14:1. "And the
Lord spake unto Moses, saying,"
As noted previously, Moses
represents the principle of law, as Aaron does the principle of grace, so
that God's speaking here only to Moses emphasizes that this has to do with
God's inviolable law relative to the cleansing of leprosy, and therefore
typically, of sin. This is not to say that grace isn't also involved. It
is, but grace must be accepted on God's terms. He who would be cleansed of
leprosy must follow the ritual ordained by God, and he who would be cleansed
from sin must also follow God's prescribed order, for He will not pardon at
the expense of His own moral integrity.
shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be
brought unto the priest:"
There could be no
cleansing apart from the ministry of the priest, nor can there be cleansing
from sin apart from the ministry of the Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus
Christ. The leper who would be cleansed must come to the priest, and he who
would be cleansed from sin must come to Christ.
His being brought implies
the activity of another, and the willingness of the leper to follow that
other, reminds us that sinners cannot be saved unless they are willing to
follow the Holy Spirit, i.e., yield to His striving, and confess themselves
sinners without one shred of righteousness. His striving is never to be
confused with compulsion. No one is compelled to be saved any more than to
enter hell and the lake of fire. Whether heaven or hell, man by an act of
his own free will chooses his eternal destination.
14:3. "And the
priest shall go forth out of the camp: and the priest shall look, and,
behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;"
It would be difficult to
find in Scripture a clearer picture of the Lord Jesus Christ's coming forth
from heaven to meet and pronounce clean, spiritual lepers willing to obey
His Word by confessing themselves sinners, and by trusting in Him for
cleansing and redemption. Nor is it difficult to see in the priest's going
forth out of the camp, the Lord's going out of the camp of Israel, not only
to save such of that nation as would accept Him, but to bring savation also
to the spiritually leperous Gentiles.
But how do we explain the
fact that the leper was clean before he met the priest, and his going was so
that the priest might pronounce him clean? There is no mystery, but rather,
the symbolic presentation of the truth that God, by His foreknowledge knows
who will and who will not accept His gift of eternal life through faith in
Christ as Savior. The sinner's healing is foreknown by God before the man's
faith appropriates it.
The leper's coming to the
priest is the symbolic picture of a sinner's coming to Christ, for as the
leper's coming was synonymous with his cleansing, so is the sinner's coming
to Christ synonymous also with his cleansing from sin.
shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds
alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:"
The two birds, creatures
of heaven, are types of Christ the heavenly One Who came down to earth to
shed His blood for the remission of men's sins, and since two is the
Biblical number of witness or testimony, we are being reminded that He came
as the perfect Witness to man's ruined state, and to God's love in providing
for the undoing of that ruin. Their being "alive and clean" points to the
fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Author of life, but also
God's unblemished Holy Lamb.
Wood is the Biblical
symbol of humanity, the cedar portraying those of highest rank, and the
hyssop, the lowest, so that all social ranks are comprehended in these two,
see 1 Kings 4:33 "And he (Solomon) spake of trees, from the cedar tree that
is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall."
Most commentators take the
scarlet to represent worldly glory, but that glory is a vain thing, for
Isaiah 1:18 declares that scarlet is the color of sin, "Come now, and let us
reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall
be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as
wool," Isaiah 1:18. The mention of scarlet between the cedar and the hyssop
declares that all men are sinners who need a Savior.
14:5. "And the
priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel
over running water:"
The bird is Christ, and
the earthen vessel is the figure of His human body, see 2 Corinthians 4:7
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the
power may be of God, and not of us." It was in His human body that He died;
and the running water, always a type of the Word ministered by the Holy
Spirit, reminds us that, "Christ ... through the eternal Spirit offered
himself without spot to God," Hebrews 9:14, in accordance with, and in
fulfillment of what is written in Scripture.
As there could be no
cleansing of the leper apart from the death of the bird, neither can there
be cleansing for a sinner apart from the death of Christ.
