13:1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 13:2 “When someone has 1 a swelling 2 or a scab 3 or a bright spot 4 on the skin of his body 5 that may become a diseased infection, 6 he must be brought to Aaron the priest or one of his sons, the priests. 7 13:3 The priest must then examine the infection 8 on the skin of the body, and if the hair 9 in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of the body, 10 then it is a diseased infection, 11 so when the priest examines it 12 he must pronounce the person unclean. 13
13:4 “If 14 it is a white bright spot on the skin of his body, but it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 15 and the hair has not turned white, then the priest is to quarantine the person with the infection for seven days. 16 13:5 The priest must then examine it on the seventh day, and if, 17 as far as he can see, the infection has stayed the same 18 and has not spread on the skin, 19 then the priest is to quarantine the person for another seven days. 20 13:6 The priest must then examine it again on the seventh day, 21 and if 22 the infection has faded and has not spread on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce the person clean. 23 It is a scab, 24 so he must wash his clothes 25 and be clean. 13:7 If, however, the scab is spreading further 26 on the skin after he has shown himself to the priest for his purification, then he must show himself to the priest a second time. 13:8 The priest must then examine it, 27 and if 28 the scab has spread on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 29 It is a disease.
13:9 “When someone has a diseased infection, 30 he must be brought to the priest. 13:10 The priest will then examine it, 31 and if 32 a white swelling is on the skin, it has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the swelling, 33 13:11 it is a chronic 34 disease on the skin of his body, 35 so the priest is to pronounce him unclean. 36 The priest 37 must not merely quarantine him, for he is unclean. 38 13:12 If, however, the disease breaks out 39 on the skin so that the disease covers all the skin of the person with the infection 40 from his head to his feet, as far as the priest can see, 41 13:13 the priest must then examine it, 42 and if 43 the disease covers his whole body, he is to pronounce the person with the infection clean. 44 He has turned all white, so he is clean. 45 13:14 But whenever raw flesh appears in it 46 he will be unclean, 13:15 so the priest is to examine the raw flesh 47 and pronounce him unclean 48 – it is diseased. 13:16 If, however, 49 the raw flesh once again turns white, 50 then he must come to the priest. 13:17 The priest will then examine it, 51 and if 52 the infection has turned white, the priest is to pronounce the person with the infection clean 53 – he is clean.
13:18 “When someone’s body has a boil on its skin 54 and it heals, 13:19 and in the place of the boil there is a white swelling or a reddish white bright spot, he must show himself to the priest. 55 13:20 The priest will then examine it, 56 and if 57 it appears to be deeper than the skin 58 and its hair has turned white, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 59 It is a diseased infection that has broken out in the boil. 60 13:21 If, however, 61 the priest examines it, and 62 there is no white hair in it, it is not deeper than the skin, and it has faded, then the priest is to quarantine him for seven days. 63 13:22 If 64 it is spreading further 65 on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce him unclean. 66 It is an infection. 13:23 But if the bright spot stays in its place and has not spread, 67 it is the scar of the boil, so the priest is to pronounce him clean. 68
13:24 “When a body has a burn on its skin 69 and the raw area of the burn becomes a reddish white or white bright spot, 13:25 the priest must examine it, 70 and if 71 the hair has turned white in the bright spot and it appears to be deeper than the skin, 72 it is a disease that has broken out in the burn. 73 The priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 74 It is a diseased infection. 75 13:26 If, however, 76 the priest examines it and 77 there is no white hair in the bright spot, it is not deeper than the skin, 78 and it has faded, then the priest is to quarantine him for seven days. 79 13:27 The priest must then examine it on the seventh day, and if it is spreading further 80 on the skin, then the priest is to pronounce him unclean. It is a diseased infection. 81 13:28 But if the bright spot stays in its place, has not spread on the skin, 82 and it has faded, then it is the swelling of the burn, so the priest is to pronounce him clean, 83 because it is the scar of the burn.
