to the priest

Matthew 8:4

8:4 to the priest. Leviticus 13–14 contains detailed laws and instructions for the ceremonial cleansing of lepers—116 verses altogether. The problem was that there was no cure for leprosy in those days, so the laws were never implemented. Naaman was miraculously healed (II Kings 5:1-19), but he was not an Israelite, so did not follow the prescribed procedures for cleansing. So far as the record goes, this incident in Matthew is the first time ever that a cleansed leper would go to the priest in the manner prescribed by Moses. No wonder, in view of the hypocrisy and unbelief common in the priesthood of the time, that Christ said this would be “for a testimony unto them.”

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