Leviticus 14

Cleansing From Defiling Skin Diseases

1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 “These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest:
3 The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them. If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease,[a]
4 the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed.
5 Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot.
6 He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water.
7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the defiling disease, and then pronounce them clean. After that, he is to release the live bird in the open fields.
8 “The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days.
9 On the seventh day they must shave off all their hair; they must shave their head, their beard, their eyebrows and the rest of their hair. They must wash their clothes and bathe themselves with water, and they will be clean.
10 “On the eighth day they must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with three-tenths of an ephah[b] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, and one log[c] of oil.
11 The priest who pronounces them clean shall present both the one to be cleansed and their offerings before the LORD at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
12 “Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil; he shall wave them before the LORD as a wave offering.
13 He is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary area where the sin offering[d] and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy.
14 The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.
15 The priest shall then take some of the log of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand,
16 dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the LORD seven times.
17 The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering.
18 The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for them before the LORD.
19 “Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from their uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering
20 and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for them, and they will be clean.
21 “If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with a tenth of an ephah[e] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of oil,
22 and two doves or two young pigeons, such as they can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.
23 “On the eighth day they must bring them for their cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the LORD.
24 The priest is to take the lamb for the guilt offering, together with the log of oil, and wave them before the LORD as a wave offering.
25 He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.
26 The priest is to pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand,
27 and with his right forefinger sprinkle some of the oil from his palm seven times before the LORD.
28 Some of the oil in his palm he is to put on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.
29 The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for them before the LORD.
30 Then he shall sacrifice the doves or the young pigeons, such as the person can afford,
31 one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. In this way the priest will make atonement before the LORD on behalf of the one to be cleansed.”
32 These are the regulations for anyone who has a defiling skin disease and who cannot afford the regular offerings for their cleansing.

Cleansing From Defiling Molds

33 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mold in a house in that land,
35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mold in my house.’
36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.
37 He is to examine the mold on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall,
38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days.
39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mold has spread on the walls,
40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town.
41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town.
42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
43 “If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered,
44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean.
45 It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.
46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening.
47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash their clothes.
48 “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mold has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the defiling mold is gone.
49 To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop.
50 He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot.
51 Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times.
52 He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn.
53 Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”
54 These are the regulations for any defiling skin disease, for a sore,
55 for defiling molds in fabric or in a house,
56 and for a swelling, a rash or a shiny spot,
57 to determine when something is clean or unclean. These are the regulations for defiling skin diseases and defiling molds.

Leviticus 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

Of declaring the leper to be clean. (1-9) The sacrifices to be offered by him. (10-32) The leprosy in a house. (33-53) Summary of the law concerning leprosy. (54-57)

Verses 1-9 The priests could not cleanse the lepers; but when the Lord removed the plague, various rules were to be observed in admitting them again to the ordinances of God, and the society of his people. They represent many duties and exercises of truly repenting sinners, and the duties of ministers respecting them. If we apply this to the spiritual leprosy of sin, it intimates that when we withdraw from those who walk disorderly, we must not count them as enemies, but admonish them as brethren. And also that when God by his grace has brought to repentance, they ought with tenderness and joy, and sincere affection, to be received again. Care should always be taken that sinners may not be encouraged, nor penitents discouraged. If it were found that the leprosy was healed, the priest must declare it with the particular solemnities here described. The two birds, one killed, and the other dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed, and then let loose, may signify Christ shedding his blood for sinners, and rising and ascending into heaven. The priest having pronounced the leper clean from the disease, he must make himself clean from all remains of it. Thus those who have comfort of the remission of their sins, must with care and caution cleanse themselves from sins; for every one that has this hope in him, will be concerned to purify himself.

Verses 10-32 The cleansed leper was to be presented to the Lord, with his offerings. When God has restored us to enjoy public worship again, after sickness, distance, or otherwise, we should testify our thanksgiving by our diligent use of the liberty. And both we and our offerings must be presented before the Lord, by the Priest that made us clean, even our Lord Jesus. Beside the usual rites of the trespass-offering, some of the blood, and some of the oil, was to be put upon him that was to be cleansed. Wherever the blood of Christ is applied for justification, the oil of the Spirit is applied for sanctification; these two cannot be separated. We have here the gracious provision the law made for poor lepers. The poor are as welcome to God's altar as the rich. But though a meaner sacrifice was accepted from the poor, yet the same ceremony was used for the rich; their souls are as precious, and Christ and his gospel are the same to both. Even for the poor one lamb was necessary. No sinner could be saved, had it not been for the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God with his blood.

Verses 33-53 The leprosy in a house is unaccountable to us, as well as the leprosy in a garment; but now sin, where that reigns in a house, is a plague there, as it is in a heart. Masters of families should be aware, and afraid of the first appearance of sin in their families, and put it away, whatever it is. If the leprosy is got into the house, the infected part must be taken out. If it remain in the house, the whole must be pulled down. The owner had better be without a dwelling, than live in one that was infected. The leprosy of sin ruins families and churches. Thus sin is so interwoven with the human body, that it must be taken down by death.

