The rites of sacrifices in cleansing the leprosy. Leprosy in houses. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:  This is the rite of a leper, when he is to be cleansed: he shall be brought to the priest:  Who going out of the camp when he shall find that the leprosy is cleansed,  Shall command him that is to be purified, to offer for himself two living sparrows, which it is lawful to eat, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.  And he shall command one of the sparrows to be immolated in an earthen vessel over living waters:  But the other that is alive he shall dip, with the cedar wood, and the scarlet and the hyssop, in the blood of the sparrow that is immolated:  Wherewith he shall sprinkle him that is to be cleansed seven times, that he may be rightly purified: and he shall let go the living sparrow, that it may fly into the field.  And when the man hath washed his clothes, he shall shave all the hair of his body, and shall be washed with water: and being purified, he shall enter into the camp, yet so that he tarry without his own tent seven days:  And on the seventh day he shall shave the hair of his head, and his beard and his eyebrows, and the hair of all his body. And having washed again his clothes, and his body,  On the eighth day he shall take two lambs without blemish, and an ewe of a year old without blemish, and three tenths of flour tempered with oil for a sacrifice, and a sextary of oil apart.  And when the priest that purifieth the man, hath presented him, and all these things before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony,  He shall take a lamb, and offer it for a trespass offering with the sextary of oil: and having offered all before the Lord,  He shall immolate the lamb, where the victim for sin is wont to be immolated, and the holocaust, that is, in the holy place: for as that which is for sin, so also the victim for a trespass offering pertaineth to the priest: it is holy of holies.  And the priest taking of the blood of the victim that was immolated for trespass, shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand and the great toe of his right foot:  And he shall pour of the sextary of oil into his own left hand,  And shall dip his right finger in it, and sprinkle it before the Lord seven times.  And the rest of the oil in his left hand, he shall pour upon the tip of the right ear of him that is cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand and the great toe of his right foot, and upon the blood that was shed for trespass,  And upon his head.  And he shall pray for him before the Lord, and shall offer the sacrifice for sin: then shall he immolate the holocaust,  And put it on the altar with the libations thereof, and the man shall be rightly cleansed.  But if he be poor, and his hand cannot find the things aforesaid: he shall take a lamb for an offering for trespass, that the priest may pray for him, and a tenth part of flour tempered with oil for a sacrifice, and a sextary of oil,  And two turtles or two young pigeons, of which one may be for sin, and the other for a holocaust:  And he shall offer them on the eighth day of his purification to the priest, at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony before the Lord.  And the priest receiving the lamb for trespass, and the sextary of oil, shall elevate them together.  And the lamb being immolated, he shall put of the blood thereof upon the tip of the right ear of him that is cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and the great toe of his right foot:  But he shall pour part of the oil into his own left hand,  And dipping the finger of his right hand in it, he shall sprinkle it seven times before the Lord:  And he shall touch the tip of the right ear of him that is cleansed, and the thumb of his right hand and the great toe of his right foot, in the place of the blood that was shed for trespass.  And the other part of the oil that is in his left hand, he shall pour upon the head of the purified person, that he may appease the Lord for him.  And he shall offer a turtle, or young pigeon,  One for trespass, and the other for a holocaust, with their libations.  This is the sacrifice of a leper, that is not able to have all things that appertain to his cleansing.  And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:  When you shall be come into the land of Chanaan, which I will give you for a possession, if there be the plague of leprosy in a house,  He whose house it is, shall go and tell the priest, saying: It seemeth to me, that there is the plague of leprosy in my house,  And he shall command, that they carry forth all things out of the house, before he go into it, and see whether it have the leprosy, lest all things become unclean that are in the house. And afterwards he shall go in to view the leprosy of the house.  And if he see in the walls thereof as it were little dints, disfigured with paleness or redness, and lower than all the rest,  He shall go out of the door of the house, and forthwith shut it up seven days,  And returning on the seventh day, he shall look upon it. If he find that the leprosy is spread,  He shall command, that the stones wherein the leprosy is, be taken out, and cast without the city into an unclean place:  And that the house be scraped on the inside round about, and the dust of the scraping be scattered without the city into an unclean place:  And that other stones be laid in the place of them that were taken away, and the house be plastered with other mortar.  But if, after the stones be taken out, and the dust scraped off, and it be plastered with other earth,  The priest going in perceive that the leprosy is returned, and the walls full of spots, it is a lasting leprosy, and the house is unclean:  And they shall destroy it forthwith, and shall cast the stones and timber thereof, and all the dust without the town into an unclean place.  He that entereth into the house when it is shut, shall be unclean until evening,  And he that sleepeth in it, and eateth any thing, shall wash his clothes.  But if the priest going in perceive that the leprosy is not spread in the house, after it was plastered again, he shall purify it, it being cured,  And for the purification thereof he shall take two sparrows, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:  And having immolated one sparrow In an earthen vessel over living waters,  He shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living sparrow, and shall dip all in the blood of the sparrow that is immolated, and in the living water, and he shall sprinkle the house seven times:  And shall purify it as well with the blood of the sparrow, as with the living water, and with the living sparrow, and with the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet.  And when he hath let go the sparrow to fly freely away into the field, he shall pray for the house, and it shall be rightly cleansed.  This is the law of every kind of leprosy and stroke.  Of the leprosy of garments and houses,  Of a scar and of blisters breaking out, of a shining spot, and when the colours are diversely changed:  That it may be known when a thing is clean or unclean.
Commentary “Living waters”: That is, waters taken from a spring, brook, or river.  “A sextary”: Heb. log: a measure of liquids, which was the twelfth part of a hin; and held about as much as six eggs.  “Taking of the blood”: These ceremonies used in the cleansing of a leper, were mysterious and very significative. The sprinkling seven times with the blood of the little bird, the washing himself and his clothes, the shaving his hair and his beard, signify the means which are to be used in the reconciliation of a sinner, and the steps by which he is to return to God, viz., by the repeated application of the blood of Christ: the washing his conscience with the waters of compunction: and retrenching all vanities and superfluities, by employing all that is over and above what is necessary in alms deeds. The sin offering, and the holocaust or burnt offering, which he was to offer at his cleansing, signify the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart, and that of adoration in spirit and truth, with gratitude and thankfulness, for the forgiveness of sins, with which we are ever to appear before the Almighty. The touching the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot, first with the blood of the victim, and then with the remainder of the oil, which had been sprinkled seven times before the Lord, signify the application of the blood of Christ, and the unction of the sevenfold grace of the Holy Ghost; to the sinner’s right ear, that he may duly hearken to and obey the law of God; and to his right hand and foot, that the works of his hands, and all the steps or affections of his soul, signified by the feet, may be rightly directed to God.
To advance in your spiritual reform, kindly consider the profound meditations and pious lessons from the book:
TITLE: St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori on How to accept and love the will of God and his Divine Providence Includes quotations from St. John, Isaias, the Song of Songs, St. Bernard, etc.
AUTHOR: St. Alphonsus Liguori
EDITOR: Pablo Claret
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