Leviticus 13–15: Clean & Unclean

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 28: Monday

This is the law for any mark of leprosy—even for a scale, and for the leprous garment or house, and for a swelling, and for a scab, and for a bright spot—to teach when they are unclean and when they are clean. This is the law of leprosy.
Leviticus 14:54–57

Monday’s Bible reading is Leviticus 13–15. Gleason Archer titles 11:1–15:33, “Separation from defilement”1. These laws are regarding:

A. Clean and unclean foods, 11:1–47
B. Purification of mothers after childbirth, 12:1–8
C. Regulations governing leprosy, 13:1–14:57
D. Purification from bodily secretions 15:1–331


“The immediate purpose of this book is to set forth those laws and principles by which Israel is to live as the people of God. Their God is a holy God; they are to be a holy people. ‘You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy’ is the emphatic demand. His sanctuary is in their midst; and when they worship there they stand ‘before the Lord’, a phrase which occurs about 60 times in this book. This means separation from uncleanness and sin, and since they are sinful and prone to sin, it necessitates atonement for sin and purification from it and from all uncleanness. Hence the law of sacrifice is placed impressively at the beginning.”2

In the Gospel accounts of Jesus healing lepers (there are healings of lepers grouped  into lists with other types of healings) in Matthew 8:1–4, Mark 1:40–45, Luke 5:12–16, and Luke 17:11–18, Jesus consistently tells those who are healed to go show themselves to the priest. In the first three of these passages Jesus makes a specific reference to Moses as well as to the offering of healed lepers commanded in Leviticus.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1Gleason L. Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, pp. 239.
2Oswald T. Allis, “Leviticus,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie,
J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 141.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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