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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.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.
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.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:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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. Leviticus 14:21-32.
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