Leviticus 13: Let’s Talk about Skin Diseases

Then God was all, while we’re on the subject of gross, let’s discuss leprosy and some of the other gnarly things you guys have happen to your skin bags. Leprosy is just repulsive, man, and I heard it’s contagious. I mean, I don’t know if I can catch it, but who wants to look at a bunch of you all scabby and shit? So if anyone is suspected of being leprous, then they need to be examined by a priest. If the priest says that the person is leprous, then that person is declared unclean and is forced into homelessness on the outskirts of camp (or town, eventually, when I let you stop wandering around the desert). If the priest isn’t sure if the person has leprosy or not, then the person has to go into solitary confinement for a week. Then the priest reexamines, and if leprous, on with the shunning. If the priest still isn’t sure, then the person has to be confined for another week. If after two weeks, the disease hasn’t spread, then it clearly isn’t leprosy, but just some other grossness, and the person can go back to their normal business after a ritual cleansing. If it’s spread, then it’s leprosy and on with the shunning.

It’s really only the scaly, mottled condition I find completely repulsive, so after a leprosy person has turned completely white, they can be ritually cleansed and let back in again.

In addition to forced vagrancy, it’s also a rule that lepers have to wear torn, ratty clothes–rags, you might say–and aren’t allowed to cut or comb their hair. They should also wear some sort of face mask or cover their mouths and go around chanting “unclean, unclean” so no one mistakes them for a normal poor person or anything. And remember, they are not allowed inside the camp in real houses or anything. The should live in, um, what’s the Bronze Age equivalent to a cardboard box?

By the way, just going bald shouldn’t make a guy suspected of being leprous. That’s a fault in the programming. My bad.

Also, not just people can get infected with leprosy, but things too. Like inanimate objects. You know, rugs and things? And I do not want my sanctuary infected. Keep that shit away from me. So anyway, if something is suspected of being leprous, do the solitary confinement thing, like for people. If the priest at any time decides it is leprous, then burn it. If it’s not, just cut out the discolored spot and burn that, just to be safe.


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