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LEPROSY. The laws respecting leprosy and defilement had both a civil and religious reference. They were designed to prevent contagion, and to keep the people from all personal impurity. If such laws were in force at the present day, it is probable that the plague, which often rages with such fatal violence in eastern countries, would be unknown.
Leprosy was a loathsome disease, incurable, except by special divine interposition, and is an impressive emblem of moral pollution.
Sin is the leprosy of the soul.
PARTICULAR LAWS. Each precept of the Mosaic law appears to have been adapted with precision to a certain end; and though we cannot always discover the aim, we may be sure that each was benevolent and wise.
Some were designed to form a habit of obedience; some to eradicate evil habits acquired in Egypt; some to allure into the right way, through the senses; some to remind them of what God had done for them; and some to restrict their intercourse with idolaters.
BLOOD. We might ask, why blood was forbidden to be used as food: the answer is found in LEV. 17:11.
Blood represented the atonement made for sin, and was thus an emblem of Christ's sacrifice.
Another reason may be added. The heathen, at their sacrifices, drank the blood of the animal, with many abhorrent ceremonies.
MIXTURES. It is not obvious to reason, that any injurious influence could be exerted by the use or practice of certain mixtures: such as wearing garments of mingled linen and woollen ; ploughing with different animals yoked together; sowing the vineyard with mixed seeds. DEUT. 22:11, and LEV. 19:19. Why then were they forbidden ?
As a safeguard against idolatry. The heathen had many superstitious observances in regard to such mixtures, and the Israelites were prohibited from following their example, lest it should prove a snare. The people had been educated in the midst of idolatry, and they were so prone to fall back into such practices,
that it was necessary to render them odious and unlawful, by the most solemn restrictions.
CUTTING THE HAIR. “ Ye shall not round the corners of your heads; neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” LEV. 19:27.
Why prohibit the cutting of the hair and beard in a particular fashion ?
This would serve as a marked feature of distinction from surrounding nations, who were accustomed to arrange the hair and beard upon certain models.
THE MORAL LAW,
AS CONTAINED IN LEVITICUS XIX. 1. Ye shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.
2. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father.
3. Turn not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods.
4. When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings
of thy harvest : thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger.
5. Ye shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie one to another.
6. Ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God.
7. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him.
8. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind.
9. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.
11. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart.
12. Thou shalt in anywise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
13. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people.
14. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
15. Neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
16. Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary.
17. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards.
18. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God.
19. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him: thou shalt love him as thyself.
20. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in mete-yard, in weight, or in measure.
21. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, ye shall have.
What a holy and merciful law! How sublime, how just, how benevolent its enactments ! Who but God could have been its author !
An ephah was a dry measure containing a little less than a bushel.
A hin was a measure of liquids, rather more than a gallon.
Once a year two goats were brought before the door of the tabernacle—one of them. was slain for a sin-offering; on the head of the other, the high-priest laid his hands, and confessed all the iniquities of the children of Israel.