And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes
That there may be no remains of the infection in them, and that they might not convey an ill scent to others: so the conversation garments of the saints are to be washed in the blood of the Lamb, ( Revelation 7:14 ) ;
and shave off all his hair;
what is here expressed in general is more particularly declared in ( Leviticus 14:9 ) ; the hair of his head, beard, and eyebrows; according to Gersom, this was done by the priest, and so Maimonides says F7, that none but a priest might shave him; and yet the text seems plainly to ascribe this, as well as the washing of his clothes and himself, to the leper that was to be cleansed; and the same writers say, that if two hairs were left it was no shaving; and so says the Misnah F8: the shaving of the leper's hairs signified the weakening of the strength of sin; the mortification of the deeds of the body, through the Spirit, and the laying aside all superfluity of naughtiness, and the excrescences of the flesh; a parting with every thing that grows out of a man's self, sin or self-righteousness; a laying a man bare and open, that nothing may lie hid and covered, and escape cleansing:
and wash himself in water, that he may be clean:
which was to be done by dipping in a collection of water, and not in running water, as Gersom observes, in a quantity of water sufficient to cover the whole body; which, according to the Talmud F9, was forty seahs, and was a cubit square in breadth, and three cubits deep: this may denote the washing of sinful men with the washing of regeneration, but more especially with the blood of Christ, the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, ( Zechariah 13:1 ) ;
and after that he shall come into the camp;
into the camp of Israel, while in the wilderness, and in after times into the city, where he used to dwell; and may sign try the admittance of such into the church of God again, who appear to be cleansed from sin, to have true repentance towards God for it, and faith in the blood of Christ:
and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days;
that is, out of his own tent or house, where his wife and family dwelt: this precaution was taken, lest there should be any remains of his disorder lurking, in him that might endanger his wife and family, especially his wife, with whom he was to have no conjugal conversation as yet; so it is said in the Misnah F11, that he was to be separated from his house seven days, and forbid the use of the marriage bed; and this prohibition. Jarchi thinks is intended in this clause, and so Maimonides F12, to which agrees the Targum of Jonathan,
``he shall sit without the tent of the house of his habitation, and shall not come near to the side of his wife seven days.''
F7 Hilchot Tumaat Tzarat, c. 11. sect. 3.
F8 Negaim, c. 14. sect. 4.
F9 T. Bab. Eruvin, fol. 14. 1, 2.
F11 Ut supra, (Misn. Negaim, c. 11) sect. 2.
F12 Ut supra, (Hilchot Tumaat Tzarat, c. 11.) sect. 1.