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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 13

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Leprosy. 1The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 m Dt 24, 8 . “If someone has on his skin* a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his descendants, 3who shall examine the sore on his skin. If the hair on the sore has turned white and the sore itself shows that it has penetrated below the skin, it is indeed the sore of leprosy; the priest, on seeing this, shall declare the man unclean. 4If, however, the blotch on the skin is white, but does not seem to have penetrated below the skin, nor has the hair turned white, the priest shall quarantine the stricken man for seven days. 5On the seventh day the priest shall again examine him. If he judges that the sore has remained unchanged and has not spread on the skin, the priest shall quarantine him for another seven days, 6and once more examine him on the seventh day. If the sore is now dying out and has not spread on the skin, the priest shall declare the man clean; it was merely eczema. The man shall wash his garments and so become clean. 7But if, after he has shown himself to the priest to be declared clean, the eczema spreads at all on his skin, he shall once more show himself to the priest. 8Should the priest, on examining it, find that the eczema has indeed spread on the skin, he shall declare the man unclean; it is leprosy.

9“When someone is stricken with leprosy, he shall be brought to the priest. 10Should the priest, on examining him, find that there is a white scab on the skin which has turned the hair white and that there is raw flesh in it, 11it is skin leprosy that has long developed. The priest shall declare the man unclean without first quarantining him, since he is certainly unclean. 12If leprosy breaks out on the skin* and, as far as the priest can see, covers all the skin of the stricken man from head to foot, 13should the priest then, on examining him, find that the leprosy does cover his whole body, he shall declare the stricken man clean; since it has all turned white, the man is clean. 14But as soon as raw flesh appears on him, he is unclean; 15on observing the raw flesh, the priest shall declare him unclean, because raw flesh is unclean; it is leprosy. 16If, however, the raw flesh again turns white, he shall return to the priest; 17should the latter, on examining him, find that the sore has indeed turned white, he shall declare the stricken man clean, and thus he will be clean.

18“If a man who had a boil on his skin which later healed, 19should now in the place of the boil have a white scab or a pink blotch, he shall show himself to the priest. 20If the latter, on examination, sees that it is deeper than the skin and that the hair has turned white, he shall declare the man unclean: it is the sore of leprosy that has broken out in the boil. 21But if the priest, on examining him, finds that there is no white hair in it and that it is not deeper than the skin and is already dying out, the priest shall quarantine him for seven days. 22If it has then spread on the skin, the priest shall declare him unclean; the man is stricken. 23But if the blotch remains in its place without spreading, it is merely the scar of the boil; the priest shall therefore declare him clean.

24“If a man had a burn on his skin, and the proud flesh of the burn now becomes a pink or a white blotch, 25the priest shall examine it. If the hair has turned white on the blotch and this seems to have penetrated below the skin, it is leprosy that has broken out in the burn; the priest shall therefore declare him unclean and stricken with leprosy. 26But if the priest, on examining it, finds that there is no white hair on the blotch and that this is not deeper than the skin and is already dying out, the priest shall quarantine him for seven days. 27Should the priest, when examining it on the seventh day, find that it has spread at all on the skin, he shall declare the man unclean and stricken with leprosy. 28But if the blotch remains in its place without spreading on the skin and is already dying out, it is merely the scab of the burn; the priest shall therefore declare the man clean, since it is only the scar of the burn.

29“When a man or a woman has a sore on the head or cheek, 30should the priest, on examining it, find that the sore has penetrated below the skin and that there is fine yellow hair on it, the priest shall declare the person unclean, for this is scall,* a leprous disease of the head or cheek. 31But if the priest, on examining the scall sore, finds that it has not penetrated below the skin, though the hair on it may not be black, the priest shall quarantine the person with scall sore for seven days, 32and on the seventh day again examine the sore. If the scall has not spread and has no yellow hair on it and does not seem to have penetrated below the skin, 33the man shall shave himself, but not on the diseased spot. Then the priest shall quarantine him for another seven days. 34If the priest, when examining the scall on the seventh day, finds that it has not spread on the skin and that it has not penetrated below the skin, he shall declare the man clean; the latter shall wash his garments, and thus he will be clean. 35But if the scall spreads at all on his skin after he has been declared clean, 36the priest shall again examine it. If the scall has indeed spread on the skin, he need not look for yellow hair; the man is surely unclean. 37If, however, he judges that the scall has remained in its place and that black hair has grown on it, the disease has been healed; the man is clean, and the priest shall declare him clean.

38“When the skin of a man or a woman is spotted with white blotches, 39the priest shall make an examination. If the blotches on the skin are white and already dying out, it is only tetter* that has broken out on the skin, and the person therefore is clean.

40“When a man loses the hair of his head, he is not unclean merely because of his bald crown. 41So too, if he loses the hair on the front of his head, he is not unclean merely because of his bald forehead. 42But when there is a pink sore on his bald crown or bald forehead, it is leprosy that is breaking out there. 43The priest shall examine him; and if the scab on the sore of the bald spot has the same pink appearance as that of skin leprosy of the fleshy part of the body, 44the man is leprous and unclean, and the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head.

45“The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!' 46As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. n Nm 5, 2; 12, 14f; 2 Kgs 15, 5; Lk 17, 12 . He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.

Leprosy of Clothes. 47“When a leprous infection* is on a garment of wool or of linen, 48or on woven or knitted material of linen or wool, or on a hide or anything made of leather, 49if the infection on the garment or hide, or on the woven or knitted material, or on any leather article is greenish or reddish, the thing is indeed infected with leprosy and must be shown to the priest. 50Having examined the infection, the priest shall quarantine the infected article for seven days.

51“On the seventh day the priest shall again examine the infection. If it has spread on the garment, or on the woven or knitted material, or on the leather, whatever be its use, the infection is malignant leprosy, and the article is unclean. 52He shall therefore burn up the garment, or the woven or knitted material of wool or linen, or the leather article, whatever it may be, which is infected; since it has malignant leprosy, it must be destroyed by fire. 53But if the priest, on examining the infection, finds that it has not spread on the garment, or on the woven or knitted material, or on the leather article, 54he shall give orders to have the infected article washed and then quarantined for another seven days.

55“Then the priest shall again examine the infected article after it has been washed. If the infection has not changed its appearance, even though it may not have spread, the article is unclean and shall be destroyed by fire. 56But if the priest, on examining the infection, finds that it is dying out after the washing, he shall tear the infected part out of the garment, or the leather, or the woven or knitted material. 57If, however, the infection again appears on the garment, or on the woven or knitted material, or on the leather article, it is still virulent and the thing infected shall be destroyed by fire. 58But if, after the washing, the infection has left the garment, or the woven or knitted material, or the leather article, the thing shall be washed a second time, and thus it will be clean. 59This is the law for leprous infection o Lv 14, 54 . on a garment of wool or linen, or on woven or knitted material, or on any leather article, to determine whether it is clean or unclean.”

Notes:

m: Dt 24, 8 .

n: Nm 5, 2; 12, 14f; 2 Kgs 15, 5; Lk 17, 12 .

o: Lv 14, 54 .

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