitpael participle of טָהֵר [taher, “to be clean”]).

13 tn Heb “and he shall make him clean.” The verb is the Piel of טָהֵר (taher, “to be clean”), here used as a so-called “declarative” Piel (i.e., “to declare clean”; cf. 13:6, etc.).

14 sn The reddish color of cedar wood and the crimson colored fabric called for in v. 4 (see the note there, esp. the association with the color of blood) as well as the priestly commands to bring “two live” birds (v. 4a), to slaughter one of them “over fresh water” (literally “living water,” v. 5b), and the subsequent ritual with the (second) “live” bird (vv. 6-7) combine to communicate the concept of “life” and “being alive” in this passage. This contrasts with the fear of death associated with the serious skin diseases in view here (see, e.g., Aaron’s description of Miriam’s skin disease in Num 12:12, “Do not let her be like the dead one when it goes out from its mother’s womb and its flesh half eaten away”). Since the slaughtered bird here is not sacrificed at the altar and is not designated as an expiatory “sin offering,” this ritual procedure probably symbolizes the renewed life of the diseased person and displays it publicly for all to see. It is preparatory to the expiatory rituals that will follow (vv. 10-20, esp. vv. 18-20), but is not itself expiatory. Thus, although there are important similarities between the bird ritual here, the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:20-22), and the red heifer for cleansing from corpse contamination (Num 19), this bird ritual is different in that the latter two constitute “sin offerings” (Lev 16:5, 8-10; Num 19:9, 17). Neither of the birds in Lev 14:4-7 is designated or treated as a “sin offering.” Nevertheless, the very nature of the live bird ritual itself and its obvious similarity to the scapegoat ritual suggests that the patient’s disease has been removed far away so that he or she is free from its effects both personally and communally.

15 tn Heb “the one cleansing himself” (i.e., Hitpael participle of טָהֵר [taher, “to be clean”]).

16 tn Heb “and he shall be clean” (so ASV). The end result of the ritual procedures in vv. 4-7 and the washing and shaving in v. 8a is that the formerly diseased person has now officially become clean in the sense that he can reenter the community (see v. 8b; contrast living outside the community as an unclean diseased person, Lev 13:46). There are, however, further cleansing rituals and pronouncements for him to undergo in the tabernacle as outlined in vv. 10-20 (see Qal “be[come] clean” in vv. 9 and 20, Piel “pronounce clean” in v. 11, and Hitpael “the one being cleansed” in vv. 11, 14, 17, 18, and 19). Obviously, in order to enter the tabernacle he must already “be clean” in the sense of having access to the community.

17 tn Heb “And it shall be on the seventh day.”

18 tn Heb “and he shall be clean” (see the note on v. 8).

19 tn The subject “he” probably refers to the formerly diseased person in this case (see the notes on Lev 1:5a, 6a, and 9a).

20 tn This term is often rendered “fine flour,” but it refers specifically to wheat as opposed to barley (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 10) and, although the translation “flour” is used here, it may indicate “grits” rather than finely ground flour (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:179; see the note on Lev 2:1). The unit of measure is most certainly an “ephah” even though it is not stated explicitly (see, e.g., Num 28:5; cf. 15:4, 6, 8), and three-tenths of an ephah would amount to about a gallon, or perhaps one-third of a bushel (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 196; Milgrom, 845). Since the normal amount of flour for a lamb is one-tenth of an ephah (Num 28:4-5; cf. 15:4), three-tenths is about right for the three lambs offered in Lev 14:10-20.

21 tn A “log” (לֹג, log) of oil is about one-sixth of a liter, or one-third of a pint, or two-thirds of a cup.

22 tn The MT here is awkward to translate into English. It reads literally, “and the priest who pronounces clean (Piel participle of טָהֵר, taher) shall cause to stand (Hiphil of עָמַד, ’amad) the man who is cleansing himself (Hitpael participle of טָהֵר) and them” (i.e., the offerings listed in v. 10; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity). Alternatively, the Piel of טָהֵר could be rendered “who performs the cleansing/purification” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:827), perhaps even as a technical term for one who holds the office of “purification priest” (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 87). It is probably better, however, to retain the same meaning here as in v. 7 above (see the note there regarding the declarative Piel use of this verb).

23 tn Heb “And the priest shall take the one lamb.”

