Leviticus 21
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Holiness Required of Priests

1The Lord also said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and you shall say to them: Do not allow a priest to be contaminated by the death of his citizens, 2except only by his blood-relatives and near-relatives, that is, by a father or mother, or by a son or daughter, or also a brother, 3or a virgin sister, who is not married to a husband. 4But not even by the leader of his people shall he be contaminated. 5Neither shall they shave their head or their beard, and they shall not make incisions in their flesh. 6They shall be holy to their God, and they shall not pollute his name. For they offer the incense of the Lord and the bread of their God, and because of this they shall be holy. 7They shall not take as a wife a promiscuous woman, or a prostitute, or her who has been repudiated by her husband. For they are consecrated to their God, 8and they offer the bread of the presence. Therefore, let them be holy, for I also am holy: the Lord, who sanctifies them. 9If the daughter of a priest will have been taken into prostitution, and will have violated the name of her father, she shall be consumed by fire.

10The high priest, that is, the priest who is the greatest among his brothers, upon whose head the oil of anointing has been poured, and whose hands have been consecrated for the priesthood, and who has been vested with the holy vestments: he shall not expose his head; he shall not rend his vestments. 11And he shall not enter to any dead body whatsoever; likewise, not even by his father or mother shall he be contaminated. 12Neither shall he exit from the holy places, lest he pollute the Sanctuary of the Lord. For the oil of the holy anointing of his God is upon him. I am the Lord. 13He shall take a virgin as his wife. 14But a widow, or one who has been repudiated or defiled, or also a mistress, he shall not accept, but only a maiden from among his own people. 15He shall not mingle the stock of his family with the common people of his nation. For I am the Lord, who sanctifies him.

Restrictions against Those with Blemishes

16And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 17Say to Aaron: A man from your offspring, throughout their families, who has a blemish, shall not offer the bread to his God.

18Neither shall he approach to minister to him: if he is blind, if he is lame, if he is small, or large, or has a crooked nose, 19if his foot or hand is broken, 20if he has a bulging back or bleary eyes, or if he has a white spot in his eye, or a chronic scab, or a skin disease on his body, or a hernia. 21Anyone from the offspring of Aaron, the priest, who has a blemish, shall not approach to offer sacrifices to the Lord, nor the bread to his God. 22Nevertheless, he shall eat from the loaves which are offered in the Sanctuary. 23But even so, he may not enter within the veil, nor approach to the altar. For he has a blemish, and he must not contaminate my Sanctuary. I am the Lord, who sanctifies them. 24Therefore, Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all of Israel, everything that had been commanded to him.

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

Leviticus 20
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