A Biblical Perspective on the Coronavirus

Regarding the coronavirus, I felt led to do a word study on the Hebrew word for plague:  נֶגַע which also means stroke, disease, assault or mark. It also means to touch in modern Hebrew. Another word for plague is נֶגֶף which is also a striking blow.

Egypt was struck with plagues from the L-rd, both in the time of Abraham (because of Sarah) and also during the time of slavery. In Leviticus 13 people with skin or eye diseases such as an infection or leprosy had to be checked and either isolated or pronounced clean by the priest. Leviticus 13 and 14 contain the regulations for infections in people, their clothing and homes and explains clearly when someone is to be declared clean or unclean. Isolation would be required. This of course brings to remembrance the coronavirus.

Isolation is definitely preferable to the Lev. 13:45 command that when someone has a plague, they have to tear their clothes and walk through the streets proclaiming, “Unclean! Unclean!” (I hope the government won’t require this!) The next sentence says, “He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Four more Scriptures came to mind: 

Exod. 12:13 – The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Deut. 21:5 – Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the L-rd your G-d has chosen them to … settle every assault.

Psa. 89:32 – Then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes

Isa. 53:8 – By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living. For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

So of course I immediately thought of Yeshua our Messiah who was beaten with strokes and crucified outside the camp and yet by His stripes and through His blood and through His touch we are healed, redeemed and set free!  

Then I considered the Parashiot, Torah readings for Lev. 13 and 14 and found that this year they are both on are April 25 which also happens to be Rosh Chodesh, the first of the month of Iyar during the counting of the Omer: Metzora (she bears seed) has Lev. 13 and Tazria (infected one) includes Lev. 14. 

Some Biblical solutions for plagues are found in these Scriptures:

Jos. 22:17 – We have not cleansed ourselves to this day from the iniquity of Peor, although a plague came on the congregation of the L-rd.

Exod. 30:12 – When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the L-rd, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them.

Num. 8:19 – I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the sons of Israel, to perform the service of the sons of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement on behalf of the sons of Israel, so that there will be no plague among the sons of Israel by their coming near to the sanctuary.”

Num. 16:46 – Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the L-rd, the plague has begun!”

Psa. 91:10 – When you call upon the L-rd no evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.

One last Scripture on the plague – the main thing we are witnessing today is a spirit of fear. People are stockpiling goods and gathering all kinds of material things in their homes. But this doesn’t guarantee that we will be safe. Only when we embrace the Spirit of Messiah and have His Word written on our hearts, then He will be our sanctuary.

Isa. 8:11-18 For thus the L-rd spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,  “You are not to say, It is a  conspiracy! In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.  It is the L-rd of Hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  Many will stumble over them, then they will fall and be broken; they will even be snared and caught. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait for the L-rd who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him. Behold, I and the children whom the L-rd has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the L-rd of Hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.”

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Carolyn Margolin-Hyde was raised in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue near Chicago. She graduated from University of Illinois and as an RN she practiced nursing for many years. After making Aliyah Carolyn served as worship leader at K’tsir Asher, The Harvest of Asher Congregation, in Akko, and then led worship at Kehilat Poriya, a congregation near Tiberius. She has written and recorded many worship songs in English and Hebrew and her worship CD’s include “Just Like Joseph” and “The Latter Rain”- contemporary worship CDs; “Deep Calls to Deep” – a soaking CD; and “Fine Linen” – worship with a touch of the blues.