When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot…
At first sight it seems strange to ordain that the man should be reckoned clean if the leprosy were out upon him and covered him wholly. The reason, however, may be —
2. Moral.If natural, then it is either because the leprosy is not so infectious when it has thus come all out on the body, the hard, dry scurf not being likely to spread infection, whereas the ichor of raw flesh would (see Bagster); or, because it really is not a proper leprosy if it so come out — it is a salt humour cast out by the strength of the man's constitution, and is not deep-seated. It is rather a relief to the constitution; as when measles or small-pox come out to the surface of the body, recovery is hopeful. If it was for a moral reason, then it seems meant to teach that the Lord has a deep abhorrence of a corrupt nature — deeper far than merely of corrupt actions. We are ever ready to take home the guilt of evil deeds, but to palliate the evil of a depraved heart. But the Lord reverses the case. His severest judgment is reserved for inward depravity. And yet more. Is it not when a soul is fully sensible of entire corruption (as Isaiah 1:5) that salvation is nearest? A complete Saviour for a complete sinner? If there appeared any "raw flesh," then the man is unclean. For this indicates inward disease — not on the surface only. It is working into the flesh. But if the "raw flesh," turn and be "changed into white," then it is plain that the disease is not gone inwards; it is playing on the skin only. Let him stand, therefore, as clean. Perhaps the case of a pardoned man may be referred to again in this type. His iniquity comes all out to view, when it is thrown into the fountain opened; and the inner source of it is checked. The seat of corruption has been removed, But if, after the appearance of pardon, the man turn aside to folly (if "raw flesh" appear), he is to be counted unclean. If, however, this turning aside to folly be checked, if this backsliding be healed, then it is like the "raw flesh," turning "into white" — it evidences that his nature is sound — it has not returned to its state of thorough depravity.
(A. A. Bonar.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:
WEB: "When a man shall have a rising in his body's skin, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it becomes in the skin of his body the plague of leprosy, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest, or to one of his sons, the priests: