Leviticus 14:35
And he that ownes the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seems to me there is as it were a plague in the house:
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(35) He that owneth the house.—As in the case of the suspicious symptoms in human beings, the suspected house is forthwith to be examined by the priest.

Saying, It seemeth to me . . . —According to the authorities in the time of Christ, this prescribes the formula which the owner of the house is to use when he communicates the fact to the priest. Hence they enacted that though he be himself an expert in these matters, and know certainly that it is leprosy, he is not to say positively to the priest, “The plague has appeared in my house,” but “It seemeth to me . . . as it were,” &c, because it was the office of the priest to pronounce a positive sentence on the subject.

14:33-53 The leprosy in a house is unaccountable to us, as well as the leprosy in a garment; but now sin, where that reigns in a house, is a plague there, as it is in a heart. Masters of families should be aware, and afraid of the first appearance of sin in their families, and put it away, whatever it is. If the leprosy is got into the house, the infected part must be taken out. If it remain in the house, the whole must be pulled down. The owner had better be without a dwelling, than live in one that was infected. The leprosy of sin ruins families and churches. Thus sin is so interwoven with the human body, that it must be taken down by death.This section is separated from that on leprosy in clothing Leviticus 13:47-59 with which it would seem to be naturally connected, and is placed last of all the laws concerning leprosy, probably on account of its being wholly prospective. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, the materials of their dwellings were of nearly the same nature as those of their clothing, and would be liable to the same sort of decay. They were therefore included under the same law.

I put the plague - Yahweh here speaks as the Lord of all created things, determining their decay and destruction as well as their production. Compare Isaiah 45:6-7; Jonah 4:7; Matthew 21:20.

34-48. leprosy in a house—This law was prospective, not to come into operation till the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan. The words, "I put the leprosy," has led many to think that this plague was a judicial infliction from heaven for the sins of the owner; while others do not regard it in this light, it being common in Scripture to represent God as doing that which He only permits in His providence to be done. Assuming it to have been a natural disease, a new difficulty arises as to whether we are to consider that the house had become infected by the contagion of leprous occupiers; or that the leprosy was in the house itself. It is evident that the latter was the true state of the case, from the furniture being removed out of it on the first suspicion of disease on the walls. Some have supposed that the name of leprosy was analogically applied to it by the Hebrews, as we speak of cancer in trees when they exhibit corrosive effects similar to what the disease so named produces on the human body; while others have pronounced it a mural efflorescence or species of mildew on the wall apt to be produced in very damp situations, and which was followed by effects so injurious to health as well as to the stability of a house, particularly in warm countries, as to demand the attention of a legislator. Moses enjoined the priests to follow the same course and during the same period of time for ascertaining the true character of this disease as in human leprosy. If found leprous, the infected parts were to be removed. If afterwards there appeared a risk of the contagion spreading, the house was to be destroyed altogether and the materials removed to a distance. The stones were probably rough, unhewn stones, built up without cement in the manner now frequently used in fences and plastered over, or else laid in mortar. The oldest examples of architecture are of this character. The very same thing has to be done still with houses infected with mural salt. The stones covered with the nitrous incrustation must be removed, and if the infected wall is suffered to remain, it must be plastered all over anew. No text from Poole on this verse. And he that owneth the house shall come, and tell the priest,.... As soon as he observes any sign of leprosy in it, or which gives him a suspicion of it:

saying, it seemeth unto me there is as it were a plague in the house; he must not say expressly there is one, how certain soever he may be of it, because the matter must be determined by a priest: so runs the Jewish canon (i), he whose the house is comes and declares to the priest, saying, there appears to me as a plague in the house; and though he is a wise man, and knows that there is a plague certainly, he may not determine, and say, there appears to me a plague in the house, but there appears to me as it were a plague in the house; it looks like one, there is some reason to suspect it.

(i) Misn. Negaim, c. 12. sect. 5. Jarchi in loc.

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 house:
Verses 35-44. - The examination of the suspected house by the priest. First, the house is to be emptied of its furniture, lest the latter should contract a ceremonial uncleanness in case the house were found to be leprous, but not, it will be noted, lest it should convey contagion or infection. Then the priest is to examine the discolouration, and if it bear a suspicious appearance, the house is to be shut up for seven days. It at the end of that time the spot has spread, he is to have the part of the wall in which it shows itself taken down and carried away, and built up again with new stones and mortar and plaster, the parts adjoining to the infected place having been first well scraped. If this treatment does not succeed in getting rid of the mischief, the priest is to determine that it is a fretting leprosy in the house: it is unclean. In cases of poverty on the part of the person to be consecrated, the burnt-offering and sin-offering were reduced to a pair of turtle-doves or young pigeons, and the meat-offering to a tenth of an ephah of meal and oil; but no diminution was allowed in the trespass-offering as the consecration-offering, since this was the conditio sine qua non of reinstatement in full covenant rights. On account of the importance of all the details of this law, every point is repeated a second time in Leviticus 14:21-32.
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