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The Blue Letter Bible

Leviticus 21 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Rules for Priests

(cf. Eze 44:15–31 )
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:1 - The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die,
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:2 - except for a close relative, such as his mother or father, his son or daughter, his brother,
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:3 - or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband—for her he may make himself unclean.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:4 - He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage,[fn] and so defile himself.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:5 - “ ‘Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:6 - They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the food offerings to the LORD, the food of their God, they are to be holy.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:7 - “ ‘They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands, because priests are holy to their God.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:8 - Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the LORD am holy—I who make you holy.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:9 - “ ‘If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:10 - “ ‘The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments, must not let his hair become unkempt[fn] or tear his clothes.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:11 - He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother,
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:12 - nor leave the sanctuary of his God or desecrate it, because he has been dedicated by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:13 - “ ‘The woman he marries must be a virgin.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:14 - He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people,
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:15 - so that he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the LORD, who makes him holy.’ ”
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:16 - The LORD said to Moses,
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:17 - “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:18 - No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed;
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:19 - no man with a crippled foot or hand,
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:20 - or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:21 - No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the LORD. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:22 - He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food;
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:23 - yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.’ ”
Unchecked Copy BoxLev 21:24 - So Moses told this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
NIV Footnotes
Or unclean as a leader among his people
Or not uncover his head

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the NIV Preface.

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