Chapter 21

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1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:

2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,

3 And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.

4 But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.

7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.

8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.

9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;

11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;

12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.

13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.

14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.

15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him.

16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.

23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

24 And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.

Commentary for Leviticus 21

Laws concerning the priests.

- As these priests were types of Christ, so all ministers must be followers of him, that their example may teach others to imitate the Saviour. Without blemish, and separate from sinners, He executed his priestly office on earth. What manner of persons then should his ministers be! But all are, if Christians, spiritual priests; the minister especially is called to set a good example, that the people may follow it. Our bodily infirmities, blessed be God, cannot now shut us out from his service, from these privileges, or from his heavenly glory. Many a healthful, beautiful soul is lodged in a feeble, deformed body. And those who may not be suited for the work of the ministry, may serve God with comfort in other duties in his church.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Leviticus 21

  • Michael
    I reckon these words were given to those who are called to be priest and who accept by faith. However, majority of men shave their beards today, hang around the disabled and even priests do this. And pastors. So if you wanna follow the bible , do all of it dont pick and choose. Nevertheless I think this was for certain people. One body yes but called for different things. But in all i believe that if you recognize your calling as a priest or pastor. Or leader something like that. This your potion of what the bible say if you still living under the law. Im under grace not to abuse it. But grace is all we all need. He may have a tattoo on his body and you have a drinking problem or worse that causes you to go astray. But God is gracious and he loves us first. While we were ungodly and sinners and transgressors Christ died for us. So why talk about it but rather lets pray for eachother that Gods grace continue to abound. We cant do it all right. Remember Christ no one is perfect not one. Even God knows this. Priest or not .
  • I think it means that he should only marry someone of his own bloodline. Levites only married Levites. Mary's mother's family were Levites because her aunt Elizabeth and her husband were Levites which made Jesus' human bloodlines of the king and the priest lines. Maybe he made this law to ensure the purity of the bloodlines through which Jesus would come??
  • Mosehiah for verse 20
    Why isn't the Church following God's Law today? If the Church did then would there be so much hideous and disgusting sin running rampant?
  • Williejames
  • Alfred kamara for verse 20
    Eyes that can not see clearly
  • Glen as long as the tattoos arent of a religion ideology or anything idoling something..

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Bible Trivia

What happened to priests in the time of Moses that were born with deformities?
  • They were killed.
  • They were banished.
  • Nothing
  • They were not allowed to make offerings.