13:29 “When a man or a woman has an infection on the head or in the beard, 84 13:30 the priest is to examine the infection, 85 and if 86 it appears to be deeper than the skin 87 and the hair in it is reddish yellow and thin, then the priest is to pronounce the person unclean. 88 It is scall, 89 a disease of the head or the beard. 90 13:31 But if the priest examines the scall infection and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 91 and there is no black hair in it, then the priest is to quarantine the person with the scall infection for seven days. 92 13:32 The priest must then examine the infection on the seventh day, and if 93 the scall has not spread, there is no reddish yellow hair in it, and the scall does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 94 13:33 then the individual is to shave himself, 95 but he must not shave the area affected by the scall, 96 and the priest is to quarantine the person with the scall for another seven days. 97 13:34 The priest must then examine the scall on the seventh day, and if 98 the scall has not spread on the skin and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 99 then the priest is to pronounce him clean. 100 So he is to wash his clothes and be clean. 13:35 If, however, the scall spreads further 101 on the skin after his purification, 13:36 then the priest is to examine it, and if 102 the scall has spread on the skin the priest is not to search further for reddish yellow hair. 103 The person 104 is unclean. 13:37 If, as far as the priest can see, the scall has stayed the same 105 and black hair has sprouted in it, the scall has been healed; the person is clean. So the priest is to pronounce him clean. 106
13:38 “When a man or a woman has bright spots – white bright spots – on the skin of their body, 13:39 the priest is to examine them, 107 and if 108 the bright spots on the skin of their body are faded white, it is a harmless rash that has broken out on the skin. The person is clean. 109
13:40 “When a man’s head is bare so that he is balding in back, 110 he is clean. 13:41 If his head is bare on the forehead 111 so that he is balding in front, 112 he is clean. 13:42 But if there is a reddish white infection in the back or front bald area, it is a disease breaking out in his back or front bald area. 13:43 The priest is to examine it, 113 and if 114 the swelling of the infection is reddish white in the back or front bald area like the appearance of a disease on the skin of the body, 115 13:44 he is a diseased man. He is unclean. The priest must surely pronounce him unclean because of his infection on his head. 116
13:45 “As for the diseased person who has the infection, 117 his clothes must be torn, the hair of his head must be unbound, he must cover his mustache, 118 and he must call out ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 13:46 The whole time he has the infection 119 he will be continually unclean. He must live in isolation, and his place of residence must be outside the camp.
[13:2] 1 tn Heb “A man, if [or when] he has….” The term for “a man, human being” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2) in this case refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female, since either could be afflicted with infections on the skin.
[13:2] 2 tn Some of the terms for disease or symptoms of disease in this chapter present difficulties for the translator. Most modern English versions render the Hebrew term שְׂאֵת (sÿ’et) as “swelling,” which has been retained here (see the explanation in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 189). Some have argued that “deeper (עָמֹק, ’amoq) than the skin of his body” in v. 3 means that “this sore was lower than the surrounding skin” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:773), in which case “swelling” would be an inappropriate translation of שְׂאֵת in v. 2. Similarly, שְׂאֵת also occurs in v. 19, and then v. 20 raises the issue of whether or not it appears to be “lower (שָׁפָל, shafal) than the skin” (cf. also 14:37 for a mark on the wall of a house), which may mean that the sore sinks below the surface of the skin rather than protruding above it as a swelling would (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 76-77). Thus, one could translate here, for example, “discoloration” (so Milgrom and II שְׂאֵת “spot, blemish on the skin” in HALOT 1301 s.v. II שְׂאֵת) or “local inflammation, boil, mole” (so Levine). However, one could interpret “lower” as “deeper,” i.e., visibly extending below the surface of the skin into the deeper layers as suggested by J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 188, 192. “Swelling” often extends deeply below the surface of the skin, it is certainly a common symptom of skin diseases, and the alternation of these two terms (i.e., “deeper” and “lower”) in vv. 25-26 below shows that they both refer to the same phenomenon (see also the note on v. 20 below), so it is retained in the present translation.