24 tn See the note on Lev 5:15 above. The primary purpose of the “guilt offering” (אָשָׁם, ’asham) was to “atone” (כִּפֶּר, kipper, “to make atonement,” see v. 18 below and the note on Lev 1:4) for “trespassing” on the Lord’s “holy things,” whether sacred objects or sacred people. It is, therefore, closely associated with the reconsecration of the Lord’s holy people as, for example, here and in the case of the corpse contaminated Nazirite (Num 6:11b-12). Since the nation of Israel was “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” to the Lord (Exod 19:6; cf. the blood splashed on all the people in Exod 24:8), the skin diseased person was essentially a member of the “holy nation” who had been expelled from the community. Therefore, he or she had been desecrated and the guilt offering was essential to restoring him or her to the community. In fact, the manipulation of blood and oil in the guilt offering ritual procedure for the healed person (see vv. 14-18 below) is reminiscent of that employed for the ordination offering in the consecration of the holy Aaronic priests of the nation (Exod 29:19-21; Lev 8:22-30).

25 tn Heb “wave them [as] a wave offering before the Lord” (NAB similar). See the note on Lev 7:30 and the literature cited there. Other possible translations include “elevate them [as] an elevation offering before the Lord” (cf. NRSV) or “present them [as] a presentation offering before the Lord.” To be sure, the actual physical “waving” of a male lamb seems unlikely, but some waving gesture may have been performed in the presentation of the offering (cf. also the “waving” of the Levites as a “wave offering” in Num 8:11, etc.).

26 tn Heb “And he shall slaughter.”

27 tn Heb “in the place which.”

28 sn See the note on Lev 4:3 regarding the term “sin offering.”

29 sn See the note on Lev 1:3 regarding the “burnt offering.”

30 tn Since the priest himself presents this offering as a wave offering (v. 12), it would seem that the offering is already in his hands and he would, therefore, be the one who slaughtered the male lamb in this instance rather than the offerer. Smr and LXX make the second verb “to slaughter” plural rather than singular, which suggests that it is to be taken as an impersonal passive (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:852).

31 tn Heb “the guilt offering, it [is] to the Lord.” Regarding the “guilt offering,” see the note on Lev 5:15.

32 tn Heb “and the priest shall put [literally ‘give’] on the lobe of the ear of the one being cleansed, the right one.”

33 tn The term for “big toe” (בֹּהֶן, bohen) is the same as that for “thumb.” It refers to the larger appendage on either the hand or the foot.

34 tn Heb “And the priest…shall pour on the left hand of the priest.” As the Rabbis observe, the repetition of “priest” as the expressed subject of both verbs in this verse may suggest that two priests were involved in this ritual (see m. Nega’im 14:8, referred to by J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:852), but the seemingly unnecessary repetition of “priest” in several verses throughout the chapter argues against this (see esp. vv. 3, 14, 18, 20, 24, and 26). Moreover, in this case, “priest” may be repeated to avoid confusing the priest’s hand with that of the one being cleansed (cf. v. 14).

35 tn Heb “his right finger from the oil.”

36 tn Heb “on his hand.”

37 tn Heb “and the remainder in the oil.”

38 tn Heb “do [or “make”] the sin offering.”

39 tn Heb “And after[ward] he [i.e., the offerer] shall slaughter.” The LXX adds “the priest” as the subject of the verb (as do several English versions, e.g., NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT), but the offerer is normally the one who does the actually slaughtering of the sacrificial animal (cf. the notes on Lev 1:5a, 6a, and 9a).

40 tn Heb “cause to go up.”

41 tn Heb “and his hand does not reach”; NAB, NRSV “and cannot afford so much (afford these NIV).”

42 tn See the notes on v. 10 above.

43 tn Heb “from the sons of the pigeon,” referring either to “young pigeons” or “various species of pigeon” (contrast J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:168 with J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 14; cf. Lev 1:14 and esp. 5:7-10).

44 tn Heb “which his hand reaches”; NRSV “such as (which NIV) he can afford.”

45 tn Heb “and one shall be a sin offering and the one a burnt offering.” The versions struggle with whether or not “one” should or should not have the definite article in its two occurrences in this verse (KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB all have the English definite article with both). The MT has the first without and the second with the article.

46 tn Heb “to the doorway of”; KJV, ASV “unto the door of.”

47 tn Heb “and the priest shall wave them.” In the present translation “priest” is not repeated a second time in the verse for stylistic reasons. With regard to the “waving” of the “wave offering,” see the note on v. 12 above.

48 tn Heb “and the priest shall put [literally ‘give’] on the lobe of the ear of the one being cleansed, the right one.”

49 tn The term for “big toe” (בֹּהֶן, bohen) is the same as that for “thumb.” It refers to the larger appendage on either the hand or the foot.

50 tn Heb “And from the oil the priest shall pour out on the left hand of the priest.” Regarding the repetition of “priest” in this verse see the note on v. 15 above.

51 tn Heb “and the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger from the oil which is on his left hand.”

52 tn Heb “on his hand.”

53 tn Heb “on the hand.”

54 tn Heb “give.”

55 tn Heb “the one from the turtledoves.”

