Verses 47-59 (Leviticus 13:47-59)

This is the law concerning the plague of leprosy in a garment, whether linen or woollen. A leprosy in a garment, with discernible indications of it, the colour changed by it, the garment fretted, the nap worn off, and this in some one particular part of the garment, and increasing when it was shut up, and not to be got out by washing is a thing which to us now is altogether unaccountable. The learned confess that it was a sign and a miracle in Israel, an extraordinary punishment inflicted by the divine power, as a token of great displeasure against a person or family. 1. The process was much the same with that concerning a leprous person. The garment suspected to be tainted was not to be burnt immediately, though, it may be, there would have been no great loss of it; for in no case must sentence be given merely upon a surmise, but it must be shown to the priest. If, upon search, it was found that there was a leprous spot (the Jews say no bigger than a bean), it must be burnt, or at least that part of the garment in which the spot was, Lev. 13:52, 57. If the cause of the suspicion was gone, it must be washe 966 d, and then might be used, Lev. 13:58. 2. The signification also was much the same, to intimate the great malignity there is in sin: it not only defiles the sinner?s conscience, but it brings a stain upon all his employments and enjoyments, all he has and all he does. To those that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, Titus 1:15. And we are taught hereby to hate even the garments spotted with the flesh, Jude 1:23. Those that make their clothes servants to their pride and lust may see them thereby tainted with a leprosy, and doomed to the fire, Isa. 3:18-24. But the ornament of the hidden man of the heart is incorruptible, 1 Pet. 3:4. The robes of righteousness never fret nor are moth-eaten.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary