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22 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to be very careful with the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me, so they do not bring shame on my holy name. I am the Lord. Give them the following instructions.

“In all future generations, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean when he approaches the sacred offerings that the people of Israel consecrate to the Lord, he must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.

“If any of Aaron’s descendants has a skin disease[a] or any kind of discharge that makes him ceremonially unclean, he may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has been pronounced clean. He also becomes unclean by touching a corpse, or by having an emission of semen, or by touching a small animal that is unclean, or by touching someone who is ceremonially unclean for any reason. The man who is defiled in any of these ways will remain unclean until evening. He may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has bathed himself in water. When the sun goes down, he will be ceremonially clean again and may eat from the sacred offerings, for this is his food. He may not eat an animal that has died a natural death or has been torn apart by wild animals, for this would defile him. I am the Lord.

“The priests must follow my instructions carefully. Otherwise they will be punished for their sin and will die for violating my instructions. I am the Lord who makes them holy.

10 “No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings. Even guests and hired workers in a priest’s home are not allowed to eat them. 11 However, if the priest buys a slave for himself, the slave may eat from the sacred offerings. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter marries someone outside the priestly family, she may no longer eat the sacred offerings. 13 But if she becomes a widow or is divorced and has no children to support her, and she returns to live in her father’s home as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food again. Otherwise, no one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings.

14 “Any such person who eats the sacred offerings without realizing it must pay the priest for the amount eaten, plus an additional 20 percent. 15 The priests must not let the Israelites defile the sacred offerings brought to the Lord 16 by allowing unauthorized people to eat them. This would bring guilt upon them and require them to pay compensation. I am the Lord who makes them holy.”

Worthy and Unworthy Offerings

17 And the Lord said to Moses, 18 “Give Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.

“If you present a gift as a burnt offering to the Lord, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, 19 you[b] will be accepted only if your offering is a male animal with no defects. It may be a bull, a ram, or a male goat. 20 Do not present an animal with defects, because the Lord will not accept it on your behalf.

21 “If you present a peace offering to the Lord from the herd or the flock, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, you must offer a perfect animal. It may have no defect of any kind. 22 You must not offer an animal that is blind, crippled, or injured, or that has a wart, a skin sore, or scabs. Such animals must never be offered on the altar as special gifts to the Lord. 23 If a bull[c] or lamb has a leg that is too long or too short, it may be offered as a voluntary offering, but it may not be offered to fulfill a vow. 24 If an animal has damaged testicles or is castrated, you may not offer it to the Lord. You must never do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such an animal from foreigners and then offer it as a sacrifice to your God. Such animals will not be accepted on your behalf, for they are mutilated or defective.”

26 And the Lord said to Moses, 27 “When a calf or lamb or goat is born, it must be left with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a special gift to the Lord. 28 But you must not slaughter a mother animal and her offspring on the same day, whether from the herd or the flock. 29 When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the Lord, sacrifice it properly so you will be accepted. 30 Eat the entire sacrificial animal on the day it is presented. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. I am the Lord.

31 “You must faithfully keep all my commands by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord. 32 Do not bring shame on my holy name, for I will display my holiness among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who makes you holy. 33 It was I who rescued you from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. I am the Lord.”

Footnotes

  1. 22:4 Traditionally rendered leprosy; see note on 13:2a.
  2. 22:19 Or it.
  3. 22:23 Or cow.

22 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings(A) the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name.(B) I am the Lord.(C)

“Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord,(D) that person must be cut off from my presence.(E) I am the Lord.

“‘If a descendant of Aaron has a defiling skin disease[a] or a bodily discharge,(F) he may not eat the sacred offerings until he is cleansed. He will also be unclean if he touches something defiled by a corpse(G) or by anyone who has an emission of semen, or if he touches any crawling thing(H) that makes him unclean, or any person(I) who makes him unclean, whatever the uncleanness may be. The one who touches any such thing will be unclean(J) till evening.(K) He must not eat any of the sacred offerings unless he has bathed himself with water.(L) When the sun goes down, he will be clean, and after that he may eat the sacred offerings, for they are his food.(M) He must not eat anything found dead(N) or torn by wild animals,(O) and so become unclean(P) through it. I am the Lord.(Q)

“‘The priests are to perform my service(R) in such a way that they do not become guilty(S) and die(T) for treating it with contempt. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.(U)

10 “‘No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it.(V) 11 But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if slaves are born in his household, they may eat his food.(W) 12 If a priest’s daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she may not eat any of the sacred contributions. 13 But if a priest’s daughter becomes a widow or is divorced, yet has no children, and she returns to live in her father’s household as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food. No unauthorized person, however, may eat it.

14 “‘Anyone who eats a sacred offering by mistake(X) must make restitution to the priest for the offering and add a fifth of the value(Y) to it. 15 The priests must not desecrate the sacred offerings(Z) the Israelites present to the Lord(AA) 16 by allowing them to eat(AB) the sacred offerings and so bring upon them guilt(AC) requiring payment.(AD) I am the Lord, who makes them holy.(AE)’”

Unacceptable Sacrifices

17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: ‘If any of you—whether an Israelite or a foreigner residing in Israel(AF)—presents a gift(AG) for a burnt offering to the Lord, either to fulfill a vow(AH) or as a freewill offering,(AI) 19 you must present a male without defect(AJ) from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf.(AK) 20 Do not bring anything with a defect,(AL) because it will not be accepted on your behalf.(AM) 21 When anyone brings from the herd or flock(AN) a fellowship offering(AO) to the Lord to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering,(AP) it must be without defect or blemish(AQ) to be acceptable.(AR) 22 Do not offer to the Lord the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores. Do not place any of these on the altar as a food offering presented to the Lord. 23 You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox[b] or a sheep that is deformed or stunted, but it will not be accepted in fulfillment of a vow. 24 You must not offer to the Lord an animal whose testicles are bruised, crushed, torn or cut.(AS) You must not do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a foreigner and offer them as the food of your God.(AT) They will not be accepted on your behalf, because they are deformed and have defects.(AU)’”

26 The Lord said to Moses, 27 “When a calf, a lamb or a goat(AV) is born, it is to remain with its mother for seven days.(AW) From the eighth day(AX) on, it will be acceptable(AY) as a food offering presented to the Lord. 28 Do not slaughter a cow or a sheep and its young on the same day.(AZ)

29 “When you sacrifice a thank offering(BA) to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. 30 It must be eaten that same day; leave none of it till morning.(BB) I am the Lord.(BC)

31 “Keep(BD) my commands and follow them.(BE) I am the Lord. 32 Do not profane my holy name,(BF) for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites.(BG) I am the Lord, who made you holy(BH) 33 and who brought you out of Egypt(BI) to be your God.(BJ) I am the Lord.”

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 22:4 The Hebrew word for defiling skin disease, traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  2. Leviticus 22:23 The Hebrew word can refer to either male or female.

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