Leviticus 21:21
No man that has a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come near to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he has a blemish; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.
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(21) No man that hath a blemish.—The addition of this general remark to the twelve instances adduced in the preceding verses, shows that the cases in question were simply typical, and that it was left to the administrators of the Law, not only to decide the minute details and various stages of these cases, but also to determine whether other bodily infirmities are included or not in this summary statement. Hence, during the second Temple, the authorities registered no less than one hundred and forty-two defects which disqualify the priest for serving at the altar. There was a chamber in the court of the Temple in which the Sanhedrim examined all the priests prior to their being received into the staff of those who officiated in the sanctuary. At the conclusion of this periodical examination, all the priests were divided into two classes. Those who were pronounced physically disqualified “put on black garments, wrapped themselves up in black cloaks, and went away in silence”; whilst those who were declared qualified put on white garments and white cloaks, and forthwith joined their brethren to assist in the sacred office. They celebrated the day by giving a feast to all their friends, which they opened with the following benediction: “Blessed be the Lord! Blessed be He because no blemish hath been found in the seed of Aaron, the priest; and blessed be He because He hath chosen Aaron and his sons to stand and to serve before the Lord in His most holy sanctuary.” Those priests who were declared physically unfit, were employed in the chamber for wood at the north-east of the court of the women, to select the proper wood for the altar, since any piece which was worm-eaten could not be burnt on it. (See Leviticus 1:7.)

Leviticus 21:21. A blemish — Any notorious blemish whereby he is disfigured, though not here mentioned.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.A dwarf - One who is small and wasted, either short, as in the text, or slender, as in the margin. It is hardly likely that dwarfishness would be overlooked in this enumeration. So most critical authorities.

Scurry or scabbed - These words most probably include all affected with any skin disease.

16-24. Whosoever he be … hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God—As visible things exert a strong influence on the minds of men, any physical infirmity or malformation of body in the ministers of religion, which disturbs the associations or excites ridicule, tends to detract from the weight and authority of the sacred office. Priests laboring under any personal defect were not allowed to officiate in the public service; they might be employed in some inferior duties about the sanctuary but could not perform any sacred office. In all these regulations for preserving the unsullied purity of the sacred character and office, there was a typical reference to the priesthood of Christ (Heb 7:26). No man that hath a blemish; any notorious blemish whereby he is disfigured, though not here mentioned. No man that hath a blemish, of the seed of Aaron the priest,.... Whether an high priest or a common priest that lies on him anyone of the above blemishes; and which the Jewish writers (f) make to amount to the number of one hundred and forty, and which they reckon, so many in one part of the booty and so many in another, till they make up the said number; and whoever had any might not

come nigh to offer up the sacrifices of the Lord made by fire; the burnt offerings on the altar, to which he might not approach, and the meat offerings, and the fat, and the incense:

he hath a blemish; in one part of him or another; and though but one:

he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God: this is repeated for the confirmation of it, and to show how determined the Lord was in this matter; and how much he should resent it in any that should be found guilty of the breach of those rules, and so it is designed to deter from attempting: it.

(f) Maimon. Biath Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 17.

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 {p} bread of his God.

(p) As the show bread, and meat offerings.

Leviticus 21:20
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