Levítico 21

1 Jehovah gave Moses these instructions for Aaron's sons, the priests: »Touching a dead body will make you unclean. So do not go near a dead relative,

2 except for your mother, father, son, daughter, brother,

3 or an unmarried sister, who has no husband to take care of her.

4 »As the head of your people, you should never become unclean. That would make you unholy.

5 »You should never mourn by shaving bald spots on your heads, shaving the edges of your beards, or slashing your bodies.

6 »Be God's holy men. Do not dishonor the name of your God. Be holy because you bring sacrifices by fire to Jehovah. It is the food bread of your God.

7 »Never marry prostitutes, those who have lost their virginity, or divorced women because a priest is God's holy man.

8 »Be holy because you offer the food of your God. Be holy because I, Jehovah, am holy. I set you apart as holy.

9 »When a priest's daughter dishonors herself by becoming a prostitute, she dishonors her father. She must be burned.

10 »The priest who is anointed with oil and wears the chief priest's clothes is chief over his brothers. He must never mourn by leaving his hair uncombed or by tearing his clothes.

11 »He must not go near any dead bodies or become unclean, even for his father or mother.

12 »He must not leave the holy tent of his God. If he does, he will be dishonoring it, because he is dedicated with the anointing oil of his God. I am Jehovah.

13 »The anointed priest should marry a virgin.

14 »He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, a woman who has lost her virginity, or a prostitute. He may only marry a virgin from his own people.

15 »He must not dishonor his children among his people because I, Jehovah, set him apart as holy.«

16 Jehovah spoke to Moses:

17 »Tell Aaron: ‘If any of your descendants, now or in future generations, has a physical defect, he must never bring food to offer to God.

18 »‘No one who has a physical defect may ever come near the altar. That means anyone who is blind or lame, who has a disfigured face, a deformity,

19 or a crippled hand or foot,

20 who is a hunchback or dwarf, who has defective sight, skin diseases, or crushed testicles.

21 »‘If a descendant of the priest Aaron has a physical defect, he must never bring sacrifices by fire to Jehovah. He has a defect. He must never bring food to offer to God.

22 »‘He may eat the food of his God, what is holy and what is very holy.

23 »‘However, he must never come up to the canopy or to the altar, since he has a physical defect. He must never dishonor the holy places because I, Jehovah, set them apart as holy.’«

24 Thus Moses spoke to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.