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

  • Irene123
    L. Eames - Eccl. 12-13; Deut. 10:12-13; Micah 6:8 ; these are beautiful scriptures, aren't they. Jn. 14:15; 1 Jn. 2:3. They make obeying the Lord Jesus so - easy. That's all one has to do is what they say; and His commandments are all found in the Gospels and the epistles.
  • Patrick
    I think Michael said it best, if we were to live according to Leviticus, we would all have bushy beards, none of us would eat meat, we would not be able to socialise with disabled/little people, we would not be able to wear clothing of mixed fabrics. But many of us do these things, so will those of us who do these things be surely put to death or ex communicated? Also is it right to own slaves?
  • Laureene Eames
    The Bible is our road map, the law was a shadow of things to come. Jesus said he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill the the law Matthew 5;17-20. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. Thank God for his grace and his mercy for without it we would still have a death sentence over our head. Let the church shout Hallelujah to Jesus. Ecclesiastes 12;13 Fear God and keep his commandments
  • Irene123
    Jesus 'bloodline' - Our salvation does not depend on a pure, sinless bloodline; i.e., Rahab of Jericho was in Jesus bloodline and Ruth, who was of the Moabites, and SOLOMON!! He ended up sacrificing his own children to Molech. Yet He is mentioned in the line of Jesus. Jesus didn't come to save the righteous ....................
  • Michael C.
    There's a lot of misunderstanding about the Law and the [so-called] Old Testament, with many Churches. Jesus Himself taught us, that until heaven and earth should pass away, not one yode or tittle could pass away from the Law, till all be fulfilled; and that He came not to abolish the Law, but to completely make full! When we have His grace, it will show His holy character in our life, for Law.
  • Steve
    Some of you guys (Michael and others) need to read the New Testament specifically the book of Hebrews, to fully understand why all these ordinances were the Old Testament were given. It explains that much of this was symbolic and was foreshadowing walking with The Holy Spirit and walking with Christ's nature living within you.
  • Rosanna
    Thank God for Jesus Christ because if it wasn't for His grace we'd all be dead and the last man standing would have to stone his self.
  • Robin Brazil
    Once we become christians then we have the knowledge, and we should obey God's word Amen.

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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.