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Leviticus 21 Study - "Conduct for Priests" ...

Leviticus 21 Study – “Conduct for Priests” – (vv. 1-24)


Regulations for Conduct of Priests

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘None shall defile himself for the dead among his people, 2 except for his relatives who are nearest to him: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother; 3 also his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband, for her he may defile himself. 4 Otherwise he shall not defile himself, being a [a]chief man among his people, to profane himself.

5 ‘They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore, they shall be holy. 7 They shall not take a wife who is a harlot or a defiled woman, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for [b]the priest is holy to his God. 8 Therefore you shall [c]consecrate him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for I the Lord, who sanctify you, am holy. 9 The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire.

10 He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover[d] his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he go near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother; 12 nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman or a harlot—these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife. 15 Nor shall he profane his posterity among his people, for I the Lord sanctify him.’”

16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, 19 a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. 21 No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the Lord. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; 23 only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuaries; for I the Lord sanctify them.’”

24 And Moses told it to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel.



21:1: Jesus Christ holds many offices, He holds the office as a Prophet, priest, and King of the Universe, and all at the same time and forever meaning for eternity … The OT is filled with types of Christs with respect to these three aspects of His ministry … We will see in this chapter that the sundry rules for the Aaronic priesthood are given, along with instructions for the high priesthood … Types of Christs abound throughout, and the priest was a type of Him … Therefore, a higher standard was set for him than for the laity …


21:1-3: The defilement referred to here was the ceremonial defilement of a person resulting from contact with a dead body … The priest was permitted to touch the dead bodies only of certain of his immediate kin … The priest, as a type of Christ, must not be unduly affected by death, since Christ is the One who overcame death … Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb, but He is the One who overcame the death of Lazarus and who overcame death for all in His Resurrection …


21:14: The high priest was allowed to marry only a virgin, and she had to be from his own people – an Israelite woman … He serves as a significant type of Christ, whom the Groom of the Church … The Church is forever His virgin bride … Christ and the Church form the perfect marriage; thus, the types in the OT foreshadowed that perfection …


21:17: To serve in the priesthood, one had to be free of physical defects … This was a type of the ultimate offerer, the sinless and spotless Jesus, who Himself is the sinless and spotless Offering … Thus, the animal to be offered was to be without spot or blemish … The physical was a type and symbol of the spiritual, and both are important … And lest it be considered cruel or unfair that the deformed were not allowed TO OFFER THE GIFTS OF HIS GOD, to serve at th altar, let it be understood, quite to the contrary, that hope is given here for all … The priesthood in the Church in the age to come will be open to all in Christ … No one will be deformed, for any deformed in this life will be made completely whole in the world to in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever … Amen” – (Revelation 1:5-6) …


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