14:6. "As for
the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and
the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird
that was killed over the running water:"
This speaks of Christ's
complete identification with man, not only in His assumption of humanity,
but in His willingness to be made sin so "that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him," 2 Corinthians 5:21. From the greatest to the
lowest, men are blighted by sin, and apart from faith in Christ's shed
blood, must die physically, and then die also the second death, which is
consignment of body, soul and spirit into the eternal torment of the lake of
14:7. "And he
shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times,
and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the
Since seven is the
Biblical number of completeness or perfection, that sevenfold sprinkling
speaks of the perfect cleansing of those who trust in Christ as Savior. His
righteousness becomes theirs. The believer is as holy in God's sight as is
The release of the living
bird into the open field speaks of Christ in resurrection, as it is written,
He "Who was delivered for our offences ... was raised again for our
justification," Romans 4:25.
14:8. "And he
that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair,
and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall
come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days."
Since garments represent
not only righteousness, either self-righteousness, or the righteousness of
Christ that clothes the believer, but also the man's habits or manner of
living, the washing of the clothes speaks of altering the lifestyle, a
changed life being the evidence of genuine repentance. It would speak of
bringing the lifestyle into conformity with the requirements of Scripture.
As noted in our study of
the previous chapter, hair speaks of vigor, either natural or spiritual, and
in the present context there is no doubt that it represents the vigor of
nature. The shaving therefore speaks of renunciation of all confidence in
the flesh, which is another mark of genuine repentance.
Since the washing of the
clothes points to the government of the lifestyle by the Word of God, the
washing of his person with water speaks of the application of the Word to
the inner life, the mind, for if the mind isn't governed by the Word, an
outward show for the eye of man will be hypocrisy.
This qualified him to
re-enter the camp, but not his own tent, from which he was still excluded
for seven days. Since it is the symbol of the pilgrim lifestyle, his being
excluded from his tent declares symbolically that the pilgrim lifestyle
couldn't yet be resumed, and it is difficult to envision what this would
involve unless it be his exclusion from taking audible part in the meetings
of the assembly. It is to be remembered that the expulsion of the leper
from the camp of Israel is the OT foreshadowing of the expulsion of a
sinning saint from the fellowship of the local assembly, his expulsion being
required by God because of the serious nature of the offence.
If we are reading the type
correctly, it is not only inadvisable, but also forbidden by God, for such a
man to begin vocal participation immediately. This is not to say that the
man isn't fully forgiven, but to recognize that there is spiritual propriety
in his not being overly hasty to act as though nothing had ever happened.
The lesson seems to be that he "walk softly" for a while, and thus furnish
evidence of genuine repentance and humility. It might, in fact, be well to
wait until being encouraged by the elders, since godly men are much more
likely to be able to discern when such participation should resume.
14:9. "But it
shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head
and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he
shall wash his clothes, also the shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall
This repeats the procedure
that qualified him to reenter the camp, and has the same spiritual
significance; but, if we are reading the type correctly, it here relates to
the preparation for resumption of vocal participation in the meetings of the
14:10. "And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs
without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and
three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and
one log of oil."
As noted in our study of
the offerings, the lambs and the fine flour are types of Christ; and the
oil, of the Holy Spirit; and since the ritual to be followed here is
virtually the same as that used for the presentation of the Trespass, Sin,
and Burnt offerings, the reader is referred to the notes on chapters 1-7.
Their being offered here
on the eighth day (biblical number of a new beginning) reminds us that the
restoration of a backslidden saint is in many respects the same as the
conversion of a sinner: for each it is a new beginning: for the sinner, the
beginning of life; for the restored saint, the beginning again of communion
with God and with His people.
The quantity of fine
flour, three tenth deals (a deal seems to have been about a bushel)
speaks of resurrection, reminding us that the restoration of an erring saint
is akin to a return from the dead, for to be living in sin is to be
virtually in a state of death. (The log of oil seems to have been
about a pint).
14:11. "And the priest that maketh him clean shall present
the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the Lord, at the
door of the tabernacle of the congregation:"
His being made clean by
the priest refers to ritual cleansing, not to actual healing from leprosy,
but it emphasizes that it is the Lord Jesus Christ Who cleanses men from
14:12. "And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer
him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave
offering before the Lord;"
Since the lamb is a type
of Christ, the lesson is that the death of Christ which cleanses the sinner,
cleanses also the erring saint, and restores him to fellowship with God and
with His people.
