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Leviticus chapter 21

New International Version

1 The LORD said to Moses, 'Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: 'A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die, 2 except for a close relative, such as his mother or father, his son or daughter, his brother, 3 or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband--for her he may make himself unclean. 4 He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage, and so defile himself.
5 'Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies. 6 They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the food offerings to the LORD, the food of their God, they are to be holy.
7 'They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands, because priests are holy to their God. 8 Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the LORD am holy--I who make you holy.
9 'If a priest's daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.
10 'The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments, must not let his hair become unkempt or tear his clothes. 11 He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother, 12 nor leave the sanctuary of his God or desecrate it, because he has been dedicated by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD.
13 'The woman he marries must be a virgin. 14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, 15 so that he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the LORD, who makes him holy.''
16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 Say to Aaron: 'For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the LORD. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.''
24 So Moses told this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
English Standard Version

1 And the LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, No one shall make himself unclean for the dead among his people, 2 except for his closest relatives, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother, 3 or his virgin sister (who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may make himself unclean). 4 He shall not make himself unclean as a husband among his people and so profane himself. 5 They shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body. 6 They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God. For they offer the LORD’s food offerings, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy. 7 They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. 8 You shall sanctify him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for I, the LORD, who sanctify you, am holy. 9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by whoring, profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.
10 “The priest who is chief among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose nor tear his clothes. 11 He shall not go in to any dead bodies nor make himself unclean, even for his father or for his mother. 12 He shall not go out of the sanctuary, lest he profane the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him: I am the LORD. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people, 15 that he may not profane his offspring among his people, for I am the LORD who sanctifies him.”
16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, 19 or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, 20 or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. 21 No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the LORD’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, 23 but he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the LORD who sanctifies them.” 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the people of Israel.
King James Version

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.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people, 2 except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother, 3 also for his virgin sister who is near to him because she has not had a husband; for her, he may defile himself. 4 He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, so as to profane himself. 5 They shall not shave any area on their heads bald, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, because they present the offerings by fire to the LORD, the food of their God; so they shall be holy. 7 They shall not take a woman who is a prostitute and profaned, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God. 8 You shall consecrate him, therefore, because he offers the food of your God. He shall be holy to you; for I the LORD, who sanctifies you, am holy. 9 Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.
10 ‘The priest who is highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he leave the sanctuary nor profane the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the LORD. 13 He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by prostitution, these he shall not take; but rather he is to marry a virgin of his own people, 15 so that he will not profane his children among his people; for I am the LORD who sanctifies him.’?'
16 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 'Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘None of your descendants throughout their generations who has an impairment shall approach to offer the food of his God. 18 For no one who has an impairment shall approach: a man who is blind, or one who limps, or one who has a slit nose, or one with any conspicuous feature, 19 or someone who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or a contorted back, or one who is a dwarf, or has a spot in his eye, or a festering rash or scabs, or crushed testicles. 21 No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has an impairment is to come forward to offer the LORD’S offerings by fire; since he has an impairment, he shall not come forward to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, 23 only he shall not come up to the veil or approach the altar, since he has an impairment, so that he does not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the LORD who sanctifies them.’?' 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel.
New Living Translation

1 The LORD said to Moses, 'Give the following instructions to the priests, the descendants of Aaron. 'A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean by touching the dead body of a relative. 2 The only exceptions are his closest relatives--his mother or father, son or daughter, brother, 3 or his virgin sister who depends on him because she has no husband. 4 But a priest must not defile himself and make himself unclean for someone who is related to him only by marriage.
5 'The priests must not shave their heads or trim their beards or cut their bodies. 6 They must be set apart as holy to their God and must never bring shame on the name of God. They must be holy, for they are the ones who present the special gifts to the LORD, gifts of food for their God.
7 'Priests may not marry a woman defiled by prostitution, and they may not marry a woman who is divorced from her husband, for the priests are set apart as holy to their God. 8 You must treat them as holy because they offer up food to your God. You must consider them holy because I, the LORD, am holy, and I make you holy.
9 'If a priest's daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she also defiles her father's holiness, and she must be burned to death.
10 'The high priest has the highest rank of all the priests. The anointing oil has been poured on his head, and he has been ordained to wear the priestly garments. He must never leave his hair uncombed or tear his clothing. 11 He must not defile himself by going near a dead body. He may not make himself ceremonially unclean even for his father or mother. 12 He must not defile the sanctuary of his God by leaving it to attend to a dead person, for he has been made holy by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD.
13 'The high priest may marry only a virgin. 14 He may not marry a widow, a woman who is divorced, or a woman who has defiled herself by prostitution. She must be a virgin from his own clan, 15 so that he will not dishonor his descendants among his clan, for I am the LORD who makes him holy.'
16 Then the LORD said to Moses, 17 'Give the following instructions to Aaron: In all future generations, none of your descendants who has any defect will qualify to offer food to his God. 18 No one who has a defect qualifies, whether he is blind, lame, disfigured, deformed, 19 or has a broken foot or arm, 20 or is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or has a defective eye, or skin sores or scabs, or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron who has a defect may approach the altar to present special gifts to the LORD. Since he has a defect, he may not approach the altar to offer food to his God. 22 However, he may eat from the food offered to God, including the holy offerings and the most holy offerings. 23 Yet because of his physical defect, he may not enter the room behind the inner curtain or approach the altar, for this would defile my holy places. I am the LORD who makes them holy.'
24 So Moses gave these instructions to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
Christian Standard Bible

1 The LORD said to Moses: "Speak to Aaron's sons, the priests, and tell them: A priest is not to make himself ceremonially unclean for a dead person among his relatives, 2 except for his immediate family: his mother, father, son, daughter, or brother. 3 He may make himself unclean for his unmarried virgin sister in his immediate family. 4 He is not to make himself unclean for those related to him by marriage and so defile himself.
5 "Priests may not make bald spots on their heads, shave the edge of their beards, or make gashes on their bodies. 6 They are to be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God. For they present the fire offerings to the LORD, the food of their God, and they must be holy. 7 They are not to marry a woman defiled by prostitution. They are not to marry one divorced by her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. 8 You are to consider him holy since he presents the food of your God. He will be holy to you because I, the LORD who sets you apart, am holy. 9 If a priest's daughter defiles herself by promiscuity, she defiles her father; she must be burned to death.
10 "The priest who is highest among his brothers, who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and has been ordained to wear the clothes, must not dishevel his hair or tear his clothes. 11 He must not go near any dead person or make himself unclean even for his father or mother. 12 He must not leave the sanctuary or he will desecrate the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the LORD.
13 "He is to marry a woman who is a virgin. 14 He is not to marry a widow, a divorced woman, or one defiled by prostitution. He is to marry a virgin from his own people, 15 so that he does not corrupt his bloodline among his people, for I am the LORD who sets him apart."
16 The LORD spoke to Moses: 17 "Tell Aaron: None of your descendants throughout your generations who has a physical defect is to come near to present the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect is to come near: no man who is blind, lame, facially disfigured, or deformed; 19 no man who has a broken foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has an eye defect, a festering rash, scabs, or a crushed testicle. 21 No descendant of the priest Aaron who has a defect is to come near to present the fire offerings to the LORD. He has a defect and is not to come near to present the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God from what is especially holy as well as from what is holy. 23 But because he has a defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar. He is not to desecrate my holy places, for I am the LORD who sets them apart." 24 Moses said this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.

What does Leviticus chapter 21 mean?

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