Leviticus 14:33-57

Key Verse(s):

Leviticus 14:33–35 (HCSB)

33 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 34 “When you enter the land of Canaan that I am giving you as a possession, and I place a mildew contamination in a house in the land you possess, 35 the owner of the house is to come and tell the priest: Something like mildew contamination has appeared in my house.


This pericope is the close of the instructions concerning skin disease and mildew. Where there was a break between the identification of skin disease and the cleansing of it, with the passage concerning mildewed fabrics in between, we might expect a return to fabrics here. But that is not the case, the treatment of fabrics was completed and instead the focus is upon mildew in homes.

Much of the passage is similar to what is done for fabrics though, the focus being to quarantine the mildew, and prevent further spreading of it and the impact of it. We see similar progression of identification and treatment in that initially just the stones with mildew are removed. This is similar to the step of cutting out just the mildewed section of fabric or leather. It is worth noting that the house has all inside plaster removed, not just affected sections. Perhaps we might take away the idea that when we address sin and contamination in our lives it requires giving up some things that might not themselves be bad or corrupt in order to be cleansed from that which does corrupt. And we also see, just as with the fabrics and leathers, that is the mildew continues to spread after the initial treatment, that the entire house is destroyed and removed from the camp.

The one different thing I notice with this section is in Leviticus 14:34, where God, apparently, claims responsibility for the mildew in a home, where this was not addressed in the previous passages concerning skin disease and fabrics. It is interesting that there is no mention of sin here, and the contamination does not appear to be dependent upon any individual punishment or judgement. The ritual does not include any sin offering, it is only concerned with purification and cleansing. Now whether the text is conveying that God is in control and allows the mildew contamination, or whether it is saying that God literally places it, I think is moot. The bigger take-away here is the distinction that God makes between things and people.


Lord, thank You for being in complete control! We have reason to worry, because we can trust in You. Help us to follow You closely, in full faith. Amen.


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