Attitudes of Judaism at the Time of Christ Regarding Leprosy
In the Old Testament all lepers mentioned there received their affliction as a result of serious sin either their own or that of a relative. The Rabbis listed 10 sins believed to cause leprosy (pg 9 Heb. Roots). For this reason, leprosy was considered to be a physical manifestation of the spiritually disfiguring effects of sin.
A common rabbinic saying about leprosy was, "It is easier to raise the dead than to heal a leper."
After the Law of Moses went into effect, there was no record that any Jew was ever healed of leprosy. Miriam's healing was before the Law was in effect. Naman was healed, but he was a Syrian Gentile, not a Jew. Leprosy was the one disease left out of Rabbinic cures. There was no cure whatsoever.
The Procedure to Declare a Leper "Clean" went as follows:
1. To begin, a leper approached the Priesthood leaders at the temple and said, "I was a leper, but now I have been healed." The Priesthood gave an initial offering of two birds to initiate the ceremony.
2. For the next seven days the Priesthood was required to make an intensive investigation to determine three things:
A. First, was the person really a leper? There were numerous skin diseases, maybe their affliction was only psoriasis or eczema.
B. Second, if indeed he was a real leper, had he actually been cured?
C. Third, if he was truly cured, what were the circumstances of his healing?
After the seven day investigation, if it was found that (a) the man truly had been a leper, (b) had shown evidence that he had been healed of his leprosy, and (c) the circumstances of his healing had been witnessed and documented, then (d) on the eighth day, there would be a lengthy series of offerings.
Final Offerings and Anointings
On the eighth day the healed leper brought to the temple:
2 male lambs- trespass & sin............if poor:..1 male lamb
1 ewe lamb- burnt offering ........................... 2 turtle doves or young pigeons
flour and oil meal offering ..............................grain and oil
Tune in tomorrow....there are some exciting connections to come.