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Leviticus 14:2-9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

This is the ritual for someone that had a scaly infection at the time of that person’s purification. The individual shall be brought to the priest, who is to go outside the camp. If the priest, upon inspection, finds that the scaly infection has healed in the afflicted person, he shall order that two live, clean birds,[a] as well as some cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop be obtained for the one who is to be purified. [b]The priest shall then order that one of the birds be slaughtered over an earthen vessel with fresh water in it. Taking the living bird with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, the priest shall dip them, including the live bird, in the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water, and then sprinkle seven times on the person to be purified from the scaly infection. When he has thus purified that person, he shall let the living bird fly away over the countryside. The person being purified shall then wash his garments, shave off all hair, and bathe in water,[c] and so become clean. After this the person may come inside the camp, but shall still remain outside his or her tent for seven days. On the seventh day this individual shall again shave off all hair, of the head, beard, and eyebrows—all hair must be shaved—and also wash his garments and bathe the body in water, and so become clean.


  1. 14:4–7 The bird rite is also found for purifying a house from a fungus (vv. 49–53). The rite apparently removes impurity from the individual and, by means of the live bird, sends it away to unpopulated areas (v. 7). This is similar to the dispatch of a goat laden with sins on the Day of Atonement (16:21–22).
  2. 14:5–7 The blood from the bird serves as a ritual detergent, much like the blood from the purification offering (see notes on 4:3). It is not a sacrifice, however, since it is not performed at the sanctuary. Fresh water: lit., “living water,” taken from some source of running water, not from a cistern.
  3. 14:8 Bathe in water: This phrase occurs frequently in Lv 14–16 and is imprecise. It can refer to both ordinary and cultic washing. The context will determine the meaning. At this early period in Israel’s history it is probably not a reference to cultic immersion in a Mikveh—a Second Temple period ritual.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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