17 July 2014

EJ&T: Leviticus 21: God's rules for priests

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. A priest shall not defile himself by touching a dead body, except for dead close relatives (mother, father, son, daughter, brother, and sister, if she died a virgin).
  2. 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: 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. And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled. Leviticus 21:1-3

  3. Priests shall not shave off the corners of their beards or make any cuttings on their flesh.
  4. They [priests] shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. Leviticus 21:5

  5. A priest shall not marry a whore.
  6. They [priests] shall not take a wife that is a whore. Leviticus 21:7a

  7. A priest shall not marry a divorced woman.
  8. Neither shall they [priests] take a woman put away from her husband. Leviticus 21:7b

  9. If a priest's daughter becomes a prostitute, burn her to death.
  10. The daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9

  11. High priests must not uncover their heads or tear their clothes.
  12. 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. Leviticus 21:10

  13. A high priest must not get near any dead bodies, even those of his father or mother.
  14. This seems to contradict #270. But I guess a regular priest can touch his dead father or mother, but a high priest can't.

    Neither shall he [the high priest] go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother Leviticus 21:11

  15. The high priest shall not go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary.
  16. Neither shall he [the high priest] 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. Leviticus 21:12

  17. A high priest must marry a virgin "from his own people."
  18. He [the high priest] shall take a wife in her virginity. Leviticus 21:13

    He shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. Leviticus 21:14b

  19. A high priest must not marry a widow, a divorced or profane woman, or a harlot.
  20. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he [the high priest] not take. Leviticus 21:14a

  21. A high priest must not profane his seed among the people.
  22. Neither shall he [the high priest] profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him. Leviticus 21:15

  23. A priest must not have any blemish.
  24. He must not be blind, lame, have a flat nose or anything superfluous. He may not have broken feet or hands, or a crooked back. He may not be a dwarf, have blemished eyes or scurvy or scabs. And his testicles must not be broken.
    Whosoever ... hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 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, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; 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. ... 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. Leviticus 21:17-23

    Notice that Leviticus 21:20 a priest must not have blemished eyes, or as the New International Version puts it, "has any eye defect." So anyone who wears glasses cannot be a priest. Thanks top CNNN news for pointing this out.

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