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A New Virus Spreads Across the World
The Biblical Remedy
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February 15, 2020 - Audio, 7.21 MIN
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There are now almost 70,000 confirmed cases of the new novel Coronavirus “COVID-19”. It has caused 1669 deaths and cases have popped up all over the world. It has caused economic distress in China and affected stock markets across the globe. There is no doubt that this new virus has already changed the course of world history and it may yet have much greater effects.

Health services are trying to contain the virus by using "case detection, isolation and prevention of onward transmission”. The virus is spread via droplets in coughs and sneezes and possibly also contaminated excrement. The virus is thought to have originated in bats and through the intermediate host of the pangolin transferred to humans in the Wuhan seafood market in China.

It has been conjectured that the virus could end up infecting 60% of the world’s population. People are worried about the virus and have been stockpiling food, sanitizer, face masks and other essentials, causing a shortage of some of these essential items. Public anger is reportedly at a boiling point in China, because of the handling of the crisis and because of government censorship. A doctor who first alerted others to the crisis was silenced by the government. If he had not been the epidemic could have much more easily been contained and many lives saved. The doctor has now died of the disease and is quickly becoming a martyr and hero to the public in China. While witnessing these events taking place, a passage the readily comes to mind is Luke 21:26. "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Men’s hearts are failing them for fear and the powers of heaven — the governments of the world are starting to be shaken by this epidemic.

To limit these types of epidemics from breaking out, the first step would be to clean up areas like the seafood market and the unhygienic practices that enabled the virus to cross over the bats to pangolins to humans. Early detection, isolation of cases and prevention of onward transmission are also essential. This all seems quite plain to us, with the knowledge now available of how diseases are spread. However, this knowledge is very recent in human history and not so long ago very little was known about the transmission of infection. Yet when we go back to the law of Moses, which is about 3500 years old, incredibly we find these principles of modern public health.

The main principles of public health which can be deduced from the law of Moses are:

1. The use of water for washing (Exo. 30:17–21; Lev. 11:32) and particularly the use of running water rather than stagnant water (Lev. 15:11–13).
2. The sanitary disposal of human waste by burial (Deut. 23:13).
3. The recognition of contagion i.e. passing on contamination by touch (Lev. 15:1–10) or spitting (Lev.15:8).
4. Food controls (Lev. 20:25) particularly the prohibition on eating animals which have died of disease. (Lev. 17:15; 22:8).
5. The avoidance of contact with dead bodies (Lev. 11:24–36).
6. The prohibition of scarification and tattooing (Lev. 19:28; 21:5).
7. Control of sexual practices (Lev. 18).
8. The institution of quarantine for certain diseases (Lev. 13).
9. Recognition of the “uncleanness” of bodily discharges (Lev. 15).
(Source: The Bible Magazine, Vol. 3, Issue 3, Public health ahead of its time, Dr. Stephen Palmer.)

These principles are the foundation of the recommended response to the coronavirus epidemic. Washing with running water, having people cover their nose and mouth when the sneeze or cough, the sanitary disposal of human waste, food controls and quarantine. The origin of the  deadly ebola virus has been traced to the eating of infected bats. If the clean and unclean food laws contained in the law of Moses were followed there would have been no ebola epidemic. It is also quite likely there would be no COVID-19 if the law of Moses were followed. God said in Exodus 15:26

“...If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee."

First and foremost the question we should be considering, is how does a 3500 year old law contain the principles for fighting the spread of infectious disease? There is only one answer. The Bible is divinely inspired as it claims to be. Not only does the Bible contain the remedy for these modern epidemics, it contains the remedy for the greatest problems of mankind; sin, disease and death. The Bible promises a time when these enemies of man will be vanquished. Revelation 21:3-5 says,

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Come back again next week God willing, as we once again consider the Bible in the news, at This has been David Billington with you.

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