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Leviticus 13:1-46

Context
Infections on the Skin

13:1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 13:2 “When someone has 1  a swelling 2  or a scab 3  or a bright spot 4  on the skin of his body 5  that may become a diseased infection, 6  he must be brought to Aaron the priest or one of his sons, the priests. 7  13:3 The priest must then examine the infection 8  on the skin of the body, and if the hair 9  in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of the body, 10  then it is a diseased infection, 11  so when the priest examines it 12  he must pronounce the person unclean. 13 

A Bright Spot on the Skin

13:4 “If 14  it is a white bright spot on the skin of his body, but it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 15  and the hair has not turned white, then the priest is to quarantine the person with the infection for seven days. 16  13:5 The priest must then examine it on the seventh day, and if, 17  as far as he can see, the infection has stayed the same 18  and has not spread on the skin, 19  then the priest is to quarantine the person for another seven days. 20  13:6 The priest must then examine it again on the seventh day, 21  and if 22  the infection has faded and has not spread on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce the person clean. 23  It is a scab, 24  so he must wash his clothes 25  and be clean. 13:7 If, however, the scab is spreading further 26  on the skin after he has shown himself to the priest for his purification, then he must show himself to the priest a second time. 13:8 The priest must then examine it, 27  and if 28  the scab has spread on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 29  It is a disease.

A Swelling on the Skin

13:9 “When someone has a diseased infection, 30  he must be brought to the priest. 13:10 The priest will then examine it, 31  and if 32  a white swelling is on the skin, it has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the swelling, 33  13:11 it is a chronic 34  disease on the skin of his body, 35  so the priest is to pronounce him unclean. 36  The priest 37  must not merely quarantine him, for he is unclean. 38  13:12 If, however, the disease breaks out 39  on the skin so that the disease covers all the skin of the person with the infection 40  from his head to his feet, as far as the priest can see, 41  13:13 the priest must then examine it, 42  and if 43  the disease covers his whole body, he is to pronounce the person with the infection clean. 44  He has turned all white, so he is clean. 45  13:14 But whenever raw flesh appears in it 46  he will be unclean, 13:15 so the priest is to examine the raw flesh 47  and pronounce him unclean 48  – it is diseased. 13:16 If, however, 49  the raw flesh once again turns white, 50  then he must come to the priest. 13:17 The priest will then examine it, 51  and if 52  the infection has turned white, the priest is to pronounce the person with the infection clean 53  – he is clean.

A Boil on the Skin

13:18 “When someone’s body has a boil on its skin 54  and it heals, 13:19 and in the place of the boil there is a white swelling or a reddish white bright spot, he must show himself to the priest. 55  13:20 The priest will then examine it, 56  and if 57  it appears to be deeper than the skin 58  and its hair has turned white, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 59  It is a diseased infection that has broken out in the boil. 60  13:21 If, however, 61  the priest examines it, and 62  there is no white hair in it, it is not deeper than the skin, and it has faded, then the priest is to quarantine him for seven days. 63  13:22 If 64  it is spreading further 65  on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce him unclean. 66  It is an infection. 13:23 But if the bright spot stays in its place and has not spread, 67  it is the scar of the boil, so the priest is to pronounce him clean. 68 

A Burn on the Skin

13:24 “When a body has a burn on its skin 69  and the raw area of the burn becomes a reddish white or white bright spot, 13:25 the priest must examine it, 70  and if 71  the hair has turned white in the bright spot and it appears to be deeper than the skin, 72  it is a disease that has broken out in the burn. 73  The priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 74  It is a diseased infection. 75  13:26 If, however, 76  the priest examines it and 77  there is no white hair in the bright spot, it is not deeper than the skin, 78  and it has faded, then the priest is to quarantine him for seven days. 79  13:27 The priest must then examine it on the seventh day, and if it is spreading further 80  on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce him unclean. It is a diseased infection. 81  13:28 But if the bright spot stays in its place, has not spread on the skin, 82  and it has faded, then it is the swelling of the burn, so the priest is to pronounce him clean, 83  because it is the scar of the burn.

