Regulations concerning Priests

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them:

‘No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people, except for his relatives who are nearest to him, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother, also for his virgin sister who is near to him [a]because she has not had a husband; for her, he may defile himself. He shall not defile himself as a [b]relative by marriage among his people, so as to profane himself. They shall not shave any area on their heads bald, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, because they present the offerings by fire [c]to the Lord, the food of their God; so they shall be holy. They shall not take a woman who is a prostitute and [d]profaned, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God. You shall consecrate him, therefore, because he offers the food of your God. He shall be holy to you; for I the Lord, who sanctifies you, am holy. Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.

10 ‘The priest who is [e]highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and [f]who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not [g]uncover his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he leave the sanctuary nor profane the sanctuary of his God, for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the Lord. 13 He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by prostitution, these he shall not take; but rather he is to [h]marry a virgin of his own people, 15 so that he will not profane his [i]children among his people; for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.’”

16 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘None of your [j]descendants throughout their generations who has an impairment shall approach to offer the food of his God. 18 For no one who has an impairment shall approach: a man who is blind, or one who limps, or one who has a slit nose, or one with any conspicuous feature, 19 or someone who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or a contorted back, or one who is a dwarf, or has a spot in his eye, or a festering rash or scabs, or crushed testicles. 21 No man among the [k]descendants of Aaron the priest who has an impairment is to come forward to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has an impairment, he shall not come forward to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, 23 only he shall not come up to the veil or approach the altar, since he has an impairment, so that he does not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the Lord who sanctifies them.’” 24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel.


  1. Leviticus 21:3 Or who has not belonged to a man
  2. Leviticus 21:4 Lit husband among
  3. Leviticus 21:6 Lit of
  4. Leviticus 21:7 I.e., deflowered
  5. Leviticus 21:10 I.e., the high priest
  6. Leviticus 21:10 Lit whose hand has been filled
  7. Leviticus 21:10 Lit unbind
  8. Leviticus 21:14 Lit take as wife
  9. Leviticus 21:15 Lit seed
  10. Leviticus 21:17 Lit seed
  11. Leviticus 21:21 Lit seed