Leviticus - Chapter 21

Leviticus - Chapter 21

Funeral Customs and the Priest

1 And the LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: '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 chief man among his people, to profane himself.

5 ' 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 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 bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy.

Spouses of Priests

7 'They shall not take a wife [who is] a harlot or a defiled woman, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for [the priest] is holy to his God.

8 'Therefore you shall consecrate him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for I the LORD, who 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 burned with fire.

Priests Forbidden to Mourn

10 ' [He who is] the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes;

11 'nor shall he go near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother;

12 'nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God [is] upon him: I [am] the LORD.

Spouses of the High Priest

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.' "

Obstacles to Priesthood

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 defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred [face] or any [limb] 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 veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest 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.