Bible: Leviticus 21

Rules for the Priests

21:1 The Lord said to Moses: “Say to the priests, the sons of Aaron – say to them, ‘For a dead person 1  no priest 2  is to defile himself among his people, 3  21:2 except for his close relative who is near to him: 4  his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother, 21:3 and his virgin sister who is near to him, 5  who has no husband; he may defile himself for her. 21:4 He must not defile himself as a husband among his people so as to profane himself. 6  21:5 Priests 7  must not have a bald spot shaved on their head, they must not shave the corner of their beard, and they must not cut slashes in their body. 8 

21:6‘They must be holy to their God, and they must not profane 9  the name of their God, because they are the ones who present the Lord’s gifts, 10  the food of their God. Therefore they must be holy. 11  21:7 They must not take a wife defiled by prostitution, 12  nor are they to take a wife divorced from her husband, 13  for the priest 14  is holy to his God. 15  21:8 You must sanctify him because he presents the food of your God. He must be holy to you because I, the Lord who sanctifies you all, 16  am holy. 21:9 If a daughter of a priest profanes herself by engaging in prostitution, she is profaning her father. She must be burned to death. 17 

Rules for the High Priest

21:10‘The high 18  priest – who is greater than his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured, who has been ordained 19  to wear the priestly garments – must neither dishevel the hair of his head nor tear his garments. 20  21:11 He must not go where there is any dead person; 21  he must not defile himself even for his father and his mother. 21:12 He must not go out from the sanctuary and must not profane 22  the sanctuary of his God, because the dedication of the anointing oil of his God is on him. I am the Lord. 21:13 He must take a wife who is a virgin. 23  21:14 He must not marry 24  a widow, a divorced woman, or one profaned by prostitution; he may only take a virgin from his people 25  as a wife. 21:15 He must not profane his children among his people, 26  for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.’

Rules for the Priesthood

21:16 The Lord spoke to Moses: 21:17 Tell Aaron, ‘No man from your descendants throughout their generations 27  who has a physical flaw 28  is to approach to present the food of his God. 21:18 Certainly 29  no man who has a physical flaw is to approach: a blind man, or one who is lame, or one with a slit nose, 30  or a limb too long, 21:19 or a man who has had a broken leg or arm, 31  21:20 or a hunchback, or a dwarf, 32  or one with a spot in his eye, 33  or a festering eruption, or a feverish rash, 34  or a crushed testicle. 21:21 No man from the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a physical flaw may step forward 35  to present the Lord’s gifts; he has a physical flaw, so he must not step forward to present the food of his God. 21:22 He may eat both the most holy and the holy food of his God, 21:23 but he must not go into the veil-canopy 36  or step forward to the altar because he has a physical flaw. Thus 37  he must not profane my holy places, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’

21:24 So 38  Moses spoke these things 39  to Aaron, his sons, and all the Israelites.

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