Leviticus 21

Holiness and the Priests

1 And the LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: a 'None shall defile himself for the dead among his people, 2 'except for his relatives who are nearest to him: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother; 3 'also his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband, for her he may defile himself. 4 'Otherwise he shall not defile himself, being a 1 chief man among his people, to profane himself. 5 b 'They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6 'They shall be c holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the d bread of their God; e therefore they shall be holy. 7 f 'They shall not take a wife who is a harlot or a defiled woman, nor shall they take a woman g divorced from her husband; for 2 the priest is holy to his God. 8 'Therefore you shall 3 consecrate him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for h I the LORD, who i sanctify you, am holy. 9 'The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be j burned with fire.

10 'He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was k poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not l uncover 4 his head nor tear his clothes; 11 'nor shall he go m near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother; 12 n 'nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the o consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD. 13 'And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 'A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman or a harlot - these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife. 15 'Nor shall he profane his posterity among his people, for I the LORD sanctify him.' "

16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 "Speak to Aaron, saying: 'No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 'For any man who has a p defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb q too long, 19 'a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 'or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. 21 'No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the LORD. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 'He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; 23 'only he shall not go near the r veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest s he profane My sanctuaries; for I the LORD sanctify them.' " 24 And Moses told it to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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