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

  • Aaron
    Sounds like Aaron was very respected.
    I love a name that hold up to
  • Vanessa
    Jesus came to teach us God's laws, to shed his blood for all sinners, who call on him and believe in him with all our heart, but he has never said to continue is sin, for if we do we shall not inherit the kingdom nor shall we receive God's grace it's our job to speak truth so others will seek redemption , many will knock few will enter
  • Stephen Botts
    We are indeed not under the law, but the law of Christ and the Gospel of Grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 make that clear. However, remember Hebrews: Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. God has not changed how he feels about the sins listed here or elsewhere in the Law. He has only changed the way he deals with the sin. Thank God for GRACE! And the shed blood of Jesus our Lord!
  • Ahtilayah
    i believe this was the law and it was established for the people, then... now we are sons and daughters of Grace.. and his grace is suffient to us... we are not saved by our works, least any man should boast.. it is a gift from God.. but the wages of sin is still death... so let us live according to his word,, In Christ Jesus.. Our Holy God....
  • Lisa warren
    once saved always saved God is not going to give you something and then take it away in romans for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance Jesus said this is the blood of the new testament ,which is shed for you
  • A disciple
    How many of His little ones have been caused to sin by those who should have been trustworthy examples and protectors! Jesus has pity and is well able to recover His sheep that have been driven out and scattered in the dark mountains! But as for those who caused them to be driven out; "It were better for him if a millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the depths of the sea.."
  • Oluchi
    Thanks and God bless you and your family
  • Darrien
    "Work in progress", I think that the Bible is clear that sins that are accidental will be forgiven but sins that you plan to do and will not repent from deserves death.

    30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
    - Numbers 15:30 KJV
  • Work in progress
    If you once were saved and were abused and broke Gods laws is that an automatic death sentance even if you rededicate and go back to him where you belong?
  • Stanjett
    No. Repent and try again. Jesus was asked once, How often should I forgive my brothers sin against me? Till 7 times? Jesus said not 7 times but 70 times 7 times.

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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.