Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 29

Leviticus 13–16, Hebrews 7–8

Bible text(s)

Laws concerning Skin Diseases

1The LORD gave Moses and Aaron these regulations. 2If anyone has a sore on his skin or a boil or an inflammation which could develop into a dreaded skin disease, he shall be brought to the Aaronite priest. 3The priest shall examine the sore, and if the hairs in it have turned white and the sore appears to be deeper than the surrounding skin, it is a dreaded skin disease, and the priest shall pronounce the person unclean. 4But if the sore is white and does not appear to be deeper than the skin round it and the hairs have not turned white, the priest shall isolate the person for seven days. 5The priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if in his opinion the sore looks the same and has not spread, he shall isolate him for another seven days. 6The priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the sore has faded and has not spread, he shall pronounce him ritually clean; it is only a sore. The person shall wash his clothes and be ritually clean. 7But if the sore spreads after the priest has examined him and pronounced him clean, he must appear before the priest again. 8The priest will examine him again, and if it has spread, he shall pronounce him unclean; it is a dreaded skin disease.

9If anyone has a dreaded skin disease, he shall be brought to the priest, 10who will examine him. If there is a white sore on his skin which turns the hairs white and is full of pus, 11it is a chronic skin disease. The priest shall pronounce him unclean; there is no need to isolate him, because he is obviously unclean. 12If the skin disease spreads and covers the person from head to foot, 13the priest shall examine him again. If he finds that it actually has covered the whole body, he shall pronounce the person ritually clean. If his whole skin has turned white, he is ritually clean. 14But from the moment an open sore appears, he is unclean. 15The priest shall examine him again, and if he sees an open sore, he shall pronounce him unclean. An open sore means a dreaded skin disease, and the person is unclean. 16But when the sore heals and becomes white again, the person shall go to the priest, 17who will examine him again. If the sore has turned white, he is ritually clean, and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

18If anyone has a boil that has healed 19and if afterwards a white swelling or a reddish-white spot appears where the boil was, he shall go to the priest. 20The priest shall examine him, and if the spot seems to be deeper than the surrounding skin and the hairs in it have turned white, he shall pronounce him unclean. It is a dreaded skin disease that has started in the boil. 21But if the priest examines it and finds that the hairs in it have not turned white and that it is not deeper than the surrounding skin, but is light in colour, the priest shall isolate him for seven days. 22If the spot spreads, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; he is diseased. 23But if it remains unchanged and does not spread, it is only the scar left from the boil, and the priest shall pronounce him ritually clean.

24In the case of a person who has been burnt, if the raw flesh becomes white or reddish-white, 25the priest shall examine him. If the hairs in the spot have turned white and it appears deeper than the surrounding skin, it is a dreaded skin disease that has started in the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. 26But if the hairs in it have not turned white and it is not deeper than the surrounding skin, but is light in colour, the priest shall isolate him for seven days. 27The priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if it is spreading, it is a dreaded skin disease, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. 28But if the spot remains unchanged and does not spread and is light in colour, it is not a dreaded skin disease. The priest shall pronounce him ritually clean, because it is only a scar from the burn.

29When a man or a woman has a sore on the head or the chin, 30the priest shall examine it. If it seems to be deeper than the surrounding skin and the hairs in it are yellowish and thin, it is a dreaded skin disease, and he shall pronounce the person unclean. 31If, when the priest examines him, the sore does not appear to be deeper than the surrounding skin, but there are still no healthy hairs in it, he shall isolate him for seven days. 32The priest shall examine the sore again on the seventh day, and if it has not spread and there are no yellowish hairs in it and it does not seem to be deeper than the surrounding skin, 33the person shall shave the head except the area round the sore. The priest shall then isolate him for another seven days. 34On the seventh day the priest shall again examine the sore, and if it has not spread and does not seem to be deeper than the surrounding skin, he shall pronounce him ritually clean. The person shall wash his clothes, and he will be clean. 35But if the sore spreads after he has been pronounced clean, 36the priest shall examine him again. If the sore has spread, he need not look for yellowish hairs; the person is obviously unclean. 37But if in the priest's opinion the sore has not spread and healthy hairs are growing in it, the sore has healed, and the priest shall pronounce him ritually clean.

38When a man or a woman has white spots on the skin, 39the priest shall examine that person. If the spots are dull white, it is only a blemish that has broken out on the skin; the person is ritually clean.

