Bible Miracles: Laws of Quarantine

Picture portraying Black Death
A quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of people; it is a “restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests,” for a certain period of time. During the destructive Black Death of the 14th-century patients who were sick and even dead were kept in the same place as the rest of the family and thus multiplied the plague. But they attributed the spread of these epidemics to bad air or evil spirits.

Quarantine Symbol
Laws of quarantine were not instigated by modern man until the seventeenth century. Almost 3500 years back, the Bible tells the children of Israel what to do if a man has an infectious disease, plague or leprosy.

Leviticus 13:46: As long as they have the disease, they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp. ESV

Quarantine Flag

Modern medical science tells us that both nasal secretions and skin from untreated cases of leprosy or many other infectious diseases are capable of shedding germs to the environment.  Keeping this in mind, you can see that there are very strict commands in the Bible about how to deal with this, something that was unheard of at the time. Bible talks about marks of leprosy on walls and garments, and the priests were instructed to burn the garments, which many thought was quite silly.

Leviticus 13:52: He shall therefore burn that garment in which is the plague, whether warp or woof, in wool or in linen, or anything of leather, for it is an active leprosy; the garment shall be burned in the fire. NKJV

Leviticus 13:45-46: Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall [a]dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp. NKJV

Burial of Plague infected

Shortly before the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land some three thousand five hundred years ago, God said that he would protect them against “the terrible diseases” that they had known in Egypt.

Deuteronomy 7:15: And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. NKJV

Leviticus 15:13: And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean. NKJV

Anyone who touched a dead body was quarantined.

Leviticus 5:2-3: Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty. Or if he touches human uncleanness—whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty. NKJV

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