56 tc Heb “from which his hand reaches.” The repetition of virtually the same expression at the beginning of v. 31 in the MT is probably due to dittography (cf. the LXX and Syriac). However, the MT may be retained if it is understood as “one of the turtledoves or young pigeons that are within his means – whichever he can afford” (see J. Milgrom’s translation in Leviticus [AB], 1:828, contra his commentary, 862; cf. REB).

57 tn Heb “and the one a burnt offering on the grain offering.”

58 tn Heb “This is the law of who in him [is] a diseased infection.”

59 tn Heb “who his hand does not reach in his purification”; NASB “whose means are limited for his cleansing”; NIV “who cannot afford the regular offerings for his cleansing.”

60 tn Heb “which I am giving” (so NAB, NIV).

61 tn Heb “give.”

62 tn Heb “in the house of the land of your possession” (KJV and ASV both similar).

63 tn Heb “who to him the house.”

64 tn Heb “And the priest shall command and they shall clear the house.” The second verb (“and they shall clear”) states the thrust of the priest’s command, which suggests the translation “that they clear” (cf. also vv. 4a and 5a above), and for the impersonal passive rendering of the active verb (“that the house be cleared”) see the note on v. 4 above.

65 tn Heb “to see the infection”; KJV “to see the plague”; NASB “to look at the mark (mildew NCV).”

66 tn Heb “all which [is] in the house.”

67 sn Once the priest pronounced the house “unclean” everything in it was also officially unclean. Therefore, if they emptied the house of its furniture, etc. before the official pronouncement by the priest those possessions would thereby remain officially “clean” and avoid destruction or purification procedures.

68 tn Heb “and after thus.”

69 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

70 tn For “yellowish green and reddish” see Lev 13:49. The Hebrew term translated “eruptions” occurs only here and its meaning is uncertain. For a detailed summary of the issues and views see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:870. The suggestions include, among others: (1) “depressions” from Hebrew שׁקע (“sink”) or קער as the root of the Hebrew term for “bowl” (LXX, Targums, NAB, NASB, NIV; see also B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 90), (2) “streaks” (ASV, NJPS), (3) and “eruptions” as a loan-word from Egyptian sqr r rwtj (“eruption; rash”); cf. Milgrom, 870; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 198-99. The latter view is taken here.

71 tn The Hebrew term קִיר (qir,“wall”) refers to the surface of the wall in this case, which normally consisted of a coating of plaster made of limestone and sand (see HALOT 1099 s.v. קִיר 1.a; J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:871; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 199).

72 tn Heb “and he shall shut up the house seven days.”

73 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “If the mark has indeed spread.”

74 tn Heb “and the priest shall command and they shall pull out the stones which in them is the infection, and they shall cast them.” The second and third verbs (“they shall pull out” and “they shall throw”) state the thrust of the priest’s command, which suggests the translation “that they pull out…and throw” (cf. also vv. 4a, 5a, and 36a above), and for the impersonal passive rendering of the active verb (“be pulled and thrown”) see the note on v. 4 above.

75 tn Heb “into from outside to the city.”

76 tn Or, according to the plurality of the verb in Smr, LXX, Syriac, and Targums, “Then the house shall be scraped” (cf. NAB, NLT, and the note on v. 40).

77 tn Heb “from house all around.”

78 tn Heb “dust” (so KJV) or “rubble”; NIV “the material”; NLT “the scrapings.”

79 tn Heb “which they have scraped off.” The MT term קִיר (qir, “wall” from קָצָה, qatsah, “to cut off”; BDB 892), the original Greek does not have this clause, Smr has הקיצו (with uncertain meaning), and the BHS editors and HALOT 1123-24 s.v. I קצע hif.a suggest emending the verb to הִקְצִעוּ (hiqtsiu, see the same verb at the beginning of this verse; cf. some Greek mss, Syriac, and the Targums). The emendation seems reasonable and is accepted by many commentators, but the root קָצָה (qatsah, “to cut off”) does occur in the Bible (2 Kgs 10:32; Hab 2:10) and in postbiblical Hebrew (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 179, notes 41c and 43d; J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:873; cf. also קָצַץ, qatsats, “to cut off”).

80 tn Heb “into from outside to the city.”

81 tn Heb “and bring into under the stones.”

82 tn Heb “after he has pulled out the stones, and after scraping (variant form of the Hiphil infinitive construct, GKC 531) the house, and after being replastered (Niphal infinitive construct).”

83 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “If he sees that the mark has indeed spread.”

84 tn Smr, LXX, Syriac, and Tg. Ps.-J. have the plural verb, perhaps suggesting a passive translation, “The house…shall be torn down” (cf. NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT, and see the note on v. 4b above).

85 tn Once again, Smr, LXX, and Syriac have the plural verb, perhaps to be rendered passive, “shall be brought.”

86 tn Heb “the one who comes into.”

87 tn Heb “he,” referring to the priest (see v. 38). The referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

88 tn Heb “And if the priest entering [infinitive absolute] enters [finite verb]” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.

