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Leviticus 14:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive [and] clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive, [and] clean, and cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two clean living birds, and cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— then shall the priest give command,—and there shall be taken—for him that is to be cleansed—two living clean birds,—and cedar wood, and crimson, am hyssop;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— and the priest hath commanded, and he hath taken for him who is to be cleansed, two clean living birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Shall command him that is to be purified, to offer for himself two living sparrows, which it is lawful to eat, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then shall the Priest command to take for him that is to bee cleansed, two birds aliue, [and] cleane, and Cedar wood, and scarlet, and hysope.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the priest shall give directions, and they shall take for him that is cleansed two clean live birds, and cedar wood, and spun scarlet, and hyssop.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive [and] clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then shall the priest 3548
{3548} Prime
Active participle of H3547; literally one officiating, a priest; also (by courtesy) an acting priest (although a layman).
command 6680
{6680} Prime
A primitive root; (intensively) to constitute, enjoin.
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
to take 3947
{3947} Prime
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
for him that is to be cleansed 2891
{2891} Prime
A primitive root; properly to be bright; that is, (by implication) to be pure (physically sound, clear, unadulterated; Levitically uncontaminated; morally innocent or holy).
<8693> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 139
two 8147
{8147} Prime
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
birds 6833
{6833} Prime
From H6852; a little bird (as hopping).
alive 2416
{2416} Prime
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
[and] clean, 2889
{2889} Prime
From H2891; pure (in a physical, chemical, ceremonial or moral sense).
and cedar 730
{0730} Prime
From H0729; a cedar tree (from the tenacity of its roots).
wood, 6086
{6086} Prime
From H6095; a tree (from its firmness); hence wood (plural sticks).
and scarlet, 8144
{8144} Prime
Of uncertain derivation; crimson, properly the insect or its color, also stuff dyed with it.
{8438} Prime
From H3216; a maggot (as voracious); specifically (often with ellipsis of H8144) the crimson grub, but used only (in this connection) of the color from it, and cloths dyed therewith.
and hyssop: 231
{0231} Prime
Probably of foreign derivation; hyssop.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Leviticus 14:4

_ _ two birds — literally, “sparrows.” The Septuagint, however, renders the expression “little birds”; and it is evident that it is to be taken in this generic sense from their being specified as “clean” — a condition which would have been altogether superfluous to mention in reference to sparrows. In all the offerings prescribed in the law, Moses ordered only common and accessible birds; and hence we may presume that he points here to such birds as sparrows or pigeons, as in the desert it might have been very difficult to procure wild birds alive.

_ _ cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop — The cedar here meant was certainly not the famous tree of Lebanon, and it is generally supposed to have been the juniper, as several varieties of that shrub are found growing abundantly in the clefts and crevices of the Sinaitic mountains. A stick of this shrub was bound to a bunch of hyssop by a scarlet ribbon, and the living bird was to be so attached to it, that when they dipped the branches in the water, the tail of the bird might also be moistened, but not the head nor the wings, that it might not be impeded in its flight when let loose.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Leviticus 14:1-9.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Leviticus 14:4

Two birds — The one to represent Christ as dying for his sins, the other to represent him as rising again for his purification or justification. Clean — Allowed for food and for sacrifice. Cedar — wood — A stick of cedar, to which the hyssop and one of the birds was tied by the scarlet thread. Cedar seems to be chosen, to note that the leper was now freed from that corruption which his leprosy had brought upon him, that kind of wood being in a manner incorruptible. Scarlet — A thread of wool of a scarlet colour, to represent both the leper's sinfulness, and the blood of Christ, and the happy change of the leper's colour and complexion, which before was wan and loathsome, now sprightly and beautiful. Hyssop — The fragrant smell of which, signified the cure of the leper's ill scent.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Leviticus 14:4

Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive [and] (b) clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

(b) Of birds which were permitted to be eaten.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
two birds:
or, sparrows, The word tzippor, from the Arabic zaphara, to fly, is used in the Scriptures to denote birds of every species, particularly small birds. But it is often used in a more restricted sense, as the Hebrew writers assert, to signify the sparrow. Aquinas says the same; and Jerome renders it here the sparrow. So the Greek στρουθια, in Matthew and Luke, which signifies a sparrow, is rendered by the Syriac translator tzipparin, the same as the Hebrew tzipporim. Nor is it peculiar to the Hebrews to give the same name to the sparrow and to fowls of the largest size; for Nicander calls the hen στρουθος κατοικαδος, the domestic sparrow, and both Plautus and Ausonius call the ostrich, passer marinus, "the marine sparrow." It is evident, however, that the word in this passage signifies birds in general; for if the sparrow was a clean bird, there was no necessity for commanding a clean one to be taken, since every one of the species was ceremonially clean; but if it was unclean, then it could not be called clean.
Leviticus 1:14 And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD [be] of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.
Leviticus 5:7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.
Leviticus 12:8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.


Leviticus 14:6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird [that was] killed over the running water:
Leviticus 14:49-52 And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: ... And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:
Numbers 19:6 And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast [it] into the midst of the burning of the heifer.


Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,


Exodus 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
Numbers 19:18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip [it] in the water, and sprinkle [it] upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:
Psalms 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
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Ex 12:22. Lv 1:14; 5:7; 12:8; 14:6, 49. Nu 19:6, 18. Ps 51:7. He 9:19.

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