Chapter 21

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1 And the Lord said vnto Moses; Speake vnto the Priests the sonnes of Aaron, and say vnto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:

2 But for his kinne, that is neere vnto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his sonne, and for his daughter, and for his brother,

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

4 But hee shall not defile himselfe being a chiefe man among his people, to prophane himselfe.

5 They shall not make baldnesse vpon their head, neither shall they shaue off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh:

6 They shalbe holy vnto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offrings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God they doe 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 vnto his God.

8 Thou shalt sanctifie him therfore, for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shalbe holy vnto thee: for I the Lord which sanctifie you, am holy.

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

10 And he that is the high Priest among his brethren, vpon whose head the anointing oyle was powred, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not vncouer his head, nor rent his clothes:

11 Neither shall he goe in to any dead body, nor defile himselfe for his father, or for his mother:

12 Neither shall hee goe out of the Sanctuary, nor prophane the Sanctuary of his God; for the crowne of the anointing oile of his God is vpon him: I am the Lord.

13 And he shall take a wife in her virginitie.

14 A widow, or a diuorced woman, or prophane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgine of his owne people to wife.

15 Neither shal he prophane his seed among his people: for I the Lord doe sanctifie him.

16 And the Lord spake vnto Moses, saying,

17 Speake vnto Aaron, saying, Whosoeuer he be of thy seed in their generations, that hath any blemish, let him not approche to offer the bread of his God:

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

19 Or a man that is broken footed, or broken handed,

20 Or crooke backt, or a dwarfe, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scuruy, 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 offrings 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 Onely he shall not goe in vnto the Uaile, nor come nigh vnto the Altar, because he hath a blemish, that he prophane not my Sanctuaries: for I the Lord doe sanctifie them.

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

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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.

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