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Skin Diseases

13 The Lord told Moses and Aaron to say to the people:

If sores or boils or a skin rash should break out and start spreading on your body, you must be brought to Aaron or to one of the other priests. If the priest discovers that the hair in the infected area has turned white and that the infection seems more than skin deep, he will say, “This is leprosy[a]—you are unclean.”

But if the infected area is white and only skin deep, and if the hair in it hasn’t turned white, the priest will order you to stay away from everyone else for seven days. If the disease hasn’t spread by that time, he will order you to stay away from everyone else for another seven days. Then if the disease hasn’t gotten any worse or spread, the priest will say, “You are clean. It was only a sore. After you wash your clothes, you may go home.”

However, if the disease comes back, you must return to the priest. If it is discovered that the disease has started spreading, he will say, “This is leprosy—you are unclean.”

Any of you with a skin disease must be brought to a priest. 10 If he discovers that the sore spot is white with pus and that the hair around it has also turned white, 11 he will say, “This is leprosy. You are unclean and must stay away from everyone else.” 12-13 But if the disease has run its course and only the scars remain, he will say, “You are clean.” 14-15 If the sores come back and turn white with pus, he will say, “This is leprosy—you are unclean.”

16-17 However, if the sores heal and only white spots remain, the priest will say, “You are now clean.”

18-19 If you have a sore that either swells or turns reddish-white after it has healed, then you must show it to a priest. 20 If he discovers that the hair in the infected area has turned white and that the infection seems more than skin deep, he will say, “This is leprosy—you are unclean.” 21 But if the white area is only on the surface of the skin and hasn’t gotten any worse, and if the hair in it hasn’t turned white, he will have you stay away from everyone else for seven days.

22 If the sore begins spreading during this time, the priest will say, “You are unclean because you have a disease.” 23 But if it doesn’t spread, and only a scar remains, he will say, “You are now clean.”

24 If you have a burn that gets infected and turns red or reddish-white, 25 a priest must examine it. Then if he discovers that the hair in the infected area has turned white and that the infection seems more than skin deep, he will say, “The burn has turned into leprosy, and you are unclean.” 26 But if the priest finds that the hair in the infected area hasn’t turned white and that the sore is only skin deep and it is healing, he will have you stay away from everyone else for seven days. 27 On the seventh day the priest will examine you again, and if the infection is spreading, he will say, “This is leprosy—you are unclean.” 28 However, if the infection hasn’t spread and has begun to heal, and if only a scar remains, he will say, “Only a scar remains from the burn, and you are clean.”

29 If you have a sore on your head or chin, 30 it must be examined by a priest. If the infection seems more than skin deep, and the hair in it has thinned out and lost its color, he will say, “This is leprosy—you are unclean.” 31 On the other hand, if he discovers that the itchy spot is only skin deep, but that the hair still isn’t healthy, he will order you to stay away from everyone else for seven days. 32 By that time, if the itch hasn’t spread, if the hairs seem healthy, and if the itch is only skin deep, 33 you must shave off the hairs around the infection, but not those on it. Then the priest will tell you to stay away from everyone else for another seven days. 34 By that time, if the itch hasn’t spread and seems no more than skin deep, he will say, “You are clean; now you must wash your clothes.”

35-36 Later, if the itch starts spreading, even though the hair is still healthy, the priest will say, “You are unclean.” 37 But if he thinks you are completely well, he will say, “You are clean.”

38 If white spots break out on your skin, 39 but the priest discovers that it is only a rash, he will say, “You are clean.”

40-41 If you become bald on any part of your head, you are still clean. 42-43 But if a priest discovers that a reddish-white sore has broken out on the bald spot and looks like leprosy, he will say, 44 “This is leprosy—you are unclean.”

45 If you ever have leprosy, you must tear your clothes, leave your hair uncombed, cover the lower part of your face, and go around shouting, “I’m unclean! I’m unclean!” 46 As long as you have the disease, you are unclean and must live alone outside the camp.

47-50 If a greenish or reddish spot[b] appears anywhere on any of your clothing or on anything made of leather, you must let the priest examine the clothing or the leather. He will put it aside for seven days, 51 and if the mildew has spread in that time, he will say, “This is unclean 52 because the mildew has spread.” Then he will burn the clothing or the piece of leather.

53 If the priest discovers that the mildew hasn’t spread, 54 he will tell you to wash the clothing or leather and put it aside for another seven days, 55 after which he will examine it again. If the spot hasn’t spread, but is still greenish or reddish, the clothing or leather is unclean and must be burned. 56 But if the spot has faded after being washed, he will tear away the spot. 57 Later, if the spot reappears elsewhere on the clothing or the leather, you must burn it. 58 Even if the spot completely disappears after being washed, it must be washed again before it is clean.

59 These are the rules for deciding if clothing is clean or unclean after a spot appears on it.

Footnotes

  1. 13.3 leprosy: The word translated “leprosy” was used for many different kinds of skin diseases.
  2. 13.47-50 spot: The Hebrew word translated “spot” and “mildew” in verses 47-59 is the same one translated “leprosy” earlier in the chapter.

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