Leviticus 21:10
Parallel Verses
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.

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;

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:

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;

Leviticus 21:10 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The priest was not to defile himself on account of a soul, i.e., a dead person (nephesh, as in Leviticus 19:28), among his countrymen, unless it were of his kindred, who stood near to him (i.e., in the closest relation to him), formed part of the same family with him (cf. Leviticus 21:3), such as his mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or a sister who was still living with him as a virgin and was not betrothed to a husband (cf. Ezekiel 44:25). As every corpse not only defiled the persons who touched it, but also the tent or dwelling in which the person had died (Numbers 19:11, Numbers 19:14); in the case of death among members of the family or household, defilement was not to be avoided on the part of the priest as the head of the family. It was therefore allowable for him to defile himself on account of such persons as these, and even to take part in their burial. The words of Leviticus 21:4 are obscure: "He shall not defile himself בּעמּיו בּעל, i.e., as lord (pater-familias) among his countrymen, to desecrate himself;" and the early translators have wandered in uncertainty among different renderings. In all probability בּעל denotes the master of the house or husband. But, for all that, the explanation given by Knobel and others, "as a husband he shall not defile himself on the death of his wife, his mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, by taking part in their burial," is decidedly to be rejected. For, apart from the unwarrantable introduction of the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, there is sufficient to prevent our thinking of defilement on the death of a wife, in the fact that the wife is included in the "kin that is near unto him" in Leviticus 21:2, though not in the way that many Rabbins suppose, who maintain that שׁאר signifies wife, but implicite, the wife not being expressly mentioned, because man and wife form one flesh (Genesis 2:24), and the wife stands nearer to the husband than father and mother, son and daughter, or brother and sister. Nothing is proved by appealing to the statement made by Plutarch, that the priests of the Romans were not allowed to defile themselves by touching the corpses of their wives; inasmuch as there is no trace of this custom to be found among the Israelites, and the Rabbins, for this very reason, suppose the death of an illegitimate wife to be intended. The correct interpretation of the words can only be arrived at by considering the relation of the fourth verse to what precedes and follows. As Leviticus 21:1-3 stand in a very close relation to Leviticus 21:5 and Leviticus 21:6, - the defilement on account of a dead person being more particularly explained in the latter, or rather, strictly speaking, greater force being given to the prohibition, - it is natural to regard Leviticus 21:4 as standing in a similar relation to Leviticus 21:7, and to understand it as a general prohibition, which is still more clearly expounded in Leviticus 21:7 and Leviticus 21:9. The priest was not to defile himself as a husband and the head of a household, either by marrying a wife of immoral or ambiguous reputation, or by training his children carelessly, so as to desecrate himself, i.e., profane the holiness of his rank and office by either one or the other (cf. Leviticus 21:9 and Leviticus 21:15). - In Leviticus 21:5 desecration is forbidden in the event of a death occurring. He was not to shave a bald place upon his head. According to the Chethib יקרחה is to be pointed with ה- attached, and the Keri יקרחוּ is a grammatical alteration to suit the plural suffix in בּראשׁם, which is obviously to be rejected on account of the parallel יגלּחוּ לא זקנם וּפאת. In both of the clauses there is a constructio ad sensum, the prohibition which is addressed to individuals being applicable to the whole: upon their head shall no one shave a bald place, namely, in front above the forehead, "between the eyes" (Deuteronomy 14:1). We may infer from the context that reference is made to a customary mode of mourning for the dead; and this is placed beyond all doubt by Deuteronomy 14:1, where it is forbidden to all the Israelites "for the dead." According to Herodotus, 2, 36, the priests in Egypt were shaven, whereas in other places they wore their hair long. In other nations it was customary for those who were more immediately concerned to shave their heads as a sign of mourning; but the Egyptians let their hair grow both upon their head and chin when any of their relations were dead, whereas they shaved at other times. The two other outward signs of mourning mentioned, namely, cutting off the edge of the beard and making incisions in the body, have already been forbidden in Leviticus 19:27-28, and the latter is repeated in Deuteronomy 14:1. The reason for the prohibition is given in Leviticus 21:6 - "they shall be holy unto their God," and therefore not disfigure their head and body by signs of passionate grief, and so profane the name of their God when they offer the firings of Jehovah; that is to say, when they serve and approach the God who has manifested Himself to His people as the Holy One. On the epithet applied to the sacrifices, "the food of God," see at Leviticus 3:11 and Leviticus 3:16.

Leviticus 21:10 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

upon

Leviticus 8:12 And he poured of the anointing oil on Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

Leviticus 10:7 And you shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest you die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is on you...

Leviticus 16:32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead...

Exodus 29:29,30 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them...

Numbers 35:25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood...

Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aaron's beard...

consecrated

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

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

uncover

Leviticus 10:6,7 And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest you die...

Leviticus 13:45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bore, and he shall put a covering on his upper lip...

2 Samuel 15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot...

Esther 6:12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house mourning, and having his head covered.

not rend

Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped,

Matthew 26:65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold...

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.

Cross References
Exodus 29:7
You shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.

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

Leviticus 10:6
And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, "Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the LORD has kindled.

Ezekiel 24:17
Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men."

Jump to Previous
Anointing Chief Clothes Consecrated Garments Hair Hang Head High Highest Loose Oil Ordained Poured Priest Priestly Rend Tear Uncover Wear
Jump to Next
Anointing Chief Clothes Consecrated Garments Hair Hang Head High Highest Loose Oil Ordained Poured Priest Priestly Rend Tear Uncover Wear
Links
Leviticus 21:10 NIV
Leviticus 21:10 NLT
Leviticus 21:10 ESV
Leviticus 21:10 NASB
Leviticus 21:10 KJV

Leviticus 21:10 Bible Apps
Leviticus 21:10 Biblia Paralela
Leviticus 21:10 Chinese Bible
Leviticus 21:10 French Bible
Leviticus 21:10 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Leviticus 21:9
Top of Page
Top of Page