40-41If a man loses his hair at the back or the front of his head, this does not make him unclean. 42But if a reddish-white sore appears on the bald spot, it is a dreaded skin disease. 43The priest shall examine him, and if there is a reddish-white sore, 44the priest shall pronounce him unclean, because of the dreaded skin disease on his head.

45A person who has a dreaded skin disease must wear torn clothes, leave his hair uncombed, cover the lower part of his face, and call out, “Unclean, unclean!” 46He remains unclean as long as he has the disease, and he must live outside the camp, away from others.

Laws concerning Mildew

47When there is mildew on clothing, whether wool or linen, 48or on any piece of linen or wool cloth or on leather or anything made of leather, 49if it is greenish or reddish, it is a spreading mildew and must be shown to the priest. 50The priest shall examine it and put the object away for seven days. 51He shall examine it again on the seventh day, and if the mildew has spread, the object is unclean. 52The priest shall burn it, because it is a spreading mildew which must be destroyed by fire.

53But if, when he examines it, the priest finds that the mildew has not spread on the object, 54he shall order it to be washed and put away for another seven days. 55Then he shall examine it, and if the mildew has not changed colour, even though it has not spread, it is still unclean; you must burn the object, whether the rot is on the front or the back. 56But if, when the priest examines it again, the mildew has faded, he shall tear it out of the clothing or leather. 57Then, if the mildew reappears, it is spreading again, and the owner shall burn the object. 58If he washes the object and the spot disappears, he shall wash it again, and it will be ritually clean.

59This, then, is the law about mildew on clothing, whether it is wool or linen, or on linen or wool cloth or on anything made of leather; this is how the decision is made as to whether it is ritually clean or unclean.

Leviticus 13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Purification after Having Skin Diseases

1The LORD gave Moses 2the following regulations about the ritual purification of a person cured of a dreaded skin disease. On the day he is to be pronounced clean, he shall be brought to the priest, 3and the priest shall take him outside the camp and examine him. If the disease is healed, 4the priest shall order two ritually clean birds to be brought, together with a piece of cedar wood, a red cord, and a sprig of hyssop. 5Then the priest shall order one of the birds to be killed over a clay bowl containing fresh spring water. 6He shall take the other bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the red cord, and the hyssop, in the blood of the bird that was killed. 7He shall sprinkle the blood seven times on the person who is to be purified from his skin disease, and then he shall pronounce him clean. He shall let the live bird fly away over the open fields. 8The person shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and have a bath; he will then be ritually clean. He may enter the camp, but he must live outside his tent for seven days. 9On the seventh day he shall again shave his head, his beard, his eyebrows, and all the rest of the hair on his body; he shall wash his clothes and have a bath, and then he will be ritually clean.

10On the eighth day he shall bring two male lambs and one female lamb a year old that are without any defects, three kilogrammes of flour mixed with olive oil, and a third of a litre of olive oil. 11The priest shall take the person and these offerings to the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence. 12Then the priest shall take one of the male lambs and together with the one-third of a litre of oil he shall offer it as a repayment offering. He shall present them as a special gift to the LORD for the priest. 13He shall kill the lamb in the place where the animals for the sin offerings and the burnt offerings are killed. He must do this because the repayment offering, like the sin offering, belongs to the priest and is very holy. 14The priest shall take some of the blood of the lamb and put it on the lobe of the right ear, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot of the one who is to be declared ritually clean. 15The priest shall take some of the olive oil and pour it in the palm of his own left hand, 16dip a finger of his right hand in it, and sprinkle some of it seven times there in the LORD's presence. 17He shall take some of the oil that is in the palm of his hand and some of the blood of the lamb and put them on the lobe of the right ear, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot of the one who is to be declared ritually clean. 18He shall put the rest of the oil that is in the palm of his hand on the person's head. In this way he shall perform the ritual of purification.

19Then the priest shall offer the sin offering and perform the ritual of purification. After that, he shall kill the animal for the burnt offering 20and offer it with the grain offering on the altar. In this way the priest shall perform the ritual of purification, and the person will be ritually clean.

21If he is poor and cannot afford any more, he shall bring for his purification only one male lamb as his repayment offering, a special gift to the LORD for the priest. He shall bring only one kilogramme of flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering and a third of a litre of olive oil. 22He shall also bring two doves or two pigeons, one for the sin offering and one for the burnt offering. 23On the eighth day of his purification he shall bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Tent. 24The priest shall take the lamb and the olive oil and present them as a special gift to the LORD for the priest. 25He shall kill the lamb and take some of the blood and put it on the lobe of the person's right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 26The priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand 27and with a finger of his right hand sprinkle some of it seven times there in the LORD's presence. 28He shall put some of the oil on the same places as he put the blood: on the lobe of the person's right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 29The rest of the oil that is in his palm he shall put on the person's head and in this way perform the ritual of purification. 30Then he shall offer one of the doves or pigeons 31as the sin offering and the other as the burnt offering with the grain offering. In this way the priest shall perform the ritual of purification. 32This is the law for the one who has a dreaded skin disease but who cannot afford the normal offerings required for his purification.

