Verse 58. "It shall be washed the second time" - According to the Jews the first washing was to put away the plague, the second to cleanse it. BOTH among Jews and Gentiles the leprosy has been considered as a most expressive emblem of sin, the properties and circumstances of the one pointing out those of the other. The similitude or parallel has been usually run in the following manner:-
1. The leprosy began with a spot, a simple hidden infection being the cause. 2. This spot was very conspicuous, and argued the source whence it proceeded. 3. It was of a diffusive nature, soon spreading over the whole body. 4. It communicated its infectious nature, not only to the whole of the person's body, but also to his clothes and habitation. 5. It rendered the infected person loathsome, unfit for and dangerous to society because of its infectious nature. 6. The person infected was obliged to be separated from society, both religious and civil; to dwell by himself without the camp or city, and hold commerce with none. 7. He was obliged to proclaim his own uncleanness, publicly acknowledge his defilement, and, sensible of his plague, continue humbled and abased before God and man. How expressive all these are of the nature of sin and the state of a sinner, a spiritual mind will at once perceive. 1.
The original infection or corruption of nature is the grand hidden cause, source, and spring of all transgression. 2. Iniquity is a seed that has its growth, gradual increase, and perfection. As the various powers of the mind are developed, so it diffuses itself, infecting every passion and appetite through their whole extent and operation. 3. As it spreads in the mind, so it diffuses itself through the life; every action partaking of its influence, till the whole conduct becomes a tissue of transgression, because every imagination of the thoughts of a sinner's heart is only evil continually, Genesis 6. This is the natural state of man. 4. As a sinner is infected, so is he infectious; by his precept and example he spreads the infernal contagion wherever he goes; joining with the multitude to do evil, strengthening and being strengthened in the ways of sin and death, and becoming especially a snare and a curse to his own household. 5. That a sinner is abominable in the sight of God and of all good men, that he is unfit for the society of the righteous, and that he cannot, as such, be admitted into the kingdom of God, needs no proof. 6. It is owing to the universality of the evil that sinners are not expelled from society as the most dangerous of all monsters, and obliged to live without having any commerce with their fellow creatures. Ten lepers could associate together, because partaking of the same infection: and civil society is generally maintained, because composed of a leprous community. 7. He that wishes to be saved from his sins must humble himself before God and man, sensible of his own sore and the plague of his heart; confess his transgressions; look to God for a cure, from whom alone it can be received; and bring that Sacrifice by which alone the guilt can be taken away, and his soul be purified from all unrighteousness. See the conclusion of the following chapter.