The lepers of Jerusalem

Pictures of a leper community in 19th century Jerusalem were taken by the American Colony's photographers.

November 14, 2013 12:08
2 minute read.
A group of leper men, circa 1900.

lepers.jerusalem 521. (photo credit: US Library of Congress)


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II Kings , Chapter 7: ... Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate [of besieged Samaria]; and they said one to another: ‘Why sit we here until we die? ... If we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Arameans... And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Arameans; and when they came to the outermost part of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no man there.”

For thousands of years the scourge of leprosy has struck fear among humanity. In the Bible it was considered a severe punishment. Leprosy was called a “living death,” and its victims were often exiled from cities or imprisoned in leper colonies.


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