Waving involved the
priest's presentation of the offering horizontally towards the altar, and
then back to himself, the ritual acknowledging God as the Giver, and the
offerer as the recipient willing to use what is given for the glory of the
Giver. The lamb speaks of the life of Christ, which is now our life, and
the waving of the log of oil reminds us that that new life will be for God's
glory only as there is submission to the Holy Spirit's control.
14:13. "And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he
shall slay the sin offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is
the priest's, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy."
The Sin offering was slain
on the north side of the Brazen altar, the fat being burned on that altar,
and, in the case of the priest and the congregation, the rest of the carcase
being burnt in a clean place outside the camp where the ashes from the
Brazen altar were deposited. (Where the Sin offering was that of a ruler or
a commoner, the fat was burnt on the Brazen altar, but the flesh was given
to the priest as his food). The Trespass offering appears to have been
presented according to the same form, the lesson being that the Christ Who
puts away our sin, is the same One Who sustains our new spiritual life.
14:14. "And the priest shall take some of the blood of the
trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear
of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and
upon the great toe of his right foot:"
Since this is the same
ritual as was followed in the ordination of the priests, it declares that
each believer is a royal priest, whose ear is to be obedient to God's voice;
whose hand is to do God's work; and who is to walk according to God's Word,
the blood upon these three parts which represent the whole body, reminding
us that we belong to God, having been redeemed by the precious blood of
Christ, as it is written, “... ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a
price ....” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
14:15. "And the priest shall take some of the log of oil,
and pour it into the palm of his own left hand:"
Since the left hand speaks
of love and affection, as the right does of power and strength, the priest's
pouring the oil into his own left hand, from which it will be transferred to
the person of the cleansed leper, tells us that the same love that led the
Lord to die for us, is the same love that has led Him to bequeath His Holy
Spirit to minister to us during the years of our pilgrimage here on earth.
14:16. "And the priest shall dip his right finger in the
oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger
seven times before the Lord:"
The use of the priest's
right finger, symbolically links Divine power with Christ's giving the
Holy Spirit, and the seven-fold sprinkling of the oil before God assures us
that the same Holy Spirit Who indwells us, is our Minister, not only on
earth, but also in heaven, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the
Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be
uttered," Romans 8:26.
14:17. "And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand
shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be
cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of
his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering:"
Before the anointing with
oil, there was the anointing with the blood. Before there can be the
anointing of the Holy Spirit, there must be cleansing in the blood of
Christ. The one signifies fitness to serve, the other, the power of the
Holy Spirit as the enablement for service. Anything done apart from His
direction, and apart from His power, is a waste of time.
14:18. "And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest's
hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the
priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord."
This anointing of the head
proclaims the truth that everything begins with a renewed mind, for if the
mind isn't yielded to the Spirit's control, adjustment of speech and deeds
for the scrutiny of men, is hypocrisy. Since the oil poured upon the head
would have been poured directly from the priest's left hand, the lesson
being taught is that love must be the basis for the believer's every
thought, word, and deed.
14:19. "And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and
make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and
afterward he shall kill the burnt offering."
14:20. "And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and
the meal offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for
him, and he shall be clean."
The Trespass offering is a
type of Christ dying for our sins, but the Sin offering represents Him dying
for sin as the principle that rules the life of the unbeliever and produces
the sins in his life; and the Burnt offering portrays Him as laying down His
life exclusively for the Father's glory, while the Meal offering represents
the Lord's sinless humanity, apart from which He could not have died, for
death cannot touch Deity. Since it was one of the he lambs that was offered
for the Trespass offering, and since the Burnt offering had to be a male,
then it leaves the female lamb as the one to be used for the Sin offering,
and as noted already, the male speaks of the activity of the Lord's will in
doing the will of the Father, while the female speaks of the complete
submission of His will to that of the Father.
His being made ritually
clean by the presentation of these offerings, tells us that the foundation
of our cleansing and standing before God, are based entirely on the
perfection of that one offering presented at Calvary, when the Lord, "...
through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God," Hebrews
14:21. "And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he
shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an
atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a
meal offering, and a log of oil;"
14:22. "And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as
he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a
As noted in previous
studies, the literal poverty of an Israelite represents the spiritual
poverty of a believer, one who is weak spiritually in comparison with one
who is strong, one who has but a small comprehension of the worth of Christ,
as compared with one who has an enlarged comprehension. The Trespass
offering must still be a lamb, for God will accept nothing less than a clear
understanding that Christ has died for my sins. I may have but a very
imperfect knowledge of the fact that His death has also taken care of sin as
a principle, or of the peace He has made by His death, or of the truth that
He has died first for God's glory, but there cannot be ignorance or
uncertainty about His having died for my sins.
