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Leviticus 13:46 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(46) He shall dwell alone.—In consequence of his extreme defilement, the leper had to live in seclusion outside the camp or city (Num. 5:1-4; Num. 13:10-15; 2Ki. 7:3, &c.). According to the legislation during the second Temple, if he stood under a tree and a clean person happened to pass by, he defiled the passer by. In the synagogue which he wished to attend they were obliged to make him a separate compartment, ten handbreadths high and four cubits long and broad. He had to be the first to go in and the last to leave the synagogue. Hence, leprosy was regarded as a living death, and as an awful punishment from the Lord (2Ki. 5:7; 2Ch. 26:20), which they invoked upon all their mortal enemies (2Sa. 3:29; 2Ki. 5:27). The leper was debarred from conjugal intercourse. These ancient Rabbinic laws were imported into the Christian Church during the Middle Ages. When any one was afflicted with this distemper, the priest, wearing his stole and holding the crucifix, conducted him into the church, where the leper had to exchange his clothes for a peculiar black garment, and the mass was read over him and the service for the dead. He was then taken to a sequestered house, where earth was thrown upon his feet as a sign of burial, and was admonished never to appear otherwise than in his black garment and barefooted. He was not allowed to enter a church, or any place where there was a mill or bread was baked, or come near a well or fountain. He forfeited both the right of inheritance and of disposing of his property, for he was considered a dead man.

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 13:46 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 13:46 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 13:46 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Leviticus 13:46 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 13:46 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 13:46 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Leviticus 13:46 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 13:46 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 13:46 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 13:46 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)