Scall on the Head or in the Beard

13:29 “When a man or a woman has an infection on the head or in the beard, 84  13:30 the priest is to examine the infection, 85  and if 86  it appears to be deeper than the skin 87  and the hair in it is reddish yellow and thin, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 88  It is scall, 89  a disease of the head or the beard. 90  13:31 But if the priest examines the scall infection and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 91  and there is no black hair in it, then the priest is to quarantine the person with the scall infection for seven days. 92  13:32 The priest must then examine the infection on the seventh day, and if 93  the scall has not spread, there is no reddish yellow hair in it, and the scall does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 94  13:33 then the individual is to shave himself, 95  but he must not shave the area affected by the scall, 96  and the priest is to quarantine the person with the scall for another seven days. 97  13:34 The priest must then examine the scall on the seventh day, and if 98  the scall has not spread on the skin and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 99  then the priest is to pronounce him clean. 100  So he is to wash his clothes and be clean. 13:35 If, however, the scall spreads further 101  on the skin after his purification, 13:36 then the priest is to examine it, and if 102  the scall has spread on the skin the priest is not to search further for reddish yellow hair. 103  The person 104  is unclean. 13:37 If, as far as the priest can see, the scall has stayed the same 105  and black hair has sprouted in it, the scall has been healed; the person is clean. So the priest is to pronounce him clean. 106 

Bright White Spots on the Skin

13:38 “When a man or a woman has bright spots – white bright spots – on the skin of their body, 13:39 the priest is to examine them, 107  and if 108  the bright spots on the skin of their body are faded white, it is a harmless rash that has broken out on the skin. The person is clean. 109 

Baldness on the Head

13:40 “When a man’s head is bare so that he is balding in back, 110  he is clean. 13:41 If his head is bare on the forehead 111  so that he is balding in front, 112  he is clean. 13:42 But if there is a reddish white infection in the back or front bald area, it is a disease breaking out in his back or front bald area. 13:43 The priest is to examine it, 113  and if 114  the swelling of the infection is reddish white in the back or front bald area like the appearance of a disease on the skin of the body, 115  13:44 he is a diseased man. He is unclean. The priest must surely pronounce him unclean because of his infection on his head. 116 

The Life of the Person with Skin Disease

13:45 “As for the diseased person who has the infection, 117  his clothes must be torn, the hair of his head must be unbound, he must cover his mustache, 118  and he must call out ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 13:46 The whole time he has the infection 119  he will be continually unclean. He must live in isolation, and his place of residence must be outside the camp.

Leviticus 14:1-32

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 120  he is brought to the priest. 121  14:3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine the infection. 122  If the infection of the diseased person has been healed, 123  14:4 then the priest will command that two live clean birds, a piece of cedar wood, a scrap of crimson fabric, 124  and some twigs of hyssop 125  be taken up 126  for the one being cleansed. 127  14:5 The priest will then command that one bird be slaughtered 128  into a clay vessel over fresh water. 129  14:6 Then 130  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 131  from the disease, pronounce him clean, 132  and send the live bird away over the open countryside. 133 

The Seven Days of Purification

14:8 “The one being cleansed 134  must then wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and bathe in water, and so be clean. 135  Then afterward he may enter the camp, but he must live outside his tent seven days. 14:9 When the seventh day comes 136  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. 137 

The Eighth Day Atonement Rituals

14:10 “On the eighth day he 138  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, 139  and one log of olive oil, 140  14:11 and the priest who pronounces him clean will have the man who is being cleansed stand along with these offerings 141  before the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent.

14:12 “The priest is to take one male lamb 142  and present it for a guilt offering 143  along with the log of olive oil and present them as a wave offering before the Lord. 144  14:13 He must then slaughter 145  the male lamb in the place where 146  the sin offering 147  and the burnt offering 148  are slaughtered, 149  in the sanctuary, because, like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; 150  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, 151  on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe 152  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. 153  14:16 Then the priest is to dip his right forefinger into the olive oil 154  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 155  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 156  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 157  and make atonement for the one being cleansed from his impurity. After that he 158  is to slaughter the burnt offering, 14:20 and the priest is to offer 159  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, 160  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, 161  14:22 and two turtledoves or two young pigeons, 162  which are within his means. 163  One will be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 164 

14:23 “On the eighth day he must bring them for his purification to the priest at the entrance 165  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 166  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, 167  on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe 168  of his right foot. 14:26 The priest will then pour some of the olive oil into his own left hand, 169  14:27 and sprinkle some of the olive oil that is in his left hand with his right forefinger 170  seven times before the Lord. 14:28 Then the priest is to put some of the olive oil that is in his hand 171  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 172  of the priest he is to put 173  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 174  or young pigeons, which are within his means, 175  14:31 a sin offering and the other a burnt offering along with the grain offering. 176  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, 177  who does not have sufficient means for his purification.” 178 

1 tn Heb “A man, if [or when] he has….” The term for “a man, human being” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2) in this case refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female, since either could be afflicted with infections on the skin.

