Physician and Pastor; on the dual role of the Levitical priest

In reading Leviticus 13 and 14 and its discussion of the clinical diagnosis and “treatment” of leprosy and how this is juxtaposed with the priestly function of the sacrificial system, it struck me as to how closely related these 2 disparate activities were in the time of Moses.  Today, modern medicine and clerical activity while often occurring in the same sphere (hospital, hospice etc), are clearly distinct activities.  For the Levitical priest in ministry to the congregation, he was at one moment offering sacrifices for spiritual atonement (לְכַפֵּ֥ר) and the next moment determining if one was clean (וְטִהֲר֖).  The clinical description of an active leprous lesion in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 is quite detailed.  While the pathophysiology is clearly not understood, God’s instructions for protecting the camp are clear.  The lesson is clear.  Whether we understand why, God’s call on us to trust then follow His word is for our benefit.  The wise father is looking out for His children.


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