89 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “and the mark has not indeed spread.”

90 tn The pronoun “he” refers to the priest mentioned in the previous verse.

91 tn Regarding these ritual materials, see the note on v. 4 above.

92 tn Regarding the Piel of חָטָא (khata’, cf. v. 52) meaning to “decontaminate” or “perform a decontamination,” see the notes on Lev 8:15 and 9:15.

sn In Lev 8:15, for example, the “sin offering” is used to “decontaminate” the burnt offering altar. As argued above (see the note on v. 7 above), these ritual materials and the procedures performed with them do not constitute a “sin offering” (contrast vv. 19 and 31 above). In fact, no sin offering was required for the purification of a house.

93 tn See the note on v. 5 above.

94 tn Heb “to from outside to the city.”

95 tn Heb “and for the scall”; NASB “a scale”; NIV “any infectious skin disease.” Cf. Lev 13:29-37.

96 sn Cf. Lev 13:47-59.

97 sn Cf. Lev 14:33-53.

98 sn Cf. Lev 13:9-28, 43.

99 sn Cf. Lev 13:2.

100 sn Cf. Lev 13:4, 18-28, 38-39. For explanations of all these terms for disease in Lev 14:56 see 13:2.

101 tn Heb “to teach in the day of the unclean and in the day of the clean.”

102 tn Heb “This is the law of the disease.” Some English versions specify this as “skin disease” (e.g., NIV, NLT), but then have to add “and (+ infectious NLT) mildew” (so NIV) because a house would not be infected with a skin disease.

sn For an explanation of the term “disease” see Lev 13:2.

103 tn Heb “Man man.” The reduplication is a way of saying “any man” (cf. Lev 17:3; 22:18, etc.; see the distributive repetition of the noun in GKC 395-96 §123.c).

104 tn The term “discharge” actually means “to flow,” whether referring to a full flow as at a spring of water (Ps 78:20 and parallels) or in reference to the promised land as “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exod 3:8 and parallels).

105 tn Heb “man, man when there is a discharge from his flesh.” The repetition of the word “man” is distributive, meaning “any [or “every”] man” (GKC 395-96 §123.c). It is well-recognized that the term “flesh” (i.e., “body”) in this chapter refers regularly and euphemistically to the male and female genital members or areas of the body (HALOT 164 s.v. בָּשָׂר 5.b; see also, e.g., B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 93). The euphemism has been retained in this translation since it is, in fact, intended in the Hebrew text. Some English versions partially remove the euphemism (e.g., NAB “from his private parts”; NRSV “from his member”) while some remove it completely (e.g., NLT “a genital discharge”; TEV “from his penis”; CEV “with an infected penis”).

106 tn The LXX has “this the law of his uncleanness…” (cf. v. 32 and compare, e.g., 13:59; 14:2, 56).

107 tc Smr, LXX, and the Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus Scroll from Qumran (11QpaleoLev; Fragment G contains Lev 14:52-15:5 and 16:2-4, and agrees with the LXX of Lev 15:3b) are in essential (although not complete) agreement against the MT in Lev 15:3b and are to be preferred in this case. The shorter MT text has probably arisen due to a lengthy haplography. See K. A. Mathews, “The Leviticus Scroll (11QpaleoLev) and the Text of the Hebrew Bible,” CBQ 48 (1986): 177-78, 198; D. N. Freedman, “Variant Readings in the Leviticus Scroll from Qumran Cave 11,” CBQ 36 (1974): 528-29; D. N. Freedman and K. A. Mathews, The Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus Scroll, 32. The MT of Lev 15:3 reads: “Now this is his uncleanness in [regard to] his discharge – whether his body secretes his discharge or blocks his discharge, this is his uncleanness.” Smr adds after MT’s “blocks his discharge” the following: “he is unclean; all the days that his body has a discharge or his body blocks his discharge, this is his uncleanness.” Thus, the MT appears to skip from Smr טמא הוא “he is unclean” in the middle of the verse to יא/טמאתו הו “this is his uncleanness” at the end of the verse, leaving out “he is unclean; all the days that his body has a discharge or his body blocks his discharge” (cf. the BHS footnote). 11Q1 (paleoLeva frag. G) is indeed fragmentary, but it does have ימי ז בו כל “…in him, all the days of the fl[ow],” supporting Smr and LXX tradition. The LXX adds after MT “blocks his discharge” the following: “all the days of the flow of his body, by which his body is affected by the flow,” followed by “it is his uncleanness” (i.e., the last two words of the MT).

sn The contrast between the dripping or flowing from the male sexual member as opposed to there being a blockage is important. One might not understand that even though a blockage actually causes a lack of discharge, it is still unclean.

