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Unacceptable Victims. 17 [a]The Lord said to Moses: 18 Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites, and tell them: When anyone of the house of Israel, or any alien residing in Israel, who presents an offering, brings a burnt offering(A) as a votive offering or as a voluntary offering to the Lord, 19 if it is to be acceptable for you, it must be an unblemished male of the herd, of the sheep or of the goats.(B) 20 You shall not offer one that has any blemish, for such a one would not be acceptable on your behalf.(C) 21 When anyone presents a communion sacrifice(D) to the Lord from the herd or the flock in fulfillment of a vow, or as a voluntary offering, if it is to find acceptance, it must be unblemished; it shall not have any blemish. 22 One that is blind or lame or maimed, or one that has running lesions or sores or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord; do not put such an animal on the altar as an oblation to the Lord. 23 [b]An ox or a sheep that has a leg that is too long or is stunted you may indeed present as a voluntary offering, but it will not be acceptable as a votive offering. 24 One that has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn out or cut off you shall not offer to the Lord. You shall neither do this in your own land 25 nor receive from a foreigner any such animals to offer up as the food of your God; since they are deformed or blemished, they will not be acceptable on your behalf.

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  1. 22:17–25 This passage complements the section on the bodily imperfections of priests in 21:16–23. The laws taken together indicate that whoever and whatever approaches and contacts the altar needs to be physically unimpaired.
  2. 22:23 Burnt offerings and communion sacrifices brought as voluntary offerings may have slight defects, probably because they are freely given and do not depend upon a prior promise as do votive offerings.

Your lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.

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