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Chapter 21

1Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, ‘A priest shall not defile himself for the dead among his people; 2except for his relatives that are near to him: for his mother, for his father, for his son, for his daughter, for his brother, 3and for his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband; for her he may defile himself. 4He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

5“‘They shall not shave their heads, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy.

7“‘They shall not marry a woman who is a prostitute, or profane; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband: for he is holy to his God. 8You shall sanctify him therefore; for he offers the bread of your God: he shall be holy to you: for I Yahweh, who sanctify you, am holy.

9“‘The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the prostitute, she profanes her father: she shall be burned with fire.

10“‘He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor tear his clothes; 11neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12neither 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 Yahweh.

13“‘He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14A widow, or one divorced, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry: but a virgin of his own people shall he take as a wife. 15He shall not profane his seed among his people: for I am Yahweh who sanctifies him.’”

16Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 17“Say to Aaron, ‘None of your seed throughout their generations who has a blemish, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18For whatever man he is that has a blemish, he shall not draw near: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity, 19or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand, 20or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye, or an itching disease, or scabs, or who has damaged testicles; 21no man of the seed of Aaron the priest, who has a blemish, shall come near to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. Since has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23He shall not come near to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a blemish; that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.’”

24So Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

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