This chapter is about the rules/laws for the priests, a.k.a. the Levites. Some of these rules/laws don’t make ANY sense whatsoever. This chapter is short & to the point. Enjoy the read.
God tells Moses the rules/laws for the priests:
A priest mustn’t make himself ceremonially unclean for his people who die, except for a close relative. Such as his mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or unmarried sister “who is dependent on him since she has no husband.” (I’m not touching that one.), for her he may make himself unclean. The priest must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage (like an in-law or even his wife, perhaps.), & so defile himself.
Priests must not shave their heads, the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies. They must be holy to “their” God. They can’t profane the name of “their” God. Because they present the offerings made to God by fire, the food of “their” God, they’re to be holy.
They (the priests) mustn’t marry women who are “defiled by prostitution” (No marrying prostitutes.) They can’t marry divorced women, because priests are holy the “their” God. Regard them (the priests) as holy, because they offer up the food of “your” God.
If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father. She had to be burned in fire. (Think Joan of Arc or the Salem Witch Trials.)
The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head & who’s been ordained to wear the priestly garments, mustn’t let his hair become unkempt or tear his clothes. (You couldn’t look like a bum!)
The high priest mustn’t enter a place where there’s a dead body. He mustn’t make himself unclean, even for his parents. They couldn’t leave the sanctuary of his God or desecrate it.
The woman he marries must be virgin. He can’t marry a widow, a divorced lady, or a prostitute. Only a virgin from the Israelite community. “So he will not defile his offspring among his people.”
(This next part is seriously messed up! Spoiler alert! This next part is serious messed up.)
“For generations to come none of your descendants who has a “defect” may come near to offer the food of his God. No man who has any “defect” may come near. No man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; has a crippled foot or hand, hunchbacked, dwarfed, has an eye defect, has festering/running sores, or damaged testicles may come near. No descendants of Aaron the priest whos has any “defect” is to come near to present the offerings made to God by fire. He has a “defect.” He mustn’t come near to offer the food of his God. He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food. Yet, because of his “defect,” he mustn’t go near the curtain/veil or approach the altar. And so desecrate my sanctuary.” (Yep, you read that right. It’s Leviticus 21:16-23.)
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