Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Messianic Miracles-- Leprosy Part 2

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.

Yet Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 gave the Levitical Priesthood detailed instructions as to what they were to do if ever a leper was healed. These instructions were the most detailed and time consuming of all rituals in the law of Moses. Most of the younger priests considered that learning them was a waste of time since they felt certain that they would never have to implement them.

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.


  1. I love this part of the Old Testament. I can't wait to see what observations you have made. As I studied Leviticus in detail, I couldn't help but think of the time that Christ healed the Leper and told him to go and show himself to the Priest. This would have meant that he was required to offer the ritual offerings as well. I believe that Christ was teaching who He was and was testifying that He was the giver of the LAW that still needed to be observed. I can't wait for tomorrows post. Thanks.

  2. Donna - Thank you for this series of posts. As I was reading this particular post, I wonder if you would comment about the "Final Offerings and Anointings"?