108 tn Heb “it is his uncleanness,” but the last clause recapitulates the effect of the first clause in this verse, both of which introduce the regulations for such uncleanness in the following verses. In other words, whether his discharge flows from his penis or is blocked in it, he is still unclean and must proceed according to the following regulations (vv. 4ff).

109 tn Heb “All the bed which the man with a discharge sits on it shall be unclean”; cf. NLT “Any bedding.”

110 tn Heb “and all the vessel which he sits on it shall be unclean”; NASB “everything on which he sits.”

111 tn Heb “And a man who touches in his bed”; NLT “touch the man’s bedding.”

112 tn Heb “he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until the evening” (cf. also vv. 6-8, 10-11, etc.).

113 tn Heb “And the one who touches in the flesh.” In this instance, “flesh” (or “body”) probably refers literally to any part of the body, not the genitals specifically (see the discussion in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:914).

114 tn Heb “And if the man with a discharge spits in the clean one.”

115 tn The Hebrew term for “means of riding” is a cognate noun from the verb “ride” later in this verse. It refers to anything on which one may ride without the feet touching the ground including, for example, a saddle, a (saddle) blanket, or a seat on a chariot (see, e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:916).

116 tn Heb “which shall be under him.” The verb is perhaps a future perfect, “which shall have been.”

117 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the previously mentioned items which were under the unclean person) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

118 tn Heb “And all who the man with the discharge touches in him and his hands he has not rinsed in water.”

119 tn The Hebrew term כְּלִי (kÿli) can mean “vessel” (v. 12a) or “utensil, implement, article” (v. 12b). An article of clay would refer to a vessel or container of some sort, while one made of wood would refer to some kind of tool or instrument.

120 tn For the expression “fresh water” see the note on Lev 14:5 above.

121 tn Heb “from the sons of the pigeon,” referring either to “young pigeons” or “various species of pigeon” (contrast J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:168 with J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 14; cf. Lev 1:14 and esp. 5:7-10).

122 tc The MT has the Qal form of the verb בּוֹא (bo’) “to come” here, but the LXX (followed generally by the Syriac and Tg. Ps.-J.) reflects the Hiphil form of the same verb, “to bring” as in v. 29 below. In v. 29, however, there is no additional clause “and give them to the priest,” so the Hiphil is necessary in that context while it is not necessary here in v. 14.

123 sn See the note on Lev 4:3 regarding the term “sin offering.”

124 tn Heb “and the priest shall make them one a sin offering and the one a burnt offering.” See the note on Lev 1:3 regarding the “burnt offering.”

125 tn Heb “And the priest.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here.

126 tn Heb “from”; see the note on 4:26.

127 tn Heb “And a man when a lying of seed goes out from him”; KJV, ASV “any man’s seed of copulation”; NIV, NRSV, TEV, NLT “an emission of semen.”

128 tn Heb “and he shall bathe all his flesh in water.”

129 tn Heb “And a woman who a man lies with her a lying of seed.”

130 tn See the note on Lev 15:2 above.

131 tn Heb “blood shall be her discharge in her flesh.” The term “flesh” here refers euphemistically to the female sexual area (cf. the note on v. 2 above).

132 tn See the note on Lev 12:2 and R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 1:925-27.

133 tn Heb “and if on the bed it (הוּא, hu’) is or on the vessel which she sits on it, when he touches it….” The translation and meaning of this verse is a subject of much debate in the commentaries (see the summary in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:938-40). It is difficult to determine what הוּא refers to, whether it means “he” referring to the one who does the touching, “it” for the furniture or the seat in v. 22, “she” referring to the woman herself (see Smr היא rather than הוא), or perhaps anything that was lying on the furniture or the bed of vv. 21-22. The latter view is taken here (cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 202).

134 tn The MT accent suggest that “when he touches it” goes with the preceding line, but it seems to be better to take it as an introduction to what follows (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 202).

135 tn Heb “and if a man indeed lies with her and her menstrual impurity is on him.”

136 tn Heb “And a woman when the flow of her blood flows.”

137 tn Heb “in not the time of her menstruation or when it flows on her menstruation.”

138 tn See the note on v. 5 above.

139 tn Heb “And if…” Although this clause is parallel to v. 13 above, it begins with וְאִם (vÿim, “and if”) here rather than וְכִי (vÿkhi, “and when/if”) there.

140 tn Heb “from the sons of the pigeon,” referring either to “young pigeons” or “various species of pigeon” (contrast J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:168 with J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 14; cf. Lev 1:14 and esp. 5:7-10).

141 tn Heb “And the priest shall make the one a sin offering and the one a burnt offering.”

142 tn Heb “And the priest.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here.

143 tn Heb “And you shall.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV, NRSV).

144 tn Heb “and they.” Here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) indicates a negative purpose (“lest,” so NAB, NASB).

