Holiness and the Priests

Leviticus 21

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.

Leviticus 22

1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to Aaron and his sons, that they a separate 5 themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they b do not profane My holy name by what they c dedicate to Me: I am the LORD. 3 "Say to them: 'Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to the LORD, d while he has 6 uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am the LORD. 4 'Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a e leper or has f a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings g until he is clean. And h whoever touches anything made unclean by a corpse, or i a man who has had an emission of semen, 5 'or j whoever touches any creeping thing by which he would be made unclean, or k any person by whom he would become unclean, whatever his uncleanness may be - 6 'the person who has touched any such thing shall be unclean until evening, and shall not eat the holy offerings unless he l washes his body with water. 7 'And when the sun goes down he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat the holy offerings, because m it is his food. 8 n 'Whatever dies naturally or is torn by beasts he shall not eat, to defile himself with it: I am the LORD. 9 'They shall therefore keep o My 7 ordinance, p lest they bear sin for it and die thereby, if they profane it: I the LORD sanctify them.

10 q 'No outsider shall eat the holy offering; one who 8 dwells with the priest, or a hired servant, shall not eat the holy thing. 11 'But if the priest r buys a person with his money, he may eat it; and one who is born in his house may eat his food. 12 'If the priest's daughter is married to an outsider, she may not eat of the holy offerings. 13 'But if the priest's daughter is a widow or divorced, and has no child, and has returned to her father's house as in her youth, she may eat her father's food; but no outsider shall eat it. 14 'And if a man eats the holy offering unintentionally, then he shall restore a holy offering to the priest, and add one-fifth to it. 15 'They shall not profane the s holy offerings of the children of Israel, which they offer to the LORD, 16 'or allow them to bear the guilt of trespass when they eat their holy offerings; for I the LORD sanctify them.' "

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