Leviticus 21
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Priestly Holiness

1The LORD told Moses, “Speak to the priests, Aaron’s sons, and tell them that no priest is to defile himself on account of the dead among his people, 2except his close relatives—his mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or 3virgin sister (who is a near relative of him and did not have a husband—a he may defile himself for her). 4Because he is a husband among his people, he is not to defile himself, thereby polluting himself.

5“They are not to cut their hair in ritualistic patternsb on their heads, deface the edges of their beards, or make incisions in their flesh. 6They are to be holy to their God. They are not to defile the name of their God, because they’re the ones who bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire—the food of their God—so they are to be holy.

7“They are not to marryc a prostitute or a woman who has been dishonored or who was divorced from her husband, because the priestd is holy to his God. 8Consecrate him, because he’s the one who offers the food of your God. He is to be holy for you, because I, the LORD, the one who sanctifies you, am holy.

9“Now if the daughter of any priest defiles herself by being a prostitute, she defiles her father. She is to be incinerated.

10“The high priest among his relatives—whose head has been anointed with oil and who has been consecrated to put on the priestly clothing—is not to let his hair hang loose or to tear his clothes. 11He is not to come near any dead body—whether the deceasede is his father or his mother—so as not to defile himself. 12He is not to go out of the sanctuary or defile the sanctuary of his God, because his God’s consecrating oil of anointing rests on him. I am the LORD.

13“Furthermore, he is to marry a true virgin.f 14He is not to marry a widow or one who has been divorced, has been defiled, or has been a prostitute. Instead, he is to take a virgin from among his people as his wife.

15“He is not to defile his childreng among his people, because I am the LORD, who sets him apart.”

On Physical Defects

16The LORD told Moses, 17“Tell Aaron that whoever of your descendants throughout their generations has a bodily defect is not to approach to offer the food of his God. 18Indeed, any person who has a defect is not to approach the Tent of Meeting—h the blind, the lame, one who is mutilated in the face or who has a very long limb, 19or a person who has a fractured foot or hand, 20has scoliosis,i is a dwarf, or has an eye defect, an itching disease, scabs, or a crushed testicle. 21None of the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to approach to bring offerings of the LORD made by fire, since he has a defect. He is not to approach to offer the food of his God. 22However, he may eat the food of his God, including the most holy and the holy offerings, 23but he is not to enter through the curtain nor approach the altar, since he has a defect. That way, he won’t defile my sanctuary, since I am the LORD, who sets you apart.”

24Moses told all of thisj to Aaron, to his sons, and to all the Israelis.

a 21:3 Lit. hasn’t had a man
b 21:5 Lit. cut the sides of their hair; i.e. as a sign of affiliation
c 21:7 Or take
d 21:7 Lit. he
e 21:11 The Heb. lacks the deceased
f 21:13 Lit. a wife in her virginity
g 21:15 Or offspring
h 21:18 The Heb. lacks the Tent of Meeting
i 21:20 Or has a crooked back
j 21:24 The Heb. lacks all of this

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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