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Leviticus 21 - NIV

Rules for Priests

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,[a] 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[b] 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.


a. Leviticus 21:4 Or unclean as a leader among his people
b. Leviticus 21:10 Or not uncover his head

Sermons on Leviticus 21 More sermons: Leviticus 21

Justin Spradlin avatar
Am I a qualified priest?
Shared by: Justin Spradlin on Aug, 2016
Summary: We look at the qualifications of a priest and apply them to us as Christians
Scripture: Leviticus 21:1-24
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 485
William R. Nabaza avatar
Blemished people can't come near GOD
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Sep, 2015
Summary: To show that the LORD will choose the weak (blemished people) to remove all his blemishes before His Presence. Therefore all believers will glory only in their weaknesses and infirmities to bring glory to GOD.
Scripture: Leviticus 21:21
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 260
William R. Nabaza avatar
The injured can't serve
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Sep, 2015
Summary: To show that we need to acknowledge our brokenness before and come to JESUS to be healed. Without the necessity of seeing our brokenness, we will not require healing.
William R. Nabaza avatar
Blemished people can't approach GOD
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Sep, 2015
Summary: To show in the scripture as servants of GOD, you need to be blameless or be washed in the blood, simple put you need to have a relationship with GOD.
William R. Nabaza avatar
Four blemishes that are not accepted at the altar
Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Sep, 2015
Summary: To prove that GOD uses the weak and insignificant person of this world to overcome the world. 1 Corinthians 1:28 (Amplified Bible) And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with con
Scripture: Leviticus 21:18
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 937
Bishop Talbert Swan avatar
Messed Up But Still Anointed
Shared by: Bishop Talbert Swan on Aug, 2009
Summary: Regardless of our faults God can still use us.
based on 57 ratings
Denomination: *other
Views: 35,333
Steve Ely avatar
Pride and Greed
Shared by: Steve Ely on Oct, 2008
Summary: We are taught to cover up. We use Tide Sticks, plastic surgery, and White-Out. However, God always seems to call our dirt into the light! This revealing series challenges us to expose the filth in our lives.
Series: Dirt
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Leviticus 21:21-23
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 2,088
Sheldon Friesen avatar
Spiritual Birth Defects
Shared by: Sheldon Friesen on Jun, 2002
Summary: Things that can disqualify one from coming into the Holy of Holies.
based on 52 ratings
Scripture: Leviticus 21:16-23
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 3,972