Leviticus 21

1The Lord said to Moses, “Tell these things to Aaron’s sons, the priests: A priest must not make himself unclean by touching a dead person. 2But if the dead person was one of his close relatives, ˻then he can touch the dead body˼. The priest can make himself unclean if the dead person is his mother or father, his son or daughter, his brother or 3his unmarried sister. (This sister is close to him because she has no husband. So the priest may make himself unclean for her ˻if she dies˼.) 4But a priest must not make himself unclean if the dead person was only one of his slaves. 5“Priests must not shave their heads bald. Priests must not shave off the edges of their beards. Priests must not make any cuts in their bodies. 6Priests must be holy for their God. They must show respect for God’s name. Why? Because they carry the bread and the offerings by fire to the Lord. So they must be holy. 7“A priest serves God in a special way. So a priest must not marry a woman who had sexual relations with some other man. A priest must not marry a prostitute or a divorced woman. 8A priest serves God in a special way. So you must treat him in a special way. Why? Because he carries holy things! He brings the holy bread to God, and I am holy! I am the Lord, and I make you holy! 9“If a priest’s daughter becomes a prostitute, then she ruins her reputation, and she brings shame to her father! So she must be burned. 10“The high priest was chosen from among his brothers. The anointing oil was poured on his head. In this way, he was chosen for the special job of being high priest. He was chosen to wear the special clothes. ˻So he must not do things to show his sadness in public.˼ He must not let his hair grow wild. He must not tear his clothes. 11He must not make himself unclean ˻by touching a dead body˼. He must not go near a dead body, even if it is his own father or mother. 12The high priest must not go out of God’s holy place. ˻Then he might become unclean,˼ and ˻then he might˼ make God’s holy place unclean. The anointing oil was poured on the high priest’s head. This separated him ˻from the rest of the people˼. I am the Lord! 13“The high priest must marry a woman who is a virgin. 14The high priest must not marry a woman who has had sexual relations with another man. The high priest must not marry a prostitute, a divorced woman, or a widow. The high priest must marry a virgin from his own people. 15In this way, people will show respect for his children. I, the Lord, have separated the high priest for his special work.” 16The Lord said to Moses, 17“Tell Aaron: If any of your descendants have anything wrong with them, then they must not carry the special bread to God. 18Any man who has something wrong with him must not ˻serve as priest and˼ bring sacrifices to me. These men cannot serve as priests: blind men, crippled men, men with bad scars on their faces, men with arms or legs that are too long, 19men with broken feet or hands, 20men with bent backs, men who are dwarfs, men who are cross-eyed, men with rashes or a bad skin diseases, men with crushed testicles. 21If one of Aaron’s descendants has something wrong with him, then he cannot offer sacrifices by fire to the Lord. And that person cannot carry the special bread to God. 22˻That person is from the family of priests,˼ so he can eat the holy bread. He can also eat the very holy bread. 23But he cannot go through the curtain ˻into the Most Holy Place˼ and he cannot go near the altar. Why? Because he has something wrong with him. He must not make my holy places not holy. I, the Lord, make those places holy!” 24So Moses told these things to Aaron, Aaron’s sons, and all the people of Israel.

will be added

X\