Mildew in Houses

33The LORD gave Moses and Aaron 34-35the following regulations about houses affected by spreading mildew. (These were to apply after the people of Israel entered the land of Canaan, which the LORD was going to give them as their possession.) If someone finds that the LORD has sent mildew on his house, then he must go and tell the priest about it. 36The priest shall order everything to be moved out of the house before he goes to examine the mildew; otherwise everything in the house will be declared unclean. Then he shall go to the house 37and examine the mildew. If there are greenish or reddish spots that appear to be eating into the wall, 38he shall leave the house and lock it up for seven days. 39On the seventh day he shall return and examine it again. If the mildew has spread, 40he shall order the stones on which the mildew is found to be removed and thrown into some unclean place outside the city. 41After that he must have all the interior walls scraped and the plaster dumped in an unclean place outside the city. 42Then other stones are to be used to replace the stones that were removed, and new plaster will be used to cover the walls.

43If the mildew breaks out again in the house after the stones have been removed and the house has been scraped and plastered, 44the priest shall go and look. If it has spread, the house is unclean. 45It must be torn down, and its stones, its wood, and all its plaster must be carried out of the city to an unclean place. 46Anyone who enters the house while it is locked up will be unclean until evening. 47Anyone who lies down or eats in the house must wash his clothes.

48If, when the priest comes to look, the mildew has not reappeared after the house has been replastered, he shall pronounce the house ritually clean, because the mildew has been completely removed. 49To purify the house, he shall take two birds, some cedar wood, a red cord, and a sprig of hyssop. 50He shall kill one of the birds over a clay bowl containing fresh spring water. 51Then he shall take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the red cord, and the live bird and shall dip them in the blood of the bird that was killed and in the fresh water. And he shall sprinkle the house seven times. 52In this way he shall purify the house with the bird's blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the red cord. 53Then he shall let the live bird fly away outside the city over the open fields. In this way he shall perform the ritual of purification for the house, and it will be ritually clean.

54These are the laws about dreaded skin diseases; 55-56sores, boils, or inflammations; and about mildew in clothes or houses. 57These laws determine when something is unclean and when it is clean.

Leviticus 14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Unclean Bodily Discharges

1The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following regulations 2for the people of Israel. When any man has a discharge from his penis, the discharge is unclean, 3whether the penis runs with it or is stopped up by it. 4Any bed on which he sits or lies is unclean. 5Anyone who touches his bed 6or sits on anything the man has sat on must wash his clothes and have a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. 7Anyone who touches the man with the discharge must wash his clothes and have a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. 8If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is ritually clean, that person must wash his clothes and have a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. 9Any saddle or seat on which the man with the discharge sits is unclean. 10Anyone who touches anything on which the man sat is unclean until evening. Anyone who carries anything on which the man sat must wash his clothes and have a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. 11If a man who has a discharge touches someone without first having washed his hands, that person must wash his clothes and have a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. 12Any clay pot that the man touches must be broken, and any wooden bowl that he touches must be washed.

13After the man is cured of his discharge, he must wait seven days and then wash his clothes and bathe in fresh spring water, and he will be ritually clean. 14On the eighth day he shall take two doves or two pigeons to the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence and give them to the priest. 15The priest shall offer one of them as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. In this way he will perform the ritual of purification for the man.

16When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body, and he remains unclean until evening. 17Anything made of cloth or leather on which the semen falls must be washed, and it remains unclean until evening. 18After sexual intercourse both the man and the woman must have a bath, and they remain unclean until evening.

19When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her is unclean until evening. 20Anything on which she sits or lies during her monthly period is unclean. 21-23Anyone who touches her bed or anything on which she has sat must wash his clothes and have a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. 24If a man has sexual intercourse with her during her period, he is contaminated by her impurity and remains unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies is unclean.

