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Leviticus 21Amplified Bible (AMP)

Regulations concerning Priests

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:

‘No one shall defile himself [that is, become ceremonially unclean] for the dead among his people [by touching a corpse or assisting in preparing it for burial], except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother, also his virgin sister, who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may become unclean. He shall not become unclean as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself. The priests [a]shall not shave their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their body. They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God; for they present the offerings by fire to the Lord, the food of their God; so they shall be holy. They shall not take [as a wife] a woman who is a prostitute, nor a woman who is divorced from her husband; for the priest is holy to his God. You shall consecrate him, therefore, for he offers the food of your God; he shall be holy to you; for I the Lord, who sanctifies you, am holy. The daughter of any priest who profanes herself by prostitution profanes her father; she shall be burned in fire.

10 ‘But he who is the high priest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the [sacred] garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes [in mourning], 11 nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself [by doing so, even] for his father or for his mother; 12 nor shall he go out of the sanctuary nor profane (make ceremonially unclean) the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the Lord. 13 He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 He may not marry a widow or a divorced woman or one who is profaned by prostitution, but he is to marry a virgin from his own people, 15 so that he will not profane or dishonor his children among his people; for I am the Lord who sanctifies the high priest.’”

16 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Say to Aaron, ‘Throughout their generations none of your descendants who has any [physical] defect shall approach [the altar] to present the food of his God. 18 For no man who has a defect shall approach [God’s altar as a priest]: no man who is blind or lame, or who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, 19 or a man who has a broken foot or a broken hand, 20 or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles. 21 No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a [physical] defect and is disfigured or deformed is to approach [the altar] to present the offerings of the Lord by fire. He has a defect; he shall not approach [the altar] to present the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, 23 but he shall not go within the veil or approach the altar [of incense], because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries; for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’” 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons, and to all the Israelites.

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 21:5 These practices were mourning customs associated with paganism.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Leviticus 21New International Version (NIV)

Rules for Priests

21 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die, except for a close relative, such as his mother or father, 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. He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage,[a] and so defile himself.

“‘Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies. They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, they are to be holy.

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

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

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

13 “‘The woman he marries must be a virgin. 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 may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, 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. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.’”

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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