Leviticus 21:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"'The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments, must not let his hair become unkempt or tear his clothes.

New Living Translation
"The high priest has the highest rank of all the priests. The anointing oil has been poured on his head, and he has been ordained to wear the priestly garments. He must never leave his hair uncombed or tear his clothing.

English Standard Version
“The priest who is chief among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose nor tear his clothes.

New American Standard Bible
'The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes;

King James Bible
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;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The priest who is highest among his brothers, who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and has been ordained to wear the garments, must not dishevel his hair or tear his garments.

International Standard Version
"The high priest among his relatives—whose head has been anointed with oil and who has been consecrated to put on the priestly clothing—is not to let his hair hang loose or to tear his clothes.

NET Bible
"'The high priest--who is greater than his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured, who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments--must neither dishevel the hair of his head nor tear his garments.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The priest who is anointed with oil and wears the chief priest's clothes is chief over his brothers. He must never mourn by leaving his hair uncombed or by tearing his clothes.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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;

King James 2000 Bible
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;

American King James Version
And he that is the high priest among his brothers, on 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;

American Standard Version
And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head go loose, nor rend his clothes;

Douay-Rheims Bible
The high priest, that is to say, the priest, is the greatest among his brethren. upon whose head the oil of unction hath been poured, and whose hands have been consecrated for the priesthood, and who hath been vested with the holy vestments, shall not uncover his head, he shall not rend his garments:

Darby Bible Translation
And the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured, and who is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his garments.

English Revised Version
And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head go loose, nor rend his clothes;

Webster's Bible Translation
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;

World English Bible
"'He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor tear his clothes;

Young's Literal Translation
'And the high priest of his brethren, on whose head is poured the anointing oil, and hath consecrated his hand to put on the garments, his head doth not uncover, nor rend his garments,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:1-24 Laws concerning the priests. - As these priests were types of Christ, so all ministers must be followers of him, that their example may teach others to imitate the Saviour. Without blemish, and separate from sinners, He executed his priestly office on earth. What manner of persons then should his ministers be! But all are, if Christians, spiritual priests; the minister especially is called to set a good example, that the people may follow it. Our bodily infirmities, blessed be God, cannot now shut us out from his service, from these privileges, or from his heavenly glory. Many a healthful, beautiful soul is lodged in a feeble, deformed body. And those who may not be suited for the work of the ministry, may serve God with comfort in other duties in his church.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 10-15. - The high priest, upon whose head the anointing off was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, symbolizing in his person the Holy One in a more special manner than the other priests, has to aim so much the more at symbolical holiness. He may not, therefore. incur legal uncleanness by taking part in the funeral rites, even of his father or mother, not being permitted to absent himself from the sanctuary, which he would have to do if he had thus ceremonially defiled himself. Nor is it enough that he should abstain from taking an immoral or a divorced wife; he may only wed a virgin and of his own people, whereas the other priests might marry widows and the daughters of strangers dwelling among the Israelites. In the ordinances for priests given in Ezekiel 44, the ordinary priests, as well as the high priest, are forbidden to marry widows, unless they be the widows of priests (Ezekiel 44:22).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he that is the high priest among his brethren,.... Either among his brethren, the priests, being in office above them; or among his brethren the Israelites, among and over whom he is high priest; or, as others render it, "the priest who is greater than his brethren" (d), in an higher office; the Jews say (e) the high priest was to be greater than his brethren, in beauty, in strength, in wisdom, and in riches; and if he had not money enough, all the priests were to give him of theirs, everyone according to his riches, until he became the richest among them all:

upon whose head the anointing oil was poured; as it was poured upon Aaron at his consecration, and those that succeeded him, Exodus 29:7 Leviticus 8:12,

