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.