Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 14.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
We can easily divide Leviticus chapter 14 into two sections.
The first section (verses 1-32) deals with the purification rituals of a METSORA (skin disease carrier).
The second section (verses 33-53) deals with TZARA-AT (skin disease) as it applied to houses.
A quick word about TZARA-AT-infected houses.
The rules only applied AFTER the Israelites entered Canaan, the Promised Land.
One reason for this is because the type of houses being discussed were to be made out of stone or mud brick.
The laws wouldn’t have been relevant to the tents the Israelites were currently dwelling in.
Okay, so the first thing you’re going to notice is that the ritual procedures a METSORA (skin disease carrier) had to undergo to become pure are some of the most precise, demanding, and complex of anything you will study in Leviticus.
Another interesting point which isn’t quite so obvious is that the rituals to cleanse a METSORA in Leviticus chapter 14 are practically identical to the rituals used to consecrate a priest back in Leviticus chapter 8.
This is NOT a coincidence.
The prescribed Levitical rituals reflect just how immensely important BOTH the matter of becoming one of God’s set-apart servants AND becoming ritually clean from TZARA-AT really are (as disconnected as these matters may seem to be from each other).
This is why we’re going to be taking a fairly close look at the rites a METSORA had to comply with to become CLEAN.
These rites are important because they are a precise shadow or type of what Yeshua would fulfill about 13 centuries later.
Chapter 13 has already set the stage for what we’re about to study here in Leviticus chapter 14.
We have the ostracized METSORA (Skin Disease Carrier) who for quite some time has been living outside the camp of Israel.
He has had to endure the humiliation and terror of being completely SEPARATED from his family, his community and God.
However, one day, perhaps while bathing, he notices that his prior hideous skin condition appears to have cleared up!
He thinks he may be cured!
However, he cannot make that determination on his own.
He must call for a priest to come out and examine him.
So a priest comes out and conducts an inspection.
If the priest determines that indeed the TZARA-AT is gone, then, AND ONLY THEN, can the procedures to become ritually pure begin!
Two points here.
First, the priest was not like a doctor.
He never attempted to cure the person.
In fact, there isn’t anything in Scripture to indicate that the priest even prayed over the METSORA or attempted to offer any sort of consolation.
The reason is because again this was not your typical disease like coming down with chicken pox or the flu.
It was understood that this was a spiritual disease and ONLY God could cure the METSORA from the TZARA-AT.
It was also NOT the priest’s responsibility to determine what SIN the METSORA may have committed against God that caused him or her to be stricken with TZARA-AT.
The ONLY THINGS the priests did were 1) determine if the person had contracted TZARA-AT before and 2) verify that he or she no longer has TZARA-AT now.
Second, it is also important to notice that the inspection of the METSORA AND the beginning stages of the purification rituals took place OUTSIDE THE CAMP.
This communicates to us another important point we would be remiss to overlook.
One’s skin disease clearing up did NOT automatically make one CLEAN.
One simply became eligible to begin the process of becoming clean.
But he or she was not clean yet.
This is why the priest himself also had to venture OUTSIDE THE CAMP and go to an UNCLEAN place to conduct the inspection of the METSORA.
One final point.
Be aware that the Red Heifer sacrifice also had to be done OUTSIDE THE CAMP by the priest.
Keep that fact tucked away inside your back pocket because it will become significant later on.