2 tn Some of the terms for disease or symptoms of disease in this chapter present difficulties for the translator. Most modern English versions render the Hebrew term שְׂאֵת (sÿet) as “swelling,” which has been retained here (see the explanation in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 189). Some have argued that “deeper (עָמֹק, ’amoq) than the skin of his body” in v. 3 means that “this sore was lower than the surrounding skin” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:773), in which case “swelling” would be an inappropriate translation of שְׂאֵת in v. 2. Similarly, שְׂאֵת also occurs in v. 19, and then v. 20 raises the issue of whether or not it appears to be “lower (שָׁפָל, shafal) than the skin” (cf. also 14:37 for a mark on the wall of a house), which may mean that the sore sinks below the surface of the skin rather than protruding above it as a swelling would (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 76-77). Thus, one could translate here, for example, “discoloration” (so Milgrom and II שְׂאֵת “spot, blemish on the skin” in HALOT 1301 s.v. II שְׂאֵת) or “local inflammation, boil, mole” (so Levine). However, one could interpret “lower” as “deeper,” i.e., visibly extending below the surface of the skin into the deeper layers as suggested by J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 188, 192. “Swelling” often extends deeply below the surface of the skin, it is certainly a common symptom of skin diseases, and the alternation of these two terms (i.e., “deeper” and “lower”) in vv. 25-26 below shows that they both refer to the same phenomenon (see also the note on v. 20 below), so it is retained in the present translation.

3 tn The etymology and meaning of this term is unknown. It could mean “scab” (KJV, ASV, NASB) or possibly “rash” (NIV, NLT), “flaking skin,” or an “eruption” (NRSV) of some sort.

4 tn Heb “shiny spot” or “white spot,” but to render this term “white spot” in this chapter would create redundancy in v. 4 where the regular term for “white” occurs alongside this word for “bright spot.”

5 tn Heb “in the skin of his flesh” as opposed to the head or the beard (v. 29).

6 tn Heb “a mark [or stroke; or plague] of disease.” In some places in this context (vv. 2, 3) it could be translated “a contagious skin disease.” Although the Hebrew term צָרָעַת (tsaraat) rendered here “diseased” is translated in many English versions as “leprosy,” it does not refer to Hanson’s disease, which is the modern technical understanding of the term “leprosy” (HALOT 1057 s.v. צָרְעַת a). There has been much discussion of the proper meaning of the term and the disease(s) to which it may refer (see, e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:774-76, 816-26; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 187-89; and the literature cited by them). The further description of the actual condition in the text suggests that the regulations are concerned with any kind of infectious diseases that are observable on the surface of the skin and, in addition to that, penetrate below the surface of the skin (vv. 3-4) or spread further across the surface of the skin (vv. 5-8). It is true that, in the OT, the term “disease” is often associated specifically with white “scaly” skin diseases that resemble the wasting away of the skin after death (see Milgrom who, in fact, translates “scale disease”; cf., e.g., Exod 4:6-7 and Num 12:9-12, esp. v. 12), but here it appears to be a broader term for any skin disease that penetrates deep or spreads far on the body. Scaly skin diseases would be included in this category, but also other types. Thus, a “swelling,” “scab,” or “bright spot” on the skin might be a symptom of disease, but not necessarily so. In this sense, “diseased” is a technical term. The term “infection” can apply to any “mark” on the skin whether it belongs to the category of “disease” or not (compare and contrast v. 3, where the “infection” is not “diseased,” with v. 4, where the “infection” is found to be “diseased”).

7 tn Or “it shall be reported to Aaron the priest.” This alternative rendering may be better in light of the parallel use of the same expression in Lev 14:2, where the priest had to go outside the camp in order to inspect the person who had been diseased. Since the rendering “he shall be brought to Aaron the priest” might confuse matters there, this expression should be rendered “it shall be reported” both here in 13:2 (cf. also v. 9) and in 14:2. See, however, the further note on 14:2 below, where it is argued that the diseased person would still need to “be brought” to the priest even if this happened outside the camp. Most English versions retain the idea of the afflicted person being “brought” to the priest for inspection.

8 tn Heb “and the priest shall see the infection.”

9 tn There is no “if” expressed, but the contrast between the priestly finding in this verse and the next verse clearly implies it.

