New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Purification After Scaly Infection. 1 [a]The Lord said to Moses: 2 (A)This is the ritual for someone that had a scaly infection at the time of that person’s purification.(B) The individual shall be brought to the priest, 3 who is to go outside the camp.(C) If the priest, upon inspection, finds that the scaly infection has healed in the afflicted person, 4 he shall order that two live, clean birds,[b] as well as some cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop be obtained for the one who is to be purified.(D) 5 [c]The priest shall then order that one of the birds be slaughtered over an earthen vessel with fresh water in it. 6 Taking the living bird with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, the priest shall dip them, including the live bird, in the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water, 7 and then sprinkle seven times on the person to be purified from the scaly infection. When he has thus purified that person, he shall let the living bird fly away over the countryside.(E) 8 The person being purified shall then wash his garments, shave off all hair, and bathe in water,[d] and so become clean. After this the person may come inside the camp, but shall still remain outside his or her tent for seven days.(F) 9 On the seventh day this individual shall again shave off all hair, of the head, beard, and eyebrows—all hair must be shaved—and also wash his garments and bathe the body in water, and so become clean.
10 On the eighth day the individual shall take two unblemished male lambs, one unblemished yearling ewe lamb, three tenths of an ephah of bran flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and one log[e] of oil. 11 The priest who performs the purification ceremony shall place the person who is being purified, as well as all these offerings, before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 12 Taking one of the male lambs, the priest shall present it as a reparation offering,(G) along with the log of oil, raising them as an elevated(H) offering before the Lord. 13 This lamb shall be slaughtered in the sacred place where the purification offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered, because the reparation offering is like the purification offering; it belongs to the priest and is most holy. 14 [f](I)Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the reparation offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified. 15 The priest shall also take the log of oil and pour some of it into the palm of his own left hand; 16 then, dipping his right finger in the oil on his left palm, he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the Lord. 17 Of the oil left in his hand the priest shall put some on the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified, over the blood of the reparation offering. 18 The rest of the oil in his hand the priest shall put on the head(J) of the one being purified. Thus shall the priest make atonement for the individual before the Lord. 19 The priest shall next offer the purification offering,(K) thus making atonement on behalf of the one being purified from the uncleanness. After this the burnt offering shall be slaughtered. 20 The priest shall offer the burnt offering(L) and the grain offering on the altar before the Lord. Thus shall the priest make atonement for the person, and the individual will become clean.
Poor Person’s Sacrifices. 21 If a person is poor and cannot afford so much,(M) that person shall take one male lamb for a reparation offering, to be used as an elevated offering in atonement, one tenth of an ephah of bran flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, a log of oil, 22 and two turtledoves or pigeons, which the individual can more easily afford, the one as a purification offering and the other as a burnt offering. 23 On the eighth day of purification the person shall bring them to the priest, at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord. 24 Taking the lamb of the reparation offering, along with the log of oil, the priest shall raise them as an elevated offering before the Lord. 25 When the lamb of the reparation offering has been slaughtered, the priest shall take some of its blood, 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 person being purified. 26 The priest shall then pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand 27 and with his right finger sprinkle some of the oil in his left palm seven times before the Lord. 28 Some of the oil in his hand the priest shall also put on the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified, where he had sprinkled the blood of the reparation offering. 29 The rest of the oil in his hand the priest shall put on the head of the one being purified. Thus shall he make atonement for the individual before the Lord. 30 Then, of the turtledoves or pigeons, such as the person can afford, 31 the priest shall offer one as a purification offering and the other as a burnt offering,(N) along with the grain offering. Thus shall the priest make atonement before the Lord for the person who is being purified. 32 This is the ritual for one afflicted with a scaly infection who has insufficient means for purification.
Fungal Infection of Houses. 33 [g]The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 34 When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you to possess, if I put(O) a fungal infection in any house of the land you occupy, 35 the owner of the house shall come and report to the priest, “Something like an infection has appeared in my house.” 36 The priest shall then order the house to be cleared out before he goes in to examine the infection, lest everything in the house become unclean. Only after this is he to go in to examine the house. 37 If the priest, upon inspection, finds that the infection on the walls of the house consists of greenish or reddish spots(P) which seem to go deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 he shall go out of the house to the doorway and quarantine the house for seven days. 39 On the seventh day the priest shall return. If, upon inspection, he finds that the infection has spread on the walls, 40 he shall order the infected stones to be pulled out and cast in an unclean place outside the city. 41 The whole inside of the house shall then be scraped, and the mortar that has been scraped off shall be dumped in an unclean place outside the city. 42 Then other stones shall be brought and put in the place of the old stones, and new mortar obtained and plastered on the house. 43 If the infection breaks out once more in the house after the stones have been pulled out and the house has been scraped and replastered, 44 the priest shall come; and if, upon inspection, he finds that the infection has spread in the house, it is a corrosive fungus in the house, and it is unclean. 45 It shall be pulled down, and all its stones, beams and mortar shall be hauled away to an unclean place outside the city. 46 (Q)Whoever enters a house while it is quarantined shall be unclean until evening. 47 Whoever sleeps or eats in such a house shall also wash his garments.
48 (R)If the priest finds, when he comes to the house, that the infection has in fact not spread in the house after the plastering, he shall declare the house clean, since the infection has been healed. 49 To purify the house, he shall take two birds, as well as cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop. 50 One of the birds he shall slaughter over an earthen vessel with fresh water in it. 51 Then, taking the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn, together with the living bird, he shall dip them all in the blood of the slaughtered bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 Thus he shall purify the house with the bird’s blood and the fresh water, along with the living bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet yarn. 53 He shall then let the living bird fly away over the countryside outside the city. Thus he shall make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.
54 This is the ritual for every kind of human scaly infection and scall, 55 and for fungus diseases in garments and houses— 56 for marks, lesions and blotches— 57 to give direction when there is a state of uncleanness and when a state of cleanness. This is the ritual for scaly infection.
- 14:1–32 The rites here are for purification from human scaly infections after recovery, not for healing (but cf. 2 Kgs 5:10–14).
- 14:4–7 The bird rite is also found for purifying a house from a fungus (vv. 49–53). The rite apparently removes impurity from the individual and, by means of the live bird, sends it away to unpopulated areas (v. 7). This is similar to the dispatch of a goat laden with sins on the Day of Atonement (16:21–22).
- 14:5–7 The blood from the bird serves as a ritual detergent, much like the blood from the purification offering (see notes on 4:3). It is not a sacrifice, however, since it is not performed at the sanctuary. Fresh water: lit., “living water,” taken from some source of running water, not from a cistern.
- 14:8 Bathe in water: This phrase occurs frequently in Lv 14–16 and is imprecise. It can refer to both ordinary and cultic washing. The context will determine the meaning. At this early period in Israel’s history it is probably not a reference to cultic immersion in a Mikveh—a Second Temple period ritual.
- 14:10 Log: a liquid measure of capacity attested in the Bible only here. It is apparently equal in capacity to one-half liter.
- 14:14–17 The application of blood and oil here facilitates the movement of the person from the severely impure to the pure profane sphere; it reintegrates him or her into the community. Cf. 8:23–24.
- 14:33–53 Discussion of fungi in houses is probably delayed until here because it deals with a case pertaining to living in the land (v. 34) as opposed to the foregoing cases which apply even in the wilderness. The rules on fabrics (13:47–58) apply to the tent dwellings in the wilderness.