14:23. "And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his
cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation, before the Lord."
14:24. "And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass
offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave
offering before the Lord:"
14:25. "And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass
offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass
offering, and put it upon tip of the right ear of him that is to be
cleansed, and upon the thumb of the right hand, and upon the great toe of
his right foot:"
14:26. "And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm
of his own left hand:"
14:27. "And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger
some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord:"
14:28. "And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his
hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon
the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon
the place of the blood of the trespass offering:"
14:29. "And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's
hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an
atonement for him before the Lord."
14:30. "And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or
of the young pigeons, such as he can get;"
14:31. "Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin
offering, and the other for burnt offering, with the meal offering: and the
priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the
14:32. "This is the law of him in whom is the plague of
leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his
Apart from the
substitution of the two birds, the ritual for the cleansing of the poor
Israelite was the same as that for the cleansing of the rich, but since the
birds represent Christ just as fully as do the animals, the teaching is that
whether the backslidden saint be spiritually rich or poor, having an
enlarged comprehension of Christ or a small one, it is Christ alone Who can
cleanse both. A further very solemn lesson connected with this is the
warning that the spiritually rich is no more immune from falling into sin
than is the spiritually poor. The evangelist, the elder, the teacher is no
more immune in this respect than is the least taught believer. We do well
to heed the words of Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a
fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of
meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
14:33. "And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron,
This introduces a new
section dealing with the procedure to be followed relative to a house
smitten with leprosy, and as noted already, since Moses represents the
principle of law, and Aaron the principle of grace, God's addressing both of
them declares that while He demanded that the leprosy be dealt with, He
nevertheless graciously introduced provisions to save the house, destroying
it only when the leprosy was incurable, the spiritual significance of this
being apparent when it is recognized that the house represents a local
church, the stones representing the individual believers (living stones) who
constitute that church. He removes the lamp stand only as a last resort.
14:34. "When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I
give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of
the land of your possession;"
Since Israel dwelt in
tents in the wilderness, there were obviously no houses there to be
smitten with leprosy, and a practical lesson to be learned is that the
pilgrim lifestyle is the great preservative against the spiritual equivalent
of the leprous house.
God's putting the leprosy
in the house would seem to imply that it is He Who creates sin in the
assembly, a fact which is of course refuted by the whole teaching of
Scripture. What then is the explanation of this? The outward appearance
of the leprosy was simply the proof that the disease had been already
working in the house. When the equivalent of the leprosy begins to show
itself in the local assembly, it is simply the outward evidence of the fact
that sin was already working there. God does not create sin: He permits it
for the outworking of His own inscrutable purposes; and He will always
ultimately expose and judge it.
The wellbeing of the
assembly is directly affected by each believer in it. We are either
building it up or pulling it down; strengthening it or weakening it. No one
can say, What I do affects only myself.
Since Canaan portrays the
spiritual realm into which faith introduces the believer, the leprosy in the
house in Canaan assures us that it is in the spiritual realm that the
equivalent of the leprosy often works. The sin portrayed here is not
adultery, drunkenness, theft, etc., what we call the sins of the flesh, but
rather, such things as pride, envy, ulterior motive in service, wrong
14:35. "And he that owneth the house shall come and tell
the priest, saying, it seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the
God is the Owner of "the
house" (the local assembly), and the coming of the owner of the literal
house in Canaan to tell the priest of his suspicion that leprosy was in the
house, translates into the spiritual assurance that God will also come and
"tell the priest" when He perceives evidence of spiritual leprosy in His
"house." But who or what is represented by the priest? In the present
context, the elders. Part of each elder's spiritual gift is the ability to
discern the spiritual state of the assembly, and woe betide the elders who
close their eyes to the evidence of "leprosy" in the assembly which God has
entrusted to their care.