10 tn Heb “and the appearance of the infection is deep ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, “deeper than”) the skin of the his flesh.” See the note on v. 20 below.

11 tn For the translation “diseased infection” see the note on v. 2 above. Cf. TEV “a dreaded skin disease”; NIV “an infectious skin disease”; NLT “a contagious skin disease.”

12 tn The pronoun “it” here refers to the “infection,” not the person who has the infection (cf. the object of “examine” at the beginning of the verse).

13 tn Heb “he shall make him unclean.” The verb is the Piel of טָמֵא (tame’) “to be unclean.” Here it is a so-called “declarative” Piel (i.e., “to declare unclean”), but it also implies that the person is put into the category of actually being “unclean” by the pronouncement itself (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 175; cf. the corresponding opposite in v. 6 below).

14 tn Heb “and if.”

15 tn Heb “and deep is not its appearance from the skin”; cf. NAB “does not seem to have penetrated below the skin.”

16 tn Heb “and the priest will shut up the infection seven days.”

17 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

18 tn Heb “the infection has stood in his eyes”; ASV “if in his eyes the plague be at a stay.”

19 tn Although there is no expressed “and” at the beginning of this clause, there is in the corresponding clause of v. 6, so it should be assumed here as well.

20 tn Heb “a second seven days.”

21 tn That is, at the end of the second set of seven days referred to at the end of v. 5, a total of fourteen days after the first appearance before the priest.

22 tn Heb “and behold.”

23 tn Heb “he shall make him clean.” The verb is the Piel of טָהֵר (taher, “to be clean”). Here it is a so-called “declarative” Piel (i.e., “to declare clean”), but it also implies that the person is put into the category of being “clean” by the pronouncement itself (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 176; cf. the corresponding opposite in v. 3 above).

24 tn On the term “scab” see the note on v. 2 above. Cf. NAB “it was merely eczema”; NRSV “only an eruption”; NLT “only a temporary rash.”

25 tn Heb “and he shall wash his clothes.”

26 tn Heb “And if spreading [infinitive absolute] it spreads [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.

27 tn The “it” is not expressed but is to be understood. It refers to the “infection” (cf. the note on v. 2 above).

28 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

29 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’, cf. the note on v. 3 above).

30 tn Heb “When there is an infection of disease in a man.” The term for “a man; a human being” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2 and cf. v. 2 above) refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female. For the rendering “diseased infection” see the note on v. 2 above.

31 tn Heb “and the priest shall see.” The pronoun “it” is unexpressed, but it should be assumed and it refers to the infection (cf. the note on v. 8 above).

32 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

33 tn Heb “and rawness [i.e., something living] of living flesh is in the swelling”; KJV, NASB, NRSV “quick raw flesh.”

34 tn The term rendered here “chronic” is a Niphal participle meaning “grown old” (HALOT 448 s.v. II ישׁן nif.2). The idea is that this is an old enduring skin disease that keeps on developing or recurring.

35 tn Heb “in the skin of his flesh” as opposed to the head or the beard (v. 29; cf. v. 2 above).

36 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’, cf. the note on v. 3 above).

37 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the priest) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

38 sn Instead of just the normal quarantine isolation, this condition calls for the more drastic and enduring response stated in Lev 13:45-46. Raw flesh, of course, sometimes oozes blood to one degree or another, and blood flows are by nature impure (see, e.g., Lev 12 and 15; cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 191).

39 tn Heb “And if spreading [infinitive absolute] it spreads out [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.

40 tn Heb “all the skin of the infection,” but see v. 4 above.

41 tn Heb “to all the appearance of the eyes of the priest.”

42 tn Heb “and the priest shall see.” The pronoun “it” is unexpressed, but it should be assumed and it refers to the infection (cf. the note on v. 8 above).

43 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).

44 tn Heb “he shall pronounce the infection clean,” but see v. 4 above. Also, this is another use of the declarative Piel of the verb טָהֵר (taher; cf. the note on v. 6 above).

45 tn Heb “all of him has turned white, and he is clean.”

46 tn Heb “and in the day of there appears in it living flesh.” Some English versions render this as “open sores” (cf. NCV, TEV, NLT).

47 tn Heb “and the priest shall see the living flesh.”

48 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’; cf. the note on v. 3 above).

49 tn Heb “Or if/when.”

