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)

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11 “Whoever touches a human corpse(A) will be unclean for seven days.(B) 12 They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day;(C) then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on the third and seventh days, they will not be clean.(D) 13 If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse,(E) they defile the Lord’s tabernacle.(F) They must be cut off from Israel.(G) Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, they are unclean;(H) their uncleanness remains on them.

14 “This is the law that applies when a person dies in a tent: Anyone who enters the tent and anyone who is in it will be unclean for seven days, 15 and every open container(I) without a lid fastened on it will be unclean.

16 “Anyone out in the open who touches someone who has been killed with a sword or someone who has died a natural death,(J) or anyone who touches a human bone(K) or a grave,(L) will be unclean for seven days.(M)

17 “For the unclean person, put some ashes(N) from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water(O) over them. 18 Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop,(P) dip it in the water and sprinkle(Q) the tent and all the furnishings and the people who were there. He must also sprinkle anyone who has touched a human bone or a grave(R) or anyone who has been killed or anyone who has died a natural death. 19 The man who is clean is to sprinkle(S) those who are unclean on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is to purify them.(T) Those who are being cleansed must wash their clothes(U) and bathe with water, and that evening they will be clean. 20 But if those who are unclean do not purify themselves, they must be cut off from the community, because they have defiled(V) the sanctuary of the Lord.(W) The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean.(X) 21 This is a lasting ordinance(Y) for them.

“The man who sprinkles the water of cleansing must also wash his clothes, and anyone who touches the water of cleansing will be unclean till evening. 22 Anything that an unclean(Z) person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”

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