More Hats for the Priests (Leviticus 12-14)

Wednesday, August 24

Not Another One!


Great job hanging in there – after today we are more than half way done with Leviticus.  It hasn’t been too painful, has it?

Leviticus 12 is a short chapter dealing with purification after childbirth.  I wonder if this was a step towards creating “maternity leave” for mothers who had just given birth.

We see a few more job descriptions added for our busy priests in Leviticus 13 & 14.  First, the priest adds the hats of dermatologist and health inspector.  Anyone with a skin irregularity (swelling, rash, spot, sore, raw flesh, boil, burn, itch) was required to be inspected by the priest.  At first it seemed odd that the only ailments listed were skin related.  However, with the absence of internal medicine (no heart surgeons in the ancient days), I suppose that makes a lot of sense.  And, as webMD says, “Your skin can be a window to your underlying health.”  Since they didn’t have google to consult, what a relief that the priest could answer any question about that irritating itch or red rash you or your family member or neighbor developed.  If it was found to be an infectious disease (or needed time to tell), the patient was sent to live in isolation – for the sake of the health of the whole community.  As I was typing this  . . . my husband actually asked me about a small bump on his finger.  So, straight to the good book I went.  I don’t think he will have to live in isolation just yet . . . but we will keep an eye on it for sure!

The priest also acted as clothing and housing inspector.  He would examine mildew and test it to determine if it could be washed away or if it was more of a destructive mildew.  If it was a destructive mildew growing on a piece of clothing or leather or walls of a home – the item would be destroyed.

Some thoughts to ponder for today . . .
Is there a connection between physical health and spiritual health?
Do you find it easier to discuss your physical health or your spiritual health?  Where do you feel more fit right now?  What needs some adjustments?
What roles/hats do we expect a pastor to perform/wear for us today?

Back with more Leviticus tomorrow,
Marcia Railton

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