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20 You must not present anything that has a flaw,[a] because it will not be acceptable for your benefit.[b] 21 If a man presents a peace-offering sacrifice to the Lord for a special votive offering[c] or for a freewill offering from the herd or the flock, it must be flawless to be acceptable;[d] it must have no flaw.[e]

22 “‘You must not present to the Lord something blind, or with a broken bone, or mutilated, or with a running sore,[f] or with a festering eruption, or with a feverish rash.[g] You must not give any of these as a gift[h] on the altar to the Lord. 23 As for an ox[i] or a sheep with a limb too long or stunted,[j] you may present it as a freewill offering, but it will not be acceptable for a votive offering.[k] 24 You must not present to the Lord something with testicles that are bruised, crushed, torn, or cut off;[l] you must not do this in your land. 25 Even from a foreigner[m] you must not present the food of your God from such animals as these, for they are ruined and flawed;[n] they will not be acceptable for your benefit.’”

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  1. Leviticus 22:20 tn Heb “all which in it [is] a flaw.” Note that the same term is used for physical flaws of people in Lev 21:17-24. Cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV “blemish”; NASB, NIV, TEV “defect”; NLT “with physical defects.”
  2. Leviticus 22:20 tn Heb “not for acceptance shall it be for you”; NIV “it will not be accepted on your behalf” (NRSV and NLT both similar).
  3. Leviticus 22:21 tn The meaning of the expression לְפַלֵּא־נֶדֶר (lefalleʾ neder) rendered here “for a special votive offering” is much debated. Some take it as an expression for fulfilling a vow, “to fulfill a vow” (e.g., HALOT 927-28 s.v. פלא piel and NASB; cf. NAB, NRSV “in fulfillment of a vow”) or, alternatively, “to make a vow” or “for making a vow” (HALOT 928 s.v. פלא piel [II פלא]). Perhaps it refers to the making a special vow, from the verb פָלַא (palaʾ, “to be wonderful, to be remarkable”); cf. J. Milgrom, Numbers (JPSTC), 44. B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 151 and 193, suggests that this is a special term for “setting aside a votive offering” (related to פָּלָה [palah, “to set aside”]). In general, the point of the expression seems to be that this sacrifice arises as a special gift to God out of special circumstances in the life of the worshiper.
  4. Leviticus 22:21 tn Heb “for acceptance”; NAB “if it is to find acceptance.”
  5. Leviticus 22:21 tn Heb “all/any flaw shall not be in it.”
  6. Leviticus 22:22 tn Or perhaps “a wart” (cf. NIV; HALOT 383 s.v. יַבֶּלֶת, but see the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 358).
  7. Leviticus 22:22 sn See the note on Lev 21:20 above.
  8. Leviticus 22:22 sn This term for offering “gift” is explained in the note on Lev 1:9.
  9. Leviticus 22:23 tn Heb “And an ox.”
  10. Leviticus 22:23 tn Heb “and stunted” (see HALOT 1102 s.v. I קלט).
  11. Leviticus 22:23 sn The freewill offering was voluntary, so the regulations regarding it were more relaxed. Once a vow was made, the paying of it was not voluntary (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 151-52, for very helpful remarks on this verse).
  12. Leviticus 22:24 sn Cf. Lev 21:20b.
  13. Leviticus 22:25 tn Heb “And from the hand of a son of a foreigner.”
  14. Leviticus 22:25 tn Heb “for their being ruined [is] in them, flaw is in them”; NRSV “are mutilated, with a blemish in them”; NIV “are deformed and have defects.” The MT term מָשְׁחָתָם (moshkhatam, “their being ruined”) is a Hophal participle from שָׁחַת (shakhat, “to ruin”). Smr has plural בהם משׁחתים (“deformities in them”; cf. the LXX translation). The Qumran Leviticus scroll (11QpaleoLev) has תימ הם[…], in which case the restored participle would appear to be the same as Smr, but there is no ב (bet) preposition before the pronoun, yielding “they are deformed” (see D. N. Freedman and K. A. Mathews, The Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus Scroll, 41 and the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 358).

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