February 14th Leviticus 21 The holiness of priests
1: And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: 2: But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother, 3: And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled. 4: But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. 5: They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6: They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. 7: They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. 8: Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy. 9: And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. 10: And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; 11: Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12: Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown 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 profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. 15: Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him. 16: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 17: Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18: For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19: Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20: Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; 21: No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. 22: He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23: Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them. 24: And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.
Leviticus 22 The holiness of the offerings
1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD. 3: Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD. 4: What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him; 5: Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; 6: The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water. 7: And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food. 8: That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the LORD. 9: They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them. 10: There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. 11: But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. 12: If the priest's daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things. 13: But if the priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof. 14: And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing. 15: And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the LORD; 16: Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them. 17: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 18: Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering; 19: Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. 20: But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. 21: And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. 22: Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. 23: Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. 24: Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land. 25: Neither from a stranger's hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you. 26: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27: When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28: And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day. 29: And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. 30: On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD. 31: Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. 32: Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, 33: That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 23 D. Holy days The Feasts of the Lord
1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. 3: Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. 4: These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5: In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover. 6: And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7: In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8: But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 9: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 10: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12: And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. 13: And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14: And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. 17: Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD. 18: And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD. 19: Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20: And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21: And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22: And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God. 23: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 24: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. 25: Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27: Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28: And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29: For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30: And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31: Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32: It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. 33: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 35: On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36: Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. 37: These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 38: Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. 39: Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40: And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41: And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42: Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 44: And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
In these chapters the Lord outlines the way in which the priests and the offerings were kept holy. Then in chapter 23 we have the beginning of a section which describes the feasts of the Lord but first let’s get back to chapter 21. The Lord specifies that none of the priests are to be unclean among the people. The priest is only bound to take care of the death of close family. He is not to defile himself with contact with the dead because he is a chief man among the people. Priests are not to shave their heads or cut the corner of their beards. And they are not to make cuts in their flesh. They are to be holy devoted to their God in the flesh and they are not to offer sacrifices that are an abomination to the Lord’s name. The priests are not to marry a prostitute, or an unholy person, or a divorcee. If a daughter of a priest became profane by becoming a prostitute then she is to be executed by fire. The high priest who has on him the anointing oil and holy garments must never have his head uncovered and he must not tear his clothes. (When Caiaphas was questioning Christ and Christ claimed deity, the high priest rent his clothes and thus ended his ministry) He must not defile himself by ordinary contact with men – even his parents and he must remain holy to serve the Lord within the Tabernacle. If he takes a wife she is to be a virgin. His seed is to be kept holy throughout generations. A man that has a deformity is not to be a priest. This includes a blemish on his body, blindness, lameness, flat nose, or any growth. A priest must not have a broken foot, or broken hand, or a crooked spine, or a dwarf, or something wrong with his eye, or scurvy, or scabbed, or deformed testicles. Next the Lord describes the holiness of the offerings. And the holiness of the people. The leper is to be cut off from the people. He is not allowed to eat of the holy things of the Tabernacle. The children of Israel are not to touch anything that is dead. If he does then he must wash under running water and not touch anyone until the evening. These things caused many of the Jewish doctors to refrain from examining women after being in contact with the dead and thus prevented the large number of deaths in the hospitals. The Lord continues to explain the regulations regarding holiness and he explains that all offerings are to be animals that are without blemish or fault. Now although none of these rituals and principles are obligatory for christians we can learn a lesson in the holiness that these men had in the flesh. Can NT believers not have a holiness in their soul from keeping from those things that defile a christian man. Next Moses describes the importance of keeping the Sabbath for the Israelite. Next he describes the feast of Passover and Pentecost. The Passover celebrated their deliverance from bondage but Pentecost celebrated the institution of the Mosaic covenant. The Lord describes the feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. All Israel was to fast on the Day of atonement and if any man refused to fast then he was executed. Then the Lord describes the feast of Tabernacles. All these feasts were obligatory for the Children of Israel.
- What did holiness mean in practical terms for the priests of God?
- In what sense were the sacrifices holy?
- How did Israel keep holy days?