and that is consecrated to put on the garments; the eight garments with which the high priest was clothed at the time of his consecration, Leviticus 8:7; and in which he and his sons are said to be consecrated, Exodus 29:29; in order to which he was "to fill his hand"; as the phrase here is, that is, with the fat and right shoulder of the ram of consecration, and with the loaf of bread, and cake of oiled bread, and wafer, Exodus 29:23; in all which he was a type of Christ, the great High Priest, as he is often called, who is greater than his brethren in all the above things, the high priest exceeded his brethren, except in worldly riches; and yet the earth also is his, and the fulness thereof, well as he is fairer than the children of men, stronger than the strong man armed, and the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in him; he is anointed also with the oil of gladness above his fellows; and all his garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and is consecrated an high priest for evermore: of the high priest it is said, he

shall not uncover his head: that is, on account of the dead; not take off his mitre, or in any such way express mourning for the dead; or shall not nourish his hair or let it grow, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; and so Jarchi interprets it, he shall not let the hair grow for mourning; and what is nourishing of the hair? when it is let grow more than thirty days:

nor rend his clothes; that is, on the same account, and therefore Jonathan adds, in the hour of distress, or mourning for the dead; otherwise, in case of blasphemy, he might rend his clothes, see Matthew 26:65; and indeed, according to the Jewish canons, he might rend his clothes in mourning, only in a different manner from common priests; for so they say (f),"he may not rend for the dead, as other priests,''as it is said: "nor rend his clothes"; and if he rends he is to be beaten, but he may rend below over against (or near) his feet; and so in the Misnah (g), an high priest rends below, and a common priest above; See Gill on Leviticus 10:6.

(d) So Pagninus, Ainsworth, and others. (e) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 18. 1. Horayot, fol. 9. 1. Cholin, fol. 134. 2. Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 5. sect. 1. & in Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 3. & Bartenora in ib. (f) Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 5. sect. 6. (g) Horayot, c. 3. sect. 5.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

10-15. he that is the high priest among his brethren … shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes—The indulgence in the excepted cases of family bereavement, mentioned above [Le 21:2, 3], which was granted to the common priests, was denied to him; for his absence from the sanctuary for the removal of any contracted defilement could not have been dispensed with, neither could he have acted as intercessor for the people, unless ceremonially clean. Moreover, the high dignity of his office demanded a corresponding superiority in personal holiness, and stringent rules were prescribed for the purpose of upholding the suitable dignity of his station and family. The same rules are extended to the families of Christian ministers (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:6).

Leviticus 21:10 Additional Commentaries
Context
Holiness Required of Priests
9'Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire. 10'The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes; 11nor shall he approach any dead person, nor defile himself even for his father or his mother;…
Cross References
Exodus 29:7
Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head.

Leviticus 8:12
He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him to consecrate him.

Leviticus 10:6
Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, "Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the LORD has destroyed by fire.

Ezekiel 24:17
Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners."
Treasury of Scripture

And he that is the high priest among his brothers, on 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;

upon

Leviticus 8:12 And he poured of the anointing oil on Aaron's head, and anointed …

Leviticus 10:7 And you shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, …

Leviticus 16:32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate …

Exodus 29:29,30 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be …

Numbers 35:25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of …

Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down on the …

consecrated

Leviticus 8:7-9 And he put on him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed …

Exodus 28:2-4 And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother for glory …

uncover

Leviticus 10:6,7 And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons, …

Leviticus 13:45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and …

2 Samuel 15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went …

Esther 6:12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to …

not rend

Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned …

Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell …

Matthew 26:65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; …

All human corpses were considered as unclean. Whoever touched one was unclean for seven days, and was obliged on the third and seventh day to purify himself according to the Mosaic instructions. In the case of the priest it went still farther; insomuch, that even mourning for the dead by any external sign, such as tearing their clothes, defiled them. Hence such mournings were absolutely forbidden to be used in {any case}, and by the other priests also, except in the case of their very nearest relations, for whom they were allowed to mourn. This statue is founded on the importance of sustaining the decency and purity of Divine worship. The servants of the Deity were to keep themselves at a distance from every thing that in the least degree savoured of uncleanness.

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