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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 13

Verses 1-59

  1. Intro:
    1. How much do you know about the Lepers in the bible? (Q&A)
      1. Questions
        1. What leper of Bethany entertained Jesus in his home? Simon (Mark 14:3)
        2. What kings of Judah was a leper until the day of his death? Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:21)
        3. What captain of the armies of Syria was a leper? Naaman (2 Kings 5:1)
        4. What prophetess became a snow-white leper for a short time? Miriam (Numbers 12:10)
        5. Who put his hand into his bosom and, drawing it out, found it leprous? Moses (Exodus 4:6)
        6. Who became a leper after he lied to the prophet Elisha? Gehazi (2 Kings 5:27)
        7. Who told Moses to send lepers away from the Israelite camp? The Lord (Numbers 5:1-4)
        8. What is the greatest number of lepers Jesus healed at any one time? Ten (Luke 17:12)
      2. Does God care if you have a little mildew in your shower, or under your sink in a dark corner? - Does God care if you have 1 rotten board in a wall of your house? (we’ll see, He does)
  2. LEPROSY! (1-1)
    1. Leprosy – The Hebrews had no cure for leprosy other than Divine intervention. In modern times, there are very effective medicines available, & leprosy patients are usually not isolated.
      1. Now called “Hansen’s Disease”, after the Norwegian physician, Dr. Hansen, 33, discovers the leprosy bacillus(ba-sil-us).
      2. (TWOT) “The leprosy in Lev.13,14 seems to refer to many epidermal maladies including boils, rashes, impetigo(im-pi-tie-go), ringworm, & even mildew & rot in ch.14”
      3. Lepers were ritually & medically contagious.”
    2. Chapters Outlined:
      1. 13:2-8(Eczema); 9-18(White Tumor); 18-28(White scab/pink blotch on the scar of a healed boil); 29-37(Ring Worm); 38,39(White blotches, Tetter); 40-43(pink sore on bald head); 44-46(excluded form the community); 47-59(leprosy in clothing & leather).
      2. 14:1-32(Cleansing & restoring lepers); 33-53(Leprosy in a house): 54-57(Conclusion).
      3. Chapter 13 is basically the Examination of People(1-46); & Examination of Garments(47-59).
      4. Chapter 14 is Cleansing of the People(1-32); & the Cleansing of the houses(33-53).
  3. LIFE LESSONS FROM LEPROSY!
    1. ​​​​​​​There is more to this law of leprosy than a lesson in symptoms!
      1. Read the opening of Isaiah 1:1-6. (description in vs.5b,6)
      2. These are lessons on Sin!
        1. These chapters teach us what sin is like, & how God wants us to deal w/it!
      3. Lesson #1 we see…
    2. The Lord’s Love for Lepers!
      1. ​​​​​​​God had concern for the leper & made certain he or she was treated w/dignity.
      2. Yet, God was also concerned for “the rest of his people” who didn’t have it, thus isolation was important so it wouldn’t spread.
        1. They were not to be “banned” but to be “quarantined” until better.
      3. God gave the priest all the information needed to detect the disease & make sure it did not spread.
        1. “It would have been devastating to isolate someone who was really not infected, or declare someone clean who was unclean!” (Wiersbe)
      4. The “National Review”, December 30, 1988 reported, “Throw away those condoms, boys. AIDS is not -- repeat, not -- a sexually transmitted disease. Better yet, it's not even a communicable disease. A New York law exempts AIDS virus carriers from the usual requirements to which VD carriers are subject. The difference seems to be that syphilis and gonorrhea don't have their own political lobbies.
        1. For the 1st time I heard of in history did a disease “have rights”!
      5. Jesus also showed great compassion on the lepers.
        1. See Mark 1:40-45
        2. Interesting flip-flop – This once banished leper can now go into the city, but Jesus is forced outside!
      6. Jesus also empowered The 12 to heal the lepers. (Mt.10:8) "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
    3. This “beauty”(Leprosy) is more than skin deep!
      1. ​​​​​​​The disease was not only on the surface…like sin, it was “deeper then the skin”. (this phrase was used 10 times here in ch.13, see vs.3)
      2. It delves into our uttermost core…the heart!
      3. In 18th century England one pick-pocket had his hand cut off when he was caught stealing. The 2nd time caught his other hand. The 3rd time he was caught “pick pocketing with his teeth”!
        1. Even if they pulled out all his teeth, it wouldn’t have solved the problem because sin is deeper then the skin!
      4. Leprosy starts insignificant & painless at the start; slowly grows, with serious results to the person; repulsiveness to others; it was incurable by human means; ending only in death.
    4. Incurable!
      1. ​​​​​​​The leper could do nothing for his own cleansing & cure.
      2. Jeremiah the prophet preached a message to Judah “'Your affliction is incurable, Your wound is severe. There is no one to plead your cause, That you may be bound up; You have no healing medicines.” (Jer.30:12,13)
        1. But then Jeremiah went onto say in vs.17(NIV), “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD, 'because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.”
        2. WHY? “because…”God will not have it said, “no one cares for them!”
      3. ​​​​​​​Ezek 36:22 “"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.”
        1. “This is unflattering to the sinner, yet Reassuring!”
        2. This snuffs out human merit which constantly seeks to creep back in & undermine Pure Grace!
    5. Leprosy & Sin Symptoms! (It spreads, causes uncleanness, & isolates you)
      1. [1] Leprosy spreads in the system.
        1. Sin also, it is never content, but when we give into it, it just covets more & more, & starts spreading like wildfire.
        2. Prov.30:15,16 “The leech has two daughters; Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, "Enough!": The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water; And the fire never says, "Enough!"
        3. So with sin, it never says “Enough!”
        4. Jesus said, Jn.8:24 “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”
        5. For 50 years Alexander Whyte preached God’s Word at Free St. George’s Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. He had a reputation for his “surgical preaching” exposing the sins of the human heart. - He had as assistant for a time named Hugh Black who preached Sunday evening & was much more liberal & optimistic in his message. The congregation said they were “blackened by Whyte on Sunday mornings, & whitewashed by Black on Sunday Evening.”
          1. ​​​​​​​When a church has a superficial view of sin, it spreads through the church like a fungus!
      2. [2] Leprosy makes the person unclean,
        1. Sin makes us very “unclean” The angel to Joshua in Zechariah in 3:4 "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes."
      3. [3] Leprosy must be isolated.
        1. “he shall dwell alone!” (see 13:46)
        2. Sin isolates us from God. Rom.11:22 “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”
        3. Is.59:1,2 “Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
          1. Sin separates us from God!
      4. [4] Leprosy must dwell Outside the camp.
        1. Jesus went outside the camp to meet us & to die for us.
          1. Lk.19:10 "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
          2. Heb.13:12-14 “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.”
        2. Jesus identified himself w/the outcasts.
          1. Mt.9:11-13 “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick."But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
    6. What is infected w/Leprosy is burned in the fire! (13:52)
      1. We also were destined to be burned in the eternal fire…but Jesus rescued us!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 13". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-13.html. 2017.