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Leviticus 13

Regulations About Infectious Skin Diseases (13:1–46)

2–44 Seven types of skin disease are discussed in these verses: a swelling or a rash or a bright spot that might or might not become an infectious skin disease (verses 2–8); an actual infectious skin disease (verses 9–17); a boil (verses 18–23); a burn (verses 24–28); a sore on the head or chin (verses 29–37); white spots on the skin (verses 38–39); and loss of hair (verses 40–44).

In each case, sound principles of public were not expected to make an exact medical diagnosis, by applying these laws they could determine if the person’s skin disease was contagious or not. Conditions that were superficial or which caused only whitening or scarring of the skin were considered noncontagious and therefore ceremonially clean. Skin conditions that were deep and spreading, or raw and oozing, were considered contagious and therefore ceremonially unclean. Where there was doubt, the priests isolated the individual for up to two weeks, by which time it could be determined if the condition was truly contagious or not.

45–46 If the priest concluded that a person had an infectious (contagious) disease, that person would have to live alone ... outside the camp. The “camp” consisted of all the tents in which the Israelites lived. Not only were the diseased individuals isolated and cut off in this way, but they had to dress and wear their hair in such a way that other people could immediately identify them as unclean and thus avoid getting close to them. They even had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” whenever anyone approached them. All of this was to prevent other people from getting their disease or becoming ceremonially unclean by accidental contact with an unclean person.

Regulations About Mildew (13:47–59)

47–59 The same Hebrew word used for “skin disease” was also used for mildew; thus the word was a general term describing a condition with a rough, discolored appearance that affected both skin and household materials, and which was easily transmitted from person to person or from object to object.

Mildew is caused by various kinds of fun to skin disease also applied to of fungus; it is destructive and it can spread. The except that with mildew the contaminated same principles of prevention that applied article had to be burned.

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