14:36. "Then the priest shall command that they empty the
house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in
the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see
While the house was
obviously to be emptied of people, the reference here appears to be more
particularly to furniture and ornaments. Now clearly the elders'
examination of the assembly does not begin with their expelling all
the members, but certainly a first phase of their examination ought to be
the elimination of the equivalent of the furniture and ornaments. Many
assemblies over the years tend to accumulate a lot of "furniture and
ornaments" for which there is no Scriptural warrant, e.g., programs,
procedures, activities, etc., introduced by well-intentioned untaught
believers, but which, in fact, hinder rather than help the assembly
spiritually. Scriptural order is to be followed with scrupulous care.
14:37. "And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if
the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or
reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;"
14:38. "Then the priest shall go out of the house to the
door of the house, and shut up the house seven days:"
As mentioned in our study
of 13:49, red, the biblical color of sin, speaks of the presence of sin,
while the green seems to speak of its vigorous activity; and its being
deeper than the surface of the wall declares that the sin represented is not
superficial, but serious.
The shutting up of the
house for seven (number of perfection or completeness) days, speaks not of
cessation of all assembly activity, but rather, of the painstaking
examination of the matter before God, every function of the assembly being
shut up, i.e., subjected to the thorough scrutiny of Scripture.
14:39. "And the priest shall come again the seventh day,
and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the
This is the symbolic
announcement of the fact that the examination reveals the activity of sin in
14:40. "Then the priest shall command that they take away
the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean
place outside the city:"
The stones represent
believers (or those professing to be), see 1 Peter 2:5, and the removal of
the stones from the house portrays the expulsion from the fellowship of the
assembly of those believers found to be "leprous," i.e., guilty of grievous
sin. The "unclean place outside the city" is the world outside the
fellowship of a scriptural assembly.
14:41. "And he shall cause the house to be scraped within
round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off outside
the city into an unclean place:"
This would speak of
confession and repentance on the part of those who remain, and the putting
away from their midst of every vestige of the sin that had resulted in the
expulsion of the guilty.
14:42. "And they shall take other stones, and put them in
the place of those stones; and he shall take other morter, and shall plaster
These new stones represent
new believers raised up by God to take the places of those expelled, while
the morter used to plaster the house and bind the stones together, seems to
speak of the love which binds believers together, as mentioned by Paul,
"That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love," Christ
Himself being "the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having
nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of
God," Colossians 2:2,19.
14:43. "And if the plague come again, and break out in the
house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped
the house, and after it is plastered;"
Here we have the sad
picture of an assembly in which the same sin occurs again, after having
been, apparently, cleansed. Very often the evil, portrayed by the leprosy
in a house, runs deep, and is very difficult to eradicate.
14:44. "Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold,
if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house:
it is unclean."
It happens sometimes that
even expulsion of those whose doctrine is wrong, doesn't end the evil. They
may have succeeded in indoctrinating virtually the whole assembly, so that
the evil continues to work like leprosy, even after their departure.
14:45. "And he shall break down the house, the stones of
it, and the timber thereof, and all the morter of the house; and he shall
carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place."
The symbolic picture here
is of a church similar to that of Laodicea, relative to which God said, “So
then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee
out of my mouth,” Revelation 3:16.
It is to be noted that it
is the owner, not the priest, who is to demolish the house, and dispose of
the debris in an unclean place outside the city. It is God alone Who builds
each local church, and it is He alone Who has the right to remove it. Man
has no part in this work, save as he may be an instrument in God's hand.
14:46. "Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while
that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even."
Since the time during
which the house was shut up, corresponds to the time during which the elders
are to examine the state of the assembly in the light of God's Word. One's
going into the house during that time seems to represent one who joins that
fellowship, or who is indifferent to the sin being investigated. His action
or indifference makes him unclean, and since "the even" is the end of the
day, his being unclean until the even, points to his being at least suspect
until he is either exonerated or shown to be guilty.
“... until the even,”
however, has a deeper significance. The even is the end of the day, and is
used symbolically to speak of the end of one’s life, and relative to Christ
it points to the fact that by taking our sins upon Himself that day when He
went out to Calvary, He was willing to be made unclean until “the even,”
i.e., until the end of His life, His death expiating all our sins, and
making available to us God’s pardon and gift of eternal life.
