Bible Term: Leprosy

Leprosy is a mildly contagious, progressive skin disease that until recently could not be treated and as such would lead to permanent damage of skin, nerves, eyes, and appendages.

In biblical times, because of a lack of treatment and its infectious nature, the Jewish law contained strict guidelines for how leprosy and lepers would be handled. People with leprosy were segregated from the general population and were required to call out “unclean” when other people approached them.

It is noteworthy that Jesus healed many lepers, as did the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5).