Leviticus 21
Christian Standard Bible Par ▾ 

The Holiness of the Priests

1The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron’s sons, the priests, and tell them: A priest is not to make himself ceremonially unclean for a dead person among his relatives,a 2except for his immediate family: his mother, father, son, daughter, or brother. 3He may make himself unclean for his unmarried virgin sister in his immediate family. 4He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriageA and so defile himself.

5“Priests may not make bald spots on their heads, shave the edge of their beards, or make gashes on their bodies.a 6They are to be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God.a For they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, and they must be holy. 7They are not to marry a woman defiled by prostitution.a a They are not to marry one divorcedb by her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. 8You are to consider him holy since he presents the food of your God. He will be holy to you because I, the Lord who sets you apart, am holy. 9If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by promiscuity,a a she defiles her father; she must be burned to death.b

10“The priest who is highest among his brothers, who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and has been ordainedA to wear the clothes, must not dishevel his hairB or tear his clothes.a 11He must not go near any dead person or make himself unclean even for his father or mother.a 12He must not leave the sanctuary or he will desecrate the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him;a I am the Lord.

13“He is to marry a woman who is a virgin. 14He is not to marry a widow,a a divorced woman,b or one defiled by prostitution. He is to marry a virgin from his own people, 15so that he does not corrupt his bloodlineA among his people, for I am the Lord who sets him apart.”

Physical Defects and Priests

16The Lord spoke to Moses: 17“Tell Aaron: None of your descendants throughout your generations who has a physical defecta is to come near to present the foodb of his God. 18No man who has any defect is to come near: no man who is blind, lame, facially disfigured, or deformed; 19no man who has a broken foot or hand, 20or who is a hunchback or a dwarf,a a or who has an eye defect, a festering rash, scabs,b or a crushed testicle.c 21No descendant of the priest Aaron who has a defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect and is not to come near to present the food of his God. 22He may eat the food of his God from what is especially holy as well as from what is holy. 23But because he has a defect, he must not go near the curtaina or approach the altar. He is not to desecrate my holy places, for I am the Lord who sets them apart.”b 24Moses said this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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Leviticus 20
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