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Various Rules for Priests

22 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell Aaron and his sons to be careful with the holy things (offerings, gifts) which the children of Israel dedicate to Me, so that they do not profane My holy name; I am the Lord. Say to them, ‘Any one of your descendants throughout your generations who approaches the holy things which the Israelites dedicate to the Lord, while he is [ceremonially] unclean, that person shall be cut off from My presence and excluded from the sanctuary; I am the Lord. No man of the descendants of Aaron who is a leper or has a discharge may eat the holy things [the offerings and the showbread] until he is clean. And whoever touches any person or thing made unclean by contact with a corpse or a man who has had a seminal emission, or whoever touches any crawling thing by which he is made unclean, or any person by whom he is made unclean, whatever it may be,(A) the person who touches any such thing shall be unclean until evening and shall not eat the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water.(B) When the sun sets, he will be clean, and afterward he may eat the holy things, for it is his food. He shall not eat that which dies [of natural causes] or is torn by a predator, becoming unclean by it; I am the Lord. Therefore the priests shall observe My ordinance, so that they will not bear sin because of it and die if they profane it; I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

10 ‘No layman [that is, someone outside of Aaron’s family] is to eat the holy gift [which has been offered to God]; a foreigner residing with the priest or a hired man shall not eat the holy thing. 11 But if a priest buys a slave as his property with his money, the slave may eat the holy thing, and those who are born in the priest’s house; they may eat his food. 12 If a priest’s daughter is married to a layman [one not part of the priestly tribe], she shall not eat the offering of the holy things. 13 But if a priest’s daughter is a widow or divorced, and has no child, and returns to her father’s house as in her youth, she shall eat her father’s food; but no layman shall eat it. 14 But if a person unknowingly eats a holy gift [which has been offered to God], then he shall add one-fifth of its value to it and give the holy gift to the priest. 15 The priests shall not profane the holy things the Israelites offer to the Lord, 16 and so cause them [by neglect of any essential observance] to bear the [a]punishment of guilt when they eat their holy things; for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’”

Flawless Animals for Sacrifice

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them, ‘Any man of the house of Israel or any stranger in Israel who presents his offering, whether to fulfill any of their vows or as any of their freewill (voluntary) offerings which they presented to the Lord as a burnt offering— 19 so that you may be accepted—it must be a male without blemish from the cattle, the sheep, or the goats. 20 You shall not offer anything which has a blemish, because it will not be accepted for you.(C) 21 Whoever offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill a special vow to the Lord or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish in it. 22 Animals that are blind or fractured or mutilated, or have a sore or a running wound or an itch or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord nor make an offering of them by fire on the altar to the Lord. 23 For a freewill offering you may offer either a bull or a lamb which has an overgrown or stunted member (deformity), but for [the payment of] a vow it will not be accepted. 24 You shall not offer to the Lord any animal which has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut off, or sacrifice it in your land. 25 Nor shall you offer as the food of your God any such [animals obtained] from a foreigner, because their corruption and blemish makes them unfit; there is a defect in them, they shall not be accepted for you.’”

26 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “When a bull or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain for seven days with its mother; and after the eighth day it shall be accepted as an offering by fire to the Lord. 28 And whether [the mother] is a cow or a sheep, you shall not kill both it and its young in one day. 29 When you sacrifice an offering of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. 30 It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until the next morning; I am the Lord. 31 So you shall keep My commandments and do them; I am the Lord.

32 “You shall not profane My holy name [using it to honor an idol, or treating it with irreverence or contempt or as a byword]; but I will be sanctified (set apart as holy) among the Israelites. I am the Lord, who sanctifies and declares you holy, 33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord.”

Laws of Religious Festivals

23 The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The appointed times (established feasts) of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:

The Sabbath

‘For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation (calling together). You shall not do any work [on that day]; it is the Sabbath of the Lord [b]wherever you may be.

The Passover and Unleavened Bread

‘These are the appointed times of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times: The Lord’s Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month [c]at twilight. The Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord is on the fifteenth day of the same month; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.(D) On the first day you shall have a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. But you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord for seven days; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work [on that day].’”

The Feast of First Fruits

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am giving you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the [d]sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord so that you may be accepted; the priest shall wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 Now on the day when you wave the sheaf you shall offer a male lamb one year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with [olive] oil, an offering by fire to the Lord for a sweet and soothing aroma, with its drink offering [to be poured out], a fourth of a [e]hin of wine. 14 You shall not eat any bread or roasted grain or new growth, until this same day when you bring in the offering to your God; it is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be.

The Feast of Weeks

15 ‘You shall count from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf (tied bundle of grain) of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths (seven full weeks). 16 You shall count [f]fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring in from your places two loaves of bread as a wave offering, made from two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven unblemished lambs, one year old, and one young bull and two rams. They are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings. It is an offering by fire, a sweet and soothing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall sacrifice one male goat as a sin offering and two male lambs, one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 The priest shall wave them before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the first fruits and the two lambs. They are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 On this same day you shall make a proclamation, you are to have a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. It is to be a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be.

22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the edges of your field, nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God.’”

The Feast of Trumpets

23 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the children of Israel, ‘On the first day of the seventh month (almost October), you shall observe a day of solemn sabbatical rest, a memorial day announced by the blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any laborious work [on that day], but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”

The Day of Atonement

26 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall [g]humble yourselves [by fasting] and present an offering by fire to the Lord. 28 You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. 29 If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them]. 30 If there is any person who does any work on this same day, I will destroy that person from among his people. 31 You shall do no work at all [on that day]. It is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be. 32 It is to be to you a Sabbath of complete rest, and you shall humble yourselves. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening you shall keep your Sabbath.”

The Feast of Booths

33 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Say to the children of Israel, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, and for seven days, is the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) to the Lord. 35 The first day is a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. 36 For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord. It is a festive assembly; you shall not do any laborious work [on that day].

37 ‘These are the appointed times (established feasts) of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to present an offering by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its own day. 38 This is in addition to the [weekly] Sabbaths of the Lord, and in addition to your gifts and all your vowed offerings and all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.

39 ‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month (nearly October), when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a Sabbath rest on the first day and a Sabbath rest on the eighth day. 40 Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick (leafy) trees, and willows of the brook [and make booths of them]; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a permanent statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall live in booths (temporary shelters) for seven days; all native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’” 44 So Moses declared to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 22:16 Lit iniquity.
  2. Leviticus 23:3 Lit in all your dwellings and so throughout the chapter.
  3. Leviticus 23:5 Lit between the two evenings.
  4. Leviticus 23:10 I.e. a tied bundle of stalks of freshly harvested grain.
  5. Leviticus 23:13 I.e. approx one gal.
  6. Leviticus 23:16 This is the origin of the name “Pentecost,” Greek for “fiftieth.”
  7. Leviticus 23:27 See note 16:29.