Sunday’s first reading is about leprosy. In the Bible, “leprosy” is not a medical diagnosis. It’s a translation of word that covers a lot of different skin diseases and conditions. Both life-threatening (like actual leprosy) and not life-threatening.
Back then, if someone had a life-threatening skin disease, there was no cure. So they kept it from spreading. By making the infected person live apart from everyone else.
The priest’s job? To keep people from overdoing it. So people who weren’t a danger didn’t get sent away. Just because someone saw a birthmark or a rash. And panicked.
So it’s just Old Testament public health stuff. What’s next – 1950’s hygiene films?
Actually, there’s a lot to the first reading than just ancient public health.
More on this tomorrow.