Leviticus Chapter 21  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Lev 21
The Holiness of the Priests

1Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: A priest is not to defile himself for the dead among his people,
  2except for his relatives that are near to him; for his mother, for his father, for his son, for his daughter, for his brother,
  3and for his virgin sister who is near to him who has had no husband, for her he may defile himself.
  4He is not to defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

5“They are not to make bald patches on their heads, nor are they to shave off the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
  6They are to be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, the food of their God; therefore they must be holy.
  7They are not to marry a woman who is a prostitute, or profane; nor are they to marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God.
  8You are to sanctify him therefore, for he offers the bread of your God: he will be holy to you, for I, Yahweh, who make you holy, am holy.
  9The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by prostituting herself, she profanes her father; she must be burned with fire.

10“He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and who is consecrated to put on the garments, must not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor tear his clothes;
  11nor is he to go in to a place where there is any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or for his mother;
  12nor is he to go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him. I am Yahweh.

13“He is to take a wife in her virginity.
  14A widow, or one divorced, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he is not to marry; but a virgin of his own people is he to take as a wife.
  15He must not profane his seed among his people, for I am Yahweh who makes him holy.”

Physical Defects and Priests

16Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  17“Say to Aaron: None of your seed throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the food of his God.
  18For no man who has a blemish is to approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity,
  19or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand,
  20or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye, or an itching disease, or scabs, or who has damaged testicles.
  21No man of the seed of Aaron the priest who has a blemish is to approach to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. Since he has a blemish, he is not to approach to offer the food of his God.
  22He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
  23He must not approach the curtain, nor approach the altar, because he has a blemish, so that he does not profane my sanctuaries, for I am Yahweh who makes them holy.”
  24So Moses told this to Aaron and to his sons and to all the children of Israel.

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