In the days of the Old Testament leprosy was considered to be the worst of maladies. It was so contagious that sufferers were required to call out “Unclean! Unclean!” if they were walking amongst people in crowded places. Sometimes leper colonies were created where sufferers were able to share a miserable existence amongst fellow-lepers, and where food was let down to them on the end of a rope from collections made by those who cared. A scene depicting this was graphically shown in the film Ben Hur.
Occasionally a person was cleansed of the disease. This was not common, but when it did happen a complicated ritual was set in motion to bring the person back into full fellowship of the children of Israel. The ritual is found in the 14th chapter of Leviticus. Briefly it was as follows. First of all the Priest had to be certain that the man was no longer suffering. He would do this outside the camp, by making a careful examination, without touching the man. Once persuaded that the disease had departed, he then instituted a seven-day programme of events, which included sacrifices, washings, and the removal of all the man’s hair. But finally we read, “On the eighth day he shall bring [all the stated offerings] to the Priest, to the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord . . . and the Priest shall wave them before the Lord.” (Lev.14:10 & 23)
The very worst forms of sin, evil, and wickedness, symbolised by leprosy, shall finally be dealt with and cleansed on the eighth day, during the millennium after that mentioned in Revelation 20.
It is quite remarkable just how much information is readily available about the eighth day, and what it means. Notice that in this chapter the man is ceremonially cleansed during the seventh day, when he washed his clothes and bathed, and cut off all his hair. But it was only on the eighth day that he was allowed to rejoin the congregation of the Lord. So likewise in the history of this world, all manner of the worst possible kind of atrocity committed by men is allowed to continue on earth, often without justice and judgment. David said in one of his Psalms, “Fret not yourselves over evildoers, neither be envious against the workers of iniquity.” (Psalm 37:1) He went on to say that often they “get away with it” and die, having managed to escape detection and punishment. But David had been shown the “end of the Lord,” that all such people will face to face the Judge eventually, and according to this chapter on leprosy, many of the worst offenders will have to wait until after the Millennial Rest before they are granted restitution into fellowship with other men. Such is the teaching in Leviticus 13 &14. They are difficult chapters to read, most unpleasant, but have a timely lesson for us all.