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Leviticus 14:4

    Leviticus 14:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then the priest is to give orders to take, for him who is to be made clean, two living clean birds and some cedar wood and red thread and hyssop.

    Webster's Revision

    then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

    World English Bible

    then the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

    Definitions for Leviticus 14:4

    Hyssop - A bitter herb.

    Clarke's Commentary on Leviticus 14:4

    Two birds alive and clean, etc. - Whether these birds were sparrows, or turtledoves, or pigeons, we know not; probably any kind of clean bird, or bird proper to be eaten, might be used on this occasion, though it is more likely that turtle-doves or pigeons were employed, because these appear to have been the only birds offered in sacrifice. Of the cedarwood, hyssop, clean bird, and scarlet wool or fillet, were made an aspergillum, or instrument to sprinkle with. The cedar-wood served for the handle, the hyssop and living bird were attached to it by means of the scarlet wool or crimson fillet. The bird was so bound to this handle as that its tail should be downwards, in order to be dipped into the blood of the bird that had been killed. The whole of this made an instrument for the sprinkling of this blood, and when this business was done, the living bird was let loose, and permitted to go whithersoever it would. In this ceremony, according to some rabbins, "the living bird signified that the dead flesh of the leper was restored to soundness; the cedar-wood, which is not easily corrupted, that he was healed of his putrefaction; the scarlet thread, wool, or fillet, that he was restored to his good complexion; and the hyssop, which was purgative and odoriferous, that the disease was completely removed, and the bad scent that accompanied it entirely gone." Ainsworth, Dodd, and others, have given many of these rabbinical conceits. Of all these purifications, and their accompanying circumstances, we may safely say, because authorized by the New Testament so to do, that they pointed out the purification of the soul through the atonement and Spirit of Christ; but to run analogies between the type and the thing typified is difficult, and precarious. The general meaning and design we sufficiently understand; the particulars are not readily ascertainable, and consequently of little importance; had they been otherwise, they would have been pointed out.

    Barnes' Notes on Leviticus 14:4

    These birds were provided by the priest for the man. They were not, like the offerings for the altar, brought by the man himself (compare Leviticus 14:4 with Leviticus 14:10), they were not presented nor brought near the sanctuary, nor was any portion of them offered on the altar.

    Cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop - These three substances were used as the common materials in rites of purification (compare Exodus 12:22; Numbers 19:8; Psalm 51:7; Hebrews 9:19): the "cedar", or juniper, the resin or turpentine of which was a preservative against decay, and employed in medicines for elephantiasis and other skin diseases: the "scarlet", a "tongue," or band, of twice-dyed scarlet wool, with which the living bird, the hyssop, and the cedar wood were tied together when they were dipped into the blood and water: the color expressing the rosiness associated with health and vital energy: and the "hyssop" (see Exodus 12:22), probably the Caper plant, whose cleansing virtues as a medicine, and use in the treatment of ulcers and diseases of the skin allied to leprosy, were known to the ancients. It has been conjectured that the scarlet band was used to tie the hyssop upon the cedar, so as to make a sort of brush, such as would be convenient for sprinkling.