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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


Leviticus 21:1-24


  • Priests to be holy and undefiled (1-9)

  • High priest not to defile himself (10-15)

  • Priests to have no physical defects (16-24)

21  Jehovah went on to say to Moses: “Talk to the priests, Aaron’s sons, and say to them, ‘No one should defile himself for a dead person* among his people.+  But he may do so for a close blood relative, for his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother,  and he may defile himself for his sister if she is a virgin who is near to him and has not yet married.  He may not defile himself and make himself profane for a woman who belongs to a husband of his people.  They should not make their heads bald+ or shave off the fringe of their beard or make cuts on their body.+  They should be holy to their God,+ and they should not profane the name of their God,+ for they are presenting Jehovah’s offerings made by fire, the bread* of their God, and they must be holy.+  They should not marry a prostitute,+ a woman who has been defiled, or a woman divorced from her husband,+ because the priest is holy to his God.  You must sanctify him,+ because he is one presenting the bread of your God. He should be holy to you, because I, Jehovah, the one sanctifying you, am holy.+  “‘Now if the daughter of a priest should profane herself by committing prostitution, she is profaning her father. She should be burned in the fire.+ 10  “‘The high priest of his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured+ and who has been installed* to wear the priestly garments,+ should not let his head go ungroomed or tear his garments.+ 11  He should not approach any dead person;*+ he may not defile himself even for his father or his mother. 12  He should not go out from the sanctuary and should not profane the sanctuary of his God,+ for the sign of dedication, the anointing oil of his God,+ is upon him. I am Jehovah. 13  “‘He must take as a wife a woman who is a virgin.+ 14  He may not marry a widow, a divorced woman, one who has been defiled, or a prostitute; but he should take a virgin from his people as a wife. 15  He should not profane his offspring* among his people,+ for I am Jehovah, who is sanctifying him.’” 16  Jehovah continued to speak to Moses, saying: 17  “Tell Aaron, ‘No man of your offspring* throughout their generations who has a defect may approach to present the bread of his God. 18  If there is any man who has a defect, he may not approach: a man who is blind or lame or has a disfigured face* or one limb too long, 19  a man with a fractured foot or a fractured hand, 20  a hunchback or a dwarf,* or a man with an eye defect or eczema or ringworm or damaged testicles.+ 21  No man of the offspring* of Aaron the priest who has a defect may approach to present Jehovah’s offerings made by fire. Because he has a defect, he may not approach to present the bread of his God. 22  He may eat the bread of his God from the most holy things+ and from the holy things.+ 23  However, he may not come near the curtain,+ and he may not approach the altar,+ because there is a defect in him; and he should not profane my sanctuary,+ for I am Jehovah, who is sanctifying them.’”+ 24  So Moses spoke to Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites.


Or “for a soul.”
Or “food,” referring to sacrifices.
Lit., “whose hand was filled.”
Or “any dead soul.” The Hebrew word neʹphesh is here connected to a Hebrew word meaning “dead.”
Lit., “seed.”
Lit., “seed.”
Lit., “or with his nose slit.”
Or possibly, “emaciated.”
Lit., “seed.”