25If a woman has a flow of blood for several days outside her monthly period or if her flow continues beyond her regular period, she remains unclean as long as the flow continues, just as she is during her monthly period. 26Any bed on which she lies and anything on which she sits during this time is unclean. 27Anyone who touches them is unclean and must wash his clothes and have a bath; he remains unclean until evening. 28After her flow stops, she must wait seven days, and then she will be ritually clean. 29On the eighth day she shall take two doves or two pigeons to the priest at the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence. 30The priest shall offer one of them as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and in this way he will perform the ritual of purification for her.

31The LORD told Moses to warn the people of Israel about their uncleanness, so that they would not defile the Tent of his presence, which was in the middle of the camp. If they did, they would be killed.

32These are the regulations about a man who has a discharge or an emission of semen, 33a woman during her monthly period, or a man who has sexual intercourse with a woman who is ritually unclean.

Leviticus 15GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Day of Atonement

1The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who were killed when they offered unholy fire to the LORD. 2He said, “Tell your brother Aaron that only at the proper time is he to go behind the curtain into the Most Holy Place, because that is where I appear in a cloud above the lid on the Covenant Box. If he disobeys, he will be killed. 3He may enter the Most Holy Place only after he has brought a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.”

4Then the LORD gave the following instructions. Before Aaron goes into the Most Holy Place, he must have a bath and put on the priestly garments: the linen robe and shorts, the belt, and the turban.

5The community of Israel shall give Aaron two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 6He shall offer a bull as a sacrifice to take away his own sins and those of his family. 7Then he shall take the two goats to the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence. 8There he shall draw lots, using two stones, one marked “for the LORD” and the other “for Azazel”. 9Aaron shall sacrifice the goat chosen by lot for the LORD and offer it as a sin offering. 10The goat chosen for Azazel shall be presented alive to the LORD and sent off into the desert to Azazel, in order to take away the sins of the people.

11When Aaron sacrifices the bull as the sin offering for himself and his family, 12he shall take a firepan full of burning coals from the altar and two handfuls of fine incense and bring them into the Most Holy Place. 13There in the LORD's presence he shall put the incense on the fire, and the smoke of the incense will hide the lid of the Covenant Box so that he will not see it and die. 14He shall take some of the bull's blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the lid and then sprinkle some of it seven times in front of the Covenant Box.

15After that, he shall kill the goat for the sin offering for the people, bring its blood into the Most Holy Place, and sprinkle it on the lid and then in front of the Covenant Box, as he did with the bull's blood. 16In this way he will perform the ritual to purify the Most Holy Place from the uncleanness of the people of Israel and from all their sins. He must do this to the Tent, because it stands in the middle of the camp, which is ritually unclean. 17From the time Aaron enters the Most Holy Place to perform the ritual of purification until he comes out, there must be no one in the Tent. When he has performed the ritual for himself, his family, and the whole community, 18he must then go out to the altar for burnt offerings and purify it. He must take some of the bull's blood and some of the goat's blood and put it all over the projections at the corners of the altar. 19With his finger he must sprinkle some of the blood on the altar seven times. In this way he is to purify it from the sins of the people of Israel and make it holy.

The Scapegoat

20When Aaron has finished performing the ritual to purify the Most Holy Place, the rest of the Tent of the LORD's presence, and the altar, he shall present to the LORD the live goat chosen for Azazel. 21He shall put both his hands on the goat's head and confess over it all the evils, sins, and rebellions of the people of Israel, and so transfer them to the goat's head. Then the goat is to be driven off into the desert by someone appointed to do it. 22The goat will carry all their sins away with him into some uninhabited land.

23Then Aaron shall go into the Tent, take off the priestly garments that he had put on before entering the Most Holy Place, and leave them there. 24He must bathe in a holy place and put on his own clothes. After that, he shall go out and offer the burnt offering to remove his own sins and those of the people. 25He shall burn on the altar the fat of the animal for the sin offering. 26The man who drove the goat into the desert to Azazel must wash his clothes and have a bath before he comes back into camp. 27The bull and the goat used for the sin offering, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to take away sin, shall be carried outside the camp and burnt. Skin, meat, and intestines shall all be burnt. 28The one who burns them must wash his clothes and have a bath before he returns to camp.

Observing the Day of Atonement

29The following regulations are to be observed for all time to come. On the tenth day of the seventh month the Israelites and the foreigners living among them must fast and must not do any work. 30On that day the ritual is to be performed to purify them from all their sins, so that they will be ritually clean. 31That day is to be a very holy day, one on which they fast and do no work at all. These regulations are to be observed for all time to come. 32The High Priest, properly ordained and consecrated to succeed his father, is to perform the ritual of purification. He shall put on the priestly garments 33and perform the ritual to purify the Most Holy Place, the rest of the Tent of the LORD's presence, the altar, the priests, and all the people of the community. 34These regulations are to be observed for all time to come. This ritual must be performed once a year to purify the people of Israel from all their sins.