145 tn Heb “and who a lying of seed goes out from him.”

146 tn Heb “to become unclean in it.”

147 tn Heb “and the one with a discharge, his discharge to the male and the female.”

148 tn Heb “and for a man.”

149 tn Heb “in their drawing near to the faces of the Lord.” The rendering here relies on the use of this expression for the very “presence” of God in Exod 33:14-15 and in the Lev 9:24-10:2 passage, where the Nadab and Abihu catastrophe referred to here is narrated.

150 tn Heb “into the holy place from house to the veil-canopy.” In this instance, the Hebrew term “the holy place” refers to “the most holy place” (lit. “holy of holies”), since it is the area “inside the veil-canopy” (cf. Exod 26:33-34). The Hebrew term פָּרֹכֶת (parokhet) is usually translated “veil” or “curtain,” but it seems to have stretched not only in front of but also over the top of the ark of the covenant which stood behind and under it inside the most holy place, and thus formed more of a canopy than simply a curtain (see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:687-89).

151 tn Heb “to the faces of the atonement plate.” The exact meaning of the Hebrew term כַּפֹּרֶת (kapporet) here rendered “atonement plate” is much debated. The traditional “mercy seat” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV) does not suit the cognate relationship between this term and the Piel verb כִּפֶּר (kipper, “to make atonement, to make expiation”). The translation of the word should also reflect the fact that the most important atonement procedures on the Day of Atonement were performed in relation to it. Since the Lord would “appear in the cloud over the atonement plate,” and since it was so closely associated with the ark of the covenant (the ark being his “footstool”; cf. 1 Chr 28:2 and Ps 132:7-8), one could take it to be the place of his throne at which he accepts atonement. See J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:1014; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 234-35; and R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:691, 699. Cf. NIV “the atonement cover”; NCV “the lid on the Ark”; NLT “the Ark’s cover – the place of atonement.”

152 tn Heb “with a bull, a son of the herd.”

153 sn See the note on Lev 4:3 regarding the term “sin offering.”

154 sn For the “burnt offering” see the note on Lev 1:3.

155 sn The term “tunic” refers to a shirt-like garment worn next to the skin and, therefore, put on first (cf. Exod 28:4, 39-40; 29:5, 8; 39:27). It covered the upper body only. For detailed remarks on the terminology for the priestly clothing in this verse (except the “linen leggings”) see the notes on Lev 8:7-9 and the literature cited there.

156 tn Heb “shall be on his flesh.” As in many instances in Lev 15, the term “flesh” or “body” here is euphemistic for the male genitals (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1017, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 222; cf. the note on Lev 15:2), which the priest must be careful not to expose during such ritual procedures (see Exod 20:26 with 28:42-43).

157 sn The sash fastened the tunic around the waist (Exod 28:4, 39; 29:9; 39:29).

158 tn Heb “and in a turban of linen he shall wrap.”

sn The turban consisted of wound up linen (cf. Exod 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6; 39:31; Lev 16:4). It is usually thought to be a “turban,” but it might be only a “turban-like headband” wound around the forehead area (HALOT 624 s.v. מִצְנֶפֶת).

159 tn Heb “and he shall bathe….”

160 tn Heb “And he shall take.”

161 tn Heb “he-goats of goats”; CEV “two goats, both of them males.”

162 tn Heb “the two he-goats,” referred to as “two he-goats of goats” in v. 5.

163 tn Heb “and Aaron shall give lots on the two he-goats.” See the note on Lev 8:8 for the priestly casting of lots in Israel and the explanation in B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 102, on Lev 16:8-9. J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:1019-20, suggests, however, that the expression here signifies that, the lots having been cast, the priest was to literally “place” (Heb “give”) the one marked “for the Lord” on the head of the goat to be sacrificed and the one marked “for Azazel” on the head of the one to be released in the wilderness in order to avoid confusing them later in the ritual sequence.