50 tn Heb “the living flesh returns and is turned/changed to white.” The Hebrew verb “returns” is שׁוּב (shuv), which often functions adverbially when combined with a second verb as it is here (cf. “and is turned”) and, in such cases, is usually rendered “again” (see, e.g., GKC 386-87 §120.g). Another suggestion is that here שׁוּב means “to recede” (cf., e.g., 2 Kgs 20:9), so one could translate “the raw flesh recedes and turns white.” This would mean that the new “white” skin “has grown over” the raw flesh (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 79).

51 tn Heb “and the priest shall see it.”

52 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).

53 tn Heb “the priest shall pronounce the infection clean,” but see v. 4 above. Also, this is another use of the declarative Piel of the verb טָהֵר (taher, cf. the note on v. 6 above).

54 tc Heb (MT) reads, “And flesh if/when there is in it, in its skin, a boil.” Smr has only “in it,” not “in its skin,” and a few medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate have only “in its skin” (cf. v. 24 below), not “in it.” It does not effect the meaning of the verse, but one is tempted to suggest that “in it” (בוֹ, vo) was added in error as a partial dittography from the beginning of “in its skin” (בְעֹרוֹ, vÿoro).

55 tn Some English versions translate “it shall be shown to [or “be seen by”] the priest,” taking the infection to be the subject of the verb (e.g., KJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV). Based on the Hebrew grammar there is no way to be sure which is intended.

56 tn Heb “and the priest shall see.” The pronoun “it” is unexpressed, but it should be assumed and it refers to the infection (cf. the note on v. 8 above).

57 tn Heb “and behold.”

58 tn Heb “and behold its appearance is low (שָׁפָל, shafal) ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, “lower than”) the skin.” Compare “deeper” in v. 3 above where, however, a different word is used (עָמֹק, ’amoq), and see the note on “swelling” in v. 1 above (cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 192; note that, contrary to the MT, Tg. Onq. has עָמֹק in this verse as well as v. 4). The alternation of these two terms (i.e., “deeper” and “lower”) in vv. 25-26 below shows that they both refer to the same phenomenon. Some have argued that “this sore was lower than the surrounding skin” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:773, 788), in which case “swelling” would be an inappropriate translation of שְׂאֵת (sÿet) in v. 19. It seems unlikely, however, that the surface of a “boil” would sink below the surface of the surrounding skin. The infectious pus etc. that makes up a boil normally causes swelling.

59 tn The declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’, cf. the note on v. 3 above).

60 tn Heb “It is an infection of disease. In the boil it has broken out.” For the rendering “diseased infection” see the note on v. 2 above.

61 tn Heb “and if.”

62 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).

63 tn Heb “and the priest will shut him up seven days.”

64 tn Heb “and if.”

65 tn Heb “is indeed spreading.”

66 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’, cf. the note on v. 3 above).

67 tn Heb “and if under it the bright spot stands, it has not spread.”

68 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָהֵר (taher, cf. the note on v. 6 above).

69 tn Heb “Or a body, if there is in its skin a burn of fire.”

70 tn Heb “and the priest shall see it.”

71 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

72 tn Heb “and its appearance is deep ‘from’ [comparative מִן (min) meaning ‘deeper than’] the skin.”

73 tn Heb “it is a disease. In the burn it has broken out.”

74 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’; cf. the note on v. 3 above).

75 tn For the rendering “diseased infection” see the note on v. 2 above.

76 tn Heb “and if.”

77 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “and indeed.”

78 tn Heb “and low it is not ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, “lower than”) the skin.” See the note on v. 20 above. Cf. TEV “not deeper than the surrounding skin.”

79 tn Heb “and the priest will shut him up seven days.”

80 tn Heb “is indeed spreading.”

81 tn For the rendering “diseased infection” see the note on v. 2 above.

82 tn Heb “and if under it the bright spot stands, it has not spread in the skin.”

83 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָהֵר (taher; cf. the note on v. 6 above).

84 tn Heb “And a man or a woman if there is in him an infection in head or in beard.”

sn The shift here is from diseases that are on the (relatively) bare skin of the body to the scalp area of the male or female head or the bearded area of the male face.

85 tn Heb “and the priest shall see the infection.”

86 tn Heb “and behold.”

87 tn Heb “its appearance is deep ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, “deeper than”) the skin.”

88 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָמֵא (tame’; cf. the note on v. 3 above).

