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21 The Lord said also to Moses: Speak to the priests the sons of Aaron, and thou shalt say to them: Let not a priest incur an uncleanness at the death of his citizens:

But only for his kin, such as are near in blood, that is to say, for his father and for his mother, and for his son, and for his daughter, for his brother also,

And for a maiden sister, who hath had no husband:

But not even for the prince of his people shall he do any thing that may make him unclean.

Neither shall they shave their head, nor their beard, nor make incisions in their flesh.

They shall be holy to their God, and shall not profane his name: for they offer the burnt offering of the Lord, and the bread of their God, and therefore they shall be holy.

They shall not take to wife a harlot or a vile prostitute, nor one that has been put away from her husband: because they are consecrated to their God,

And offer the leaves of proposition. Let them therefore be holy, because I also am holy, the Lord, who sanctify them.

If the daughter of a priest be taken in whoredom, and dishonour the name of her father, she shall be burnt with fire.

10 The high priest, that is to say, the priest, is the greatest among his brethren. upon whose head the oil of unction hath been poured, and whose hands have been consecrated for the priesthood, and who hath been vested with the holy vestments, shall not uncover his head, he shall not rend his garments:

11 Nor shall he go in at all to any dead person: not even for his father, or his mother, shall he be defiled:

12 Neither shall he go out of the holy places, lest he defile the sanctuary of the Lord, because the oil of the holy unction of his God is upon him. I am the Lord.

13 He shall take a virgin unto his wife:

14 But a widow or one that is divorced, or defiled, or a harlot, he shall not take, but a maid of his own people:

15 He shall not mingle the stock of his kindred with the common people of his nation: for I am the Lord who sanctify him.

16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

17 Say to Aaron: Whosoever of thy seed throughout their families, hath a blemish, he shall not offer bread to his God.

18 Neither shall he approach to minister to him: If he be blind, if he be lame, if he have a little, or a great, or a crooked nose,

19 If his foot, or if his hand be broken,

20 If he be crookbacked, or blear eyed, or have a pearl in his eye, or a continual scab, or a dry scurf in his body, or a rupture:

21 Whosoever of the seed of Aaron the priest hath a blemish, he shall not approach to offer sacrifices to the Lord, nor bread to his God.

22 He shall eat nevertheless of the loaves, that are offered in the sanctuary,

23 Yet so that he enter not within the veil, nor approach to the altar, because he hath a blemish, and he must not defile my sanctuary. I am the Lord who sanctify them.

24 Moses therefore spoke to Aaron, and to his sons and to all Israel, all the things that had been commanded him.

Rules for Priests

21 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron,(A) and say to them: ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean(B) for any of his people who die,(C) except for a close relative, such as his mother or father,(D) his son or daughter, his brother, or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband—for her he may make himself unclean.(E) He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage,[a] and so defile himself.

“‘Priests must not shave(F) their heads or shave off the edges of their beards(G) or cut their bodies.(H) They must be holy to their God(I) and must not profane the name of their God.(J) Because they present the food offerings to the Lord,(K) the food of their God,(L) they are to be holy.(M)

“‘They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands,(N) because priests are holy to their God.(O) Regard them as holy,(P) because they offer up the food of your God.(Q) Consider them holy, because I the Lord am holy—I who make you holy.(R)

“‘If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.(S)

10 “‘The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head(T) and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments,(U) must not let his hair become unkempt[b] or tear his clothes.(V) 11 He must not enter a place where there is a dead body.(W) He must not make himself unclean,(X) even for his father or mother,(Y) 12 nor leave the sanctuary(Z) of his God or desecrate it, because he has been dedicated by the anointing oil(AA) of his God. I am the Lord.

13 “‘The woman he marries must be a virgin.(AB) 14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, 15 so that he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the Lord, who makes him holy.’”

16 The Lord said to Moses, 17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect(AC) may come near to offer the food of his God.(AD) 18 No man who has any defect(AE) may come near: no man who is blind(AF) or lame,(AG) disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.(AH) 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect(AI) is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord.(AJ) He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.(AK) 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God,(AL) as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect,(AM) he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary.(AN) I am the Lord, who makes them holy.(AO)’”

24 So Moses told this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 21:4 Or unclean as a leader among his people
  2. Leviticus 21:10 Or not uncover his head

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