164 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term עֲזָאזֵל (’azazel, four times in the OT, all of them in this chapter; vv. 8, 10 [2 times], and 26) is much debated. There are three or perhaps four major views (see the summaries and literature cited in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1020-21; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 102; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 237-38; D. P. Wright, The Disposal of Impurity [SBLDS], 21-25; M. V. Van Pelt and W. C. Kaiser, NIDOTTE 3:362-63; and M. S. Moore, NIDOTTE 4:421-22). (1) Some derive the term from a combination of the Hebrew word עֵז (’ez, “goat”; i.e., the word for “goats” in v. 5) and אָזַל (’azal, “to go away”), meaning “the goat that departs” or “scapegoat” (cf., e.g., the LXX and KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT). This meaning suits the ritual practice of sending the so-called “scapegoat” away into the wilderness (vv. 10, 21-22, 26). Similarly, some derive the term from Arabic ’azala (“to banish, remove”), meaning “entire removal” as an abstract concept (see BDB 736 s.v. עֲזָאזֵל). (2) Some see the term as a description of the wilderness area to which the goat was dispatched, deriving it somehow from Arabic ’azazu (“rough ground”) or perhaps עָזָז, (’azaz, “to be strong, fierce”). (3) The most common view among scholars today is that it is the proper name of a particular demon (perhaps even the Devil himself) associated with the wilderness desert regions. Levine has proposed that it may perhaps derive from a reduplication of the ז (zayin) in עֵז combined with אֵל (’el, “mighty”), meaning “mighty goat.” The final consonantal form of עֲזָאזֵל would have resulted from the inversion of the א (aleph) with the second ז. He makes the point that the close association between עֵז and שְׂעִירִים (shÿirim), which seems to refer to “goat-demons” of the desert in Lev 17:7 (cf. Isa 13:21, etc.), should not be ignored in the derivation of Azazel, although the term ultimately became the name of “the demonic ruler of the wilderness.” The latter view is supported by the parallel between the one goat “for (לְ, lamed preposition) the Lord” and the one “for (לְ) Azazel” here in v. 8. The rendering as a proper name has been tentatively accepted here (cf. ASV, NAB, NRSV, TEV, CEV). Perhaps a play on words between the proper name and the term for “goat” has occurred so that the etymology has become obscure. Even if a demon or the demonic realm is the source for the name, however, there is no intention here of appeasing the demons. The goal is to remove the impurity and iniquity from the community in order to avoid offending the Lord and the repercussions of such (see esp. vv. 21-22 and cf. Lev 15:31).

165 tn Heb “which the lot has gone up on it for the Lord.”

166 tn The LXX has “he shall stand it” (cf. v. 7).

167 tn Heb “to make atonement on it to send it away to Azazel toward the wilderness.”

168 tn Heb “and he shall take the fullness of the censer, coals of fire, from on the altar from to the faces of the Lord.”

169 tn Heb “and the fullness of the hollow of his two hands, finely ground fragrant incense.”

170 tn Heb “and he shall bring from house to the veil-canopy.”

171 tn The text here has only “above the testimony,” but this is surely a shortened form of “above the ark of the testimony” (see Exod 25:22 etc.; cf. Lev 16:2). The term “testimony” in this expression refers to the ark as the container of the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them (see Exod 25:16 with Deut 10:1, 5, etc.).

172 tn Heb “and he will not die,” but it is clear that the purpose for the incense cloud was to protect the priest from death in the presence of the Lord (cf. vv. 1-2 above).

173 tn Heb “on the faces of the atonement plate toward the east.” Some have taken this to mean that the ark was stationed just behind the veil-canopy on the eastern side of the most holy place. Thus, the high priest would need to enter and walk toward the west end of the most holy place and then turn eastward in order to face the ark and sprinkle the blood in an eastward direction. The rendering here, however, requires that the ark was stationed on the western end, or perhaps in the middle of the area, so that as the priest entered he was already facing the ark and would sprinkle the blood on the eastern face of the atonement plate, in a westward direction (see, e.g., J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 239 versus J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1032).

174 sn Presumably in this case the blood was sprinkled seven times on the ground in front of the ark on which the atonement plate was mounted.

175 tn Heb “and he shall bring its blood into from house to the veil-canopy.”

176 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative or even inferential force here.

177 tn Heb “to all their sins.”

178 tn Heb “And all man shall not be in the tent of meeting.” The term for “a man, human being” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2) refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female.

179 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) indicates the sequence of events here.

180 tn Heb “And he shall take.”

181 tn Heb “and he shall purify it and he shall consecrate it.”

182 tn Heb “And he shall finish from atoning the holy place.” In this case, the “holy place” etc. are direct objects of the verb “to atone” (cf. v. 33a below). In this case, therefore, the basic meaning of the verb (i.e., “to purge” or “wipe clean”) comes to the forefront. When the prepositions עַל (’al) or בֲּעַד (baad) occur with the verb כִּפֶּר (kipper) the purging is almost always being done “for” or “on behalf of” priests or people (see the note on Lev 1:4 as well as R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:698, the literature cited there, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 110, for more details).

183 tn Heb “transgressions to all their sins.”

184 tn Heb “and he shall give them.”

185 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term עִתִּי (’itti) is uncertain. It is apparently related to עֵת (’et, “time”), and could perhaps mean either that he has been properly “appointed” (i.e., designated) for the task (e.g., NIV and NRSV) or “ready” (e.g., NASB and NEB).

186 tn The Hebrew term rendered “inaccessible” derives from a root meaning “to cut off” (cf. NAB “an isolated region”). Another possible translation would be “infertile land” (see HALOT 187 s.v. *גָּזֵּר and cf. NRSV “a barren region”; NLT “a desolate land.”

