Leviticus 22

Leviticus 22

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1 The LORD said to Moses,

2 "Tell Aaron and his sons to treat the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me with great care, so they do not profane my holy name. I am the LORD.

3 Remind them that if any of their descendants are ceremonially unclean when they approach the sacred food presented by the Israelites, they must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD!

4 "If any of the priests have a contagious skin disease* or any kind of discharge that makes them ceremonially unclean, they may not eat the sacred offerings until they have been pronounced clean. If any of the priests become unclean by touching a corpse, or are defiled by an emission of semen,1

5 or by touching a creeping creature that is unclean, or by touching someone who is ceremonially unclean for any reason,

6 they will remain defiled until evening. They must not eat any of the sacred offerings until they have purified their bodies with water.

7 When the sun goes down, they will be clean again and may eat the sacred offerings. After all, this food has been set aside for them.

8 The priests may never eat an animal that has died a natural death or has been torn apart by wild animals, for this would defile them. I am the LORD.

9 Warn all the priests to follow these instructions carefully; otherwise they will be subject to punishment and die for violating them. I am the LORD who makes them holy.

10 "No one outside a priest's family may ever eat the sacred offerings, even if the person lives in a priest's home or is one of his hired servants.

11 However, if the priest buys slaves with his own money, they may eat of his food. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food.

12 If a priest's daughter marries someone outside the priestly family, she may no longer eat the sacred offerings.

13 But if she becomes a widow or is divorced and has no children to support her, and she returns to live in her father's home, she may eat her father's food again. But other than these exceptions, only members of the priests' families are allowed to eat the sacred offerings.

14 "Anyone who eats the sacred offerings without realizing it must pay the priest for the amount eaten, plus an added penalty of 20 percent.

15 No one may defile the sacred offerings brought to the LORD by the Israelites

16 by allowing unauthorized people to eat them. The negligent priest would bring guilt upon the people and require them to pay compensation. I am the LORD, who makes them holy."

17 And the LORD said to Moses,

18 "Give Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites these instructions, which apply to those who are Israelites by birth as well as to the foreigners living among you. If you offer a whole burnt offering to the LORD, whether to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering,

19 it will be accepted only if it is a male animal with no physical defects. It may be either a bull, a ram, or a male goat.

20 Do not bring an animal with physical defects, because it won't be accepted on your behalf.

21 "If you bring a peace offering to the LORD from the herd or flock, whether to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, you must offer an animal that has no physical defects of any kind.

22 An animal that is blind, injured, mutilated, or that has a growth, an open sore, or a scab must never be offered to the LORD by fire on the altar.

23 If the bull* or lamb is deformed or stunted, it may still be offered as a freewill offering, but it may not be offered to fulfill a vow.2

24 If an animal has damaged testicles or is castrated, it may never be offered to the LORD.

25 You must never accept mutilated or defective animals from foreigners to be offered as a sacrifice to your God. Such animals will not be accepted on your behalf because they are defective."

26 And the LORD said to Moses,

27 "When a bull or a ram or a male goat is born, it must be left with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as an offering given to the LORD by fire.

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1: Traditionally rendered leprosy. See note at 13:2.

2: Or cow; also in 22:27.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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