Verses 54-57 When that God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us by his grace, ( ephesians 2:4 ephesians 2:5 ) , we shall manifest the change by repenting, and forsaking former sins. Let us follow after holiness, and let us compassionate other poor lepers, and desire, seek, and pray for their cleansing.

Cross References 73

  • 1. Leviticus 13:57; Deuteronomy 24:8; Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-44; Luke 5:12-14; Luke 17:14
  • 2. Leviticus 13:46
  • 3. S Leviticus 13:2
  • 4. S Exodus 12:22
  • 5. ver 6,49,51,52; Numbers 19:6; Psalms 51:7
  • 6. ver 50
  • 7. S ver 4
  • 8. ver 51
  • 9. 2 Kings 5:10,14; Isaiah 52:15; Ezekiel 36:25
  • 10. ver 53
  • 11. S Leviticus 11:25; Leviticus 13:6
  • 12. ver 9; S Exodus 29:4; Leviticus 15:5; Leviticus 17:15; Leviticus 22:6; Numbers 19:7,8
  • 13. ver 20
  • 14. S Leviticus 13:11; Numbers 5:2,3; Numbers 12:14,15; Numbers 19:20; Numbers 31:24; 2 Chronicles 26:21
  • 15. S Leviticus 13:5
  • 16. Numbers 6:9; Deuteronomy 21:12
  • 17. S Leviticus 13:6
  • 18. Numbers 6:10; Matthew 8:4; Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14
  • 19. S Leviticus 4:32
  • 20. Numbers 15:9; Numbers 28:20
  • 21. Leviticus 2:1
  • 22. ver 12,15,21,24
  • 23. Numbers 6:16
  • 24. Numbers 6:10
  • 25. S Leviticus 5:18; Leviticus 6:6-7
  • 26. S Exodus 29:24
  • 27. S Exodus 29:11
  • 28. Leviticus 6:24-30; S Leviticus 7:7
  • 29. S Exodus 29:20; Leviticus 8:23
  • 30. ver 26
  • 31. ver 27
  • 32. ver 28
  • 33. ver 31; Leviticus 15:15
  • 34. ver 31; S Leviticus 5:3; Leviticus 15:15
  • 35. Leviticus 15:30
  • 36. ver 8
  • 37. S Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 12:8
  • 38. ver 22,32
  • 39. S Leviticus 5:7
  • 40. Leviticus 15:30
  • 41. Leviticus 15:14,29
  • 42. S ver 10,11
  • 43. Numbers 6:14
  • 44. S ver 10
  • 45. ver 12
  • 46. ver 14; S Exodus 29:20
  • 47. ver 15
  • 48. ver 18
  • 49. S Leviticus 5:7
  • 50. ver 22; Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 15:15,30
  • 51. S ver 18,19
  • 52. S Leviticus 13:2
  • 53. S ver 21
  • 54. Genesis 12:5; Exodus 6:4; Numbers 13:2
  • 55. Genesis 17:8; Genesis 48:4; Deuteronomy 7:12">Nu 2Deuteronomy 7:12; Numbers 32:22; Deuteronomy 3:27; Deuteronomy 7:1; Deuteronomy 32:49
  • 56. S Leviticus 13:19
  • 57. S Leviticus 13:4
  • 58. Leviticus 13:5
  • 59. ver 45
  • 60. Leviticus 13:51
  • 61. S Leviticus 11:24
  • 62. S Leviticus 11:25
  • 63. S Leviticus 13:6
  • 64. ver 4; 1 Kings 4:33; ver 4
  • 65. ver 5
  • 66. ver 6; Psalms 51:7
  • 67. S ver 4,7
  • 68. S ver 7
  • 69. ver 20
  • 70. Leviticus 13:2; Leviticus 13:2,30
  • 71. Leviticus 13:47-52
  • 72. Leviticus 13:2
  • 73. S Leviticus 10:10

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. The Hebrew word for "defiling skin disease" , traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verses 7, 32, 54 and 57.
  • [b]. That is, probably about 11 pounds or about 5 kilograms
  • [c]. That is, about 1/3 quart or about 0.3 liter; also in verses 12, 15, 21 and 24
  • [d]. Or "purification offering" ; also in verses 19, 22 and 31
  • [e]. That is, probably about 3 1/2 pounds or about 1.6 kilograms

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the purification of lepers, and the rules to be observed therein; and first what the priest was to do for his cleansing when brought to him, by making use of two birds, with cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop, as directed, Le 14:1-7; what he was to do for himself, shaving off all his hair, and washing his flesh and clothes in water, Le 14:8,9; the offerings to be offered up for him, two he lambs and one ewe lamb, and a meat offering, with a particular account of the use of the blood of the trespass offering, and of oil put upon the tip of his right ear, the thumb of his right hand, and the great toe of his right foot, Le 14:10-20; but if poor, only one lamb was required, a meat offering of one tenth deal, and two turtle doves or two young pigeons, and blood and oil used as before, Le 14:21-32; next follow an account of leprosy in an house, and the signs of it, and the rules to judge of it, Le 14:33-48; and the manner of cleansing from it, Le 14:49-53; and the chapter is closed with a recapitulation of the several laws concerning the various sorts of leprosy in this and the preceding chapter, Le 14:54-57.

Leviticus 14 Commentaries

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