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Leviticus 13:29-33

Context
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, 1  13:30 the priest is to examine the infection, 2  and if 3  it appears to be deeper than the skin 4  and the hair in it is reddish yellow and thin, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 5  It is scall, 6  a disease of the head or the beard. 7  13:31 But if the priest examines the scall infection and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 8  and there is no black hair in it, then the priest is to quarantine the person with the scall infection for seven days. 9  13:32 The priest must then examine the infection on the seventh day, and if 10  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, 11  13:33 then the individual is to shave himself, 12  but he must not shave the area affected by the scall, 13  and the priest is to quarantine the person with the scall for another seven days. 14 

1 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.

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

3 tn Heb “and behold.”

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

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

6 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.

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

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

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

10 tn Heb “and behold” (so KJV, ASV).

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

12 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).

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

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



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