187 tn Heb “and he [the man (standing) ready, v. 21] shall send the goat away.”

188 tn Heb “And Aaron shall enter.”

189 tn Heb “And he shall make atonement.”

190 tn Heb “on behalf of himself and on behalf of the people.” After “on behalf of himself” the LXX adds the expected “and on behalf of his household” (cf. vv. 6, 11, and 17).

191 tn Heb “And the fat of the sin offering he is to offer up.”

192 tn For “Azazel” see the note on v. 8 above.

193 tn Heb “he shall bring into from outside to the camp.”

194 tn Heb “they shall burn with fire”; KJV “burn in the fire.” Because “to burn with fire” is redundant in contemporary English the present translation simply has “must be burned up.”

195 tn Heb “And it [feminine] shall be for you a perpetual statute.” Verse 34 begins with the same clause except for the missing demonstrative pronoun “this” here in v. 29. The LXX has “this” in both places and it suits the sense of the passage, although both the verb and the pronoun are sometimes missing in this clause elsewhere in the book (see, e.g., Lev 3:17).

196 tn Heb “you shall humble your souls.” The verb “to humble” here refers to various forms of self-denial, including but not limited to fasting (cf. Ps 35:13 and Isa 58:3, 10). The Mishnah (m. Yoma 8:1) lists abstentions from food and drink, bathing, using oil as an unguent to moisten the skin, wearing leather sandals, and sexual intercourse (cf. 2 Sam 12:16-17, 20; see the remarks in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1054; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 109; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 242).

197 tn Heb “and all work you shall not do.”

198 tn Heb “the native and the sojourner who sojourns.”

199 tn The phrase “from all your sins” could go with the previous clause as the verse is rendered here (see, e.g., B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 109, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1011), or it could go with the following clause (i.e., “you shall be clean from all your sins before the Lord”; see the MT accents as well as J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 221, and recent English versions, e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV).

200 tn See the note on v. 29 above.

201 tn Compare v. 29a above.

202 tn Heb “And the priest whom he shall anointed him and whom he shall fill his hand to act as priest under his father.” Imperfect active verbs are often used as passives (see, e.g., v. 27 above and the note on Lev 14:4).

203 tn Heb “to atone” (also later in this verse); see the note on “purifying the holy place” in 16:20.

204 tn Heb “the sanctuary of the holy place.” Although this is the only place this expression occurs in the OT, it clearly refers to the innermost shrine behind the veil-canopy, where the ark of the covenant was located.

205 tn Heb “and the tent of meeting and the alter he shall atone.” The repetition of the verb כִּפֶּר (kipper, “to atone”) at the beginning and end of the sequence appears to be strange, but the MT accents suggest that only “the Most Holy Place” goes with the verb at the beginning of the verse. Of course, the purging of “the Most Holy Place” has been the main emphasis of this chapter from the start (see vv. 2-3 and 11-17).

206 tn At this point in the verse the verb כִּפֶּר (kipper, “to make atonement”) takes its object with the preposition עַל (’al, “for”; literally, “upon”; contrast the first part of the verse and cf. the notes on Lev 1:4 and 16:20 above).

207 tn Heb “And this shall be for you to a statute of eternity” (cf. v. 29a above). cf. NASB “a permanent statute”; NIV “a lasting ordinance.”

208 tn Heb “from”; see note on 4:26.

209 tn Heb “one [feminine] in the year.”

210 tn The MT of Lev 16:34b reads literally, “and he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.” This has been retained here in spite of the fact that it suggests that Aaron immediately performed the rituals outlined in Lev 16 (see, e.g., J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 224 and 243; J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:1059; note that Aaron was the one to whom Moses was to speak the regulations in this chapter, v. 2). The problem is that the chapter presents these procedures as regulations for “the tenth day of the seventh month” and calls for their fulfillment at that time (Lev 16:29; cf. Lev 23:26-32 and the remarks in P. J. Budd, Leviticus [NCBC], 237), not during the current (first) month (Exod 40:2; note also that they left Sinai in the second month, long before the next seventh month, Num 10:11). The LXX translates, “once in the year it shall be done as the Lord commanded Moses,” attaching “once in the year” to this clause rather than the former one, and rendering the verb as passive, “it shall be done” (cf. NAB, NIV, etc.). We have already observed the passive use of active verbs in this context (see the note on v. 32 above). The RSV (cf. also the NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT) translates, “And Moses did as the Lord commanded him,” ignoring the fact that the name Moses in the Hebrew text has the direct object indicator. Passive verbs, however, regularly take subjects with direct object indicators (see, e.g., v. 27 above). The NIV renders it “And it was done, as the Lord commanded Moses,” following the LXX passive translation. The NASB translates, “And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did,” transposing the introductory verb to the end of the sentence and supplying “so” in order to make it fit the context.



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