So, not only is Aaron responsible for everything that happens inside the temple, but he also has to inspect everyone’s gross boils, zits and skin rashes. Another reason I’d never make it as a priest. Besides noting that Aaron served somewhat as a physician in addition to his priestly duties, I also was relating to God’s rules about quarantine in this chapter. I think reading this chapter now in 2020 sheds a completely different light on mandatory isolation than it would have even a few months ago. I don’t really want to discuss all the zits and boils because, frankly, this chapter kind of grossed me out, but under all those pus-filled hairy bumps is a deeper message: Aaron wore a lot of hats, and quarantining individuals is sometimes necessary to protect the greater population. I think we sometimes read these paragraphs and picture people being shunned and thrown out of the city, but God made preparations beforehand so that people who were afflicted would be taken care of. Remember he had the Israelites build camps outside the main community for people who were designated unclean and also for individuals accused of murder (and probably other crimes that warranted a judgment or separation of persons involved). In all these chapters of Leviticus, I’m trying to turn what reads like demands into rules that exist for our well being because God loves us, does not want to see us get hurt and wants to remain in close relationship with us. For instance, in verses 45 and 46, where people with skin diseases are supposed to tear their clothing and not comb their hair and call out “Unclean! Unclean!” when someone approaches, I imagined it in modern-day terms. So, I thought it’s like when we’re in isolation now, some of us, not naming any names, may not have combed our hair or wore our goin’-out clothes during our own isolation. And if we would have unfortunately caught the virus, we’d be around a few people, no doubt, and we would have to say to them from a distance with our masks on, “Hey, don’t come any closer! I’m infected with the coronavirus!” I don’t know if that explanation made things better for you or worse, but I hope you’re able to look at these verses a little differently now.
Writing prompt: interpretation
Write your interpretation of the rules for skin diseases and Aaron’s role as chief medical examiner.