21 1THE LORD said to Moses, Speak to the priests [exclusive of the high priest], the sons of Aaron, and say to them that none of them shall defile himself for the dead among his people [by touching a corpse or assisting in preparing it for burial], 2Except for his near [blood] kin, for his mother, father, son, daughter, brother, 3And for his sister, a virgin, who is near to him because she has had no husband; for her he may be defiled. 4He shall not even defile himself, being a [bereaved] husband [his wife not being his blood kin] or being a chief man among his people, and so profane himself. 5The priests [like the other Israelite men] shall not shave the crown of their heads or clip off the corners of their beard or 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 made by fire to the Lord, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy. 7They shall not take a wife who is a harlot or polluted or profane or divorced, for [the priest] is holy to his God. 8You shall consecrate him therefore, for he offers the bread of your God; he shall be holy to you, for I the Lord Who sanctifies you am holy. 9The daughter of any priest who profanes herself by playing the harlot profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire [after being stoned]. 10But he who is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to put on the [sacred] garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose or rend his clothes [in mourning], 11Neither shall he go in where any dead body lies nor defile himself [by doing so, even] for his father or for his mother; 12Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary nor desecrate or make ceremonially unclean the sanctuary of his God, for the crown or consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him. I am the Lord. 13He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14A widow or a divorced woman or a woman who is polluted or profane or a harlot, these he shall not marry, but he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people, 15That he may not profane or dishonor his children among his people; for I the Lord do sanctify the high priest. 16And the Lord said to Moses, 17Say to Aaron, Any one of your sons in their successive generations who has any blemish, let him not come near to offer the bread of his God. 18For no man who has a blemish shall approach [God’s altar to serve as priest], a man blind or lame, or he who has a disfigured face or a limb too long, 19Or who has a fractured foot or hand, 20Or is a hunchback, or a dwarf, or has a defect in his eye, or has scurvy or itch, or scabs or skin trouble, or has damaged testicles. 21No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish and is disfigured or deformed shall come near [the altar] to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire. He has a blemish; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, 23But he shall not come within the veil or come near the altar [of incense], because he has a blemish, that he may not desecrate and make unclean My sanctuaries and hallowed things; for I the Lord do sanctify them. 24And Moses told it to Aaron and to his sons and to all the Israelites.
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