89 tn The exact identification of this disease is unknown. Cf. KJV “dry scall”; NASB “a scale”; NIV, NCV, NRSV “an itch”; NLT “a contagious skin disease.” For a discussion of “scall” disease in the hair, which is a crusty scabby disease of the skin under the hair that also affects the hair itself, see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 192-93, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:793-94. The Hebrew word rendered “scall” (נֶתֶק, neteq) is related to a verb meaning “to tear; to tear out; to tear apart.” It may derive from the scratching and/or the tearing out of the hair or the scales of the skin in response to the itching sensation caused by the disease.

90 tn Heb “It is scall. It is the disease of the head or the beard.”

91 tn Heb “and behold there is not its appearance deep ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, meaning “deeper than”) the skin.”

92 tn Heb “and the priest will shut up the infection of the scall seven days.”

93 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

94 tn Heb “and the appearance of the scall is not deep ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, meaning “deeper than”) the skin.”

95 tn The shaving is done by the one who has the infection. Although KJV, ASV have the passive “he shall be shaven” here, most modern English versions have the reflexive “shall shave himself” (so NAB).

96 tn Heb “but the scall shall he not shave” (so KJV, ASV); NIV “except for the diseased area.”

97 tn Heb “and the priest will shut up the scall a second seven days.”

98 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

99 tn Heb “and its appearance is not deep ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, meaning “deeper than”) the skin.”

100 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָהֵר (taher, cf. the note on v. 6 above).

101 tn Heb “And if spreading (infinitive absolute) it spreads further (finite verb).” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.

102 tn Heb “and behold.”

103 tn Heb “the priest shall not search to the reddish yellow hair.”

104 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the affected person) is specified in the translation for clarity (likewise in the following verse).

105 tn Heb “and if in his eyes the infection has stood.”

106 tn This is the declarative Piel of the verb טָהֵר (taher, cf. the note on v. 6 above).

107 tn Heb “and the priest shall see.”

108 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

109 tn Heb “he,” but the regulation applies to a man or a woman (v. 38a). In the translation “the person” is used to specify the referent more clearly.

110 tn Heb “And a man, when his head is rubbed bare, he is bald-headed.” The translation offered here, referring to the back of the head (i.e., the area from the top of the head sloping backwards), is based on the contrast between this condition and that of the following verse. See also B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 82.

111 tn Heb “And if from the front edge of his face, his head is rubbed bare.” See the note on v. 40 above.

112 tn The rendering “balding in front” corresponds to the location of the bareness at the beginning of the verse.

113 tn Heb “and the priest shall see it” (cf. KJV). The MT has “him/it” which some take to refer to the person as a whole (i.e., “him”; see, e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:770; NIV, NRSV, etc.), while others take it as a reference to the “infection” (נֶגַע, nega’) in v. 42 (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 172, 177). Smr has “her/it,” which would probably refer to “disease” (צָרַעַת, tsaraat) in v. 42. The general pattern in the chapter suggests that “it,” either the infection or the disease, is the object of the examination (see, e.g., v. 3 above and v. 50 below).

114 tn Heb “and behold.”

115 tn Heb “like appearance of disease of skin of flesh.”

116 tn Or perhaps translate, “His infection [is] on his head,” as a separate independent sentence (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). There is no causal expression in the Hebrew text connecting these two clauses, but the logical relationship between them seems to be causal.

117 tn Heb “And the diseased one who in him is the infection.”

118 tn Heb “and his head shall be unbound, and he shall cover on [his] mustache.” Tearing one’s clothing, allowing the hair to hang loose rather than bound up in a turban, and covering the mustache on the upper lip are all ways of expressing shame, grief, or distress (cf., e.g., Lev 10:6 and Micah 3:7).

119 tn Heb “All the days which the infection is in him.”

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

121 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.

122 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.

123 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.

124 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.

125 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.

126 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.

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

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

129 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.

130 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.

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

132 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.).

133 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.

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

135 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.

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

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

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

139 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.

140 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.

141 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).

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

143 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).

144 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.).

145 tn Heb “And he shall slaughter.”

146 tn Heb “in the place which.”

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

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

149 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).

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

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

152 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.

153 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).

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

155 tn Heb “on his hand.”

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

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

158 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).

159 tn Heb “cause to go up.”

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

161 tn See the notes on v. 10 above.

162 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).

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

164 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.

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

166 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.

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

168 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.

169 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.

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

171 tn Heb “on his hand.”

172 tn Heb “on the hand.”

173 tn Heb “give.”

174 tn Heb “the one from the turtledoves.”

175 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).

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

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

178 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.”



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