Rules for the Priests
21:1 The Lord said to Moses: “Say to the priests, the sons of Aaron – say to them, ‘For a dead person1 no priest2 is to defile himself among his people,3
21:2 except for his close relative who is near to him:4 his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother,
21:3 and his virgin sister who is near to him,5 who has no husband; he may defile himself for her.
21:4 He must not defile himself as a husband among his people so as to profane himself.6
21:5 Priests7 must not have a bald spot shaved on their head, they must not shave the corner of their beard, and they must not cut slashes in their body.8
21:6 “‘They must be holy to their God, and they must not profane9 the name of their God, because they are the ones who present the Lord’s gifts,10 the food of their God. Therefore they must be holy.11
21:7 They must not take a wife defiled by prostitution,12 nor are they to take a wife divorced from her husband,13 for the priest14 is holy to his God.15
21:8 You must sanctify him because he presents the food of your God. He must be holy to you because I, the Lord who sanctifies you all,16 am holy.
21:9 If a daughter of a priest profanes herself by engaging in prostitution, she is profaning her father. She must be burned to death.17
Rules for the High Priest
21:10 “‘The high18 priest – who is greater than his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured, who has been ordained19 to wear the priestly garments – must neither dishevel the hair of his head nor tear his garments.20
21:11 He must not go where there is any dead person;21 he must not defile himself even for his father and his mother.
21:12 He must not go out from the sanctuary and must not profane22 the sanctuary of his God, because the dedication of the anointing oil of his God is on him. I am the Lord.
21:13 He must take a wife who is a virgin.23
21:14 He must not marry24 a widow, a divorced woman, or one profaned by prostitution; he may only take a virgin from his people25 as a wife.
21:15 He must not profane his children among his people,26 for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.’”
Rules for the Priesthood
21:16 The Lord spoke to Moses:
21:17 “Tell Aaron, ‘No man from your descendants throughout their generations27 who has a physical flaw28 is to approach to present the food of his God.
21:18 Certainly29 no man who has a physical flaw is to approach: a blind man, or one who is lame, or one with a slit nose,30 or a limb too long,
21:19 or a man who has had a broken leg or arm,31
21:20 or a hunchback, or a dwarf,32 or one with a spot in his eye,33 or a festering eruption, or a feverish rash,34 or a crushed testicle.
21:21 No man from the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a physical flaw may step forward35 to present the Lord’s gifts; he has a physical flaw, so he must not step forward to present the food of his God.
21:22 He may eat both the most holy and the holy food of his God,
21:23 but he must not go into the veil-canopy36 or step forward to the altar because he has a physical flaw. Thus37 he must not profane my holy places, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’”
21:24 So38 Moses spoke these things39 to Aaron, his sons, and all the Israelites.