14:47. "And he that lieth in the house shall wash his
clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes."
Sleeping or resting, and
eating are normal activities within a house, but since the house here is the
local church, the lesson is that even the normal activities within an
assembly undergoing investigation, make necessary the equivalent of the
washing of the clothes, i.e., the exercise of care to ensure that every
activity is in compliance with the written Word. There is to be no
continuation of old methods without first making sure that they are
14:48. "And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it,
and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was
plastered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the
plague is healed."
This portrays the case of
an assembly which has bowed to the authority of Scripture, and has rid
itself both of the evil, and of those who promoted it.
14:49. "And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds,
and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:"
14:50. "And he shall kill the one of the birds in an
earthen vessel over running water:"
The two birds represent
the Lord Jesus Christ, the slain bird portraying Him as the One who came
from heaven to give His life a ransom for men’s souls; the released bird
typifying Him as the One who, having completed that great work, has returned
to heaven in resurrection power and glory.
Cedar wood, fragrant and
virtually impervious to decay, portrays the perfection of the Lord’s human
life. Scarlet, the color of sin, see Isaiah 1:18, reminds us that He was
willing to take our sins upon himself, die for them, and by His death
expiate them, as it is written, “For he (God) has made him who knew no sin,
to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2
Hyssop, the least of all
trees, see 1 Kings 4:33, represents Christ, coming in lowliness and
meekness, to serve rather than to be served, and to take our guilty place at
The slain bird portrays
Christ in His death, the earthen vessel typifying His human body, 2
Corinthians 4:7, and the running water representing the Scriptures, the
water of the word, Ephesians 5:26, which governed the Lord’s every thought,
word, and deed.
The ritual is almost the
same as that used for the cleansing of a person, but there are differences.
Conspicuously absent is any mention of oil, and for a very good reason: the
Holy Spirit indwells and anoints (oil being the symbol of anointing)
individual believers, but not assemblies.
14:51. "And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop,
and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain
bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:"
14:52. "And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of
the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the
cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:"
The dipping of the cedar
wood, the hyssop, the scarlet, and the living bird, in the blood of the
slain bird, and in the running water, is the symbolic declaration of the
truth that Christ, having taken our sins upon himself, and having assumed
responsibility for them, has expiated them by His death and resurrection.
Since the running water, as already noted, is a type of the written Word,
the dipping of the wood, hyssop, scarlet, and the living bird, in running
water, declares symbolically that all the Lord has done to make atonement
for sin, has been in fulfillment of what is written in scripture.
Since seven is the number
of perfection or completeness, the sevenfold sprinkling speaks of the
complete effectiveness of the cleansing, which is itself symbolic of the
perfect cleansing of the believer’s sin by the blood of Christ.
14:53. "But he shall let go the living bird out of the city
into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be
This release of the living
bird completed the cleansing of the house. It points symbolically to the
Lord’s resurrection, which is the proof that His death puts away for ever
the guilt and condemnation of all those who trust Him as Savior and Lord, as
it is written, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for
our justification,” Romans 4:25.
14:54. "This is the law for all manner of plague of
leprosy, and scall,"
“... scall” is scurf,
i.e., dry scaling of dead skin. As the skin is the outward covering of the
body, the spiritual lesson of the leprous scall points symbolically to the
truth that the individual is one whose outward life is a contradiction of a
profession of faith in Christ as Savior, and raises the question of whether
he has indeed ever been born again.
14:55. "And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,"
Since clothing speaks
symbolically of the outward life, i.e., what is observable by others, the
leprous garment speaks of a life in which sin is obvious to all; and since
the house speaks typologically of a local church, the leprosy represents sin
in that church.
14:56. "And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright
A rising here refers to a
swelling such as that of a pimple or boil, and a “bright spot” is literally
a “white spot,” i.e., it is abnormal, unhealthy. In the present context,
these things point symbolically to that in a professed believer’s life which
is incompatible with an obedient walk.
14:57. "To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean:
this is the law of leprosy."
Relative to Israel, all of
this was literal, but for spiritual Israel, the Church, it relates to the
lives of those who constitute that mystical building which is the body and
bride of Christ. What shame we bring upon Him then when we permit in our
lives, personal and corporate, those things which are typified by leprosy!