So Moses did as the Lord had commanded.

Leviticus 16GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Priest Melchizedek

1This Melchizedek was king of Salem and a priest of the Most High God. As Abraham was coming back from the battle in which he defeated the four kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him, 2and Abraham gave him a tenth of all he had taken. (The first meaning of Melchizedek's name is “King of Righteousness”; and because he was king of Salem, his name also means “King of Peace”.) 3There is no record of Melchizedek's father or mother or of any of his ancestors; no record of his birth or of his death. He is like the Son of God; he remains a priest for ever.

4You see, then, how great he was. Abraham, our famous ancestor, gave him a tenth of all he got in the battle. 5And those descendants of Levi who are priests are commanded by the Law to collect a tenth from the people of Israel, that is, from their own people, even though they are also descendants of Abraham. 6Melchizedek was not descended from Levi, but he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him, the man who received God's promises. 7There is no doubt that the one who blesses is greater than the one who is blessed. 8In the case of the priests the tenth is collected by men who die; but as for Melchizedek the tenth was collected by one who lives, as the scripture says. 9And, so to speak, when Abraham paid the tenth, Levi (whose descendants collect the tenth) also paid it. 10For Levi had not yet been born, but was, so to speak, in the body of his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met him.

11It was on the basis of the levitical priesthood that the Law was given to the people of Israel. Now, if the work of the levitical priests had been perfect, there would have been no need for a different kind of priest to appear, one who is in the priestly order of Melchizedek, not of Aaron. 12For when the priesthood is changed, there also has to be a change in the law. 13And our Lord, of whom these things are said, belonged to a different tribe, and no member of his tribe ever served as a priest. 14It is well known that he was born a member of the tribe of Judah; and Moses did not mention this tribe when he spoke of priests.

Another Priest, like Melchizedek

15The matter becomes even plainer; a different priest has appeared, who is like Melchizedek. 16He was made a priest, not by human rules and regulations, but through the power of a life which has no end. 17For the scripture says, “You will be a priest for ever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.” 18The old rule, then, is set aside, because it was weak and useless. 19For the Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. And now a better hope has been provided through which we come near to God.

20In addition, there is also God's vow. There was no such vow when the others were made priests. 21But Jesus became a priest by means of a vow when God said to him:

“The Lord has made a solemn promise

and will not take it back:

‘You will be a priest for ever.’ ”

22This difference, then, also makes Jesus the guarantee of a better covenant.

23There is another difference: there were many of those other priests, because they died and could not continue their work. 24But Jesus lives on for ever, and his work as priest does not pass on to someone else. 25And so he is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him, because he lives for ever to plead with God for them.

26Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinners and raised above the heavens. 27He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day for his own sins first and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself. 28The Law of Moses appoints men who are imperfect to be high priests; but God's promise made with the vow, which came later than the Law, appoints the Son, who has been made perfect for ever.

Jesus our High Priest

1The whole point of what we are saying is that we have such a High Priest, who sits at the right of the throne of the Divine Majesty in heaven. 2He serves as High Priest in the Most Holy Place, that is, in the real tent which was put up by the Lord, not by human hands.

3Every High Priest is appointed to present offerings and animal sacrifices to God, and so our High Priest must also have something to offer. 4If he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer the gifts required by the Jewish Law. 5The work they do as priests is really only a copy and a shadow of what is in heaven. It is the same as it was with Moses. When he was about to build the Sacred Tent, God said to him, “Be sure to make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.” 6But now, Jesus has been given priestly work which is superior to theirs, just as the covenant which he arranged between God and his people is a better one, because it is based on promises of better things.

7If there had been nothing wrong with the first covenant, there would have been no need for a second one. 8But God finds fault with his people when he says:

“The days are coming, says the Lord,

when I will draw up a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

9It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors

on the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt.

They were not faithful to the covenant I made with them,

and so I paid no attention to them.

10Now, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel

in the days to come, says the Lord:

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11None of them will have to teach their fellow-citizens

or say to their fellow-citizens,

‘Know the Lord.’

For they will all know me,

from the least to the greatest.

12I will forgive their sins

and will no longer remember their wrongs.”

13By speaking of a new covenant, God has made the first one old; and anything that becomes old and worn out will soon disappear.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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