[13:2] 4 tn Heb “shiny spot” or “white spot,” but to render this term “white spot” in this chapter would create redundancy in v. 4 where the regular term for “white” occurs alongside this word for “bright spot.”
[13:2] 6 tn Heb “a mark [or stroke; or plague] of disease.” In some places in this context (vv. 2, 3) it could be translated “a contagious skin disease.” Although the Hebrew term צָרָעַת (tsara’at) rendered here “diseased” is translated in many English versions as “leprosy,” it does not refer to Hanson’s disease, which is the modern technical understanding of the term “leprosy” (HALOT 1057 s.v. צָרְעַת a). There has been much discussion of the proper meaning of the term and the disease(s) to which it may refer (see, e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:774-76, 816-26; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 187-89; and the literature cited by them). The further description of the actual condition in the text suggests that the regulations are concerned with any kind of infectious diseases that are observable on the surface of the skin and, in addition to that, penetrate below the surface of the skin (vv. 3-4) or spread further across the surface of the skin (vv. 5-8). It is true that, in the OT, the term “disease” is often associated specifically with white “scaly” skin diseases that resemble the wasting away of the skin after death (see Milgrom who, in fact, translates “scale disease”; cf., e.g., Exod 4:6-7 and Num 12:9-12, esp. v. 12), but here it appears to be a broader term for any skin disease that penetrates deep or spreads far on the body. Scaly skin diseases would be included in this category, but also other types. Thus, a “swelling,” “scab,” or “bright spot” on the skin might be a symptom of disease, but not necessarily so. In this sense, “diseased” is a technical term. The term “infection” can apply to any “mark” on the skin whether it belongs to the category of “disease” or not (compare and contrast v. 3, where the “infection” is not “diseased,” with v. 4, where the “infection” is found to be “diseased”).
[13:2] 7 tn Or “it shall be reported to Aaron the priest.” This alternative rendering may be better in light of the parallel use of the same expression in Lev 14:2, where the priest had to go outside the camp in order to inspect the person who had been diseased. Since the rendering “he shall be brought to Aaron the priest” might confuse matters there, this expression should be rendered “it shall be reported” both here in 13:2 (cf. also v. 9) and in 14:2. See, however, the further note on 14:2 below, where it is argued that the diseased person would still need to “be brought” to the priest even if this happened outside the camp. Most English versions retain the idea of the afflicted person being “brought” to the priest for inspection.
[13:3] 13 tn Heb “he shall make him unclean.” The verb is the Piel of טָמֵא (tame’) “to be unclean.” Here it is a so-called “declarative” Piel (i.e., “to declare unclean”), but it also implies that the person is put into the category of actually being “unclean” by the pronouncement itself (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 175; cf. the corresponding opposite in v. 6 below).
[13:6] 23 tn Heb “he shall make him clean.” The verb is the Piel of טָהֵר (taher, “to be clean”). Here it is a so-called “declarative” Piel (i.e., “to declare clean”), but it also implies that the person is put into the category of being “clean” by the pronouncement itself (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 176; cf. the corresponding opposite in v. 3 above).
[13:9] 30 tn Heb “When there is an infection of disease in a man.” The term for “a man; a human being” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2 and cf. v. 2 above) refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female. For the rendering “diseased infection” see the note on v. 2 above.
[13:11] 34 tn The term rendered here “chronic” is a Niphal participle meaning “grown old” (HALOT 448 s.v. II ישׁן nif.2). The idea is that this is an old enduring skin disease that keeps on developing or recurring.
[13:11] 38 sn Instead of just the normal quarantine isolation, this condition calls for the more drastic and enduring response stated in Lev 13:45-46. Raw flesh, of course, sometimes oozes blood to one degree or another, and blood flows are by nature impure (see, e.g., Lev 12 and 15; cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 191).
