Leviticus 13:46

Hebrew Bible

44 he is a diseased man. He is unclean. The priest must surely pronounce him unclean because of his infection on his head. 45 “As for the diseased person who has the infection, his clothes must be torn, the hair of his head must be unbound, he must cover his mustache, and he must call out ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 The whole time he has the infection he will be continually unclean. He must live in isolation, and his place of residence must be outside the camp. 47 “When a garment has a diseased infection in it, whether a wool or linen garment, 48 or in the warp or woof of the linen or the wool, or in leather or anything made of leather,

2 Kings 7:3

Hebrew Bible

1 Elisha replied, “Listen to the Lord’s message. This is what the Lord has said, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah of finely milled flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’” 2 An officer who was the king’s right-hand man responded to the prophet, “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” Elisha said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!” 3 Now four men with a skin disease were sitting at the entrance of the city gate. They said to one another, “Why are we just sitting here waiting to die? 4 If we go into the city, we’ll die of starvation, and if we stay here we’ll die! So come on, let’s defect to the Syrian camp! If they spare us, we’ll live; if they kill us—well, we were going to die anyway.” 5 So they started toward the Syrian camp at dusk. When they reached the edge of the Syrian camp, there was no one there.

 Notes and References

"... The biblical word traditionally translated “leprosy” does not (at least usually) refer to what we call leprosy (Hansen’s disease) but rather covers a variety of skin diseases, including the different forms of psoriasis and vitiligo (both of which make the skin white, compare 2 Kings 5:27). The leprosy in Leviticus that contaminates clothing or a house is mold or mildew (Leviticus 13:47–59; 14:33–57). These diseases are associated with uncleanness and entail segregation from others (compare Numbers 5:2; 2 Kings 15:5; 2 Chronicles 26:16–21). But that segregation is not complete isolation; for although Leviticus 13:46 might mean that lepers should live by themselves, in both Testaments lepers have dealings with other people (compare 2 Kings 7:3; Mark 14:3). One nowhere reads of leper colonies. On the contrary, lepers advertise their presence by wearing ragged clothing, looking unkempt and crying, “Unclean, unclean” (Leviticus 13:45) ..."

Ryken, Leland Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (pp. 1716-1717) InterVarsity Press, 1998

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