Leviticus Chapter 21

Ordinances relating to the priests.

21:1. The Lord said also to Moses: Speak to the priests the sons of Aaron, and thou shalt say for them: Let not a priest incur an uncleanness at the death of his citizens.

An uncleanness. . .Viz., such as was contracted in laying out the dead body, or touching it; or in going into the house, or assisting at the funeral, etc.

21:2. But only for his kin, such as are near in blood: that is to say, for his father and for his mother, and for his son, and for his daughter, for his brother also:

21:3. And for a maiden sister, who hath had no husband.

21:4. But not even for the prince of his people shall he do any thing that may make him unclean.

21:5. Neither shall they shave their head, nor their beard, nor make incisions in their flesh.

21:6. They shall be holy to their God, and shall not profane his name. For they offer the burnt offering of the Lord, and the bread of their God: and therefore they shall be holy.

21:7. They shall not take to wife a harlot or a vile prostitute, nor one that has been put away from her husband: because they are consecrated to their God,

21:8. And offer the loaves of proposition. Let them therefore be holy because I also am holy: the Lord, who sanctify them.

21:9. If the daughter of a priest be taken in whoredom and dishonour the name of her father, she shall be burnt with fire.

21:10. The high priest, that is to say, the priest who is the greatest among his brethren, upon whose head the oil of unction hath been poured; and whose hands have been consecrated for the priesthood; and who hath been vested with the holy vestments. He shall not uncover his head: he shall not rend his garments.

21:11. Nor shall he go in at all to any dead person: not even for his father, or his mother, shall he be defiled.

21:12. Neither shall he go out of the holy places, lest he defile the sanctuary of the Lord: because the oil of the holy unction of his God is upon him. I am the Lord.

21:13. He shall take a virgin unto his wife.

21:14. But a widow or one that is divorced, or defied, or a harlot, he shall not take: but a maid of his own people.

21:15. He shall not mingle the stock of his kindred with the common people of this nation: for I am the Lord who sanctify him.

21:16. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

21:17. Say to Aaron: Whosoever of thy seed throughout their families, hath a blemish, he shall not offer bread to his God.

21:18. Neither shall he approach to minister to him: If he be blind; if he be lame; if he have a little, or a great, or a crooked nose;

21:19. If his foot, or if his hand be broken;

21:20. If he be crookbacked; or blear eyed; or have a pearl in his eye, or a continual scab, or a dry scurf in his body, or a rupture.

21:21. Whosoever of the seed of Aaron the priest hath a blemish: he shall not approach to offer sacrifices to the Lord, nor bread to his God.

21:22. He shall eat nevertheless of the loaves that are offered in the sanctuary.

21:23. Yet so that he enter not within the veil, nor approach to the altar: because he hath a blemish, and he must not defile my sanctuary. I am the Lord who sanctify them.

21:24. Moses, therefore spoke to Aaron, and to his sons and to all Israel, all the things that had been commanded him.