[13:16] 50 tn Heb “the living flesh returns and is turned/changed to white.” The Hebrew verb “returns” is שׁוּב (shuv), which often functions adverbially when combined with a second verb as it is here (cf. “and is turned”) and, in such cases, is usually rendered “again” (see, e.g., GKC 386-87 §120.g). Another suggestion is that here שׁוּב means “to recede” (cf., e.g., 2 Kgs 20:9), so one could translate “the raw flesh recedes and turns white.” This would mean that the new “white” skin “has grown over” the raw flesh (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 79).
[13:18] 54 tc Heb (MT) reads, “And flesh if/when there is in it, in its skin, a boil.” Smr has only “in it,” not “in its skin,” and a few medieval Hebrew
[13:19] 55 tn Some English versions translate “it shall be shown to [or “be seen by”] the priest,” taking the infection to be the subject of the verb (e.g., KJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV). Based on the Hebrew grammar there is no way to be sure which is intended.
[13:20] 58 tn Heb “and behold its appearance is low (שָׁפָל, shafal) ‘from’ (comparative מִן, min, “lower than”) the skin.” Compare “deeper” in v. 3 above where, however, a different word is used (עָמֹק, ’amoq), and see the note on “swelling” in v. 1 above (cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 192; note that, contrary to the MT, Tg. Onq. has עָמֹק in this verse as well as v. 4). The alternation of these two terms (i.e., “deeper” and “lower”) in vv. 25-26 below shows that they both refer to the same phenomenon. Some have argued that “this sore was lower than the surrounding skin” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:773, 788), in which case “swelling” would be an inappropriate translation of שְׂאֵת (sÿ’et) in v. 19. It seems unlikely, however, that the surface of a “boil” would sink below the surface of the surrounding skin. The infectious pus etc. that makes up a boil normally causes swelling.
[13:29] sn The shift here is from diseases that are on the (relatively) bare skin of the body to the scalp area of the male or female head or the bearded area of the male face.
[13:30] 89 tn The exact identification of this disease is unknown. Cf. KJV “dry scall”; NASB “a scale”; NIV, NCV, NRSV “an itch”; NLT “a contagious skin disease.” For a discussion of “scall” disease in the hair, which is a crusty scabby disease of the skin under the hair that also affects the hair itself, see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 192-93, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:793-94. The Hebrew word rendered “scall” (נֶתֶק, neteq) is related to a verb meaning “to tear; to tear out; to tear apart.” It may derive from the scratching and/or the tearing out of the hair or the scales of the skin in response to the itching sensation caused by the disease.
[13:33] 95 tn The shaving is done by the one who has the infection. Although KJV, ASV have the passive “he shall be shaven” here, most modern English versions have the reflexive “shall shave himself” (so NAB).
[13:40] 110 tn Heb “And a man, when his head is rubbed bare, he is bald-headed.” The translation offered here, referring to the back of the head (i.e., the area from the top of the head sloping backwards), is based on the contrast between this condition and that of the following verse. See also B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 82.
[13:43] 113 tn Heb “and the priest shall see it” (cf. KJV). The MT has “him/it” which some take to refer to the person as a whole (i.e., “him”; see, e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:770; NIV, NRSV, etc.), while others take it as a reference to the “infection” (נֶגַע, nega’) in v. 42 (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 172, 177). Smr has “her/it,” which would probably refer to “disease” (צָרַעַת, tsara’at) in v. 42. The general pattern in the chapter suggests that “it,” either the infection or the disease, is the object of the examination (see, e.g., v. 3 above and v. 50 below).
[13:44] 116 tn Or perhaps translate, “His infection [is] on his head,” as a separate independent sentence (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). There is no causal expression in the Hebrew text connecting these two clauses, but the logical relationship between them seems to be causal.
[13:45] 118 tn Heb “and his head shall be unbound, and he shall cover on [his] mustache.” Tearing one’s clothing, allowing the hair to hang loose rather than bound up in a turban, and covering the mustache on the upper lip are all ways of expressing shame, grief, or distress (cf., e.g., Lev 10:6 and Micah 3:7).