Leviticus 21:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
No man of the seed of Aaron the priest that hath defect shall come near to present Jehovah's offerings by fire: he hath a defect; he shall not come near to present the bread of his God.

World English Bible
no 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 he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.

Young's Literal Translation
No man in whom is blemish (of the seed of Aaron the priest) doth come nigh to bring near the fire-offerings of Jehovah; blemish is in him; the bread of his God he doth not come nigh to bring near.

Leviticus 21:21 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Crooked-backed - Hunch-backed or gibbous. A dwarf, דק dak, a person too short or too thin, so as to be either particularly observable, or ridiculous in his appearance.

A blemish in his eye - A protuberance on the eye, observable spots or suffusions.

Scurvy, or scabbed - A bad habit of body, evidenced by scorbutic or scrofulous affections.

Stones broken - Is ruptured; an infirmity which would render him incapable of fulfilling the duties of his office, which might be often very fatiguing. In the above list of blemishes we meet with some that might render the priest contemptible in the eyes of men, and be the means of leading them, not only to despise the man, but to despise the ministry itself; and we meet with others that would be a very great impediment in the discharge of his ministerial duties, and therefore any person thus blemished is by this law precluded from the ministry. The blemishes here enumerated have been considered by some in an allegorical point of view, as if only referring to the necessity of moral purity; but although holiness of heart and righteousness of life be essentially necessary in a minister of God, yet an absence of the defects mentioned above is, I fully believe, what God intends here, and for the reasons too which have been already advanced. It must however be granted, that there have been some eminent divines who have been deformed; and some with certain blemishes have been employed in the Christian ministry, and have been useful. The Mosaic rule, however, will admit of but few exceptions, when even examined according to the more extended interpretation of the Christian system. "The Hebrews say there are in all 120 blemishes which disable the priest - eight in the head, two in the neck, nine in the ears, five in the brows, seven in the eyelids, nineteen in the eyes, nine in the nose, nine in the mouth, three in the belly, three in the back, seven in the hands, sixteen in the secrets, eight in any part of the body, eight in the skin, and seven in the strength and in the breath." - Ainsworth. In ancient times, even among heathens, persons of the most respectable appearance were appointed to the priesthood; and the emperor, both among the ancient Greeks and Romans, was both king and priest. It is reported of Metellus, that, having lost an eye in endeavoring to save the Palladium from the flames, when the temple of Vesta was on fire, he was denied the priesthood, though he had rendered such an excellent piece of service to the public; yet the public opinion was that a priest who was defective in any member was to be avoided as ominous - See Dodd.

"At Elis, in Greece, the judges chose the finest looking man to carry the sacred vessels of the deity; he that was next to him in beauty and elegance led the ox; and the third in personal beauty, etc., carried the garlands, ribbons, wine, and the other matters used for the sacrifice." - Athen. Deipnisoph., l. xiii., c. 2.

Formerly the Church of England was very cautious in admitting to her ministry those who had gross personal defects; but now we find the hump-backed, the jolt-headed, bandy-legged, club-footed, one-eyed, etc., priests even of her high places. Why do our prelates ordain such?

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a blemish In the above list of blemishes, we meet with some that might render the priest {contemptible} in the eyes of men; and others that would be very great {impediments} in the discharge of his ministerial duties.

to offer

Leviticus 21:6,8,17 They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire...

Library
What Manner of Man Ought not to Come to Rule.
Wherefore let every one measure himself wisely, lest he venture to assume a place of rule, while in himself vice still reigns unto condemnation; lest one whom his own guilt depraves desire to become an intercessor for the faults of others. For on this account it is said to Moses by the supernal voice, Speak unto Aaron; Whosoever he be of thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, he shall not offer loaves of bread to the Lord his God (Lev. xxi. 17). And it is also immediately subjoined;
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Section Chap. I. -iii.
The question which here above all engages our attention, and requires to be answered, is this: Whether that which is reported in these chapters did, or did not, actually and outwardly take place. The history of the inquiries connected with this question is found most fully in Marckius's "Diatribe de uxore fornicationum," Leyden, 1696, reprinted in the Commentary on the Minor Prophets by the same author. The various views may be divided into three classes. 1. It is maintained by very many interpreters,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Cross References
Leviticus 2:3
The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the LORD.

Leviticus 21:6
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.

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